Activities & Athletics Regulations

The JCPS superintendent or her designee shall administer the athletic policies and procedures as approved by the Jefferson County Board of Education (JCBE) and the Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA). The provisions in this manual shall be interpreted to be consistent with the authority of a school council as set forth in KRS 160.345 (2).

Age Restrictions—KHSAA

Per Bylaw 3, a student who turns 19 before August 1 shall be ineligible for interscholastic athletic competition. A student who turns 19 on or after August 1 shall remain eligible for the entire school year.

Basketball/Football Outside Play Restriction

Per Bylaw 9, any student who, after enrolling in grade nine, has been a contestant in football or basketball at any level and has eligibility remaining in that sport may not participate on any nonschool-sponsored team or in any all-star game in that sport or any variation of that sport from the first day of school through the last scheduled contest played in that sport (including KHSAA postseason play) by that school unless it has been sanctioned by the KHSAA Board of Control.

CPR/AED Requirement

Every coach at all levels in middle and high schools must be CPR and AED certified and up-to-date with this certification.  The full list of coach requirements can be found in Bylaw 25

Catastrophic Insurance Coverage

The KHSAA provides excess catastrophic insurance coverage for all student athletes at no cost to member schools for all KHSAA-sanctioned sports teams and cheerleaders. This plan has a $25,000 deductible. Student athletes will be covered under this plan effective the date parents complete and return the acknowledgment form to the school principal.

 This is an “excess” policy, meaning personal insurance and other school insurance policies are to be exhausted before this plan is implemented. The plan provides coverage for students who meet all eligibility requirements while engaging in, practicing for, or traveling to or from all activities under the jurisdiction of the KHSAA and the direct supervision of a school employee, and it has many other provisions and benefits. For KHSAA-sanctioned play, the deductible amount is reduced to $0.

Parents should present the KHSAA physical form to their child’s physician for his or her signature following his or her examination of the child. The examination is valid for participation in athletics for one year from the date signed. Parents should return the completed form to their child’s high school principal to be maintained by the school.

Cheer Regulations

All middle and high school competitive cheerleading teams in the district must abide by the following rules:

  • Each coach must complete the KHSAA medical symposium/sports safety requirement.

  • Each coach must complete the KHSAA/Kentucky Association of Pep Organization Sponsors (KAPOS) Rules and Regulations Clinic and join the association.

  • All JCPS cheer teams must enter the JCPS cheer competition. 

  • Coaches must organize and conduct tryouts. Panels, interviews, and teacher evaluations are not to be used in the selection process.

  • The coach will provide information and an opportunity to try out to all clinic participants.

  • The coach must conduct a clinic at the local school that will teach basic cheerleading techniques.

  • The coach must attend all practices and events.

  • The coach must attend scheduled sponsors’ meetings.

Coaches’ Requirements & Responsibilities

All coaches/sponsors are to be responsible for their participants and their equipment and are to be present at all practices/events unless excused by the principal. Coaches/Sponsors shall never leave supervision of practices or games with anyone not employed and under contract with JCPS.

Equipment must be collected and stored immediately upon the close of the season. Thorough inventories should be done prior to the season beginning and after the season ends. Coaches/Sponsors are responsible for maintaining school property, including uniforms and equipment.

Coaches/Sponsors must be available to parents to discuss team issues, although parents should recognize that it is within the coach’s/sponsor’s authority to determine the amount of a student athlete’s playing time.

Volunteer Coaches/Sponsors 

Volunteer coaches are not permitted in high school athletic programs. No volunteer who is assisting with a program may give any type of instruction to any student. A volunteer may, if cleared by the JCPS volunteer check, serve as a statistician or other support staff. Any volunteer coach at the middle school level must be fingerprinted.

Paraprofessional Coaches

Hiring of coaches shall adhere to all JCPS and KHSAA requirements. Coaches who are not certified teachers may be hired provided they meet all KHSAA and JCPS requirements. The KHSAA requirements for coaching can be found under Bylaw 25.

Code of Conduct


It is our goal to encourage everyone to judge the success of an extracurricular program on the basis of educational goals and the behavior of the participants and spectators rather than on the basis of the number of games won or lost. Our objectives are to encourage and promote friendly relationships and good sportsmanship throughout JCPS. These objectives will be accomplished by requiring courtesy and proper decorum at all times. By acquainting coaches/sponsors with ideals of good sportsmanship and by so publicizing these concepts and attitudes, all members of the school and community will understand their meaning. Sportsmanship is not inherent. It should be stressed that each coach/sponsor has a role in encouraging and promoting friendly relationships and good sportsmanship in our school community.

