Middle School Philosophy on Athletic Participation

  • At our next Board workshop we will be discussing the middle school philosophy on athletic participation. A representative group of our middle school administrators will be sharing information on the rationale for our philosophy, athletic participation data, budget constraints, and conference requirements.

    Our middle schools offer a variety of opportunities for students to participate in athletic activities. It is never the intent or the purpose to limit (cut) student participation in athletics. Every school strives to keep as many students as possible, but there are some unfortunate limitations that prevent all from participating on a competitive team. The following athletics are offered at our schools: basketball, cross country, wrestling, track & field, soccer, spirit squad, volleyball. In addition, schools offer intramurals in many of those sports in addition to competitive teams.

    Elm Place, Northwood, & Edgewood compete in the Lakeside Conference. All of our contests are within Lakeside Conference schools. In addition, we belong to the Illinois Elementary School Association (IESA) which sets interscholastic competition guidelines for members schools, including limits on rosters, and organizes state tournaments for participating teams. All three middle schools use try‐outs when necessary for sports that have limited rosters (playing time is a factor as seen below). In our experience, the sports that require the fewest number of students to play at an event attract the highest number of students at try‐outs. These include basketball, volleyball and soccer. For example, basketball is limited to just five players on the court at any time, and volleyball to six players on the court at any time. Students who make the team demonstrate a certain skill level as defined by the tryout rubric. Students are made aware that the coach will support them with feedback should he/she does not make the team. When students do not make a team, they are offered opportunities to participate in a managerial or scorekeeping role. These students also have the opportunity to play the sport during intramurals.

    Lakeside Conference Playing Time Requirements

    ● Soccer (Two 30‐minute halves, games played one after the other)‐ All athletes must play by the end of the game.

    ● Volleyball (Best of three matches, first two games to 25 points. Games played one after the other)‐ All athletes must play by the 3rd match.

    ● Basketball ( Four 6‐minute quarters)‐ All athletes must play by the 3rd quarter