Summer Camp & Clinics, Coaching Contact Out of Season & Non-School Team Participation
It is strongly recommended athletic directors have a preseason meeting with all coaches to clarify the rules. The coaches should then have a preseason meeting with players to explain the limitations they face under the rules. The following guidelines are taken from the 2017–2018 By-laws.
36.15(6) Summer camps and clinics and coaching contacts out of season.
- School personnel, whether employed or volunteers, of a member or associate member school shall not coach that school’s student-athletes during the school year in a sport for which the school personnel are currently under contract or are volunteers, outside the period from the official first day of practice through the finals of tournament play. Provided, however, school personnel may coach a senior student from the coach’s school in an all-star contest once the senior student’s interscholastic athletic season for that sport has concluded. In addition, volunteer or compensated coaching personnel shall not require students to participate in any activities outside the season of that coach’s sport as a condition of participation in the coach’s sport during its season.
- A summer team or individual camp or clinic held at a member or associate member school facility shall not conflict with sports in season. Coaching activities between June 1 and the first day of fall sports practices shall not conflict with sports in season.
- Penalty. A school whose volunteer or compensated coaching personnel violate this rule is ineligible to participate in a governing organization-sponsored event in that sport for one year with the violator(s) coaching.
36.15(7) Nonschool team participation.
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. This rule is intended to implement Iowa Code sections 256.46, 280.13 and 282.18.
- 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 grades 7 and 8 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 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. she 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.
- 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 student-athletes 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.
- 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 student-athletes 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.
Or 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 student-athletes 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.
Student Activity Fund & Camp/Clinic Rule
Several issues keep recurring regarding these topics. This document attempts to give information regarding some of those issues.
- There may be no out-of-season contact between coaches/students during the school year.
- Summertime out-of-season contact between coaches/students is allowed, but only if the student voluntarily engages in the activity.
- We cannot help what the colleges call their camps, but a so-called “team” camp is subject to all the same rules as any other camp attended by a secondary student.
- NO district funds can be used for any student to pay for a student’s participation, either in whole or in part, in any out-of-season camp or clinic.
- Booster clubs that are independent of the district may offer financial assistance.
- If a student-athlete wants to use school equipment, including school apparel (e.g., a jersey), the district must charge fair rental value.
- When a coach employed by a school district sponsors a summertime, out-of-season camp or clinic, student-athlete participation must be voluntary and there can be no use of district funds. The camp or clinic may be operated under either of the following models:
- The camp/clinic is NOT a district activity. (This is the model favored by the DE, IHSAA and IGHSAU.)
- If the district’s facilities or equipment is used, the district charges the coach rent.
- All accounting and bookkeeping is done apart from district funds.
- The camp/clinic is sponsored by the district as a community service.
- The camp/clinic is NOT considered to be either a co-curricular or extracurricular activity.
- Therefore, any funds associated with it are not to be run through the student activity fund. If the camp/clinic is a
regular event, use the enterprise fund; if the camp/clinic is not a regular event, use the general fund.
- Public funds cannot be used to help students with registration fees.
Any remuneration to the district’s coaches that work the camp/clinic is not part of the coach’s chapter 279 contract. Have a separate contract for payment to the coaches. Again, this is because the camp/clinic is NOT a co-curricular or an extracurricular activity of the district.
Department of Education Administrative Rules
281—98.70(279,280,298A) Student activity fund. The student activity fund must be established in any school district receiving moneys from student-related activities such as admissions, activity fees, student dues, student fund-raising events, or other student-related co-curricular or extracurricular activities. Moneys collected through school activities are public funds that are the property of the school district and are under the financial control of the school board. Upon dissolution of an activity, such as a graduating class or student club, the surplus must be used to support other student activities in the student activity fund. Prudent and proper accounting of all receipts and expenditures in these accounts is the responsibility of the board. School districts may maintain subsidiary records for student activities if those records are reconciled to the official records on a monthly basis; however, all official accounting records of the student activity fund shall be maintained within the school district’s chart of account pursuant to Uniform Financial Accounting for Iowa School Districts and Area Education Agencies.
98.70(1) Sources of revenue in the student activity fund. Sources of revenue in the student activity fund include income derived from student activities such as gate receipts, ticket sales, admissions, student club dues, donations, fund-raising events, and any other receipts derived from student body co-curricular or extracurricular activities, contests, and exhibitions as well as interest on the investment of those moneys.
98.70(2) Appropriate uses of the student activity fund. Appropriate expenditures in the student activity fund include ordinary and necessary expenses of operating school district-sponsored and district-supervised student co-curricular and extracurricular activities, including purchasing services from another school district to provide for the eligibility of enrolled students in interscholastic activities provided by the other school district when that school district does not provide an interscholastic activity for its students.
98.70(3) Inappropriate uses of the student activity fund. Inappropriate expenditures in the student activity fund include the following:
a. Maintenance of funds raised by outside organizations.
b. The cost of bonds for employees having custody of funds derived from co-curricular and extracurricular activities in the conduct of their duties. These are costs to the general fund.
c. Expenditures that lack public purpose.
d. Payments to any private organization unless a fundraiser was held expressly for that purpose and the purpose of the fundraiser was specifically identified.
e. Transfers to any other fund of any surplus within the fund.
f. Payments more properly accounted for in another fund such as public tax funds, trust funds, state and federal grants, textbook/library book fines, fees, rents, purchases or sales, sales of school supplies, or curricular activities.
g. Use of the student activity fund as a clearing account for any other fund.
h. Cash payments to student members of activity groups.
i. The cost of optional equipment or customizing uniforms.
j. The cost of uniforms when the following two tests are not met:
(1) The activity is a part of the school's educational program, and
(2) The wearing of the uniform or equipment is necessary in order to participate.
k. Hospital or medical claims for student injuries or procurement of student medical insurance.
l. Optional costs related to activities that are not necessary to the co-curricular and extracurricular program such as promotional costs.
m. Membership fees in student activity-related associations if the fees are optional, i.e., nonmember schools may participate in sponsored events.
n. Costs to participate in or to allow students to participate in any co-curricular and extracurricular interscholastic athletic contest or competition not sponsored or administered by either the Iowa High School Athletic Association or the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union.
36.15(6) Summer camps and clinics and coaching contacts out of season.
a. School personnel, whether employed or volunteers, of a member or associate member school shall not coach that school’s student athletes during the school year in a sport for which the school personnel are currently under contract or are volunteers, outside the period from the official first day of practice through the finals of tournament play. Provided, however, school personnel may coach a senior student from the coach’s school in an all-star contest once the senior student’s interscholastic athletic season for that sport has concluded. In addition, volunteer or compensated coaching personnel shall not require students to participate in any activities outside the season of that coach’s sport as a condition of participation in the coach’s sport during its season.
b. A summer team or individual camp or clinic held at a member or associate member school facility shall not conflict with sports in season. Summertime coaching activities shall not conflict with sports in season.
c. Rescinded IAB 4/20/11, effective 5/25/11.
d. Penalty. A school whose volunteer or compensated coaching personnel violate this rule is ineligible to participate in a governing organization-sponsored event in that sport for one year with the violator(s) coaching.