News & Calendar

Athletics Policies & Requirements


Middle School (Grades 6-8)

Programs

Athletics at the Middle School function as an integral part of the school curriculum. Student athletes learn about leadership, adversity, teamwork, and self­-discipline through participation and competition on the athletic fields. We believe that involvement at all levels helps students develop physically, socially, and emotionally. Emphasis is placed on skill development, sportsmanship, and character development. Each student is required to participate on a Thayer team or in the Health & Wellness Program for all three seasons. Teams practice every day (unless otherwise noted) from 2:45 to 3:45. Games are usually contested on Wednesdays and Fridays, but not always. All participants in team sports are expected to receive fairly equal playing time over the course of the entire season. All team information is available here.

Requirements

  • Students must participate in the Athletic Program for three seasons.
  • Students have the option to play a team sport or participate in the health and wellness program.
  • A tryout selection process according to ability will be used when necessary.

Offerings

BoysGirlsCo-Ed
Fall Interscholastic
  • Football
  • Soccer A, B &C
  • Field Hockey A & B
  • Soccer A, B & C
  • Volleyball
  • X-Country
Fall Alternative
  • Health & Wellness
  • Dance
Winter Interscholastic
  • Basketball A, B & C
  • Hockey A & B
  • Basketball A, B & C
  • Hockey (Athletes participate at the Upper School, JV, or Varsity level based on ability.)
  • Wrestling
Winter Alternative
  • Health & Wellness
  • Dance
Spring Interscholastic
  • Baseball A & B
  • Lacrosse
  • Crew (Athletes participate at the Upper School, JV, or Varsity level based on ability.)
  • Track & Field
  • Tennis

  • Softball
  • Lacrosse A & B
  • Crew (Athletes participate at the Upper School, JV, or Varsity level based on ability.)
  • Track & Field
  • Tennis

Spring Alternative
  • Golf (instructional)
  • Health & Wellness
  • Dance

Athletic Program Policies

Waiver Policies

  • Waiver Athletic Programs Middle School students with demonstrated ability and a major commitment to training for a sport/activity that Thayer does not offer (i.e. riding, skiing, swimming, figure skating) may apply for an Off-Campus Athletic Program Waiver. If a student is granted a waiver he or she will be dismissed at the end of the academic day. Those students who cannot be dismissed at the end of the academic day will not qualify for a waiver. The Independent School League bylaws state, “Multi-season, single sport: Athletes may not receive credit for participating in a sport (offered) for more than one season in an academic year.” All such proposals, and any additional season requests must be submitted for approval to Director of Athletics Rick Foresteire no later than the first day of classes in the fall, and by the Monday before the first day of seasonal tryouts in the winter and spring. A decision will be made within five school days after submission. Seasonal tryout dates will be communicated to students and parents through the seasonal Athletic Department Information Letter.
  • Medical Waivers If your child is unable to participate in athletics due to extended illness or injury, please submit to the Athletic Training Staff medical documentation from the treating physician including a diagnosis, the period of time the student will be unable to participate in sports, and the plan of care recommended by the doctor. Medical Waiver information will be communicated to school staff on a need-to-know basis. Waiver Forms can be downloaded here or picked up in the Athletic Department Office.
  • Eighth Grader Varsity Tryout / Participation Policy There are situations when an 8th-grade student may be able to play a varsity sport even when that sport is offered at the Middle school level. In such cases, the Head Varsity Coach must initiate the request, with the approval of the parents. Middle School Athletic Director John Reid and Director of Athletics Rick Foresteire must then endorse that request. The Director of Athletics will then forward the request to the Middle School Director, who, in concert with the Athletic Director, will make the final determination. The factors that will be considered will include but not be limited to: overall program, team dynamics, and possible concerns related to the Middle School student in question (i.e. academic standing, deportment, and any social or emotional concerns that might pertain to playing with Upper School students).
  • Middle School No Sports/Mud Weeks This term refers to the dates in between athletic seasons. During these weeks students are often dismissed at 2 p.m. After-school study hall is available until regular dismissal time.

All-School Student Responsibilities

The athletic program strives to teach personal responsibility. Participation on an athletic team is a commitment, a responsibility, and often a requirement. Attendance at practices and games is required. It is important that each student understands that the team is affected when an athlete misses a practice. We expect students to plan their time around practices and plan ahead for conflicts which may have an impact on the team. Information about future events and commitments is readily available at school and students should seek it out. Each student is also asked to take responsibility for certain equipment/uniforms that belong to the school.

