Sports Handbook

Trinity Lutheran Schools

Centralia, Hoffman, Hoyleton Co-op

Athletics Program



Trinity Lutheran Defenders

Trinity Lutheran Schools

Centralia, Hoffman, Hoyleton Co-op

Athletics Program Handbook

Table of Contents

  1. Rationale
  2. Student and Parent Sports Pledge
  3. Objectives of Program
  4. Sports Offered
  5. Expectations of Program
  6. Eligibility
  7. Expectations of Student Athletes
  8. Expectations of Parents & Families
  9. Expectations of Coaches and Athletic Director
  10. Chain of Command (Order of authority)
  11. Parental Communication
  12. Misc. Items

1. Rationale

Interscholastic athletics at Trinity Lutheran Schools (Centralia, Hoffman, Hoyleton) are an important part of educating the total child. Our program exposes students to team activities and provides opportunities for them to learn and gain from the experience of competition that are found on the field and court. It is here and under these conditions that an athlete can put into practice the Christian values and ethics taught in our classrooms and in their church.

I Corinthians 10:31 tells us, "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God."

The schools, in partnership with the parents, seek to minister to the student athlete by teaching Christian sportsmanship and instilling the attitude that one can both win and lose with dignity, and without boasting or excuse. Young athletes on the playing field use their God given talents to bring Him glory and honor. By practicing good sportsmanship, an attitude of wanting to do their very best, cooperation and teamwork with fellow team members, self-discipline and dedication, the Trinity athlete makes the statement to everyone watching that they are ultimately on God’s team and they play to win praise for God.

The teams and schools our children compete against have the same general attitude toward interscholastic athletics, we look forward to enjoyable, competitive contests. We expect our players, coaches, and spectators to conduct themselves in a Christian manner at these contests.

Trinity Lutheran Schools Co-op of Centralia, Hoffman, and Hoyleton are members of the Little Eight Conference and members of the Southern Illinois Junior High School Athletic Association (SIJHSAA). The team also participates in the Lutheran Sports Association (LSA) tournaments when teams applying are accepted.

2. Student/Parent Christian Sports Pledge

It is the goal of the coaches, teachers, and the administration to assist all students in their spiritual, physical, and mental growth. They desire that each student grow to be more like Christ and “increase in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” -- Luke 2:52 With this goal set before you, we ask you to carefully read and sign the following pledge in order that we may put God first.

We the undersigned are dedicated to Trinity Lutheran School’s athletic program as representatives of our Lord Jesus Christ.

We realize we will be expected to behave in a Christian fashion throughout the season.

We understand that family and friends that come to the games will be expected to behave in a manner appropriate for a program dedicated to living the faith we profess and attend worship on a regular basis.

We realize inappropriate behavior on the part of any athlete could result in a suspension or removal from the roster.

We will abide by the decisions made by the school concerning the athletic program of Trinity Lutheran School (Centralia, Hoffman, Hoyleton).

Signed: ______________________________________ Date:___________

Student Signature

Signed:_______________________________________ Date:___________

Parent Signature3. Objectives of Program

Trinity Athletes will:

-Recognize their talents as a blessing from God and will develop and use them in God pleasing ways

-Be given the opportunity to play as a child, not as an adult

-Learn the skills and strategies associated with each sport they participate in

-Unselfishly recognize and respect the talents and abilities of others on their team and in the competing teams

-Display the values of Christian sportsmanship

-Develop the understanding and attitude that trophies do not make the team a winner, instead everyone is a winner when they have done their best on the playing field or court

-Accept the responsibility for the hard work and commitment necessary for being part of a team

-Have fun through physical activity

4. Sports Offered

(*These sports are generally available to students in 5-8 grades. Exceptions can be made to include third or fourth grade if agreed upon by the coach, teacher, principal, and co-op board.

**These sports are not part of the Trinity Defenders Co-op and are handled by their respective schools.)

Cross Country** Grades 4 - 8

JV Volleyball * Grades 5 – 7

Varsity Volleyball* Grades 5 – 8

Baseball Grades 6 – 8

Softball * Grades 5 – 8

Pee Wee Basketball** Grades 3 – 5

JV Basketball * Grades 5 – 7

Varsity Basketball Grades 5 – 8

Track** Grades 4 – 8

Scholar Bowl** Grades 5 – 8

Cheerleaders Grades 5 – 8

5. Expectations of Programs

**Pee Wee – This is the entry level, the learning stage, for this sport. The main purpose for this level is to learn the fundamentals and skills of the game. Provided that they meet eligibility requirements, all students at this level play in every game. However, they will not necessarily get equal playing time. Although winning the game is a goal, participation and experience are the main goals. **This sport is not part of the Trinity Defenders Co-op.

