WELCOME to the Dedham High School Athletic Program.
The material presented in this booklet has been compiled to better acquaint you and your family with some of the policies, practices and regulations that govern the athletics program at Dedham High School.
Please keep this booklet handy and refer to it when questions and/or concerns about your sons’ or daughters’ athletic experience at the school arise. If your questions or concerns are not answered within this booklet, please feel free to call the Athletic Director’s office at school. DO NOT let your questions or concerns go unanswered or unresolved.
Click Here to Download a PDF of this Athletics Handbook.
Director of Athletics
Updated: 2021- 2022
The Interscholastic Athletic Program at Dedham High School is committed to the Mission Statement of Dedham Public Schools. Our goals are to help all of our students to achieve academic excellence to the level of their ability; to foster a community of lifelong learners; to equip students to meet the challenges of a changing world; and to encourage our students to develop responsibility to themselves and their community. Athletics provide an opportunity to extend the values and an ideal developed in the classroom and constantly strives towards the development of a well rounded individual.
Tryouts for programs are open to all students providing they meet the standards of academic eligibility, school citizenship and basic physical/health qualifications. Participation in the program, therefore, is a privilege earned by students who meet and maintain these standards. As a member of the Dedham Program, students are expected to demonstrate proper respect for all coaches, teammates, officials, spectators and equipment. Student-athletes are expected to exhibit the highest level of conduct, both on and off the playing field, as they are, at all times, representatives of their team, school and community.
The Dedham High School Athletic Department is a member of the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) and is therefore governed by association rules and regulations. Additional policies, regulations and rules are set by the Dedham School Committee. Under MIAA guidelines, local communities are allowed to set their own policy, rules and/or regulations as long as they are more restrictive than stipulated by the MIAA. Rules governing individual sports vary depending on the sport. Copies of the complete set of MIAA Rules and Regulations are available on line at www.miaa.net or in the Athletic Office.
One of the primary functions of the MIAA is to sponsor and conduct post-season tournaments leading to the determination of geographical district and state champions. When our varsity teams qualify for and enter such tournaments, we are completely subject to specific rules and regulations that govern each tournament, as set by the MIAA. The MIAA is a member of the National Federation of State High School Associations and is bound by their set of rules, policies and regulations.
TRI VALLEY LEAGUE
Dedham High School is a very proud member of the eleven school league known as the Tri Valley League. The League is governed by the MIAA and its own Constitution. A copy of the Constitution is available for your review in the Athletic Office. Most of our game schedules, at all levels of competition, are set by the Conference.
Most sport game schedules sponsored by the TVL at the varsity level are divided into divisions for championship play, and for seasonal play at the sub-varsity and freshman levels. The TVL includes the following schools: Dedham, Ashland, Bellingham, Dover-Sherborn, Holliston, Hopkinton, Medfield, Medway, Millis, Norton, and Westwood. We also schedule non-conference contests against schools from surrounding communities.
SELECTED RULES, REGULATIONS AND POLICIES
The following is a list of important policies, rules and regulations that govern our athletic department. Take the time to read and understand them. If any questions and/or concerns arise during your athletic experience at Dedham High School that are not addressed or answered in this booklet, please contact the Athletic Office at the high school.
STANDARDS FOR PARTICIPATION
In addition to being willing to make the above commitment, a student must be declared eligible for participation by the Principal or his/her designee according to the standards listed in this section to be a candidate for a team.
MIAA ATHLETIC ELIGIBILITY RULES
TIME ALLOWED FOR PARTICIPATION
MEMBERSHIP IN SCHOOL
SPORTSMANSHIP FOR STUDENT ATHLETES
TRANSPORTATION TO AND FROM CONTESTS
RETURN FROM INJURY
MIAA RULE #45 – Loyalty to the High School Team: “BONA FIDE TEAM MEMBER RULE”
A bona fide member of the school team is a student who is regularly present for, and actively participates in, all team practices and competitions. Bona Fide members of a school team are precluded from missing a high school practice or competition in order to practice or compete with an out-of-school team. Any student who violates this standard would be ineligible for 25% of the scheduled season contests. If a second offense should occur the student would be suspended for an additional 25% of the scheduled season contests, and would be ineligible for MIAA post-season tournament play.