The coach/sponsor shall work with the school administrators, athletic directors, and teachers to ensure that each participant is fully aware of the academic standards approved by JCPS and the local school. He or she shall encourage team members to achieve academic success. The coach/sponsor shall serve as an example of fair play and sportsmanship toward all players, spectators, game officials, and other coaches. He or she must exemplify the highest moral character, behavior, and leadership on and off the field. The coach/sponsor shall promote ethical relationships among and between his or her constituents. He or she shall persevere to eliminate negative behavior that surfaces when left unchecked during competition. The coach/sponsor shall follow the National Federation of High Schools (NFHS) Code of Ethics. The coach/sponsor shall take an active role in the prevention of drug, alcohol, and tobacco abuse and, under no circumstances, should authorize their use. The coach/sponsor shall be thoroughly acquainted with all contest rules and interpret them properly to team members, parents, etc. The coach/sponsor shall respect and support contest officials. The coach/sponsor shall not indulge in conduct that will incite players or spectators against the officials. Public criticism of officials or players is unethical. The coach/sponsor shall not exert pressure on faculty members to give student-athletes special consideration, such as grades. The coach/sponsor shall never leave any students unattended without appropriate adult supervision.

It is unethical for coaches/sponsors to scout opponents by any means other than those adopted by JCPS and the KHSAA. Coaches/Sponsors shall not visit middle schools with the purpose of recruiting. Talking to middle school students or their parents in an attempt to recruit students is illegal and unethical. JCPS coaches/sponsors should always keep the common good of the JCPS District in mind when making decisions and dealing with opposing coaches.

Conflict of Interest/Use of Outside Athletic Facilities

Schools may use outside athletic facilities for practice once the following conditions are met:

  • No school may make payments exceeding $25 per year for the use of an outside practice facility (studio, gym, etc.) if any employee of the school district has a direct or indirect financial interest in the facility. See Board Policy GBCA.

  • An additional fee may be charged if a team goes to an off-site facility; however, a student who cannot pay will still be permitted to attend.

  • All practice sessions must be under the direct supervision of the coach/sponsor who is employed by the district.

  • Students must be transported to these facilities in accordance with the established district transportation policies.

  • Athletic insurance will cover only those injuries that occur during established, school-designated practice times.

  • If practices at outside facilities are voluntary, roll should not be taken and attendance should not be recorded.

Dance/Drill Regulations

Middle & High

  • Teams must compete in the JCPS competition.

  • Teams not participating in the JCPS competition may not compete outside Jefferson County.

  • All potential team candidates must complete clinic and tryout procedures each year.

  • High school organized practice begins with the KHSAA official practice date of July 15.

  • Each individual school will be responsible for its own official tryouts each year and will decide on uniforms and accessories.

Eligibility Issues

Student Academic Eligibility

  • Students must be on grade level the first day of school to participate that school year. Credits may be made up and a student could regain eligibility per after successful completion of a trimester or semester.    

  • Students must be in school a minimum of three hours to participate that day unless approved by the school principal.

  • Students must be passing 4 hours of instruction to be eligible the next week per KHSAA requirements.  This means 4 of 6 classes or 5 of 7.

  • Grades for all students must be checked weekly on a consistent day.

  • A school’s School-Based Decision Making (SBDM) Council may adopt stricter academic requirements than the KHSAA. Contact your local school athletic director or principal to get a copy of your school’s requirements.

  • Students not cleared by the athletic director due to grades or transfer may not participate in any type of activity.

Employment of Coaches

All coaches who have been recommended to be hired by a school must have the following:

  • A completed online coaching application

  • A contract signed by the coach, athletic director, and principal

  • Proof of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and automated external defibrillator (AED) certification

  • A state and federal criminal records check with fingerprints

  • A Child Abuse and Neglect (CAN) check

  • A passing score on the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) coaches’ test course

  • Completion of the KHSAA Sports Safety Course.

  • I-9 Form

  • Character First training

  • Two forms of ID are not turned into the Athletics Office.  This is collected at The Welcome Cener when they complete their onboarding paperwork

  • A Direct Deposit Form

  • Submission of official college transcript with  64+ college hours or completion of the GE 40 Form and all required NFHS courses

  • Employment Information Release Authorization

Any head coach who is terminated from his or her coaching position will not be permitted to be a head coach for a minimum of one year. The coach must serve as an assistant with a favorable evaluation from the principal before being considered for another JCPS head coaching position.


Students should not participate in fundraising activities without parental consent or prior to team selection. All fundraisers must be approved by the principal and be in compliance with JCPS fundraising policies. All money should be accounted for through multiple receipts and fundraiser summary forms. Coaches/Sponsors are accountable for the money that they have raised. Individual student accounts are not permissible.  All coaches must be knowledgable of Kentucky Accounting Procedures for all school accounts.  Those can be found in the REDBOOK.

Goals & Objectives

The Activities and Athletics Department aims to help all students and school staff:

  • Increase their knowledge of skills in a particular area by actively participating in the school activity, contest, or program.

  • Develop a realistic, positive attitude toward themselves and the local school and a feeling of belonging and community.

  • Have a positive attitude toward the value of extracurricular activities.

  • Be aware of the rules and regulations that govern athletic programs.

  • Involve as many students in extracurricular activities as possible. 

