RCS Athletic Code of Conduct (ACOC)

I. Introduction
Athletics are an important component of the Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk (RCS) Central School District’s educational program. The Athletic and Extracurricular Code of Conduct (ACOC) applies to student athletes in grade 6-12. The rules governing students are in effect from July 1st through June 30th of each school year. This policy is in effect 24 hours a day and covers student expected behaviors both in and outside of school.

 Students involved in extracurricular clubs and other school sponsored activities (ex. Theater, Student Government, Yearbook, etc.) will have consequences for behaviors, attendance and academics determined by building administration.

 Student participation in athletics is a privilege, not a right. A student’s participation is contingent upon their full compliance with all provisions of the Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk Code of Conduct and this Athletic Code of Conduct (ACOC). The following goals will serve as the foundation for the specific provisions within this Code of Conduct: 

  • To develop and maintain the highest level of citizenship based upon honesty and integrity.

  • To develop proper attitudes toward winning and losing, success and failure.

  • To encourage and develop respect for student peers whether they are teammates, members of other RCS athletic teams, or members of opposing teams.

  • To assure that the amount of time required for athletic participation does not interfere with academic success.

  • To develop proper attitudes toward individual health habits.

  • To encourage a spirit of friendly competition and to develop positive attitudes that makes extracurricular participation valuable and worthwhile.

  • To maintain the highest standard of ethics, recognize each participant as an individual who will conduct themselves in a manner befitting their responsibilities, and develop the kind of rapport with the broader school community that will improve the total educational program.

II. Behavioral Standards
Students and those participating in extracurricular activities should accept and understand the seriousness of their responsibility and the privilege of representing their school and community.

A. Sportsmanship - Any student who exhibits unsportsmanlike behavior may be ineligible to participate in the next regularly scheduled contest or event. Repeat offenders may be removed from the athletic event. The director for athletics, coach/advisor, and building administrator will be involved in extenuating circumstances. If a student is not participating with an attitude that supports the goals of this Code of Conduct, a formal meeting may/will be held with the coach or advisor, athletic administrator, principal, and the player/parent or guardian to correct the situation. The coach/advisor or administrator may suspend the player for a period of time. If the condition continues, the individual may be terminated from the athletic activity. It is the expectation of the participant to also do the following:

  1. Learn the rules of your sport or activity thoroughly. This will assist you in achieving a better understanding and appreciation and promote fair play and performance.

  2. Cooperate fully with coaches or advisors and officials, always exercise good sportsmanship, abiding by the rules as they are stated.

  3. Only the captain, coach, or advisor may communicate with officials on the clarification of rules. It is their responsibility to communicate what was said back to their teammates and/or coach or advisor.

  4. Always respect the official’s judgment and interpretation of the rules. Never argue or make non-verbal gestures that indicate disagreement. This type of behavior may invite undesirable behavior on the part of teammates or spectators. Remember, you are an important role model for others.

  5. Congratulate opponents in a sincere manner following either victory or defeat. This is a true measure of character and sportsmanship.

  6. Consistently abide by the RCS Code of Conduct, Athletic Code of Conduct, and the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Guidelines.

B. Hazing - The term “hazing,” as used in this Code of Conduct, means any conduct or methods of initiation into any student organization, whether on public or private property, before, during, or after school hours, which willfully or recklessly endangers the physical or mental health of any student or other person, or which is reasonably likely to cause harassment, intimidation, physical, emotional or psychological harm, including embarrassment or loss of human dignity, to another person. Such hazing conduct shall include, but not be limited to the following: 

  1. Physical assault, including, but not limited to, whipping, beating, or branding.

  2. Forced calisthenics of any kind, such as sit-ups, pushups, any other physically abusive exercises, or any other brutal treatment or forced physical activity, which is likely to adversely affect the physical health or safety of any person. 