MIAA RULE #62 - Student Eligibility: CHEMICAL HEALTH/ALCOHOL/DRUGS/TOBACCO
62) Student (and Coach) Eligibility: Chemical Health/Alcohol/Drugs/TobaccO
62.1) From the earliest fall practice date, to the conclusion of the academic year or final athletic event (whichever is latest), a student shall not, regardless of the quantity, use, consume, possess, buy/sell, or give away any beverage containing alcohol; any tobacco product(including E-cigarettes VAP pens and all similar devices; marijuana; steroids; or any controlled substance. This policy includes products such as “NA or near beer”. It is not a violation for a student to be in possession of a legally defined drug specifically prescribed for the student’s own use by his/her doctor. This MIAA statewide minimum standard is not
intended to render “guilt by association”, e.g. many student athletes might be present at a party where only a few violate this standard. This rule represents only a minimum standard upon which schools may develop more stringent requirements. If a student in violation of this rule is unable to participate in interscholastic sports due to injury or academics, the penalty will not take effect until that student is able to participate again.
First violation: When the Principal confirms, following an opportunity for the student to be heard, that a violation occurred, the student shall lose eligibility for the next consecutive interscholastic contests totaling 25% of all interscholastic contests in that sport. No exception is permitted for a student who becomes a participant in a treatment program. It is recommended that the student be allowed to remain at practice for the purpose of rehabilitation. All decimal part of an event will be truncated i.e. All fractional part of an event will be dropped when calculating the 25% of the season.
Second and subsequent violations: When the Principal confirms, following an opportunity for the student to be heard, that a violation occurred, the student shall lose eligibility for the next consecutive interscholastic contests totaling 60% of all interscholastic contests in that sport. All decimal part of an event will be truncated i.e. All fractional part of an event will be dropped when calculating the 60% of the season. If after the second or subsequent violations the student of his/her owns volition becomes a participant in an approved chemical dependency program or treatment program, the student may be certified for reinstatement in MIAA activities after a minimum of 40% of events. The director or a counselor of a chemical dependency treatment center must issue such certification. All decimal part of an event will be truncated i.e.
All fractional part of an event will be dropped when calculating the 40% of the season. Penalties shall be cumulative each academic year. If the penalty period is not completed during the season of violation, the penalty shall carry over to the student’s next season of actual participation, which may affect the eligibility status of the student during the next academic year.
# Of Events / Season
# Of Events / Penalty
20 or over
# Of Events / Season
# of Events / Penalty
20 or over
2nd Offense w/Dependency Program
# of Events / Season
# of Events / Penalty
20 or over
62.2 During practice or competition, a coach shall not use any tobacco
62.3 Steroid Use - Anabolic androgenic steroid use at the high school level is of grave concern. Steroids are used by some athletes, and the seriousness of the problem has been well documented. A recent study indicates that over 3% of high school seniors have tried steroids in their lifetime (NIDA, 2004). High school coaches may not be able to prevent the use of steroids altogether, but they can clearly and forcefully discourage their use. Coaches should take a proactive role, learning about steroids, and then providing this information to their athletes. Steroids can, with proper diet and weight training, increase muscle development; however, as is typical with most “get-rich-quick” schemes, steroid use has serious short and long term
Normal and equal musculature development can occur without steroid use.
Although the natural process takes longer, muscle tone will last longer and does not carry the harmful side effects of steroids. Most coaches would not promote steroid use intentionally. Total silence by coaches however condones use in some young people's minds. Even though steroids may not be mentioned when it is suggested to an athlete that his/her success is limited only by a lack of weight and/or strength, without a disclaimer the statement can be a motivation to use steroids. The pervasiveness of the drugs that allow for development of increased weight under the aforementioned circumstances is a coercive power that is difficult for young athletes to resist without knowing what the side effects of the drugs may be. The issue goes beyond protecting the integrity of sport. The use of steroids in sports is cheating. We must oppose the use of steroids for both health and ethical reasons.
Use of Internet and Social Media
Dedham High School and the Athletic Department encourage the safe and responsible behavior with regard to internet use and social media. We highly recommend our students avoid inappropriate use public websites such as Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat, Facebook, etc. Any identifiable inappropriate image, photo, video, or posted on-line conversation which implicates a student- athlete may result in an investigation by the administration.
Participation in our athletic program, as well as class/club activities, is a privilege extended to our students, not a right.
The Dedham Coaches Association in cooperation with the Dedham High School Athletic Department and the MIAA wishes to inform both athletes and parents that during the season of practice or play, a student shall not, regardless of quantity, location or time, use or consume, possess, buy/sell or give away any beverage containing alcohol, marijuana, steroids, or any controlled substance. Any report by an outside agency will be dealt with appropriately. The Memorandum of Understanding between the Dedham Public Schools and the Dedham Police Department will be enforced. (see Memorandum of Understanding, page 41, in the Dedham Senior High School Student/Parent Handbook).