All-School Coaching Guide

Thayer draws its coaches from the faculty as well as from off-campus, and all coaches are expected to present themselves in a manner that will earn the respect of players and spectators. Thayer coaches strive to model the same standards of behavior and sportsmanship that we expect from our students, and they make every effort to be sensitive to the needs of individual students while keeping the goals and interests of the team and school in mind.The coach is a parent’s key contact for a student’s athletic program. Questions and messages regarding games, equipment, absences, or lateness should be directed to the coach, but direct communication between athletes and coaches fosters a greater sense of student responsibility and independence, rather than communications mediated by parents. A list of head coaches with email addresses will be provided to families through an informational letter sent prior to each athletic season. The coach's contact information can also be found on your child's team page.

Practice & Game Information

At the beginning of each season, the school is given a designated date before which official practice/tryouts cannot begin. Each Varsity Head Coach determines the exact starting date for his or her team. These dates are established in consideration of our league guidelines and with reasonable breaks between seasons. The Athletic Department Information Letter clearly outlines all pre-season requirements. Varsity teams are often expected to practice during vacations. During winter and spring breaks, one week is reserved for practice while the other is designated as a non-practice period. Pre-season tryouts for teams begin on, or around, the dates mentioned above.

All-School Weekly Practice & Game Schedules

Please refer to your child’s team page for schedules.

Location of Practices & Games

For a list of the facilities where our students practice and play home games and directions to the schools we compete please refer to the www.thayer.org/Directions to Athletic Locations.

Transportation

Our teams are transported by private bus companies or school vehicles. We arrange for these vehicles each season, and each company tries its best to accommodate our varied needs.Students are allowed to drive to practice or games only when special permission is granted by the Athletic Director with parental approval. After a practice or game off site, a student may go home with his or her parent or the parent of another student, after checking with the coach. These arrangements need to be made ahead of time.

Lockers, Equipment, Uniforms

  • Every student will be assigned a gym locker. It is strongly recommended that students store all of their belongings in their locker. The school is not responsible for lost or stolen items.
  • Some equipment is issued to athletes for their use during the season, with the expectation that such equipment will be returned at the end of the season.
  • Uniforms are issued at the beginning of each season and are expected to be returned at the completion of each season.
  • Athletes who do not return their uniforms within two weeks after the end of the season will be billed double the cost of the uniform.
  • No refunds or credits will be made.

ISL Statement on Drugs, Medication, or Food Supplements

The schools in the ISL agree that school personnel and coaches should not dispense any drug, medication, or food supplement except with extreme caution and in accordance with policies developed in consultation with parents, health-care professionals, and senior administrative personnel of the school.Use of any drug, medication, or food supplement in a way not prescribed by the manufacturer should not be authorized or encouraged by school personnel and coaches. Even natural substances in unnatural amounts may have negative short-term or long-term health effects.In order to minimize health and safety risks to student athletes, maintain ethical standards, and reduce liability risks, school personnel and coaches should never supply, recommend, or permit the use of any drug, medication, or food supplement solely for performance-enhancing purposes.

Anti-Hazing Policy

Hazing refers to any conduct or method of initiation into any student organization, which willfully or recklessly endangers the physical or mental health of any student or any other person. Copies of legislation regarding hazing are distributed annually to all students and coaches. Incidents of hazing must be reported to law enforcement officials.

ISL Athletic Guidelines

Sportsmanship Creed The ISL is proud of the behavior and sportsmanship displayed by its players, coaches, and fans. We value spirited and fair play as well as positive support for our players and teams. In order to ensure that our expected level of decorum continues in each game and each season, we ask that all members of the ISL community continually renew their efforts to abide by the ideals of our league. Athletic competition in the ISL is guided by the following ideals: Players and coaches shall at all times represent themselves and their school with honor, proper conduct, and good sportsmanship. They shall understand that competitive rivalries are encouraged but that disrespect for opponents is unsportsmanlike and lessens the value of the rivalries. They shall confine the competitiveness of the game to the field, and behave properly on the sidelines and in the locker rooms before, during, and after the games.

The Players & Coaches

Players and coaches shall comply fully with the rulings of the officials. In no way, either by voice, action, or gesture, shall they demonstrate their dissatisfaction with the decisions made. Players must never forget that they represent their school.