  3. Forced exposure to the weather/elements, or forced partial/total nudity at any time.

  4. Forced consumption of food, liquor, beverage, drug, or any other substance.

  5. Any forced activity which subjects a student or other person to extreme mental stress including extended deprivation of sleep or rest or extended isolation.

  6. Forced wearing or carrying of any obscene, physically burdensome, or embarrassing article.

  7. Forced transportation and intentional abandonment of any person or member at any location.

  8. Any type of personal servitude performed which is demeaning, and/or of personal benefit to active members.

  9. Forced assignment of “pranks” or harassing other organizations, institutions, or activities.

  10. Calling or assigning prospective teammates demeaning names.

C. Alcohol/Substance Abuse - The use, possession, sale, or distribution of tobacco, tobacco products, e-cigarettes, vape pens, alcoholic beverages, illegal drugs or performance-enhancing substances, or drug paraphernalia is a violation of the RCS ACOC. The foregoing list of prohibited substances is not exhaustive, and other, similar substances and/or devices not listed here are similarly subject to this Code of Conduct. The loitering of a student in the vicinity where alcohol or drugs are used, possessed, sold, or distributed illegally is also a violation of the Code of Conduct.

D. Honesty - Students are expected to fully cooperate with administrator inquiries into potential violations of the RCS Code of Conduct and the ACOC pertaining to alcohol/substance abuse. If it is determined that a student was not honest or withheld information about their own conduct during an inquiry, then they may be subject to a higher level of consequence (e.g., a Level I consequence now becomes a Level II consequence, etc.).

E. Social Media & Information/Images of Inappropriate Behavior - Using social media or an electronic device for which it is determined that such use causes physical or emotional harm to another person or is considered bullying, harassment, or hazing.

F. School-Related Discipline -

a. Detention: An athlete may not participate in any extracurricular activity until detention has been completed.

b. In-School Placement (ISP): A student may not participate in after-school activities for the day of in-school placement or until the in-school placement period concludes.  

c. Out-of-School/Alternative Learning Environment: A student may not participate in any extracurricular activity until the suspension period has concluded and the student has been formally readmitted to school.

G. Off-Campus Misconduct - The ACOC shall apply to all students involved in extracurricular activities in the RCS Central School District during those times that these students are on school grounds and/or participating in interscholastic competitions, irrespective of the location of such competitions. The ACOC and RCS Code of Conduct shall also apply to the off-campus misconduct of students where such misconduct may endanger the health or safety of pupils within the educational system or adversely affect the educational process.

III. Attendance & Eligibility

To be eligible to participate in an athletic event or practice on a specific day, the student must be in school for at least 4 hours of that school day. If the absence from school is due to an "excused absence," a written note explaining that absence must be submitted upon the student’s return to school. Eligibility to participate on less than full days will require students to be in school for a prorated amount of time equal to 65% of that shortened day. If there are extenuating circumstances, permission to participate will be determined by the principal after a recommendation from the coach or advisor or a note explaining an excused absence is presented to the Principal. (BOE Policy 7110.VII). Excused absences include: a) Personal Illness, b) Sickness or Death in family, c) Medical Appointments, d) Court Appearances, e) Religious Observances, f) Quarantine, g) Military Obligation, h) Pre-approved college visits for High School juniors and seniors, and i) Any other absence excused at the discretion of the Building Administrator (BOE Policy 7110.III)

A. Student Tardiness: A student arriving late, ten minutes after the first period without an excused absence, is considered tardy. After three tardies a student may not participate in the extracurricular activity on that day.

B. Vacation: A student is expected to be at all practices and games including those held during vacation periods. The entire team or club depends on full participation. In rare cases, a student may find it necessary to miss a practice or a game. The student must request permission from the coach or advisor and not pass on the reasons for being absent through another student. This applies even if the student is not in school that day. If family obligations are known to a student in advance that would cause the student to miss a game or practice, this must be made known to the coach or advisor at the earliest possible time. The coach or advisor will let the player know if the reason is acceptable. The coach or advisor should reach out to the building leader(s) or Director of Athletics if they are uncertain if the reason is acceptable or if consequences are needed. Consequences will be established by the coach or advisor if necessary.