JV Team – This may be the entry level for some of our sports. As such the learning of fundamentals and skills of the game are important at this level. Provided that they meet eligibility requirements each child will have an opportunity to gain playing time based on attendance and hard work at practice. Winning, participation, and experience are to be considered by each coach at this level – in order to create a meaningful opportunity for each player.

Varsity – These teams apply all of their experience and ability to winning the game. Teaching of skills will continue to be stressed. Although everyone will have an opportunity to play it is possible that not every athlete will have the chance to play in every game. The game is played with the intention of bringing home an honorable victory. Players wishing to compete at the Varsity Team level are encouraged to develop their skills more fully through summer leagues, camps, etc.

6. Eligibility

Although Trinity Lutheran Schools (Centralia, Hoffman, Hoyleton) are primarily academic institutions, the schools seek to provide any interested student the opportunity of joining one or more of our athletic teams. Students may participate in our athletic programs (games and practices) if:

  • Physical examinations must be completed and filed in the school office for students to participate in any Trinity athletic team (includes practices).
  • A current Student/Parent Christian Sports Pledge on file in the office.
  • A cumulative average of 70% or above in all subjects is maintained (Special student circumstances may preclude academic criteria. Principal has authority to make this decision.)
  • No failing grade in any one subject
  • Proper conduct and behavior are displayed in school at all times
  • After team formation, additions to roster require Co-op Board Approval.

Students participating in an extra-curricular activity and are not meeting the academic requirements in one subject or have an overall average below 70% will be given a weekly report.

A student who has been tested, has a learning disability, and/or has an IEP (Individual Education Plan) will be graded on his/her own standard. The student will be allowed to participate in extracurricular activities if he/she has a 70% or higher average.

Where completion of assignments, quality effort, and conduct become a problem the teacher will notify the student, parent and principal. In these cases the following guidelines will apply:

Temporary Suspension

The grades of each athlete are checked at the mid-terms and the end of the quarters. If the grades for any student fall below a 70% average for all subject areas or failing in any one subject, the parents and student are notified, and the students will be placed on a one-week suspension. If at the end of that week the student’s grades meet the above criteria, the student is again eligible. If at the end of that week the grades are still below the criteria, the student is ineligible until the end of the next grading period (mid-term or quarter). The student on suspension may not participate in practices or games.

Any student who has not consistently turned in homework assignments may be receiving a temporary suspension. The Principal will determine these suspensions with the aid of the teacher. Any student who is disrespectful to a teacher or staff member may be suspended for up to one game for each occurrence.

Any student who has failed to obey team rules established by the coach may also be suspended for up to one game. The Athletic Director and/or the Principal will determine these suspensions with the aid of the coach.

A student who displays unsportsmanlike conduct (such as receiving a technical foul in basketball, or being given a warning by an official in other athletic events) shall be ineligible for the next event (game/meet match). The student (not parents or coach) may appeal to the principal if there are extenuating circumstances.

Removal from the roster

Repeated violations or serious inappropriate conduct may result in a student’s removal from a team roster. The Athletic Director and/or the Principal will determine the removal.


Any student sent home due to illness on the day of a game or practice may not participate in that game or practice. Per the school attendance policy, they are to be fever free for 24 hours prior to returning to school or school events. Students who miss school on Friday due to illness will not be allowed to play in games on Saturday.

The principal may grant an absent student permission to play based on extenuating circumstances (funeral, family emergency, etc…)

Excused absences such as dance lessons, private music lessons, activities such as Boy Scouts, or conflicting school activities may result in missing a practice. In these situations playing time may be reduced at the discretion of the coach.

School Sports teams take precedence over outside sports teams

Every athlete participating in a Trinity Lutheran School sport may participate in the same sport outside of school if it occurs during the same season, providing Trinity remains first priority. Co-op Board gives the principal authority to determine consequences if conflicts with this arise.

Participation Policy

Players must be students enrolled in Trinity Lutheran School (Centralia, Hoffman, Hoyleton), so that we may retain eligibility for state competition (Lutheran and Illinois).