The Spectators

ISL schools will not tolerate at their athletic contests any spectator, either student or adult, whose behavior is disrespectful toward players, officials, coaches, or other spectators. Nor will ISL schools permit any type of spectator behavior that either detracts from the proper conduct of the game, or serves to place a player or a team at a disadvantage. Some examples of unacceptable behavior are as follows:

  • Use of profanity or displays of anger that draw attention away from the game;
  • Booing or heckling an official’s decisions, criticizing officials in any way, or displaying temper with an official’s call;
  • Trash talk or yells that antagonize opponents;
  • Verbal abuse or intimidation tactics;
  • Disrespectful or derogatory yells, chants, songs, gestures, signs, posters, or banners;
  • Any distracting activity such as yelling, waving arms, feet stomping during an opponent’s free-throwing attempts;
  • Use of artificial noisemakers of any kind (legitimate pep bands, however, are encouraged).

These guidelines apply equally to players, coaches, and spectators. The ISL asks officials to apply these guidelines strictly, especially with regard to players and coaches.




Upper School (Grades 9-12)

Programs

While sub­varsity teams are more developmental in nature, our varsity programs are quite competitive. Playing on a team offers not only a chance to enjoy the sport, but also a valuable participatory experience for each athlete. This applies to all team members from All­League standouts to substitutes who play a supporting role. In keeping with the Thayer philosophy that athletics are an integral part of a student’s curriculum, students should plan their participation with the help of their advisors – this discussion will help everyone gain a better understanding of each child’s overall school program. The varsity and sub­varsity teams are made up of those students who have demonstrated, through the tryout process that they can successfully and comfortably compete at that level. All sub­varsity participants are expected to receive fairly equal playing time over the course of the entire season. All team information is available here.

Interscholastic League Affiliation

The Independent School League (ISL) and New England Prep School Athletic Conference (NEPSAC): Students at Thayer are privileged to be a part of the Independent School League. This collection of 16 schools shares the highest ideals for school sports and competes in almost every sport Thayer offers. In addition to the ISL opponents, we schedule contests against other members of NEPSAC when the level of competition is appropriate for both schools. At the end of the season many teams that have qualified are given the opportunity to compete in the NEPSAC tournaments.

Requirements

Grade 9
  • Interscholastic Sports, 2 seasons (meets after school) Note: Students can substitute their participation in a theater production for one of the interscholastic sports seasons.
  • Health & Wellness: Introduction to Health, full year (meets 1x/week, during the school day)
  • Health & Wellness: Fitness Concepts, full year (meets 1x/week during the school day)
Grade 10
  • Interscholastic Sports, 2 seasons (meets after school) Note: Students can substitute their participation in a theater production for one of the interscholastic sports seasons.

  • Health & Wellness: Nutrition, Current Issues & Lifetime Activities, full year (meets 1x/week, during the school day)
Grade 11
  • Interscholastic Sports, 2 seasons (meets after school) Note: Students can substitute a year-long dance class or one of the following after-school activities for one of the interscholastic sports seasons (all meet 4x/week, after school): Theater Production, Strength & Conditioning, Fitness Skills, Managing a Team, Special request adult-organized club activities (e.g. ultimate frisbee and hiking)
  • Health & Wellness: Decisions, full year (meets 1x/week, during the school day)
Grade 12
  • Interscholastic Sports, 2 seasons (meets after school) Note: Students can substitute a year-long dance class or one of the following after-school activities for one of the interscholastic sports seasons (all meet 4x/week after school): Theater Production, Strength & Conditioning, Fitness Skills, Managing a Team, Special request adult-organized club activities (e.g. ultimate frisbee and hiking)
  • Health & Wellness: CPR/AED/First Aid, full year (meets 1x/week, during the school day)
    Note: Students who are certified in adult and pediatric CPR/AED and basic first aid by the first day of senior year will be exempt from this course.


For all Health & Wellness questions, please contact Wendi Happ (whapp@thayer.org). For students in grades 9-12, it is possible that enrollment in alternative programs might be granted. Please refer to the policies listed in the Waiver Program Policies tab.

