WHAT ARE THE LATEST UPDATES REGARDING COVID-19 & ATHLETICS?
2020-2021 Sports Updates
2/19/21: The California Department of Public Health made significant updates to its guidelines for youth and high school sports, allowing outdoor fall sports like football and water polo to compete. It should be noted that local health departments and school districts may have stricter rules and will be consulted to confirm what is allowed. To read the revised guidelines click here.
2/10/21: CIF is reinstating its waiver of Bylaws 600-605 regarding outside competition. As a result, athletes CAN complete on a club team, travel ball team, etc. while concurrently competing on a high school team with the EXCEPTION of football. To read the full memo click here.
12/16/20: Education-based sportss have been categorized to align with the color-tiered system. To view Orange County's current tier click here.
What are the benefits of participating in high school athletics?
As a member of an athletic team sport, your child will develop skills in teamwork, discipline, compassion and handling adversity. The lessons learned can then be applied to school, jobs and family life. If your only interest is for your son or daughter to start or play in every game, you may end up being disappointed. Our coaching staff is dedicated to helping your sons and daughters develop to their full potential and encouraging them to feel better about themselves because of their involvement in our programs. We hope you will feel the same way.
Is there a no cut sport that my student can join?
Yes, Football, Wrestling and Boys Lacrosse are currently no-cut sports. Commitment, dedication and teamwork, and athletic ability are needed for participation. Tell us your interests by completing the Athletic Team Interest form in your registration packet, or contact the coach.
For tryout sports, each sport provides opportunities for freshmen to try out for the team. Tryouts are held in August for fall sports, September for winter sports and January for spring sports. Tryouts are also held prior the season for each sport for students newly registered after school has begun and for athletes who were in other sports. In general, there are no make-ups for tryouts. The approximate numbers of freshmen who are on each sport are varies from sport to sport. Contact the coach and watch for announcements so that you do not miss tryout day.
My student is interested in team sports. What do I do next?
Complete the Athletics Interest form. We will forward this information to the coaches, who may contact you about the team; sports camps, tryouts, meetings, other events, etc.
My student wants to be on the 2 different sports team. Is this possible?
Yes, many of our students two and even three sport athletes. The sports teams, however, in a "normal" year cannot be during the same season. And exception has been made for 2020-2021 by CIF.
What is the Athletic Clearance and how long is it valid for?
To participate in Camp, tryouts, practice and games you must complete the clearance process at www.athleticclearance.com. Please refer to the Athletic Clearance Instructions for New Athletes or Returning Athletes on the Athletics Home page.
The Athletic Clearance is valid for one school year beginning in May and will expire on the last day of the following school year. If you are cleared for summer camp and/or practice, you are cleared for the entire school year.
My student has a doctor’s appointment to get her health physical, but it is 3 days after camp or practice starts. Can my student still participate?
No, students cannot participate until we have a completed athletic clearance/physical form on file. The physical exam should be completed after May 1st so that it is valid for the entire school year.
When do practices begin?
The coaches will arrange practice times to meet the CIF guidelines and when facilities and coaching staff are available. In a traditional year, Fall sports begin practice in August, winter in November, spring in February . Contact the team coach for specific practice dates and times.
Will my son/daughter receive course credit?
Yes, athletics is a course and is part of the regular school day. Students receive 2.5 credits and a grade for each quarter of participation. Grades are based on full participation and team work. The school district requires 2 years of Physical Education for graduation. Athletics meets this requirement.
Is there a minimum grade that student athletes must earn?
Yes, athletes must pass a minimum of 4 classes and maintain a 2.0 grade point average. The student’s grade point average on each Quarter Grade Report determines athletic eligibility. Grade 9 students are eligible at the start of the fall semester; however, the student’s Quarter 1 Grade Report must show that he or she is passing at least 4 classes and is earning a 2.0 GPA in order to continue as a member of the team. Athletes are allowed a one-time probation in their high school career, if the student is passing a minimum of 4 classes but not meeting the required GPA.
What is the time commitment for an athletic team sport?
Most students are scheduled for one period of athletics. In addition, the student is required to practice before or after school with the team and to attend all scheduled events during the team’s competitive season, including competitions held during the weekend or on a school holiday. The coach will provide practice times and the team’s calendar of events during a pre-season meeting.
If my family will be on vacation and my son will miss a few days of the summer camp, can he still be a member of the team?
