C.17. Athletics Information for Faculty

A. The Intercollegiate Athletics Program

1. All regularly enrolled undergraduates are eligible for participation in intercollegiate athletics in accordance with the eligibility rules of the following organizations in which Middlebury maintains membership: National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC), and Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC).

2. Faculty Responsibility: The College recognizes that intercollegiate athletics have an important and desirable role in a liberal arts college. The faculty is responsible for seeing that the intercollegiate athletic program is a well-integrated part of the entire educational endeavor. Through the Athletic Policy Committee, the faculty regulates various phases of the intercollegiate athletic program, including athletic schedules and class absences permitted for participation in intercollegiate athletics.

3. The Basic Principles governing intercollegiate athletics at Middlebury and all NESCAC institutions follow:

a. The program in intercollegiate athletics is to be kept in harmony with the educational purposes of the institution.

b. To maximize opportunities for students to participate in more than one intercollegiate sport and to keep the proper perspective on the role of athletics, limitations are placed upon the number of contests, as well as the starting and terminal dates for practice and competition.

c. Competing players are to be representative of the student body.

d. The academic authority of the College is to control intercollegiate athletic policy.

e. Developing programs will be allowed some latitude within the spirit of the NESCAC Agreement.

4. The routine administration of rules regarding intercollegiate policy, as they apply to students, shall be the responsibility of the director of athletics in consultation with the Dean of the College.

5. In an effort to provide opportunities for wide participation in intercollegiate athletics, Middlebury maintains, where possible, a junior varsity program, for which all undergraduates are eligible. No student will participate in more contests in any sport than the total number of varsity games scheduled. The Athletic Policy Committee must approve any exceptions to this general rule.

6. Limitations of Schedules: Competition (in season) starting dates:

Fall 
a. 
Start Date
i. 
Cross Country, Field Hockey, Soccer and Vollyball: The Tuesday after Labor Day.

ii. Golf and Tennis: September 7 or seven calendar days after the start of classes, whichever comes first.

iii. Football: The starting date shall be determined by counting back nine Saturdays from the second Saturday in November (with the second Saturday in November counting as one).

b. End Date: The second full weekend (Sat-Sun) in November.

Winter
a. Start Date: The Friday immediately preceding Thanksgiving.

i. Exception - Winter sports may begin on November 15 when the Friday before Thanksgiving falls on November21 or 22 (and Thanksgiving falls on November 27 or 28).

b. End Date: The second full weekend (Sat-Sun) in March.

Spring
a. Start Date: The second Saturday in March.

i. Exceptions
1. If spring vacation falls before the second Saturday in March, the starting date would be the first day of spring vacation. 
2. Men's and women's lacrosse may begin on the first Saturday in March.
3. Men's and women's tennis may begin on the first Saturday in March when the second Saturday falls on March 14.

b. End Date: The second full weekend (Sat-Sun) in May or the last day of classes, whichever is later.

7. Limitations on Number of Playing Dates or Events (not including qualifying tournaments or alumni games): The institution should determine the optimum number of playing dates or contests, which may be fewer than the maximum number allowed under conference regulations.

Fall

Varsity

Scrimmage Dates

JV

Cross-Country

9 dates

0

-

Field Hockey

15 games

1

7

Football

9 games

0

6

Soccer

15 games

1

7

Volleyball

20 dates

1

-

Tennis#

14 dates

0

-

Golf#

16 dates

0

-

Fall and/or spring combined total not to exceed one season limit

Winter

Varsity

Scrimmage Dates

JV

Basketball

24 games*

 

 

Hockey

24 games*

0

12

Indoor Track

10 dates

0

-

Squash

15 dates

0

-

Swimming

11 dates

1

-

Skiing

16 dates

  

* Including preseason scrimmages and vacation games

Spring (while College is in session)

Varsity

Scrimmage Dates

JV

Baseball

36 contests

0

-

Softball

16 dates/24 games

0

-

Lacrosse

15 games

1

6

Track and Field

8 events

0

-

Tennis#

14 dates

0

-

Golf#

16 dates

0

-

# Fall and/or spring combined total not to exceed one season limit

Notes

a. No home athletic contests shall be played before 3:00 p.m. except on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays or by special permission of the Athletic Policy Committee and the dean of the College. No intercollegiate athletic contests will be scheduled for Monday evenings. Refer to Chapter 3, Section VI. G. Attendance of this Handbook for the "Guidelines for Explained Absences" revised and approved by the Athletic Policy Committee in January 2002.

b. The Athletic Policy Committee encourages the scheduling of JV athletic contests for Saturdays.

c. The total number of B or JV athletic contests and the number of away games are subject to continual review by the Athletic Policy Committee.

d. Throughout the college year, those days following the end of formal classes but before the beginning of the formal examination period, will be considered as class time for purposes of scheduling intercollegiate athletic competitions. No regular-season athletic events may be scheduled during the examination period.

e. All candidates for athletic teams must be given a physical screening at the beginning of each season, and no candidate may be a member of any team without a certificate of his or her physical qualifications.

f. The College does not assume legal responsibility for the expense in caring for injuries sustained by athletes while training for or participating in athletic competition or intramural activities.