Offerings

BoysGirlsCo-Ed
Fall Interscholastic
  • Football V & JV
  • Soccer V, JV & 3rd
  • X-Country V & JV
  • Crew (instructional)
  • Field Hockey V & JV
  • Soccer V, JV & 3rd
  • Volleyball V & JV
  • X-Country V & JV
  • Crew (instructional)
Fall Alternative>> Please note: Students in grades 9 & 10 may participate in these activities when not participating in a team sport. >>
  • Fitness Skills - Grades 11 & 12
  • Strength & Conditioning - Grades 11 & 12
  • Managing a Team - Grades 11 & 12
  • Tennis (instructional)
Winter Interscholastic
  • Basketball V, JV & 3rd
  • Hockey V & JV
  • Basketball V, JV & 3rd
  • Hockey V & JV
  • Wrestling V & JV
  • Skiing V & JV
  • Swimming & Diving V & JV
Winter Alternative>> Please note: Students in grades 9 & 10 may participate in these activities when not participating in a team sport. >>

  • Fitness Skills - Grades 11 & 12
  • Strength & Conditioning - Grades 11 & 12
  • Managing a Team - Grades 11 & 12
Spring Interscholastic
  • Baseball V & JV
  • Crew V & JV
  • Lacrosse V & JV
  • Tennis V & JV
  • Track & Field V & JV

  • Softball V & JV
  • Crew V & JV
  • Lacrosse V & JV
  • Tennis V & JV
  • Track & Field V & JV

  • Golf V & JV
Spring Alternative>> Please note: Students in grades 9 & 10 may participate in these activities when not participating in a team sport. >>

  • Fitness Skills - Grades 11 & 12
  • Strength & Conditioning - Grades 11 & 12
  • Managing a Team - Grades 11 & 12

Athletic Program Policies

Waiver Policies

  • Alternative Athletic Programs: Students with demonstrated ability and commitment to training for a sport or activity that Thayer does not offer (e.g. riding, skiing, swimming, figure skating) may apply for an off-campus athletic program waiver. If granted a waiver, the student will be dismissed at the end of the academic day. Those students who cannot be dismissed at the end of the academic day will not qualify for a waiver. In accordance with the Independent School League bylaws, multi-season, single sport athletes may not receive credit for participating in a sport for more than one season in an academic year. All such proposals, and any additional season requests (fall, winter, or spring) must be submitted for approval to the director of athletics no later than the first official day of seasonal tryouts. Seasonal tryout dates will be communicated to students and parents in the seasonal athletic department informational letter. Waiver Forms are available online and in the Athletic Department Office.
  • Alternative Artistic Programs: Students with demonstrated ability and commitment in the arts may request an exemption from the athletic requirement for the season of their involvement. All students who receive artistic waivers must participate within the athletic program for at least one season per academic year, unless a special request is granted. Proposals (fall, winter, or spring) must be submitted for approval to arts department head Jeff Browne no later than the first day of seasonal tryouts. Seasonal tryout dates will be communicated to students and parents via the seasonal athletic department informational letter. Waiver Forms are available online, in the athletic department office, and in the arts department office.
  • Medical Waivers: If your child is unable to participate in athletics due to extended illness or injury, please submit medical documentation from the treating physician to the athletic training staff. The documents should include a diagnosis, the period of time the student will be unable to participate in sports, and the plan of care recommended by the doctor. Medical waiver information will be communicated to school staff on a need-to-know basis. Waiver forms are available online and in the Athletic Department Office.

All-School Student Responsibilities

The athletic program strives to teach personal responsibility. Participation on an athletic team is a commitment, a responsibility, and often a requirement. Attendance at practices and games is required. It is important that each student understands that the team is affected when an athlete misses a practice. We expect students to plan their time around practices and plan ahead for conflicts which may have an impact on the team. Information about future events and commitments is readily available at school and students should seek it out. Each student is also asked to take responsibility for certain equipment/uniforms that belong to the school.

All-School Coaching Guide

Thayer draws its coaches from the faculty as well as from off-campus, and all coaches are expected to present themselves in a manner that will earn the respect of players and spectators. Thayer coaches strive to model the same standards of behavior and sportsmanship that we expect from our students, and they make every effort to be sensitive to the needs of individual students while keeping the goals and interests of the team and school in mind.

The coach is a parent’s key contact for a student’s athletic program. Questions and messages regarding games, equipment, absences, or lateness should be directed to the coach, but direct communication between athletes and coaches fosters a greater sense of student responsibility and independence, rather than communications mediated by parents. A list of head coaches with email addresses is available online and will also will be provided to families through an informational letter sent prior to each athletic season.

Practice & Game Information

At the beginning of each season, the school is given a designated date before which official practice/tryouts cannot begin. Each Varsity Head Coach determines the exact starting date for his or her team. These dates are established in consideration of our league guidelines and with reasonable breaks between seasons. The Athletic Department Information Letter clearly outlines all pre-season requirements. Varsity teams are often expected to practice during vacations. During winter and spring breaks, one week is reserved for practice while the other is designated as a non-practice period. Pre-season tryouts for teams begin on, or around, the dates mentioned above.

