Athletics Handbook

The Cathedral 7-12 High School athletics department mentors scholar-athletes to be champions both on the playing field and in the classroom. As a department, our goal is in line with the school’s overall mission: teaching values and building leaders. We aim to use sports as a vessel for growth and as a means to provide students with the tools needed to be champions of life. The Cathedral High School Panthers are members of the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) and the Catholic Central League (CCL).

Cathedral’s coaching staff consists of dedicated men and women who don’t simply coach but serve as role models for Cathedral scholar-athletes. These individuals serve as the driving force of our culture and work tirelessly to help us achieve the following goals:

  • Develop well-rounded, responsible young adults who act with respect, honesty, and integrity
  • Develop outstanding members of the school and community who act with sportsmanship and can function as members of a team and individually
  • Teach the importance of hardwork, dedication, and resilience on and off the field of play
  • Provide opportunities for physical, mental, and emotional growth
  • Develop communication and time-management skills
  • Improve decision making in high pressure situations
  • Build confidence and develop leadership skills
  • Prepare our athletes for the rigors and challenges of collegiate athletics

In developing these goals, our staff has identified a set of values we believe are important for our athletes to acquire throughout their athletic career:

  • Respect
  • Accountability
  • Resilience
  • Discipline
  • Selflessness
  • Devotion
  • Ambitiousness

Code of Conduct

Participation in athletics is a privilege, not a right. As members of the Cathedral athletic program, students are expected to demonstrate proper respect for all coaches, teammates, officials, spectators and equipment. Student athletes are expected to exhibit the highest level of conduct and sportsmanship both on and off the playing field as they are, at all times, representatives of their team, school and community.

MIAA and State Regulations

Cathedral High School is a member of the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) and is therefore governed by Association “Rules and Regulations”. Additional policies, regulations and rules are set by Cathedral High School. Under MIAA guidelines, local communities are allowed to set their own policy, rules and/or regulations as long as they are more restrictive than those stipulated by the MIAA. Rules governing individual sports vary depending upon the sport. The MIAA also organizes and establishes the guidelines for all post-season tournaments. All schools throughout the Commonwealth are required to govern themselves under the rules of the MIAA.

MIAA Drug and Alcohol Policy

From the earliest fall practice date, to the conclusion of the academic year or final athletic event (whichever is latest), a student shall not, regardless of the quantity, use, consume, possess, buy/sell, or give away any beverage containing alcohol; any tobacco product (including e-cigarettes, vape pens and all similar devices); marijuana (including synthetic); steroids; drug paraphernalia; or any controlled substance. This policy includes products such as “NA or near beer,” inhalants (defined as any substance that produces a mind-altering effect when inhaled), and misuse of over-the-counter medications and substances used for the purposes of altering one’s mental state. It is not a violation for a student to be in possession of a legally defined drug specifically prescribed for the student’s own use by their doctor.

First violation: When the Principal confirms, following an opportunity for the student to be heard, that a violation occurred, the student shall lose eligibility for the next consecutive interscholastic contests (regular season and tournament) totaling 25% of all interscholastic contests in that sport. No exception is permitted for a student who becomes a participant in a treatment program. It is recommended that the student be allowed to remain at practice for the purpose of rehabilitation. During the suspension the disqualified student may not be in uniform and attendance at the competition site is determined by the high school principal. All decimal part of an event will be truncated i.e. All fractional parts of an event will be dropped when calculating the 25% of the season.

Second and subsequent violations: When the Principal confirms, following an opportunity for the student to be heard, that a violation occurred, the student shall lose eligibility for the next consecutive interscholastic contests (regular season and tournament) totaling 60% of all interscholastic contests in that sport. All decimal part of an event will be truncated i.e. All fractional parts of an event will be dropped when calculating the 60% of the season.

If after the second or subsequent violations the student of own volition becomes a participant in an approved chemical dependency program or treatment program, the student may be certified for reinstatement in MIAA activities after a minimum of 40% of events provided the student was fully engaged in the program throughout that penalty period. The high school principal in collaboration with a Chemical Dependency Program or Treatment Program must certify that the student is attending or issue a certificate of completion. If student does not complete the program, the penalty reverts back to 60% of the season. All decimal part of an event will be truncated i.e. All fractional parts of an event will be dropped when calculating the 40% of the season.

Penalties shall be cumulative each academic year, but serving the penalty could carry over for one year. Or, if the penalty period is not completed during the season of violation, the penalty shall carry over to the student’s next season of actual participation, which may affect the eligibility status of the student during the next academic year



The MIAA reserves the right to “warn, censure, place on probation, or suspend for up to one

calendar year any player, team, coach, game or school officials, or school determined to be acting in a manner contrary to the standards of good sportsmanship.” Cathedral, in turn, reserves the right to impose the same penalties on spectators displaying poor sportsmanship at any of our contests, both home and away.

