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Southmoreland board to vote on 2014-15 athletics policy

| Friday, Aug. 8, 2014, 5:09 p.m.

Southmoreland School Board is expected to vote on an athletics policy at its next meeting.

The policy establishes various criteria for the district's sports teams, such as participation eligibility and requirements to earn a varsity letter.

The policy must be approved annually.

For example, a member of the Southmoreland football team would receive a letter if he participates in at least half of the varsity quarters under the terms of the policy. The same rule applies for boys and girls basketball and boys and girls soccer.

For baseball and softball, athletes must participate in half of the innings or be a starting or relief pitcher. Tennis and golf team members must participate in half of the matches. Wrestlers must earn nine points or start six matches; swimmers must earn six points per meet; cross-country team members must place first through fifth in three varsity meets; and those on the track team must earn seven points in varsity competition.

When an athlete earns two letters in the same sport or three total letters, he or she will receive a jacket.

The stipulations and others will be voted on when the board meets at 7 p.m. Aug. 14 in the middle school cafeteria.

The school district's stated goal regarding sports is to “build winning programs and promote sportsmanship.”

“It's going in the right direction,” said Director Levi Miller at the meeting. “One of the goals is to increase participation. ... One of the ways in getting an increase in participation is by having achievement, winning. The two go together.”

Earlier this year, the board voted to reinstate ninth-grade basketball.

Also expected on the Aug. 14 agenda is to select voting delegates for the Pennsylvania School Boards Association assembly. This year's meeting is Oct. 21 in Hershey.

Director Gail Rhodes, the board's PSBA representative, said she is open to be one of the delegates.

Paul Paterra is a staff editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-887-6101 or ppaterra@tribweb.com.

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