PSAL Sets Requirements For Student Athletes

By Jared Hwee ’19, Hajira Ishtiaq ’19, and Gina Zhen ’19

Sports teams require hard work and dedication in both academics and the athletics. Grade requirements are set for students to be eligible for the team.

According to the Public Schools Athletic League (PSAL), the eligibility for a team starts with the 5+1 rule. The rule states that students must pass at least five classes along with a physical education class and have a grade point average of at least 65 per semester in order to join or stay on any team.

“You have to pass ten classes for the year, including physical education. Out of the ten, six should be major classes,” said Mr. Anthony Odita, the AP of Physical Education and the boys varsity football team coach. He encourages his team to go even higher and maintain a 75 average in all of their classes.

Students are only allowed to be on one team unless the two team’s schedules don’t overlap. Meaning student athletes cannot participate in two sports that are in the same season unless they’re in different seasons. For example, basketball is in the fall, while volleyball is in the spring preventing schedules from overlapping.

Along with good grades, students must also be committed to the team as a member and attend practices. Student athletes cannot be absent for more than three times during their sport’s season. Many times these practice hours make it stressful for students who are on teams to find time to finish their homework and study for tests. Students must manage their time properly and can’t slack off due to time limitations. This rule doesn’t punish students who have excused absences due to medical reasons or the death of a family member. A student athlete who fails to meet these requirements are taken off their team.

“I think the rules are fair,” stated Daniil Frolov ’19, a member of the Midwood track team. “It gives high school students a chance to focus on their education as well as do a sport they like.”

Which begs the question, what happens to a student athlete who does not follow these guidelines?

Students can be punished in either two ways: by being suspended or being taken off their team’s roster. Students who are suspended are not allowed to take part in any team activities. This includes team practices, scrimmages, league or non-league games, meets, contests or try-outs during the period of their suspension.

This is different from being kicked off a team because students who are taken off their team for failing to meet the requirements, are immediately placed in regular gym. Students are unable to rejoin the team until the next season and no exceptions are made to this rule. Students who are kicked off the team may however try out again next year to join the team again.

Ari Gonzalez ’18 is currently a member of the Midwood handball team and was taken off the team because he had four absences during the second semester. These absences were not medically excused and therefore, he was penalized for not having the required attendance.

“I was taken out of the season and I joined again the following year,” Gonzalez said. “I learned my lesson and took the requirements seriously.”

Many of the teams at Midwood must travel all across the five boroughs in order to go to games, high school division competitions and or go to practices. Therefore, as a student athlete of Midwood, student athletes become representatives of the school.

“I expect students who join the team to show good time management and appropriate behavior,”said Mrs. Kimberly Lau, coach of the Midwood handball team.

Being on a sports team requires a lot of hardwork and dedication. It can often be difficult and overwhelming at times for students to manage their schoolwork and sports team. However, they still try their best all while being supported by their team members and coaches.  

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