7. Expectations of Student Athletes

  • Team players are representing their Lord and school. They will do this in a Christ-like manner.
  • Players will show respect for property when visiting other schools.
  • Players will try their best, but not make winning their most important goal, but rather that they display Christian action.
  • Players will win with humility and lose with grace.
  • Players are not to question the decisions of referees, but accept that the referees are doing their best and abide by their decisions graciously.
  • Players will play within the rules and keep a fair sense of play.
  • Players may never use crude, vulgar, or un-Christian Language.
  • Players are to be polite to opposing coaches and teams.
  • Players will never belittle or make fun of the other players.
  • Players will respect their coaches as their parents’ representative.
  • Failure to follow any of the above could result in a suspension from the team.

8. Expectations of Parents & Families

  • Spectators at games should at all times behave in a Christian manner.
  • Cheering should always be positive.
  • Fans who are parents should give a Christian witness to their children on the team.
  • Fans at all times should show respect for the referees.
  • Spectators should encourage one another to behave in a Christian manner.
  • Fans should respect others property when visiting other schools.
  • Spectators should be kind and polite to opposing teams, coaches, and fans.
  • Parents of players should instruct their children that their Christian witness and fair play are more important than winning.
  • Fans should be humble in victory and gracious in defeat.
  • Rude, vulgar, and un-Christian language by spectators will not be tolerated.
  • Parents should maintain close supervision of younger siblings.

9. Expectations of Coaches and Athletic Director

Coaches and the Athletic Director represent our Lord, the school, parents, and teachers when with players.

Therefore coaches will:

  • Represent their Lord in appearance, attitude, and action.
  • Emphasize as their main goal the development of Christian attitudes toward athletics through team devotions on a regular basis.
  • Coaches should discipline athletes who are not demonstrating Christian behavior by removing them from the competition.
  • Consent to go through a background check conducted by the principal
  • Work with the Athletic Director to set up schedules.
  • Submit requested practice times to the Principal weekly. This will allow time to schedule the use of the gym for all teams so that any conflicts may be avoided.
  • Attend a pre-season meeting with the Athletic Director and the principal for the purpose of reviewing expectations, schedules and procedures.
  • Be responsible for submitting game information for press release to the Co-op Board Media representative,
  • Question referees’ decisions only in a God pleasing manner.
  • Demonstrate by their speech and action a proper game behavior to their players and fans.
  • Never use rude and vulgar language.
  • Will instruct players about the proper respect of property when visiting other schools.
  • Coaches will be responsible for the orderliness of the locker room and check it prior to allowing players to leave.
  • Submit request for needed supplies to the Athletic Director or principal.

The Athletic Director will:

  • Set up schedules and have them approved prior to distribution to coaches, players, and families.
  • Follow the guidelines of the SIJHSAA for the recommended maximum number of games and tournaments for each season.
  • Any deviation from the original approved schedule will need to be reviewed and approved. With the exception of last minute changes due to weather or other unexpected conflicts - AD will reschedule.
  • In a situation where an extraordinary season record has been achieved that provides an opportunity for advancement and additional games past the recommended number, the Athletic Director and coach need to contact the principals of each school (Centralia, Hoffman, Hoyleton), receive approval from the co-op board, and then proceed to contact families and players about the opportunity.
  • The Athletic Director will arrange for the use of facilities for practices. The coach may contact the principal directly to schedule the gym.
  • Coaches shall be selected by the AD, co-op board, and principal by the beginning of the school year, and approved by the appropriate board. It is recommended that coaches be selected with the following priorities:
    • Knowledgeable and Skilled in the sport they are coaching, a member of school staff, a volunteer parent of a student in the school, a parent of someone that used to be in school here, other volunteers that have a heart for the development of student athletes and support the school.
  • Volunteer coaches need to be aware of school procedures and if anything is unclear as to rules/limits/ boundaries/ expectations, etc. they should check with the AD prior to moving ahead.
  • Attend a pre-season meeting with the Coaches and/or the principal prior to the beginning of practices for the purpose of reviewing expectations, schedules and procedures.
  • Assist in budgeting for supplies and uniforms.
  • Make sure that adequate volleyballs, baseballs, softballs, bats, basketballs, track equipment, and score books are available.