C. Dismissal or Quitting Team: Any student who quits or is dismissed from an extracurricular will not be allowed to participate in that activity or attend that particular activity until that season has concluded. The student may not be eligible to participate in the next sport season, including the next school year. We realize that some team members are unfamiliar with certain sports and may drop out without penalty during the try out period. The decision of future eligibility is subject to review by the Athletic Council (High School Principal, Director of Athletics, representatives of the coaching staff).

D. Transportation: All students are expected to travel to and from events with their teammates on the school bus. Parents/guardians may “sign out” their student athlete from away contests in order to transport them home. Parents/guardians may submit a letter, in writing, to the coach/advisor giving permission for another parent/guardian to transport their student athlete home from a specific away contest.

IV. Academic Standing & Eligibility

All parties (school personnel, parents, students, and fans) of RCS Central School District acknowledge that academics have priority over extracurricular activities. Participation in extracurricular activities is an honor and a privilege. The School District recognizes that while extra-class activities provide opportunities for personal improvement, contribution to the school, self-realization of potential, and education of the whole person, participation in these activities cannot take precedence over academics. Every effort must be made to keep grades passing or improving. 

The following academic improvement plan framework is in place for students that are failing one or more courses on either a progress report or a report card:

  • One failure – The student can still participate in practice/games but must stay after school at least two times per week.

  • Two failures – The student must stay after school at least three times per week.

  • Three or more failures – The student must stay after school at least four times per week. They will be declared ineligible to participate in the activity until the excess failing grades are brought up to only two (2) failures.

  • Approved tutor sessions will count as an after school session.

  • Failures from the fourth quarter of the previous school year will carry over to the subsequent school year. 

Any student that is on an Academic Monitoring Program (AMP) will need to turn in a progress report to their respective coach, who in turn will forward to school administration, at the end of each week to ensure that the student is meeting the expectations of staying after school and displaying academic progress. Once a student is placed on an academic improvement plan they will be required to stay on the academic improvement plan until the next progress report or report card comes out. If the student is passing all of their courses at this time the student will be taken off of the academic improvement plan, otherwise the student will remain on the academic improvement plan. Students who do not meet the requirements of the academic improvement plan will jeopardize their ability to participate in interscholastic athletics.

V. Consequences for Committing Violations against the Code of Conduct for Athletes

Guidelines for the Imposition of Penalties against the Code of Conduct for Students - The following guidelines reflect minimum penalties which may be imposed on students who participate in athletics and who are found to have violated the ACOC. These penalties shall not be construed as a promise or guarantee of any particular form of discipline, as the School District retains the right to impose discipline under this policy, which it deems appropriate under the individual circumstances of each case. These penalties shall be served in addition to any penalties assessed under the RCS Code of Conduct.

A. Due Process: The Director of Athletics, building principal and/or their designee will conduct the investigation of any alleged rules violation(s) and may request the assistance of school administrators or other staff members. The purpose of an investigation is to determine whether an actual rules violation has occurred and to decide the penalty to be imposed. During the course of the investigation, the Director of Athletics or school administrator may question the student to evaluate the validity of the information associated with the allegation.

 The Director of Athletics, building principal and/or their designee will notify the student and they will be given the opportunity to respond to the accusation prior to any final determination regarding the matter. The student and their parent/guardian will be notified of the final determination by the Director of Athletics or building principal. The parent/guardian of the student and/or the student may request a meeting with the Director of Athletics or building principal to discuss the findings of the investigation. The student-athlete and/or parent/guardian have the right to appeal the penalty imposed by the Director of Athletics or building principal. 

