Sanctioning of Sports
Definitions. “Sanctioning” refers to the process whereby the school district adopts an athletic program as a school extracurricular activity and accepts some level of responsibility for coordinating and supporting the activity. There are three levels of sanctioning:
- Club sport. This is the first level of sanctioning. The school district arranges scheduling (practice and interscholastic), transportation, fields and liability insurance coverage. The school district also approves and evaluates coaches. The club itself or an affiliated booster organization is responsible for all costs of the program except the cost of insurance.
- School sport. This is the second level of sanctioning. The school district assumes the responsibilities listed above for a club sport. In addition, it hires and evaluates coaches and pays for varsity and junior varsity (if any) coaches, transportation, and fields (except ice hockey, where the costs for ice time may be shared between the district and the affiliated booster organization). The school district may also pay for the costs of officials.
- School-sponsored sport. This is the final level of sanctioning. The school district assumes all the responsibilities listed above for a school sport. In addition, the school district pays for some or all of the activity’s uniforms and equipment. The level of responsibility for uniforms and equipment may vary from activity to activity depending on the costs involved and the individual agreement between the school district and any affiliated booster organization that shares costs for the activity. The school district does not normally pay costs (except coaches and insurance costs) associated with teams other than varsity and junior varsity teams.
Factors in Making Decisions. In making sanctioning decisions, the Athletic Director and the School Board shall consider the following factors on a case-by-case basis:
- Is there a gender equity issue that would be addressed by the addition of a new activity?
- Is there a feeder system at lower grade levels indicative of community, family, and athlete support of the activity?
- Is the activity sponsored by the Maine Principals Association?
- How many students would likely participate in the sport?
- Are there qualified coaches able and willing to coach?
- Are there facilities for practicing and playing that can be used without undue hardship to existing teams?
- What is the particular level of logistical and financial support expected from the school? In particular, what would the total cost to the district be per student projected to participate in the program?
- Are there other athletic or non-athletic activities that are awaiting sanctioning?
Decisions About Sanctioning. Decisions about sanctioning are case-by-case decisions guided by the factors listed above. In every case, agreements with affiliated booster organizations must be recorded in written agreements spelling out the respective responsibilities of the booster group and the school district.