- Who is a “volunteer” as used in 36.15(6)?
A volunteer is an unpaid person who holds a coaching authorization or a coaching endorsement and who is acting under the direction of an employed coach and with the knowledge and approval of the school administration.
- Who is a “coach” as used in 36.15(6)?
“Coach” means an individual, with coaching endorsement or authorization as required by Iowa law, employed by a school district under the provisions of an extracurricular athletic contract or employed by a nonpublic school in a position responsible for an extracurricular athletic activity. “Coach” also includes an individual who instructs, diagnoses, prescribes, evaluates, assists, or directs student learning of an interscholastic athletic endeavor on a voluntary basis on behalf of a school or school district.
- What is covered by the term “coaching”?
Can a school’s coach have his/her spouse or friend serve as the “declared coach” of a non-school team while the school’s coach is providing instruction in the background?
A coach diagnoses, prescribes, evaluates and directs student learning and supervises assistant coaches and volunteers in the performance of coaching objectives. If a coach is “directing” student-athlete learning through another person, “prescribing” who should play, at what position, “evaluating” skills and determining who needs to work on certain skills, then the coach is coaching.
- What does “conflict with sports in season” mean?
If a student-athlete has to make a choice between participating in a practice, game or other team activity for a sport in season or participating in an activity for a sport that is not in-season held at a member or associate member school facility, or supervised or sponsored by an out-of-season school coach, a conflict exists. The sport in season takes precedence. In cases of emergency or rescheduling, the priority is with the sport in season.
- What is “summertime” as defined in 36.15(6)?
Summertime is defined as June 1 until the first day of fall sports practices.
- What is “participating” as defined in 36.15(7)?
If a student is a member of the school team, she is “participating” in that sport. A student is “participating” on a non-school team when the team is involved in a competition. Practice with a non-school team does not constitute participation.
- What is covered by the term “school facility”?
Any facility on campus or off-campus that represents a practice or competition site that is directly affiliated with a school-based activity.
Can a school impose stricter guidelines on its coaches and/or students than those imposed by these rules? Yes. Stricter policies than outlined by these rules are the prerogative of the local district.
Who is covered by these rules? Students in grades 9-12 and personnel under contract to coach or who serve as volunteer coaches of a school team involving students in grades 9-12. Students and coaches in seventh and eighth grade are NOT covered by the provisions of these rules. However, local school districts may choose to extend non-school participation rules to junior high school students.
9-12 COACHING CONTACT INTERPRETATIONS
- Is a team meeting during the school year, outside the season legal?
Each coaching staff is allowed one preseason team meeting during the school year, outside the season.
- If a player works as an instructor at a grade school camp run by their coach during the school year, outside the season, is the coach violating the coaching contact?
During the school year, outside the sport season, each student may work at a one-time, one-day clinic for elementary/middle school students run by their coach without their coach violating the coaching contact rule.
- Can coaches officiate their athletes outside the sport season, during the school year or during the summer?
Yes. Officiating does not constitute coaching contact.
- During the school year, outside the sport season, can a coach practice or compete with or against his/her students in the sport(s) he/she coaches?
No. Practicing or competing with or against students on a coach’s team constitutes coaching.
- During the softball season and after May 31, a softball player has enrolled in an off-campus basketball camp in which her basketball coach is a member of the camp staff. Can the softball player still attend the camp?
Yes. The student can participate in any camp, clinic, etc. s/he chooses. However, the student’s basketball coach shall not require his/her students to participate in the camp.
- Does transportation during the school year, outside the season count as contact?
No. The act of transporting students to non-school competitions, camps, clinics, etc. is permissible during the school year, outside the season as long as no coaching occurs. If school transportation is used it must be used subject to Iowa Code 285.10 (9) and (10).
- Softball practice is scheduled from 1-3 p.m. A student is attending an on-campus camp that causes her to miss softball practice.
If a potential conflict exists when an on-campus summer camp, clinic, workout, or other team activity is scheduled at the same time as a baseball or softball practice or game, the student athlete shall go to the in-season sport activity, unless released by the in-season coach. The in-season sport has priority. Local school administration shall determine how to avoid conflicts.
- The high school football coach has a film session for a group of football players who also play baseball on a day during the summertime. Baseball practice is also scheduled at this time. Is this a violation?
Coaching activities between June 1 and the first day of fall sports practices shall not conflict with sports in season. If a potential conflict exists, the student athlete shall go to the in-season sport activity. The in-season sport always has priority. Local school administration shall determine guidelines on how to avoid conflicts.
