The association collects a registration fee for each sport played. What is this money being used for and what does this cover?
The registration fee we collect is applied to all needs of the SKPSAA and all of the sports it offers. This includes, for example, the costs of uniforms and other equipment (balls, training aides, nets, field paint, electronics, etc.). The SKPSAA, in conjunction wit the school, also maintains its facilities which includes periodic sealing and resurfacing of the gym floor. At times, the SKPSAA and school must purchase very expensive items such as floor mats for cheer; a scorer's table and charis for the gym; and new soccer nets. Our fees also cover the cost of referees, tournaments and summer leagues for our athletes. Our goal is to work to keep fees low while providing a high quality sports program for our school and children.
Why does the association request early registration for sports?
We ask this for a few reasons. The first is to get a handle on the number of children seeking participation in the sport so we can work with coaches and develop a plan to develop a program for our children. As the largest school in the Diocese proper planning is essential for the efficient operation of our programs. Another reason is to make sure we have uniforms/equipment for the children/teams. With this move we will turn in a signed roster to the diocese stating the children associated with that particular team. If a child is not on the roster prior to turning in the forms, he/she will not be able to play on the diocesan team for that season. It will be critical to receive the registration forms and releases when we request them towards the end of the school year for next participation in next school year’s sports programs.
If I pay online am I automatically registered?
No. You must still submit the two medical releases.
By registering for a sport am I required to volunteer to help my child's team?
Yes. Everyong involved in sports at SKPS is a volunteer. We do not pay administrators or coaches so we need all parents of kids playing sports to also volunteer. Our volunteer requirements are minimal and if every parent volunteers we will have no problems ensuring all needs are met.
First, each team needs a "team parent" who will work with the coaches to ensure all volunteer needs are met. Each team is required to provide parents to run concessions. For basketball, each team must provide parents at games to: collect admission fees, run concessions, keep the book, run the scoreboard and monitor the halls so young kids are not running around. For cross country and track/field, parents must volunteer to help monitor kids at practices and help at meets.
By registering for a sport are there Codes of Conduct with which me and my child must comply?
What is SKPS's strategy for constructing "competitive" teams?
Our goal is to maintain competitive teams in every sport. As we have grown we now offer many sports from grades 1-8. We recognize that many kids begin playing sports even before coming to SKPS. We have parents who bring all different points of view on winning versus development an dwe try to balance these different view points while also following Diocesan Guidelines. The Diocesan guidelines, however, as drafted, do not always take into account the unique circumstances SKPS must contend with as the largest school in the Diocese where we often have multiple teams at each level due to our size.
We consider sports in grades 1-4 to be developmental while appreciating that we will have some kids who have never played a sport while others who have played for several seasons. We also fully appreciate that many kids play sports year round on cup teams for soccer, AAU teams for basketball, etc. Taking all of these factors into account, and our primary goal in grades 1-4 is to install a love and understanding of the game for our kids and to develop skills and engage the athlete in working to learn those skills. Based on the number of kids that register, we may form multiple teams that will be split as equally as possible in terms of skill level. As the season progresses there will be opportunities for tournaments and all athletes will have the opportunity to participate in tournaments. Our coaches may adjust team structure depending on the level of competition for each tournament. Some tournaments present teams that are more advanced whereas other tournaments are for more develpmental teams. We want to present each athlete with the best situation for him/her so rosters may be adjusted for that purpose in certain tournaments. This is esspecially important for our 4th graders who are preparing for JV sports and later Varsity sports.
Our JV teams (5th and 6th grade) and our Varsity teams (7th and 8th grade) will field the competitive teams along with the other diocese schools. Again, unlike many schools that field one team, we typically field multile teams due to our size. Our top team will be entered in the most comptetitive section of the Diocese. Our secondary team and developmental teams will be entered in other Diocesan leagues. We form these teams based on a detailed and lngthy evaluation process. The process includes three parts: try-outs (we do not cut any players and try-outs are used to help place kids on the team best suited for their skill level and continued development); coaches' input (our coahces are a tremendous source of information as they know the players from prior years and their input helps inform us of the best team makeup); team needs (we factor in the needs of each team. For example, the top 5 basketball players may all be point guards and we cannot form a team with just point guards so we may adjust rosters for the best mix of players).
Kids and parents may have questions about team placement and we welcome those discussions which should be directed to our Athletic Director, Chris Stofko (
; 724-816-0955). No matter the situation, our goal is to do what is in the best interest of the athletes. While this will not make things 100% unanimous, please understand that it is impossible to make everyone 100% happy and we are working to do what is best for the student athletes.
How is playing time handled across different teams?
Per Diocesan guidelines, we provide a roster sport for any child interested in a sport. At a school our size this typically leads to multiple teams with large rosters. Playing time is a two sided proposition meaning that a child's playing time will depend, in part, on their attendance at and meaningful particpation in practices. Our coaches at all levels strive to provide quality playing opportinuties. At the developmetal level (grades 1-4) we strive to provide as equal playing time as possible. Also at the developmental level, when it comes to tournaments, we may adjust rosters so that the level of competition to be faced is appropriate for the kids we are sending. Our goal is to lace our athletes in the situation that is best for them individually as well as for the team overall. Some tournaments field more competitive teams than others, including some that combine grade levels sice some schools cannot field individual teams due to their size. Over the course of a season we want all kids get quality time and a wonderful learning experience.