Intent to Injure Rule

Any student in any sport who willfully, flagrantly, or maliciously attempts to injure an opponent shall be removed from the contest immediately and shall be ineligible in all sports for one year from the date of the incident. (“Fighting” does not apply to this section unless warranted in the judgment of the game official.)


The Massachusetts Hazing Law is quoted below. Hazing in any form is unacceptable. If you have any concern that your son or daughter is involved in a hazing incident, we strongly encourage you to call the Coach, the Athletic Director, or the Principal immediately.

Chapter 269 Section 17: Whoever is a principal organizer or participant in the crime of hazing, as defined herein, shall be punished by a fine of not more than three thousand dollars or by imprisonment in a house of correction for not more than one year, or both such fine and imprisonment. The term ”hazing” as used in this section and in sections eighteen and nineteen, shall mean any conduct or method of initiation into any student organization, whether on public or private property, which wilfully or recklessly endangers the physical or mental health of any student or other person. Such conduct shall include whipping, beating, branding, forced calisthenics, exposure to the weather, forced consumption of any food, liquor, beverage, drug or other substance, or any other brutal treatment or forced physical activity which is likely to adversely affect the physical health or safety of any such student or other person, or which subjects such student or other person to extreme mental stress, including extended deprivation of sleep or rest or extended isolation.

Chapter 269 Section 18: Whoever knows that another person is the victim of hazing as defined in section seventeen and is at the scene of such crime shall, to the extent that such person can do so without danger or peril to himself or others, report such crime to an appropriate law enforcement official as soon as reasonably practicable. Whoever fails to report such crime shall be punished by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars.



“Bullying,” is defined as, the repeated use by one or more students of a written, verbal, or electronic expression or physical act or gesture or any combination thereof, directed at a victim that (i) causes physical or emotional harm to the victim or damages to the victim’s property; (ii) places the victim in reasonable fear of harm to himself/herself or of damage to his /her property; (iii) creates a hostile environment at school for the victim; (iv) infringes on the rights of the victim at school; or (v) materially and substantially disrupts the education process or the orderly operation of a school.

Bullying shall be prohibited on school grounds, property immediately adjacent to school grounds, at school sponsored or school related activity, function or program whether on or off school grounds, at a school bus stop, or on a school bus or other vehicle owned, leased or used by a school, or through the use of technology.

Retaliation against a person who reports bullying, provides information during an investigation of bullying, or witnesses or has reliable information about bullying shall be prohibited by law. Any student violating the Anti-Bullying policy will be dismissed from Cathedral High School.


Athletic Academic Eligibility

Students who fail any course or earn a GPA below a 2.0 are not eligible to compete in athletic events until the next progress report (a period of 4 weeks). After the progress report, the Administration, Athletic Director and coaches will conduct an evaluation. If the student’s academics have improved, the student may be declared eligible for participation.

Students who fail 3 or more courses are ineligible for the entire quarter (as required by the MIAA). Evaluation of performance will be conducted at the conclusion of the next marking period and if the student improves above a failing grade, they will be declared eligible for participation in the following season.

To be eligible for fall athletics, students are required to have passed and received full credit for the previous academic year.

Athletics Registration

In order to sign-up for a sport at Cathedral High School, all prospective student-athletes must register at Family ID: This must be done before tryouts to be eligible to participate in tryouts and must be done before every season.

Students are also required to upload a physical examination on Family ID. In order for a physical examination to be considered current and valid, it must have occurred within the preceding 13 months and will otherwise be considered expired. This must be done prior to the first practice session. Student- athletes whose physical examination expires during a season must submit a physical examination form certifying a new physical examination prior to the expiration date of their last physical examination in order to continue participation without interruption.


Commitment and Attendance Policies

Cathedral High School students are expected to attend all practices and games for that team. Practices will average two hours in duration. Athletes should expect some weekend practices/games during the season and players must attend these events to remain in

good standings. Interscholastic athletics demands much more commitment than a club or

recreational activity. Students and parents should be aware of the time commitment and plan to meet expectations prior to coming out for the team. The athletic department reserves the right to dismiss players from their respective teams for repeated unexcused absences.

Players who miss practice unexcused or without prior notification to their coach or Athletic Director will be subjected to discipline at the discretion of their coach. f families are looking at a potential conflict, the athlete should talk to the coach (in person if at all possible) as soon as they see a conflict.