- Can the coach of the high school basketball team coach a club or AAU volleyball team during the school year outside the volleyball season?
Yes, as long as the high school basketball coach is not also serving as a high school volleyball coach (paid or volunteer) for his/her school.
- Can the coach of the high school baseball team coach the high school softball players during the school year? Yes, as long as the high school baseball coach is not also serving as a softball coach (paid or volunteer) for that school.
- Can the coach of a high school basketball team coach an all-star team that includes a player from his own team?
Yes, as long as that player is a senior whose interscholastic athletic season for that sport has concluded.
- Can the coach of a high school girls’ or boys’ team coach a junior high team or club team in that same sport during the school year, outside the season, if that team does not include any of his/her high school student-athletes?
Yes, the coaching contact rule is specific to 9-12 coaches and their 9-12 student-athletes.
- During the school year, outside the season, can the coach of the high school girls swim team coach the youth girls swim club program practice (all students under the 9th grade) at the same time the high school girls’ club program is practicing? The youth program practices in lanes 1-3 and the high school girls are practicing in lanes 4-6.
No. This is a violation of the coaching contact rule and would apply to all sports where the same facility is being used at the same time for students in grades below the 9th grade and 9th grade and above.
- During the summer can an out-of-season high school coach require attendance at any workouts, camps, clinics, or other activities?
No, attendance at any out-of-season activities must be totally voluntary and cannot be required. Coaches cannot punish or reward student-athletes based on attendance at any out-of-season activities.
- May a high school coach of an out-of-season sport require a player to attend an out-of-season camp in that sport during the school year?
No. A high school coach may not require his/her students to attend a camp outside the high school season at any time.
- During the school year outside the season, can a coach of a high school team coach his/her student athletes in a sport in which he/she is under contract (paid or volunteer) with the school district?
No, during the school year outside the sport season, coaching contact is illegal. However, a coach may supervise a workout or open facility with approval of the local school administration. This is for supervision purposes only and no coaching can occur.
- During the school year outside the baseball season, can the baseball coach supervise open facility with baseball players at the batting cage.
Yes, the coach may supervise but may not coach his/her student athletes.
- Can the high school basketball coach open and supervise the weight room for his/her basketball players for strength and conditioning during the school year?
Yes, but the basketball coach shall not coach sport specific drills or techniques.
- During the school year outside the season, can the coach of a high school team coach a non-school team if there are no members of his or her high school team on the non-school team, but they are competing against a non-school team comprised of members of the coach’s high school team?
Yes, because the coach is not coaching the student athletes from his/her high school team.
NON-SCHOOL PARTICIPATION INTERPRETATIONS
- What procedure must be followed if a student wishes to participate in a non-school event in the same sport during the school team season?
The local school board shall by policy determine whether or not participation in non-school athletic events during the same season is permitted and provide penalties for students who may be in violation of the board’s policy.
- May the high school coach of a summer sport give a player permission to miss a practice, contest or team activity:
To attend an out-of-season camp on his/her own in a different sport?
Yes. No violation occurs because permission was given.
b. To attend a camp in an out-of-season sport in which the student’s out-of-season sport will have contact?
Yes, the in-season coach may give permission, but does not have to give permission.
- May a high school coach of a sport not in season require a player to attend an out-of-season camp in that sport?
No. A high school coach may not require his/her students to attend a camp outside the high school season.
- When does the school team season begin and end?
The first legal date of practice defines the start of the school team season, and the school season ends on the final day of the state tournament.
- Do the non-school participation rules prohibit any participation in sports that are not currently in season?
No. The only non-school sports prohibited by this rule are those that are concurrent with the school team season.
FAMILY – COACH CONTACT
- I’m a coach and my son or daughter plays basketball for me on the high school team. Is it permissible for me to have contact at any time of the school year or between June 1 and the first day of fall sports practices?
Yes. At no time is contact with a son or daughter a violation of any rule. However, during the school year outside the basketball season, if other members of the high school team are present, this becomes a violation.
- A team’s head coach and assistant coach each have a daughter playing for the school’s volleyball team. May the head coach and the assistant coach be in the gym giving instruction to their respective daughters at the same time?
Yes. Coaches may work with their family members at any time without being assessed contact. If other members of the team are in the gym, contact occurs.
Scholarship Rule 36.15(2) h prohibits high school students from participating and/or training with or against college athletes who are representing their collegiate institution or as part of an event sanctioned or sponsored by a collegiate institution. Nothing in the rules prohibits a high school student from participating in a one-time tryout with or against members of a college team with permission from the member school’s administration and the respective collegiate institution’s athletic administration.