- The Drug and Alcohol Abuse Policy #5132 Section IV-1, calls for an immediate three-to-five day suspension from school for the first
- A student who has been dismissed from a particular team will forfeit his/her rights to any and all awards* that might have been forthcoming from participation in that sport. (*Examples of such forfeiture would be the school’s award letters, all- star status, and any nominations on his/her behalf to the league or state selection committees).
- The student who violates the above mentioned policy will forfeit any and all of his/her user
- For any repeat offense of the policy, a recommendation will be made to the High School Administration that the student be barred from participation in all sports activities for one year beginning from the date of the repeat
That during the season of practice or play, a student shall not, regardless of quantity, location, or time use, possess, buy/sell, or give away any tobacco products. Violation of this policy will result in the punishment set forth by the MIAA. Also if a student violates this policy on school property, he/she must also participate in a smoking cessation program or pay $100.00 fine.
Massachusetts State Law - Chapter 269, Sections 17-18 Chapter 269, Section 17 Crime of Hazing, Definition, Penalty
Whoever is a principal organizer or participant in the crime of hazing, as defined herein, shall be punished by a fine of not more than three thousand dollars or by imprisonment in a house of correction for not more than one year, or both such fine and imprisonment. The term hazing as used in this section and in sections eighteen and nineteen, shall mean any conduct or method of initiation into any student organization, whether on public or private property, which willfully or recklessly endangers the physical or mental health of any student or other person. Such conduct shall include whipping, beating, branding, forced calisthenics, exposure to the weather, forced consumption of any food, liquor, beverage, drug or other substance, or any other brutal treatment or forced physical activity which is likely to adversely affect the physical health or safety of any such student or person, or which subjects such student or other person to extreme mental stress, including extended deprivation of sleep or rest or extended isolation. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this section to the contrary, consent shall not be available as a defense to any prosecution under this action. Added by St. 1985, c.536; amended by St. 1987, c.665.
Whoever knows that another person is the victim of hazing as defined in section seventeen and is at the scene of such crime, shall, to the extent that such person can do so without danger or peril to himself or others, report such crime to an appropriate law enforcement official as soon as reasonably practicable. Whoever fails to report such crime shall be punished by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars. Added by St. 1985, c. 536; amended by St. 1987, c. 665.
Chapter 269, Section 19 Statutes to be provided to Student Groups; Compliance Statement and Discipline Policy required Each institution of secondary education and each public and private institution of postsecondary education shall issue to every student group, student team or student organization which is part of such institution or is recognized by the institution or permitted by the institution to use its name or facilities or is known by the institution to exist as an unaffiliated student group, student team or student organization, a copy of this section and sections seventeen and eighteen; provided, however, that an institution’s compliance with this section’s requirements that an institution issue copies of this section and section seventeen and eighteen to unaffiliated student groups, team or organizations shall not constitute evidence of the institution’s recognition’s or endorsement of said unaffiliated student groups, teams, or organizations.
Each such group, team or organization shall distribute a copy of this section and sections seventeen and eighteen to each of its members, plebes, pledges or applicants for membership. It shall be the duty of each such group, team, or organization, acting through its designated officer, to deliver annually, to the institution an attested acknowledgment stating that such group, team, or organization has received a copy of this section and said sections seventeen and eighteen, that each of its members, plebes, pledges, or applicants has received a copy of sections seventeen and eighteen, and that such group, team or organization understands and agrees to comply with the provisions of this section and sections seventeen and eighteen. Each institution of secondary education and each public or private institution of post-secondary education shall, at least annually, before or at the start of enrollment, deliver to each person who enrolls as a full-time student in such institution a copy of this section and sections seventeen and eighteen. Each institution of secondary education and each public or private institution of post- secondary education shall file, at least annually, a report with the regents of higher education and in the case of secondary institutions, the board of education, certifying that such institution has complied with its responsibility to inform student groups, teams or organizations and to notify each full-time student enrolled by it of the provisions of this section and sections seventeen and eighteen and also certifying that said institution has adopted a disciplinary policy with regard to the organizers and participants of hazing, and that such policy has been set forth with appropriate emphasis in the student handbook or similar means of communicating the institution’s policies to its students. The board of regents and, in the case of secondary institutions, the board of education shall promulgate regulations governing the content and frequency of such reports, and shall forthwith report to the attorney general any such institution which fails to make such report. Added by St. 1985, c.536; amended by St. 1987, c.665.