As stated in our mission, Cathedral High School aims to teach our student-athletes different values and lessons that apply not just to sports, but to real life. Similar to working a job or going to school everyday, playing sports and being a part of a team is a commitment. Student-athletes should make every effort to honor their commitment to the team and their teammates. It is also in the athlete’s best interest to attend practices in order to mitigate injury risks.

If a student-athlete is injured and cannot participate they should attend all practices. In addition to this they should regularly communicate with the athletic trainer.

MIAA Bona Fide Team Member Rule

A bona fide member of the school team is a student who is consistently present for, and actively participates in, all high school team sessions (e.g. practices, tryouts, competitions). Bona fide members of a school team are precluded from missing a high school practice or competition in order to participate in a non-school athletic activity/event in any sport recognized by the MIAA. Students cannot be given special treatment (late arrival, early dismissal, etc.) for non-school athletic programs.

First Offense: Student-athlete is suspended for one (1) game/meet/match of the season. Second Offense: Student-athlete is suspended for an additional 25% of the season (see chart on Rule 62), and is ineligible for tournament play immediately upon confirmation of the violation. See Rule 96 for additional tournament restriction and Rule 88 for waiver guidelines.


In-Season Athletic Eligibility

Student athletes are expected and encouraged to maintain the highest level of scholastic achievement possible. They are also expected to maintain the highest level of citizenship. To promote these goals, the following policies are in effect:


Academic Achievement

Scholastic “office hours” sessions are offered everyday by Cathedral teachers. Extra help and make-up work are expected to be completed during these sessions as soon as possible. On practice days, student-athletes are requiredto stay after school to complete work for a minimum of 30 minutes. Students with grades no lower than a B+ will be exempt from this requirement. Grades will be assessed at the beginning and middle of each quarter to determine each student’s requirement. Students who do not attend office hours will be subject to disciplinary action at the discretion of their coach.

Coaches should be informed by students, in advance if possible, when practice time will be missed due to academic obligations. Once the obligations are completed, students are expected to report to practice on that same day. If the coach was not notified in advance, students should ask their teacher for a note explaining the tardiness. Students arriving late to practice due to make-up work or extra help will not receive an athletic team penalty.

On game days, unless time allows, students should ask their classroom teacher if make-up work or extra help may be postponed until the next practice day. A classroom teacher may or may not grant such a postponement. The Athletic Department reserves the right to remove a student from a team for poor academic performance and may reinstate that student after seeing evidence of sufficient improvement. Reinstatement cannot be granted if MIAA scholastic eligibility requirements are not met.


School Discipline Obligations

Any student athlete with a school disciplinary obligation is expected to fulfill the disciplinary obligation before reporting to an athletic practice and/or game. Students cannot expect, and should not request, disciplinary action to be postponed or canceled for any athletic reason. Students suspended from school will also be suspended from all athletic activities for the duration of the suspension. The Athletic Department reserves the right to remove a student from a team for excessive disciplinary problems and may reinstate that student after seeing evidence of sufficient improvement. It is expected that our athletes be model citizens both in and out of school; they should set an example for all students.


Daily School Attendance

Students are expected to attend all scheduled periods during the school day. Athletes must be in school a full day in order to practice or play on that day. Exceptions, such as doctor’s appointments or college visits, must be cleared in advance by the Athletic Director or Assistant Principal whenever possible. The Athletic Department reserves the right to remove a student from a team for excessive cuts or truancy and may reinstate that student after seeing evidence of sufficient improvement.

School Nurse

Students who spend time in the nurse’s office due to illness on a school day will not be allowed to participate in any athletic activities on that same day.


The school provides bus transportation or a suitable substitute to all away contests. All team members are expected to travel to these contests using school-provided transportation. Exceptions to this policy must be requested in writing to the Athletic Director/coach by a student’s parent/guardian at least 24 hours prior to the contest. Reasonable requests will be honored. A coach may allow students to ride home from a contest with their parents provided that necessary communication is made between the parent and coach. This privilege is to be kept to a minimum since our philosophy continues to be that an athlete is part of a team in all phases of team activity. Team chemistry is often built on bus rides and important information is regularly communicated in these settings.

Athletic Training and Medical Information

Athletic Trainer

Certified by the Board of Certification (BOC) of the National Athletic Trainer’s Association (NATA), an athletic trainer (ATC) is a member of the allied health community whose role is to care for and help prevent athletic related injuries. The ATC shall be responsible for first aid and triage, evaluation of athletic related injuries, preventative taping and/or bracing, treatment and reconditioning of injuries, and appropriate referrals to physicians.

