Athletic participation assists in promoting the importance of teamwork, effort, goal setting, and commitment. Athletics can be highly competitive, but winning is not the primary measure of success. Sportsmanship, respect for participants, and dignity in the face of adversity are more important than the outcome of the contest. All athletes do not perform at the same level, but all can demonstrate effort, dedication, and fair play. An athlete’s character development far outweighs his or her athletic accomplishments.
An important mission of The X Count is to teach and reinforce values relating to sportsmanship, competition, and fair play. It is expected that shooting sports athletes demonstrate a magnanimous attitude and principled behavior. Shooting sports have their origins in the gallantry of nobility. It is common for an athlete or coach to loan equipment to a competitor in times of need. Athletes are most often great friends with their fiercest competitor in the shooting sports world. They truly celebrate the success of other athletes.
Participation Expectations – Students
At a minimum, the following standards are required of all student-athletes:
- No cell phones during practice or matches.
- Exhibit public behavior that will reflect positively on The X Count, their team, their school, and the community.
- Athletes will maintain a professional decorum while at the range or traveling by minimizing public displays of affection. This does not mean that you cannot give a congratulatory hug or high five, but it does mean that if you are in an intimate relationship with a teammate or member of another team, your behavior at rifle events will remain professional in decorum, i.e., no kissing, hugging, holding hands, or sitting on one another’s lap, etc. Think of your time at rifle similar to a job when considering how much intimacy to display.
- Athletes should not be engaged in any activity that would result in police intervention.
- Exhibit responsible, respectful, and trustworthy behavior to teammates and the coaching staff.
- Exert efforts to maintain a high level of academic achievement.
- Comply with all team and school rules, regulations, and policies.
- Exhibit appropriate behavior at all team and club activities.
- Respect and comply with decisions made by the coach and the school’s athletic department.
- Display good sportsmanship at all times.
- Report to the coach any issues or developments that may affect eligibility status.
- Report to my coach any condition, physical mental or emotional, that may affect my ability to participate safely. This includes any prescription medications or over-the-counter supplements.
Participation Expectations – Parents:
Supporting your student in their athletic activities is an exciting part of being a parent. As models of adult behavior, we ask the following of our parents will:
- Exhibit responsible, respectful, and thoughtful behavior to all players, coaches, and other fans including all members of the other school and team.
- Recognize that decisions regarding the team /club are at the discretion of the coaches. Therefore, parents agree to respect these decisions. Parents agree to discuss any concerns or issues with the coaches in private and at the appropriate time (not before, during, or after a match) and place so that adequate attention can be given to the matter.
- Utilize the chain of command when addressing concerns contacting the coach first, the athletic director next, then the principal in seeking resolution to any issue.
- Respect all decisions made by match directors.
- Display good sportsmanship at all times.
- Read all program emails and respond, when necessary, in a timely manner.
Parents can be the greatest support to their athletes or a source of discouragement. The Positive Coaching Alliance makes the following recommendations for parents in encouraging their athlete in all sports:
- Encourage proper rest, nutrition, and hydration.
- Don’t Coach Your Child – Let the coaches, coach. The National Air Rifle Council Rules and ISSF provide for disqualification of the athlete if parents behavior is not appropriate.
- Do not critique your athlete’s performance on the car ride home from practice or a match.
- Listen!!! (Put away your phone)
- Focus on Life Lessons when it is appropriate for you to talk.
- Encourage your child to self-advocate if they do express a concern.
“At every possible turn, let your children know that you love them unconditionally (by saying it!), regardless of their athletic performance. Enjoy your child’s time in youth sports. It is fleeting, and you will want to look back, in conversation with your grown children, on the good old days.” (PCA, 2015)
Student Eligibility Requirements:
Students must meet the following requirements to be eligible to participate. Participation of ineligible students shall result in individual and team sanctions.
- All participants are required to have appropriate liability waivers and medical releases on file.
- Athletes are students first; therefore good school attendance is critical. Program administrators will work cooperatively with parents and athletes to assure a strong record of school attendance. In order to encourage strong attendance:
- The X Count reserves the right to exclude an athlete from practice/competition for school attendance reasons.
- Student athletes must attend at least three periods of a school day to participate in any extra-curricular activity or sport which has a special relationship with the school.”
- Athletes must place an emphasis on academic performance. The X Count will work cooperatively with athletes and their parents to assure academic success. The X Count may be able to provide resources to assist their athletes in achieving academic success. All athletes must abide by their respective school’s extracurricular guidelines as it pertains to their academic eligibility.
- All athletes are required to abide by rules set forth in their respective school’s Student Handbook and Code of Conduct as it pertains to their participation in club sports at The X Count.
- All athletes are required to abide by the guidelines set forth by USA Shooting regarding substance use/abuse. Please note that USA Shooting’s requirements for anti-doping are more stringent than any high school program. A Complete list of banned substances is available at www.USAShooting.org.
- The X County reserves the right to remove an athlete from participation / competition for reasons associated with unethical behavior. Unethical behavior can include transgressions varying from criminal behavior to dishonesty and uncourteous behavior.
Support Expectations – Parents
The X Count and its programs are supported by its core of volunteers. The programs conducted at The X Count are only possible through the many hours of service and dedication of our coaches and athletes. We are dependent on parents for coaching, supervision, transportation and other auxiliary roles. Throughout the course of the year we make requests for varying needs of the program. Please reflect on your ability to assist The X Count in fulfilling its mission when requests are made. We make very few demands of our parents but ask that they consider helping in the way that works best for them and their families. Also note that when transporting participants you will receive additional liability coverage from Westbend Mutual, the insurance carrier of The X Count.
Assumption of Risk:
Participation in sports often includes intense competition and poses the potential for serious, catastrophic, or life threatening injury. Participants and parents are urged to consider that there are inherent risks and hazards associated with athletic participation. Risks vary from sport-to-sport and can occur even under direct supervision and with use of proper safety equipment. The most prevalent injury among rifle shooters is lower back injuries.
I understand that community and team chemistry are key variables for a positive and successful athletics experience. Commitment to team goals, which at times may take precedence over individual goals, is essential. Under these conditions I understand that student-athletes are expected to exhibit a level of selflessness that promotes team goals.
We have been blessed with significant success and talented athletes. Great responsibility and visibility coincides with that success. I understand that I am a visible representative of The X count and my school. I understand that my behaviors may be closely scrutinized by the media and the general public. My behavior effects the public perception of the institutional ethos of both The X Count and my school. It is the expectation of The X Count that shooting sports athletes will demonstrate consistent role model behavior, sportsmanship, and self-control. Shooting sports athletes must be committed to fair play. Intentional acts of unsportsmanlike behavior, dishonesty, or cheating by athletes or their parents will not be tolerated. Media will only be invited to The X Count with the prior consent of the President or Vice President.
Social Media Social media is an important part of how we communicate. It can be used to help us celebrate our successes and process our disappointments. It is often used to promote our sport. Parents and athletes understand their responsibilities with regard to social media. Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram,Facebook, etc. require consent for cyber participation for minors. Parents and athletes understand negative and inappropriate commentary will not be tolerated. Parents and athletes realize they represent The X Count and their school and their shared commentary is instantaneous and worldwide. In addition, college coaches and college athletes are monitoring students’ social media and use this medium to scrutinize athletes for future participation in the shooting sports.