As kids move into the JV and Varsity levels, and as we form teams based more on skill level, playing time is earned on the court/field. Kids should not expect equal playing time on the top level teams and each child's playing time will depend on their participation at practices, attitude/effort and game needs. In terms of our varsity teams, we also recognize the need to prepare those kids who are interested in playing in high school for that next level. We field multiple teams so as to provide opportunities for kids of all skill levels and playing time will be different across these different teams.
Do the older teams get priority (SKPS gym/field time) over the younger teams?
Yes. Due to our size we have more teams than are ideal for one gym and one field. While we ensure all teams at all levels get adequate time we do give priority to our varsity and JV teams.
Do the "A" teams get priority (SKPS gym/field time) over all other teams?
Yes. Many schools only have one team and that team gets significant time in the gym or on the field. We have many teams and we ensure that all teams get quality time. However, we do provide opportunity for our top level teams to pick up extra practice slots.
Can my registration fee be refunded if my child decides to not play after evaluations?
No. By registering your child for a sport you are agreeing that you and your child have discussed the pros/cons of participating in sports, the committment required for sports; and the possibility that your child may not be placed on the team they desire. Once registered we, as an athletic association, plan for those numbers to play and ensure costs associated with the evaluation process, with team placement and with equipment purchases. We also count on our parents to volunteer for necessary team needs, including concessions, collecting admission fees at games (basketball), etc. If your child decided to not play after evaluations we use your registration fee to offset the loss of your volunteer time. We also recognize that if your child registeres to play sports in local communities (Seneca Valley, Mars, Pine Richland) those organizations do not refund fees.
Are coaches and SKPSAA administrators (athletic director, sport coordinators) paid or volunteers?
All SKPSAA aministrators and coaches are volunteers.
Do coaches go through any type of training/course... just because someone knows how to play a sport doesn't mean they can "coach" the sport.
Our volunteer coaches are just that, volunteer coaches. They have knowledge of the sport, the skills to assist in developing our athletes and creating a positive environment for the children. We also rely on coaches who have been involved at SKPS in prior years to pass on and mentor newer coaches. Depending on the sport, we may also have coaches from more formal programs volunteer and assist SKPS coaches. All coaches, like everyone who volunteers at SKPS are required to possess all clearances and training required by the Diocese and the Commonwealth of PA.
How can a parent share their feedback about their child's coach?
Parents are welcome to discuss their child and share feedback directly with coaches. Parents also can fill out our Coach Evaluation Form. Additionally, parents can talk directly to the athletic director.
Does this year's coach automatically become next year's coach?
Not necessarily but in many cases if feedback is positive and the coach is willing to return, we will proceed with having them return. Some coaches enjoy coaching the developmental teams and do not seek to continue moving up in older grades with more competitive coaching. In addition, if other qualified individuals step up and wish to volunteer for the position, we will consider their qualifications for the coaching position.
Can I coach sports if I do not have my clearances?
No. All clearances must be completed prior to coaching or volunteering at any diocesan school. No exceptions.
PRACTICE AND GAMES, ADDITIONAL TRAINING
How many times per week should a team (maybe it varies by grade) be practicing each week?
There is no set rule as to how much practice a team of any age gets in a school. Generally we will try to have the older athletes practice 2 times per week (5th to 8th grades) and the developmental teams 1-2 times per week. Other factors are involved including gym availability, coach availability and game schedules.
What options are available for teams/children outside of our basketball season?
There are options open for basketball players. AAU basketball is a very popular option for the athletes as they will continue to learn and develop their skills with another team and set of coaches. Many organizations offer programs in our area if you are interested. In addition, many camps are offered during the summer months at local universities to assist in continual development of the athlete. Some offer day camps, others will offer a weekly camp for the athlete. All camps are not created so speak to others about the camp you are interested in attending. There is a summer league that forms with all other catholic schools for the months of June/July and sometimes August. Your coach will advise you more when the school receives information. The summer league is a chance for kids to play organized basketball with a flexible schedule.
Will SKPS have open gym time where teams can come and practice during the off season?
Our ability to offer open gyms during the offseason depends on the availability of our coaches and willingness of our parents and kids to participate. We typically do have periodic open gyms during the summer for basketball and volleyball.
Can my athlete play on multiple teams?
The answer is, it ‘depends’. SKPSAA follows rules set forth by the diocese and based on those rules it will be determined if an athlete can play on multiple teams (ie a JV Section Soccer player could be named on the roster of the JV Section team and the Varsity section team (but not a league team); similar rules apply to volleyball, basketball and football.
What happens if my athlete loses their uniform?
Per our registration, the family will be responsible to reimburse the school a fee of $75.00 to replace a lost uniform.