At Cathedral High School, there is one certified athletic trainer on staff. Because of limitations, there may or may not be an athletic trainer available for all practices or contests. However, all athletes of any sport are welcome to utilize the athletic training room services during posted hours. If an athlete is injured during athletic participation, they need to be evaluated by the athletic trainer.

Athletic Training Room Hours

On school days, the athletic trainer will be available Monday-Friday after school. On game days, hours of availability may vary. The Athletic trainer will attend all home contests, if multiple contests are on the same day/time then the athletic trainer will prioritize attendance based on the NATA classification of high risk sports. The athletic trainer is not available during school hours. Any injuries or illnesses that need to be addressed during school hours should be sent to the school nurse.


At Cathedral High School we stress a team approach, bringing together all those in the school community responsible for the student’s safety to understand the risks of concussion so they can respond appropriately.

Major components of our protocol include:

  • Annual (required) training for concussion awareness, prevention, and management for all student-athletes, coaches, medical and athletic staff.
  • School policies re: prevention and management of concussions
  • Exclusion from play when suspected head injury or concussion
  • Medical clearance and return to play protocol
  • Data reporting

Annual Training

Students are required to complete the free online concussion course from the National Federation of State High Schools Association:

Coaches and Athletic staff are also required to complete a concussion course through the NFHS:

School Policies

  • Documentation of pre-participation medical exams for all student-athletes is required.
  • Pre-participation head injury reporting forms, submission, and review
  • Medical/Nursing review of reports of head injuries during the season
  • Procedures for removing student-athletes from play and referring for medical evaluation
  • Protocol for medical clearance and return to play
  • Procedure for the development and implementation of a graduated reentry plan to school.

Exclusion From Play

  • Any student, who during practice or competition, sustains a head injury or suspected concussion, or exhibits signs and symptoms of a concussion, or loses consciousness, even briefly, must be removed from that practice or competition immediately and MAY NOT RETURN TO THAT PRACTICE OR GAME ON THAT DAY.
  • The coach shall communicate the nature of the injury directly to the parent immediately after the practice or competition in which a student has been removed from play and shall communicate, by the end of the next business day, with the Athletic Director and school nurse that the student has been removed from practice or competition for a head injury or suspected concussion.
  • If a student suffers a head injury outside of school-sponsored extracurricular athletics, parents must inform the coach or school nurse about any head injury that a student suffered. The parent should submit the “Report of Head Injury Form” to the coach or school nurse. School staff need this information to ensure students’ safe participation in school athletics.
  • “Report of Head Injury Form”

Medical Clearance & Return to School or Play

  • A student who is removed from practice or competition for a head injury or suspected concussion is required to present to the Athletic Director or school nurse a medical clearance authorization form (forms can differ from different medical offices), or this form here, in order to return to school/play
  • Only the following individuals can authorize a student return to play: (1) a licensed physician, (2) a licensed Athletic trainer in consultation with a licensed physician, (3) a licensed nurse practitioner in consultation with a licensed physician, (4) a licensed neuropsychologist in coordination with the physician managing the students recovery, (5) a physician assistant under the supervision of a licensed physician.

Data Reporting

  • The school will report to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health the statistics on head injuries every year, which will include the # of head injury forms received by the school and the total # of students who incur head injuries & suspected concussions when engaged in extracurricular athletic activities.

Concussion Action Plan

Cathedral High School (CHS) has developed this protocol to address the issue of the identification and management of concussion for students who participate in school athletics, and to give the parents/guardians a thorough overview of the step-by-step process that will take place if their student sustains a head injury or suspected concussion.

A safe return to activity (learning and athletics) is important for all athletes following an injury, but it is ESSENTIAL after concussion. The goal of this concussion protocol is to ensure that concussed athletes are identified, treated and referred appropriately for return to learn and return to play. Consistent use of a concussion management protocol will ensure that the athlete receives appropriate follow-up andor academic accommodations in order to make certain that the athlete is fully recovered prior to returning to full athletic participation.

This protocol will be reviewed annually by the contracted certified athletic trainer, contracted school nurse, and athletic director. Changes and modifications will be reviewed and written notification will be provided to athletic department staff, coaches and other appropriate school personnel.

It should be noted that all coaches are required to submit a copy of a certified concussion management training program (we offer a free online course through NFHS). The documentation of the coaches annual concussion training shall be kept and tracked by the athletic director.

According to the CDC, a concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head that causes the brain to move back and forth rapidly. This sudden movement can cause the brain to bounce around or twist in the skull, damaging the brain cells. This injury doesn’t always come from a direct hit to the head. It can be caused by a hit to the body as well.