Section 18 Whoever knows that another person is the victim of hazing as defined in section seventeen and is at the scene of such crime shall, to the extent that such person can do so without danger or peril to himself or others, report such crime to an appropriate law enforcement official as soon as reasonably practicable. Whoever fails to report such crime shall be punished by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars.
MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN DEDHAM PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND THE DEDHAM POLICE DEPARTMENT
Statement of Purpose
We agree that alcohol and other drug abuse is a national and societal problem reaching into our community of Dedham. To maximize the effectiveness of our efforts to achieve a drug-free community, we recognize that the coordination and cooperation of the community as a whole are essential. Therefore, the Chief of Police, with the support of the Board of Selectman, and the Superintendent of Schools with the support of the School Committee, pledge to follow the agreed upon procedures for communicating incidents of drug and alcohol use, possession, and distribution. We further agree to coordinate our efforts, when appropriate, with the District Attorney of Norfolk County and the Department of Education.
An agreement such as this is necessary as administrators, teachers, and other staff members are increasingly relied upon to observe and to report student behavior that may indicate involvement with or use, possession or distribution of alcohol and drugs. The role of the police officers and school officials toward our goal of a drug-free community must be clarified and clearly understood by all parties.
- Memorandum of Understanding, Section 3.1 - For incidents involving Drug/Alcohol use beyond school property at non school supervised events the Dedham Police Department, through the Juvenile Officer, will report any student arrested or taken into protective custody for violation of any drug law any student in the Dedham Public Schools to the Superintendent of Schools or the principal of the students’ respective school. Such notifications shall take into consideration Police Department Policy, the provisions of the Educational Reform Act, and applicable laws concerning juvenile justice.
Section 3.2 - To deter students drug/alcohol use, any student found to be present (First Offense) where underage drinking or drug use is taking place, the Dedham Police Department will record the names, addresses, ages, and telephone numbers of all the youths found to be present at the scene, and notify the parents as soon as practical after the incident to offer resource information and assist in the design of a plan to modify the behavior and prevent a re-occurrence. The Juvenile Officer will notify the School Department of the incident where a student was present where alcohol or drugs were found, and the identity of the student(s) involved.
For a Second and all subsequent offenses the Juvenile Officer will notify the School Department of the incident where a student was present where alcohol or drugs were found, and the identity of the student (s) involved. The incident will be treated as outlined in section 3.4 of the Memorandum of Understanding and the Chemical Health policy of the Dedham Coaches Association and the Dedham High School Athletic Department.
According to Dedham School Committee policy, each student-athlete at Dedham High School is required to pay a fee to participate on a team.
An athletic fee of $125.00 has been established for all sports per season. The athletic fee is non-refundable. Families will pay a maximum fee of $500.00. All sports are open to all Dedham High School students in grades 9 thru 12.
Students must pay this fee prior to drawing equipment unless a waiver has been granted. Students who leave the team voluntarily, or who are removed from the team by a coach, Director of Athletics, or Principal, for disciplinary or scholastic deficiencies are not eligible for a refund.
All payments must be made by Unipay Gold (online) check or money order payable to Dedham High School Athletic Department. No cash will be accepted. Checks should include name, address and telephone number of parent or guardian. All payments will be deposited in the Athletic Department revolving account to defray the cost of the Interscholastic Athletic Program.
No fee will be required of those pupils entitled to a free lunch under existing Federal and State regulations. Waivers can be requested by contacting the Director of Athletics.
SCHOOL ATHLETIC EQUIPMENT
Students have an obligation and responsibility for all equipment issued to them and for its proper care and retention from the date of issue to the date of return. Students failing to turn in all issued equipment, uniforms, or returning equipment damaged through misuse, are responsible to meet the current replacement cost for such equipment or uniforms. Payment is required at the time of the loss, prior to the next season of athletic involvement, or graduation, whichever comes first. In the event that the equipment or uniform is found and/or returned after payment, a refund will be made.
LOCKER ROOMS AND FACILITIES
Once team rosters are set, if not before, each team member will be issued an athletic locker. If a locker is not issued, students should request one from the coach or Director of Athletics. Students are expected to lock all personal items and team equipment in their own locker at all times. Students should never give their locker combination to anyone else. Experience has shown that most losses are due to lockers left open or unlocked. On road trips, when lockers are not available, it is highly recommended that students leave valuables at home or give them to parents for safekeeping at the game site. Large amounts of cash should never be carried or left at the school.
