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ISL Essential Understandings & ISL Creed

Essential Understandings For Member Schools
Thayer is a charter member of the Independent School League (ISL). The 16 member schools of the ISL are Belmont Hill, Brooks, Buckingham Browne & Nichols, Governor’s Academy, Groton, Lawrence, Middlesex, Milton, Noble and Greenough, Rivers, Roxbury Latin, St. George’s, St. Mark’s, St. Paul’s, St. Sebastian’s, and Thayer. A number of non-league teams are also scheduled in most sports. Furthermore, Thayer is a member of the New England Preparatory School Athletic Council (NEPSAC), which sponsors many postseason tournaments.

Thayer athletes, parents, and spectators must bear in mind that they are expected to be goodwill ambassadors for the Academy. The manner in which they behave should at all times reflect an essential understanding of the values held by Thayer Academy and the Independent School League.

This document presents the mutual position of all ISL Heads of School. It is to be shared by ISL Athletic Directors annually with all coaches, who are then expected to support these values with their teams, both through their actions and in their expectations for player and team conduct. All ISL coaches and players must remember that in all athletic contests they represent all schools in the league.

The motto of the Independent School League presents the guiding and shared philosophy of our community of distinct secondary schools:

Striving together through athletic competition to achieve the highest degree of ntegrity, sportsmanship, fair play and mutual respect in preparation for good citizenship and leadership in society.

Article V, Section F, Part 2 of the Bylaws of the Independent School League presents the following Code of Conduct:

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 each season and each game, we ask that all members of the ISL continually renew their efforts to abide by the ideals of our league.

Players and coaches shall at all times represent themselves and their schools 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 in particular behave properly on the sidelines and in the locker rooms both before and after games. Players and coaches shall comply fully with the rulings of the officials. In no way, either by voice, action or gesture, shall they demonstrate dissatisfaction with the decisions made. They must never forget that they represent their school.

ISL schools will not tolerate at their 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 behavior that either detracts from the proper conduct of the game or disadvantages a player or team.

In order to bolster our deeply valued association and strengthen our commitment to our motto and code of conduct, ISL Heads of School endorse the following essential understandings:

  1. All ISL schools share the perspective that the experiences inherent in teambuilding and athletic competition strengthen our students’ character. The quest for excellence that is part of their daily classroom experience should also be manifest on our playing fields. Indeed, our playing fields are an extension of our classrooms and need to represent the best values of our institutions.
  2. All athletes, coaches and spectators from ISL schools will at all times demonstrate respect for each other by cheering for their own teams, but not against the other; by not tolerating profanity or profane actions; by opposing any sort of “trash-talk” or attempts to humiliate opposing players or teams in any manner, both during games and away from games (verbally, physically, or through digital means). School heads and athletic directors will work to uphold these ideals on a schoolwide basis involving fans as well as participants.
  3. All ISL schools and their coaches understand that all league and sport-specific rules and regulations regarding competition are to be upheld both in spirit and in letter.
  4. All ISL coaches must be firmly committed as educators to teaching not only  competitive skills but also the attitudes necessary to achieve the highest standards of respect and sportsmanship articulated by the league. Coaches must take the lead in limiting lop-sided competitions, preventing humiliating behavior or playing tactics, congratulating opposing players, coaches and teams at the end of games, and reinforcing a commitment to fair play in all circumstances. Every school in the league should field teams with confidence that every coach is as concerned with the health and safety of opposing players as with his or her own.
  5. All ISL member schools will adhere conscientiously to league agreements regarding admissions, recruitment, and financial aid principles, procedures and awards. 6) All ISL school heads and athletic directors commit to communicate openly and directly with one another and to address concerns effectively and cooperatively when and if they arise.
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