B. Guidelines for Handling Athletics-Explained Absences

The list of scheduled athletics contests you receive several times a year from the director of Athletics has been approved by the Athletic Policy Committee of the faculty (APC) acting under guidelines set forth in the Middlebury College Handbook. This list tells you when legitimate absences from class may be expected by students because they are involved in a sanctioned athletic event scheduled for that date. The APC regards these lists as informative. They are an explanation for an absence, but they do not imply that the student is excused from the obligations of a course or the class work missed.

Although faculty members are expected to make their policy on course attendance clear at the beginning of each course, it is the individual student's responsibility to consult with his or her instructor as to the effect of explained absences.

To the Professor:

Please read the guidelines for students and coaches in the following sections regarding "Explained Absences." Note that it is the student's responsibility to approach you in the first week of the course to identify possible conflicts between their athletics schedule and your course. However, it would be helpful if you, during the first week of classes, remind students of their obligation.

How you handle missed work is entirely up to you. However, it is the College's policy that athletics are an important part of a student's life at Middlebury. There are a number of possible solutions to missed work. For example, if a lab or discussion is missed, the student may be able to attend a different section meeting. If a paper is due, ask that the paper to be handed in prior to the student's leaving. If a lecture is to be missed, you may permit the student to record the lecture (with assistance from another student). We do recognize, however, that there are cases for which there is no satisfactory make-up possible. Please do your best to accommodate the student without sacrificing academic rigor.

After a student has approached you, please:

1. Identify work that will be missed.

2. Do your best to find a solution to missed material.

3. Communicate your decision clearly to the student. When a student has approached you at the beginning of a semester regarding conflicts, it is your responsibility to communicate your decision on missed work before the end of the drop/add period.

Please note that if a student is involved in a winter or spring season sport, they may not be aware of scheduling conflicts until the semester or term is underway. Again, it is the student's responsibility to approach you as soon as his or her schedule is set to make arrangements regarding missed work, and it is your responsibility to communicate in a timely manner your decision on how to handle the missed work.

Additionally, at the beginning of the semester, you are encouraged to make students aware of any important class activities that will fall outside the normal class schedule of Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-4:15 p.m. and Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday 7:30-10:25 p.m.

Note that missing a regularly scheduled class for a practice in no way constitutes an explained absence and is not expected or mandated by coaching faculty.

To the Student:

You should be given a list of dates and times of scheduled games by your coach no later than the first day of classes in any term or semester in which you are involved in a varsity/junior varsity sport, or in the case of winter or spring season sports, by whichever comes first, the first preseason meeting or the first day of practice (November 1 for winter, February 15 for spring). Compare each class schedule with your schedule of games. For any course in which you see a potential conflict between academic and athletic schedules, it is your responsibility to contact the professor during the first week of class, or as soon as the scheduling conflicts are known (for example, in the case of winter season sports that begin late in the fall term) and:

1. Identify times of conflict.

2. Together arrive at an understanding of how missed work/class might be made up.

Please note:

1. Professors will do their best to accommodate your needs within reason.

2. The professor will make the final decision as to how the missed work is to be made up. In cases where you approach the professor at the beginning of term, it is the professor's responsibility to arrive at this decision in time for you to drop/add if her/his decision is unsatisfactory to you. There are some cases for which there may be no satisfactory makeup possible.

3. Conflicts with official practices are also possible in the case of special class events, such as a guest lecturer. In such cases, you should discuss the situation with both your professor and your coach, and make a decision with full understanding of the ramifications of your decision.

4. Conflicts should be resolved through discussions between yourself, your professor, and your coach. If there are difficulties, you may consult with your Commons dean.

Note that missing a regularly scheduled class for a practice in no way constitutes an explained absence and is not expected or mandated by coaching faculty.

To the Coach:

Please read the statements for the students and the professors on the preceding sections and note your role in this process. We ask you to:

1. On or before the first day of each semester, or at the start of the season, give each student on the team you coach the list of contests that conflict with the normal 8 a.m.-4:15 p.m. Monday-Friday and Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday 7:30-10:25 p.m. class hours.

2. Remind students that it is their responsibility to contact each of their professors and identify potential time/work conflicts.

3. Explain to the students that there may be times when a practice needs to be missed for special class events (such as a guest lecturer). In such cases, the student should inform you of the potential conflict and discuss it with both you and the professor. It is important that students be able to make such decisions concerning conflicts with full information as to the ramifications of their decisions.

4. There will be times when it is in the best interest of the student to attend class rather than a game, and we encourage you to support the student in such a case.

We believe that your role as a coach is very important. Students often look more to their coaches than to their professors for guidance on these issues. It is important that you understand the College policy and do your best to help resolve conflicts between these two very important, but sometimes competing, aspects of students' lives at Middlebury.

To the Captains:

As a team leader, you should encourage your team members to meet with professors to discuss possible scheduling conflicts. Please ensure that your team members are aware of these guidelines on explained absences and understand that the process is one of negotiation among the coach, student, and professor.