Appeals:  An appeal must be submitted in writing to the building principal within one calendar week following the parental notification of the disciplinary action and must include the specific reasons for contesting the penalty. The student and the parent/guardian may request a meeting with the building principal. At the discretion of the Director of Athletics and/ or building principal, the penalty may be stayed during the appeal process. The determination of the building principal regarding the appeal shall be in writing and provided to the student-athlete and/or the parent/guardian. The student-athlete and/or parent/guardian may appeal the decision of the building principal to the Superintendent of Schools and then to the Board of Education as per the appeals parameters set forth in the RCS Code of Conduct.

A. All game(s)/activity suspensions will be served during the student’s current season of participation. In the event that a penalty is assessed at the end of a season, suspensions will be carried over and pro-rated (if necessary) into the next season the student participates in, and completes. Students will begin to serve game(s)/activity suspensions immediately upon the imposition of any penalties assessed by the coach/advisor and/or Administrator. In the event a student files an appeal (see, Appeal Process) of a penalty imposed as a result of a code violation, the game(s)/activity suspension will be immediately served upon imposition of the penalty, and/or during the appeals process. Any penalty under this Code for Conduct that leads to an out-of-school suspension will be served concurrently with any out-of-school suspension as per the chart in section III.

B. The District will not tolerate repeated violations of school rules under any circumstances. The District will not extend the privilege of participation in extracurricular activities to any student who agrees to accept the ACOC and then repeatedly demonstrates disregard for its provisions. Repeated offenses against this ACOC could result in escalated violation level consequences. 

IV. Classification of Violations against the Code of Conduct for Students Minor Violations IV.    – Any violation of team rules and attendance issues fall into this category. Any student found to have committed offenses including, but not limited to: unexcused tardiness to school, failure to attend practices/meetings, games or other team events without proper coach notification. Each coach shall be responsible for assessing “minor violation” penalties, which may range from a verbal warning to expulsion from the team/club for repeat offenses. Coaches shall generally practice progressive discipline (i.e., increasingly severe steps in discipline and consequence), depending on the facts and circumstances. Approval of the Director of Athletics/Administrator and parent notification is required prior to any decision by a coach to remove a student from a team as a penalty. The coach will share the nature of the offense and the reason(s) for the action, with the student, the parents, and the Athletics Director/Administrator. A student who is assigned a consequence, as described below, will serve that consequence in their current season and during any subsequent season/activity if not completely served during the current season.

    Level 1 Violation as described in the RCS Code of Conduct (10% contest reduction)
B.   Level 2 Violation as described in the RCS Code of Conduct (25% contest reduction)
   Level 3 Violations as described in the RCS Code of Conduct (50% contest reduction) and/or repeated Levels 1 or 2 violations
   Level 4 Violations as described in the RCS Code of Conduct (100% season contest reduction) including repeated Levels 1, 2, or 3 violations. Especially serious or repeated Level 4 violations may result in full calendar year contest reduction or complete loss of participation privileges for the remainder of high school career) 

VII. Penalties Chart for Level 1 through Level 4 Violations:

Level 1

Level 2

Level 3

Level 4

10% Games Suspension and ..

25% Games* Suspension and ..

50% Games* Suspension and ..

100% Games* Suspension and ..

1 Year probation** and …

1 Year probation**

and …

1 Year probation**

and …

1 Year probation** and …

Successful Completion of an Educational Component***

Successful Completion of an Educational Component***

Successful Completion of an Educational Component***

Successful Completion of an Educational Component***

* Games - Any game or that is canceled while the penalty is being served will not count as part of the percentage of suspended games.
**Probation- A stipulated period of time assessed to a student as a consequence for committing a code violation. This period of time may be extended (extended probation) until the student has successfully fulfilled all requirements of the sequence assessed for the violation(s). ***Educational Component - This is a restorative activity, developed with input by the student when possible, intended to reinforce the student’s personal adherence to the policies and rules that govern the extracurricular program. The goal is to educate the student about the impact their violation had on reaching personal and team/club goals and on personal health and development. 