Building and Facility Access
At the conclusion of each school day, student-athletes should bring all items that they need until the next school day to the locker room area. For safety reasons students are not allowed access to other areas of the building after practice, games, or on non school days. No students will be allowed access to any of our athletic facilities without proper supervision by a school staff member.
At Dedham High School, relationships are built on mutual respect. The coaches are professionals who are aware of and committed to upholding the responsibilities, policies and regulations of the MIAA, the Bay State Conference and Dedham High School. Each student must be treated as an individual, yet as a part of the team. Rules and regulations must be uniformly and fairly enforced at all times. In most instances, during the season of play a student-athlete spends more time daily under the direct supervision and guidance of his/her coach than any other adult. This time spent should be enjoyable, educational, positive and worthwhile; the influence that a coach may have with each individual team member is enormous. As recommended by the MIAA, we encourage participation in varied activities under different teacher/coach role models. Athletes and their families can expect the following from members of the Dedham High School coaching staff:
COMMUNICATION WITH PARENTS
SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL GROWTH
There are many benefits to be gained by participation in athletics at the high school level. Young people learn the values associated with discipline, performing under stress, teamwork, sacrifice, commitment, effort, accountability, citizenship, sportsmanship, confidence, leadership, organizational skills, participating within the rules, physical well-being and striving towards excellence. Although there are many measures of success in the minds of each participant, perhaps the most emotional is “playing time” during contests. If a student has questions as to his/her “playing time” he/she is encouraged to discuss it with the coach. At Dedham High School, being a member of a team does not guarantee an equitable amount of “playing time”.
However, there are guidelines for this all important topic.
At the sub-varsity level (junior varsity, freshman, and middle school), members of the coaching staff will make a strong effort to play all team members for as much time as is practical. There are many factors that govern an individual’s playing time but perhaps the most important are: practice attendance, effort, attitude, and commitment. If these factors are present at the sub- varsity levels, students may expect to enjoy their share of “playing time”.
At the varsity level, the guidelines for the coaching staff are similar with one other additional major factor. The varsity teams want to compete against opponents at the highest possible level. Players, coaches, parents and staff members all want the Dedham High School varsity teams to be successful on the field, court, pool or rink, etc. To reach that goal, teams must compete to win as many contests as possible. In order to do this, there are many instances when the major burden of the contest will be carried by the most competitive, and most skilled team members; however, teams cannot be successful without committed substitutes. These athletes have to be ready at all times to step forward and shoulder the burden when needed. They have to practice as hard as they can to help make the teams as competitive as they can be. They also have to constantly strive to move up to a “starting” role.
As stated before, athletic involvement is highly emotional and very time consuming. Because of this, conflicts and issues between a student and his/her coach may arise. It is imperative that any conflict and/or issue be addressed immediately and as
directly as possible with the coach so that it can be resolved promptly. The Director of Athletics or the Principal may be contacted at any time.
In order for the contact to be as productive as possible, times that athletes or parents should avoid are:
- either prior to or immediately following a contest, during an active practice
- during a time when other students are present or
- when it would be readily visible to others that a
- discussion is taking
- a time when it is apparent that there is not sufficient
- time for a complete
Perhaps the best solution is to ask the coach, either over the phone or in person, if an appointment could be made to discuss the issue.
It is a coaching decision as to how many team captains are selected. They may be elected by the team or appointed by the coach prior to the first regularly scheduled contest. Captains may also be elected or appointed on a game-by-game basis.
It is expected that team captains be leaders of their team and should be ready to assume duties as outlined by their coach. They are expected to be more aware of team rules and student responsibilities. Captains are expected to communicate with the coach and team in the event of any problems that may affect the team or its members. Captains may be asked to meet with the Director of Athletics during the school year to discuss the athletic program.
Captains of teams may be relieved of their position for violation of team, department or school rules.
COLLEGE & CAREER GUIDANCE
One of the most important decisions facing high school students is what to do with their lives after high school. The members of the Dedham High School coaching staff are willing and eager to assist all of their students with this extremely important decision. Staff members fully understand the importance of this assistance. They may be able to answer questions, contact schools and/or coaches, send videos tapes, if available, and write letters of recommendation. The least they will be able to do is guide students to more knowledgeable resources who can help with decisions. If a student’s goal is to compete athletically at the collegiate level it is very important to be aware of the ever-changing NCAA regulations. Copies of the latest regulations are available in the Guidance Office and online at www.ncaa.org. Please be familiar with these regulations and seek assistance if needed.