If a student experiences one or more of the below symptoms, they might have a concussion and should be removed from play immediately. As CDC says, “When in doubt, sit them out”. CHS will adopt that same policy. Some symptoms may show up soon after the injury but other symptoms may not show up for hours or days.

Recognition of Concussion

These signs and symptoms — following a witnessed or suspected blow to the head or body — are indicative of a probable concussion.


Signs (observed by others)

Symptoms (reported by athlete)

Forgets plays


Appears dazed or stunned


Unsure about game, score, opponent

Nausea or vomiting

Moves clumsily (altered coordination)

Double vision, blurry vision

Balance problems

Sensitive to light

Personality change

Feels sluggish

Responds slowly to questions

Feels “foggy”

Forgets events prior to hit

Problems concentrating

Forgets events after the hit

Problems remembering

Loss of consciousness (not required)

Ringing in the ears




The contracted certified athletic trainer, the contracted school nurse, and the concussion certified coaches are the individuals who can make the initial decision to remove a student athlete from play when it is suspected the athlete may have suffered a concussion.

Athletes with a suspected concussion should not be permitted to drive home.

School must notify parents/guardians within 24 hours if the student has a suspected concussion.

The contracted athletic trainer, the contracted school nurse, or the concussion certified coaches are the individuals assigned to inform the parent/guardians that their student/child may have sustained a concussion.


Return to Learn Protocol

A student’s return to school following a concussion is an extremely individualized process. A concussion, no matter how mild it may seem, is a brain injury. Concussion management is best accomplished by good communication and collaboration among parents, the school, and the health care providers. The following steps are required before a student can return to academic activity after a concussion or suspected concussion.

  1. Notification of the school nurse of the concussion or suspected concussion.
  2. Participation in the return to learn protocol, which follows a graduated reentry plan. The Nurse and student’s teachers and parents will receive information sheets that detail the graduated reentry plan.

Return to Play Protocol

The return to play protocol should start only when you have been without any symptoms for 24 hours. It is important to wait 24 hours between steps — symptoms may develop several hours after completing a step. Do not take any pain medications while moving through this plan unless directly prescribed from your physician. This program should be supervised by the certified athletic trainer or healthcare professional trained in the management of concussions. 

Step 1: Aerobic conditioning – walking, swimming, stationary cycling

Step 2: Sports specific drill – dribbling in soccer or basketball, agility drills, etc.

Step 3: Non-contact training drills – include more complex training drills (passing the ball on the move, running specific patterns)

Step 4: Full contact practice

Step 5: Full clearance for return to play

Certified athletic trainers are the people designated by the school to approve the Graded Return to non-contact physical activities. The certified athletic trainers are the individuals who make the final decision regarding the student’s return to athletic activity.


School Equipment and Facilities

Students have an obligation and responsibility for all equipment issued to them and the facilities they play in. Each student is responsible for the proper care and retention of the equipment from the date of issue to the date of return. Equipment should be stored in a safe place at all times when not in use.

If a student loses school equipment or fails to return the same, he/she is responsible to meet the current replacement cost of the equipment. Payment is required prior to the next season of athletic involvement or graduation whichever comes first. No student will be allowed to try out for another sport until all outstanding equipment has been returned or paid for.

Vandalism, theft, or damage to any facilities, home or away, may result in suspension or dismissal from all athletic activities for a period of time to be determined by the Athletic Director and further disciplinary action by the school administration.

Athletic Awards

Cathedral is proud to offer a plethora of athletic awards ranging from scholarships, honors, and more. Some of these awards are listed below.

Varsity Letter

​​To earn a letter in a varsity sport, the athlete must participate in varsity competition in 25% of the periods normally played during the season. A period means quarters in sports such as football, basketball, and soccer. It means innings in sports like baseball and softball. All seniors who participate automatically earn a letter. Coaches have the right to award letters to anyone they feel has met individual team requirements. Injured players may receive a varsity letter if, in the opinion of the coach, said player would’ve participated enough if they had not been injured, and also served in some capacity while injured.

General requirements for varsity awards in all sports:

  • Must be in good athletic standing, academically eligible, and must complete the season
  • Attend all practices, competitions, and events, unless excused by the coach
  • Be of good character and sportsmanship. Adheres to all team rules and is a good teammate

Panther Award

Awarded to two student athletes (male and female) who exemplify our values (respect, accountability, resilience, discipline, selflessness, and devotion) what it means to be a student athlete at CHS.

Scholar Athlete Award

Awarded to two student athletes (male and female) who excel both academically and athletically. In order to qualify for this award, students must achieve above a 3.2 GPA and must attend most, if not all athletic practices and events in ther respective sport.