VIII. Eligibility Chart for Code of Conduct Violation Consequences:

# of Regular Season Schedule Contests

Contest Penalty 

Level 1 - 10%

Contest Penalty 

Level 2 - 25%

Contest Penalty

 Level 3 - 50%

































































  • Students may still practice with the team during loss of athletic competition.

  • Successful Completion of an Educational Component - Students will enroll and complete a workshop, counseling session, and/or community-based service related to the offense (e.g., drugs, alcohol, and decision-making workshop).

  • Students will lose any leadership position on the team for the remainder of the school year.

  • Any part of the contest penalties not completed during one season will carry over to the next season in which the student participates.

Coaching & Advising

In RCS, coaching takes on a “teaching role”. This implies that responsibility for supervision, preparation, and training is as essential as it is in the classroom. 

  • We expect that the coach or advisor will apply themselves to extracurricular assignments in the same professional manner displayed in a formal classroom situation.

  • We believe that a coach has a unique opportunity to influence young people through their interaction with students in our athletic program. These are teaching opportunities a coach can use to help young people become better citizens.

Expectations of Parents

  • Be positive with your child. Let them know that they are accomplishing something positive by being part of the athletic program.

  • Do not offer excuses to them if they are not playing. Encourage them to work hard and do their best.

  • Encourage your child to follow the expectations pertaining to drinking, smoking, and promptness and following all school rules.

  • As a fan, you are entitled to cheer enthusiastically for your children, always demonstrating respect for all participants.

  • Insist that your child respect team rules, school rules, game officials, and sportsmanship. Self-respect begins with self-control.

  • Remember that coaches are involved because they sincerely want to support the success of our students. Trust in their judgment and expertise. Coaches have different approaches when dealing with people and situations. Students’ lives are enriched by interaction with different types of leaders.

  • Remember, as the parent, you represent your community, your school and your child. Please be a positive role model.

Code of Behaviors for Spectators

  • Spectators are an important part of the games and are encouraged to conform to accepted standards of good sportsmanship and behavior.

  • Spectators should at all times respect officials, coaches, players, and outside visitors as guests in the community and extend all courtesies to them.

  • Enthusiastic cheering for one’s own team is encouraged.

  • Booing and disrespectful remarks or gestures shall be avoided.

  • There will be no ringing of bells, sounding of horns, or other noisemakers at indoor contests during play. Anyone who does not abide by this rule will be asked to leave the premises.

  • The throwing of debris, confetti, or other objects from the stands is prohibited. Offending individuals will be asked to leave the premises.

  • During a free throw in basketball, all courtesies should be extended.

  • Spectators should encourage each other to observe courteous behavior. Improper behavior should be reported to the school authorities.

  • Spectators will observe the rules of the local school concerning smoking, food and drink consumption, littering, and parking procedures.

  • Spectators will respect and obey all school officials and supervisors at athletic contests.

  • Students in Grades P-8 must be accompanied by an adult over the age of 21, parents or guardians.

  • Spectators should abide by all parking and entrance protocols established by the RCS school district and/or event coordinators.

Parent and Coach/Advisor Communication

As your child becomes involved in the extracurricular program at the RCS Central School District, they will experience some of the most rewarding moments of their lives. It is important to understand that there also may be times when things do not go the way you or your child wishes. This is the opportunity for your child to talk with their respective coach and discuss the situation. When your child handles the problem, it becomes part of the learning and maturation process. There may also be situations that require a conversation between the coach and the parent. These are encouraged. It’s important that both parties have a clear understanding of the other’s position. Please follow these procedures to help promote a resolution.

  • Please do not attempt to confront a coach before, during, or after a contest or event. It is recommended that parents/families wait until the next day. These can be emotional times for both the parent/family member and coach. Meetings of this nature do not promote resolutions.

  • If the concern is not resolved between your child and the coach or, call the Director of Athletics or principal to arrange a conference. A meeting will be arranged with the coach, parent, and Director of Athletics or principal as appropriate. At this meeting, the appropriate next step can be determined.