Upper School Pre-Season Optional Workouts

May be initiated by the players in order to prepare players for the tryout stage of the season. Open field and gym space will be available for all players to use. Head varsity coaches should in no way emphasize/organize any workouts prior to tryouts. These sessions are not required.

All-School Weekly Practice & Game Schedules

Please refer to your child’s team Page tab via www.thayer.org/Teams & Schedules.

Location of Practices & Games

For a list of the facilities where our students practice and play home games and directions to the schools we compete please refer to the www.thayer.org/Directions to Athletic Locations.

Transportation

Our teams are transported by private bus companies or school vehicles. We arrange for these vehicles each season, and each company tries its best to accommodate our varied needs.

Students are allowed to drive to practice or games only when special permission is granted by the Athletic Director with parental approval. After a practice or game off site, a student may go home with his or her parent or the parent of another student, after checking with the coach. These arrangements need to be made ahead of time.

Lockers, Equipment, Uniforms

  • Every student will be assigned a gym locker. It is strongly recommended that students store all of their belongings in their locker. The school is not responsible for lost or stolen items.
  • Some equipment is issued to athletes for their use during the season, with the expectation that such equipment will be returned at the end of the season.
  • Uniforms are issued at the beginning of each season and are expected to be returned at the completion of each season.
  • Athletes who do not return their uniforms within two weeks after the end of the season will be billed double the cost of the uniform.
  • No refunds or credits will be made.

ISL Statement on Drugs, Medication, or Food Supplements

The schools in the ISL agree that school personnel and coaches should not dispense any drug, medication, or food supplement except with extreme caution and in accordance with policies developed in consultation with parents, health-care professionals, and senior administrative personnel of the school.

Use of any drug, medication, or food supplement in a way not prescribed by the manufacturer should not be authorized or encouraged by school personnel and coaches. Even natural substances in unnatural amounts may have negative short-term or long-term health effects.

In order to minimize health and safety risks to student athletes, maintain ethical standards, and reduce liability risks, school personnel and coaches should never supply, recommend, or permit the use of any drug, medication, or food supplement solely for performance-enhancing purposes.

Anti-Hazing Policy

Hazing refers to any conduct or method of initiation into any student organization, which willfully or recklessly endangers the physical or mental health of any student or any other person. Copies of legislation regarding hazing are distributed annually to all students and coaches. Incidents of hazing must be reported to law enforcement officials.

ISL Athletic Guidelines

Sportsmanship Creed The ISL is proud of the behavior and sportsmanship displayed by its players, coaches, and fans. We value spirited and fair play as well as positive support for our players and teams. In order to ensure that our expected level of decorum continues in each game and each season, we ask that all members of the ISL community continually renew their efforts to abide by the ideals of our league.

Athletic competition in the ISL is guided by the following ideals: Players and coaches shall at all times represent themselves and their school with honor, proper conduct, and good sportsmanship. They shall understand that competitive rivalries are encouraged but that disrespect for opponents is unsportsmanlike and lessens the value of the rivalries. They shall confine the competitiveness of the game to the field, and behave properly on the sidelines and in the locker rooms before, during, and after the games.

The Players & Coaches

Players and coaches shall comply fully with the rulings of the officials. In no way, either by voice, action, or gesture, shall they demonstrate their dissatisfaction with the decisions made. Players must never forget that they represent their school.

The Spectators

ISL schools will not tolerate at their athletic contests any spectator, either student or adult, whose behavior is disrespectful toward players, officials, coaches, or other spectators. Nor will ISL schools permit any type of spectator behavior that either detracts from the proper conduct of the game, or serves to place a player or a team at a disadvantage. Some examples of unacceptable behavior are as follows:

  • Use of profanity or displays of anger that draw attention away from the game;
  • Booing or heckling an official’s decisions, criticizing officials in any way, or displaying temper with an official’s call;
  • Trash talk or yells that antagonize opponents;
  • Verbal abuse or intimidation tactics;
  • Disrespectful or derogatory yells, chants, songs, gestures, signs, posters, or banners;
  • Any distracting activity such as yelling, waving arms, feet stomping during an opponent’s free-throwing attempts;
  • Use of artificial noisemakers of any kind (legitimate pep bands, however, are encouraged).

These guidelines apply equally to players, coaches, and spectators. The ISL asks officials to apply these guidelines strictly, especially with regard to players and coaches.

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