What is the cost of participating in the athletics program?
As you are aware, schools throughout California have been severely impacted by a recent legal settlement that prohibits districts from charging fees to enroll in public school programs such as athletics during the school year. While some districts have opted to severely restrict their athletic programs, the Irvine Unified School District is seeking to preserve the valuable opportunity by asking for donations from participating families.
Athletic Team Sports are not paid for through general school funds. In fact, these programs are fully dependent on financial contributions from our participating families. Please know that a donation is not required to enroll, and families that choose to contribute may do so at any amount. However, your donations will help sustain these valuable programs. Conversely insufficient funding may result in modification and/or downsizing of our program. Our goal is to continue to offer a quality athletics program, and your donation will help support this goal.
UNI’s athletic program presents an incredible opportunity for our students. As such, we’re hoping our new funding model is enough to support a quality athletics program in 2020-2021 and for many years to come.
Will there be a pre-season meeting for my son/daughter’s team?
Yes, each head coach will hold a parent meeting. This is an important meeting that all parents should attend. The teams’ coaches will provide specific information related to their sport, information about the athletic program, expectations for students and parents, team policies, practice schedules and will answer questions. The date and time will be announced when the team roster is finalized.
What happens if my son/daughter decides he/she does not want to be on a team?
Commitment to the team is a key factor for students signing up to be a member of an athletic team and the expectation is that team members will fully participate throughout the season. Withdrawing from the team may result in an F on the student’s transcript. For extenuating circumstances, such as an injury early in the season, please contact the coach.
My student is a star player on a club team. Does this guarantee him or her a spot as a starter?
No. High School Athletics are not like AYSO or Little League. No one is guaranteed they will get to play in a game. All athletes will be given a fair chance to compete for a position. We feel being a member of an athletic team is what is most important. We have approximately 900 athletes that participate in our athletic programs. They aren’t enough starting positions for 900 athletes. But there is plenty of room for learning discipline, responsibility, handling adversity, and sportsmanship.
Can my son/daughter play a sport and be in the orchestra or band?
This will depend on the schedule for the sports and instrumental music program. Marching Band is a fall course and requires afterschool and summer practice which may interfere with a fall sport but not with a winter or spring sport. If there is a conflict during the freshmen year, please revisit your daughter’s interest and consult her counselor about fitting these into her 10th, 11th or 12th grade schedule.
What advice do you have for the parent of a student athlete?
The best advice we have is to support your student and his or her team by attending the games and being a positive role model. A good source for parents is the Athlete’s Parent Handbook, available on the district web page, in the Parent Resources link. In this handbook you will find useful information about athletic eligibility, conduct expectations for students and parents, and how to support your child. As stated in this handbook, high school athletics is truly co-curricular and is not a club program. The high school athletic program is designed and operated deliberately as a valued educational experience for all participating athletes. Competitive success is desired and valued, but is always secondary to the educational result.
Tell me about summer sports camps?
Summer is a good time to try out a sport, develop athletic skills and do the specific conditioning exercises needed for optimum performance as you prepare for the team tryouts. Summer Camps are offered by most sports. Our Camp Flyer offers prices, dates, and times for all summer camps offered. Many of our coaches will post welcome videos for freshmen to view online. We encourage future Trojans to check them out.
To participate in a summer camp, each student will need to complete the clearance process at www.athleticclearance.com. The athletic clearance is valid for one school year.
What is the Off Season Sports course?
When an athletic team’s coach is not available to provide off season practice, students are assigned to the general Off Season Sports (OSS) course. For freshmen, only Fall Sports team members may sign up for the Off Season Team Sports. Students earn a grade and credit for this course and full participation is expected. Some freshman, who are in summer camps may be put on the roster of OSS by their coach, for fall, winter, and spring sports teams. If not, all freshman who are not in a fall sport will be assigned COED PE for the fall semester. After tryouts in September and January, the coach provides the counselor and athletics office with an official roster, the counselors will then adjust student schedules to fit the athletic class into their schedule.
How can parents help as team parent volunteers?
Parent volunteers are needed in many areas, such as helping with the snack bars, team dinners, filming, and set-ups/break downs and at the UNI sponsored tournaments. Booster clubs are parent support groups for the athletic teams helping with team fundraising efforts. More information will be provided at the team’s pre-season meeting.