Alerts: Parents and student-athletes are encouraged to sign up for text message and/or email team alerts to receive reminders for practices, games, changes to the schedule, and game results. For instructions, see the “Did You Know” sidebar on this page.
Apparel: Uniforms and any other team apparel that is required for participation on the team will be provided by the school. If a team collectively decides that they wish to order apparel that shows school spirit and/or complements the uniform provided by the school this should be discussed with the coach who will coordinate with the Athletics Director; in some cases the school may coordinate ordering. Families should reach out to the Controller in the business office with any questions about financial aid for optional ]team apparel purchases.
Athletics and Arts: Packer's Arts Department and Athletics Department work well together and we do our best to support students in their desire to to try new things. It is the policy of Packer that students in the Middle School can do both (with coordination) but Upper School students must make a choice. Upper School students are not permitted to do a theater production and a team in the same season.
Captains: The selection of team captains is up to the coaching staff and is not necessarily reserved for seniors or based on skill level.
Coach Communication: We ask that parents be respectful of coaches at all times and do not discuss concerns with a coach immediately before, during, or after a game or practice. Please arrange for an appointment if you would like to speak with a coach.
Commitment to a Team, Absences, Quitting a Team: We encourage student-athletes to recognize that joining a team is a significant commitment and to take that commitment seriously. Team practice and game schedules are shared in advance so that students and families can plan other appointments and commitments accordingly. It is the responsibility of student-athletes to communicate with their coach about any absences from practice or games.
Please note that if a student is absent from school, they may not participate in athletics that day; any exceptions to this policy must be approved by the appropriate division office.
Some examples of excused absences that students should communicate with their coach about include:
- Documented illness or injury
- Religious observation
- Family emergency or event (i.e., wedding, funeral, birth)
- School trip
- Make up and/or extra help in academics
A Junior Varsity or Varsity student-athlete who is selected for a team has made a commitment to remain on that team until the conclusion of the season. A student-athlete who chooses to leave a team after consulting with their coach, advisor, Dean and the Director of Athletics will not receive credit for physical education that season and should report to the Chair of the Physical Education Department for assignment to a physical education class. The student-athlete should also return any equipment distributed by Packer and will not be permitted to join another team that season.
Duration of Seasons, Preseason, and Post-Season Tournaments: The NYSAIS Athletic Association (NYSAISAA) sets the start dates and duration of the seasons in which we compete. The Fall season is 15 weeks in length and begins in mid/late August. The Winter season is 22 weeks in length and begins at the end of October/early November. The Spring season is 15 weeks in length and begins in mid-February.
NOTE: All Fall upper school teams participate in mandatory preseason practices which begin in mid-August. Preseason dates will be communicated annually well in advance; we appreciate families of athletes planning accordingly.
A successful season for varsity teams and individuals could qualify for NYSAIS Athletic Association post-season tournaments and meets at the state level; we appreciate families of varsity athletes planning accordingly.
Early Dismissals: Early dismissals from class happen for Junior Varsity & Varsity games throughout the school year. The athletic department tries to avoid scheduling games before 4:00, but this is not always possible. Student-athletes are responsible for all their assignments. It is the student-athlete’s responsibility to inform their teachers of early dismissals.
Equipment and Uniforms: Students are responsible for caring for and returning all school-issued uniforms. Families will be billed for lost or damaged uniforms and equipment.
Game and Practice Cancellations: In the case of inclement weather or other unforeseen circumstances, games or practices may need to be canceled or rescheduled. Please sign-up for team alerts; see instructions in the “Did You Know?” sidebar on this page.
Team Selection, Cuts, Playing Time:
Most Upper School teams have tryouts. At the Varsity level, team size is limited. Students interested in trying out for a team should plan to attend all dates listed in order to be fairly and fully evaluated. Athletes who come to try-outs in better condition and further along in their skill development increase their chances of earning a spot on an Upper School team. Students will be selected for teams based upon both skill and other attributes they bring to the team, such as demonstrated ability to apply team strategy and concepts, coachability, and sportsmanship. We emphasize the importance of each team member's individual role in pursuit of the team’s goals. While participation in games over the course of a season is desirable, a specified amount of playing time at the Upper School level is never guaranteed.
Please note that if a student was previously on a Varsity team and does not make the Varsity team the subsequent year they may not join the JV team. In addition, juniors who do not make the Varsity team will not be permitted to play on the JV team.
The Middle School has a no-cut policy. Although the Middle School program is a competitive program, it is designed to meet the developmental needs of its participants. The focus is on learning athletic skills, game rules, the fundamentals of team play, and sportsmanship. Coaches make every effort to provide each team member with an opportunity to play during the season; this does not mean every athlete will play in every game.
In the event that there are too many Middle School students interested in joining a particular team than one team can reasonably accommodate, the Athletics Director will work to find a solution that provides all interested students with an opportunity to develop their skills.
Team Trips/Camps: Some Junior Varsity and Varsity teams supplement their training with trips that take place during preseason or during spring recess. Costs associated with team travel are incurred by families. Families should reach out to the Controller in the business office with any questions about financial aid for team trips.
Transportation: The school generally provides transportation (bus, subway, or walking) to and from off-site locations. Student-athletes must travel with their team unless permission to travel alone is on file with the Director of Athletics. If parents are in attendance at a game or practice, their son/daughter may be dismissed from the site.
Travel/Club Teams: Student-athletes may, and are encouraged to, participate on club/AAU teams outside of school. While the athletic department encourages students to get as much experience as possible, we also remind you that this can be time consuming and lead to overuse injuries. The athletic department also feels strongly that a student-athlete’s commitment to their school team must come first, and missing a school practice or game for a club activity is not acceptable.