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5132 Middle School Student Athlete Participation in Interscholastic Athletic Program

Adoption Date: 5/10/1990, Revised: 05/18/2023, 11/5/2015; 03/20/2014, 07/06/2006, 04/24/2003, 09/09/1994, 02/11/1993 5000 - Students
5132 Middle School Student Athlete Participation in Interscholastic Athletic Program

The determination of middle school students for participation in the athletic program at the high school level shall be at
the discretion of the Director of Physical Education, Health and Athletics and in accordance with the athletic placement
process for all secondary school interscholastic athletic team membership. The athletic placement process ensures that
students are placed at levels of competition appropriate to their physical and emotional maturity, physical fitness and
ability and skills in that sport in relationship to other students on those teams. The District Medical Director and the
Director of Physical Education, Health and Athletics are responsible for implementing the athletic placement process
consistent with the Commissioner’s Regulations.

It is the policy of the Lakeland Central School District that middle school students will not participate in high school
interscholastic athletic programs unless it is determined, in accordance with this Policy, that:
1. There is a combined team (grades 7-12), no modified team (e.g., track, golf, gymnastics) and middle school
students will not bump high school students from the team.


2. There are an insufficient number of high school students to field a particular sport and more aggressive
recruitment for high school players has occurred. The determination to recruit middle school students shall not
take place until at least one week after the start of a season.


3. The student is an exceptional athlete in a particular sport. Each student will be evaluated individually on his or
her merits to determine whether he or she is considered to be an exceptional athlete. In this situation prior to the
student being evaluated under the athletic placement process:
A. The student and parents must agree to this participation. (Parent Permission Form)
B. The Director of Physical Education, Health and Athletics will confirm that the student is appropriate for
consideration, the student’s academic performance is at or above grade level and the student is
emotionally ready to socialize with high school students.
C. The sport coach will consider past personal observations of the student and input from the student’s
former coaches or may observe the student in a physical education class.
D. The student must have a physical fitness test and examination by a certified physical education teacher
who is not the coach of the sport for which the student will be trying out (with limited exceptions for
swimming, bowling and golf). The President’s Physical Fitness Test will be administered.
E. The District’s Medical Director will determine a student’s physical and social/emotional maturity level
and compare the physical size of the student in relation to that of the students against whom the student
would be competing. If the student is determined not to have attained the physical and/or the social/
emotional maturity level for the particular sport and level, the process will either not be continued or sent
to a review board for consideration.
F. The results of the two evaluations will be sent to the Director of Physical Education, Health and Athletics,
who shall maintain all records of students who successfully complete the athletic placement process.
Only students who pass all parts of the athletic placement process will be permitted to try out.
G. If the District’s Medical Director has concerns regarding the physical and/or social/emotional maturity
level of a student the concern can be sent to a review board. The student’s participation must then be
approved by a review board consisting of the District’s Medical Director, Middle School Principal,
Middle School Athletic Coordinator, the Supervisor of Physical Education, Health and Athletics, and the

Director of Physical Education, Health and Athletics. The review board shall consider the student’s
ability in the particular sport, the data from the student’s fitness test, and whether or not there is
comparable competition for the student at their current level of play in such sport when making a
determination. The review board shall make a recommendation to the Superintendent of Schools.
H. A list of the scores of all athletes who successfully complete the process and have been approved through
the athletic placement process after the try-out period has been completed must be sent to:
- The Director of Physical Education, Health and Athletics
-  Athletic governing board or section office

4. All high school teams will be comprised of a minimum number of high school students, the regulated team numbers, as
determined by the Director of Physical Education, Health and Athletics in consultation with the high school coaches
for each sport, prior to permitting the exceptional middle school student to become a member of that team. Designated
sports, such as basketball, baseball, soccer, etc., have a minimum number of high school students that must be rostered
on the team before a middle school student can be considered. The minimum number, or regulated team numbers,
reflect the normal or typical roster size of each particular sport. Therefore, in summary, high school students are not
being deprived of roster spots; however, coaches are rostering a larger than normal team in order to accommodate
those middle school students that they feel will benefit from competing at the high school level. Once the regulated
number of students is met, any remaining places on the team may be filled with high school students or qualified
middle school students. Note, there are some designated sports that do not make “cuts” and there is no regulated team
number for those sports (e.g., track & field, football, swimming, etc.). In order to make the determination of rostering a
middle school student on such a sports team, the middle school student will try out with the other potential high school
candidates, unless the evaluation process can be done at an alternate time (e.g., bowling and golf).
5. No middle school student shall miss school or be released from school early to participate in practice or a game except
for sectional competitions at the end of the season. If a middle school student is pulled out of school to practice or play
during the regular season, the coach will not permit such student to play.

Notwithstanding the above, in the event there is an insufficient number of high school students to field a team in a
particular sport, qualified middle school students may be brought up for that season only.

Policy References:
(Section 135.4[c][7][11][a & b] of the Revised Regulations effective October 29, 1980)