10. Chain of Command (Order of authority)

Since we are all working together for the benefit of our children let us make good use of the encouragement we get from God in Matthew 18. If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over.

We understand that not every concern that parents or coaches have will deal with sin. However, we believe that Matthew 18 shows a clear chain of command to be followed. So that steps can be taken in a systematic way, this chain of command (order of authority) has been developed and may be helpful in situations that may arise.

Order for parents to seek answers to questions:

  1. Coach (Individual Sport Coach)
  2. Athletic Director
  3. Principal
  4. Board of Education or Co-op Board if applicable

11. Parental Communication

Coaches Communication to Parents

The following are ideas that may help you, as parents know what to expect from our coaches. Coaches should:

  1. Share expectations of athletes at a pre-season meeting.
  2. Location and time of all practices and games.
  3. Team requirements, i.e. practices, special equipment, out-of-season conditioning, etc.
  4. Injury – if an injury takes place that the coach is aware of they should bring it to the attention of the parents. If an obvious injury has taken place the coach shall take the athlete out of the game for the safety and health of the student.
  5. Discipline – if an athlete is being disciplined, by the coach, for any serious offense the coach should make sure the parents are aware the offense and disciplinary measures to take place.

Parents Communication to Coaches

  1. Concerns regarding coaching practices and expectations should be expressed to the coach during a scheduled appointment which can include the Athletic Director and Principal as necessary.
  2. Immediate notification of any scheduling conflicts

Appropriate topics for parents to discuss with coaches:

  1. Treatment of child mentally and physically
  2. Ways for child to improve
  3. Concerns about child’s behavior

Inappropriate topics for parents to discuss with coaches:

  1. Playing time
  2. Team strategy
  3. Play calling
  4. Other student athletes

12. Miscellaneous Items


Uniforms are the property of Trinity Lutheran School Co-op(Centralia, Hoffman, Hoyleton). Proper care of uniforms is expected. Uniforms should not be worn through the day at school. Washed and cleaned uniforms shall be returned to the school office one week after the conclusion of the season. Uniforms that are lost or damaged will be the responsibility of the athlete and his/her parents. Parents will be expected to pay the replacement cost of the uniform. If a uniform is damaged during a practice or a game the coach will determine the responsibility.


Transportation to and from games is the responsibility of the parents. If a parent is unable to attend a game, please make arrangements for your child. Coaches will assist in helping arrange carpooling if possible.

Church Attendance

As all students attending Trinity Lutheran school, our student athletes are strongly encouraged to attend a weekend worship service. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another… Hebrews 10:25

Practice and Game Guidelines

  • Practice is an important part of being a member of a team. Coaches have the right to determine playing time based on practice time and effort put in by the student athlete.

  • The coach will hand out a printed schedule of all games and practices as soon as possible to the players and the school office.

  • Practices and/or games shall be limited to five times(days) a week. Practices may not be scheduled in open conflict with a co-op school’s church event. Players may not be penalized for attending a church service.

  • Wednesday practices and/or games shall be avoided for the purpose of evening services and other midweek activities at all of the churches associated with our school.

  • If season games/meets/matches/tournaments/practices are scheduled to take place on a day when school has been cancelled, the AD and principals will have discretion in making decisions related to play.

  • Athletic teams are a part of the school program not apart from it. The co-op board reserves the right to review schedules and procedures to ensure that all is done in good order and for the good of the school, its students and its families.

  • Students shall not be expected to practice more than 2 hours per day during regular or overlapping seasons.

  • Overlapping seasons
  • The sport that has games scheduled during that week will have priority for practices during the week.
  • A student shall not be expected to practice more than 2 hours per day during overlapping seasons.
  • The sport with game takes precedence over the sport with practice when scheduled on the same day.
  • During overlapping sport seasons, a student may play and/or practice up to 6 days/week between the two sports.
  • Each sport may start practices up to 4 weeks prior to the first scheduled game in any sport for that season.
  • If playing overlapping sports, students/parents may be required to identify the priority sport.

Spirit Wear

  • School spirit wear shall be approved and sold through the school and made available to the entire church/school community.

*Realizing that there may be unusual circumstances that arise from year to year the above guidelines may be modified with the recommendation of the AD and Principal and approval of the Co-op Board.


SIJHSAA Website for bylaws, rules and regulations:

Lutheran Sports Association of Illinois:

Approved August 29, 2019 by the Trinity Defenders Co-op Board