Heat Index Requirement—KHSAA

All KHSAA coaches/sponsors are required to adhere to KHSAA/KMA heat index requirements as outlined on the KHSAA website. Coaches/Sponsors must be cognizant of all issues relating to the safety of their student athletes at all times. Moreover, on ozone action days or air quality alert days, coaches/sponsors should take any and all necessary precautions to protect students who are vulnerable to those pollutants. Both fall and spring sports are affected by this requirement.

Holiday/Sunday Play

No practice sessions or games are permitted in any school on Sundays or legal holidays without prior approval from the Executive Director of Activities and Athletics.

No player will be penalized for missing practice during family vacation (one week) if he or she has a valid reason and has cleared his or her absence in advance with the coach for the sport involved.

Individual High School Sports Policies

The following policies apply to all sports:

  • No one except the principal or athletic director may schedule or cancel athletic events. 

  • All KHSAA events must have a signed KHSAA contract prior to the event occurring. There are no verbal contracts, and the official KHSAA contract must be used for all events. 

  • The JCPS Master Schedule must be followed. Any changes to the Master Schedule must be agreed upon by all participating schools.

  • Schools are bound by scrimmage limitations in all sports, including non-KHSAA sports, such as lacrosse, ice hockey, etc.

  • Schools should be knowledgeable of the limit on the number of contests allowed and closely adhere to those limits.

  • Students in their last year of high school eligibility are not eligible to compete at the junior varsity (JV) level.

Schools must be well-versed in all KHSAA polices regarding individual sport restrictions. Please review the policies for each sport.

Student Transfers and Athletic Participation

JCPS & KHSAA Transfer Policies

Transferring students must be cleared through the JCPS Office of Activities and Athletics and the KHSAA. During the transfer process, students may practice and play JV and/or freshman in any sport. Moreover, students are onlyineligible at the varsity level in sports that they have played at the varsity level. The KHSAA Transfer Policy and exceptions can be found under KHSAA Bylaw 6.

After enrolling in any JCPS high school, any student who is granted a transfer will be ineligible for athletic participation, regardless of prior participation, for one calendar year from date of transfer until reviewed by the Executive Director of Activities and Athletics. These students may practice with the team and play at lower levels. This rule is in addition to and stricter than the KHSAA Transfer Rule. All JCPS-to-JCPS transfers must be sent to the district's director of Activities and Athletics for approval.

Sports Safety Video

All students and at least one parent/legal guardian must watch the JCPS Sports Safety course video and sign a form stating that they have watched it and understand its content. Parents must see this video one time in middle school and one time in high school. Student athletes must review the video on a yearly basis.

KHSAA Rules Clinic Requirement

All coaches/sponsors in KHSAA-sanctioned sports are required to complete the KHSAA-sponsored rules clinic in the sport in which they are involved. Failure to do so may result in the coach not being permitted to coach/sponsor in postseason play.  Failure to complete the rules clinic in a timely fashion wil result in a KHSAA fine.

KHSAA Sports Safety Course Requirement

All coaches/sponsors and any other person who assists with any element of any athletic program, including all club sports, school-sponsored activities, cheer, and band, shall successfully complete the KHSAA Sports Safety Course approved by the KHSAA every two years.

Middle School Athletic Participation

Middle School Students Playing Up

Determination of athletic eligibility shall be made in compliance with applicable administrative regulations and Kentucky High School Athletic Association requirements. Any student who transfers enrollment from a district of residence to a nonresident district shall be ineligible to participate in interscholastic athletics for one (1) calendar year from the date of transfer.

Non-JCPS Student Participation

Non-JCPS/Alternative School Student Participation on JCPS Teams Prohibited

No home-schooled, private, or parochial students—or students attending a JCPS alternative school—may participate on any JCPS athletic team per KHSAA Bylaw 4

Open Gym/Open Field Prohibited

There is no allowable time for JCPS schools to have open gym or open field as defined by the KHSAA. Community use of school facilities must comply with JCPS policies and procedures.

Overnight and/or Out-of-District Trips

For any activity, overnight and/or out-of-district trips must be planned in advance and approved by the principal and copied to the Executive Director of Activities and Athletics. If an approved common carrier is used, the JCPS Transportation Department must be notified ([502] 485-3470) at least two weeks before the trip. These trips must be approved by the JCBE. Late requests can be approved only by the superintendent or a designee.

No school time may be lost for travel to or participation in athletic events, cheer, or dance competitions except for KHSAA state contests. All out-of-state tournaments and other events must be KHSAA-sanctioned events.

Parent Meeting/Team Rules

All coaches/sponsors must hold an annual preseason parent meeting to discuss JCPS and KHSAA rules and policies so that these are clear before problems arise. Parents should sign in to confirm attendance. Coaches/Sponsors are encouraged to have a clear agenda that articulates rules, policies, fundraising, etc.

Physical Exam, Parent Permission, Concussion

All athletic participants, including cheer and dance, must have on file an up-to-date KHSAA physical examination, a notarized statement indicating parental permission, a signed concussion statement, and a receipt indicating parental understanding of KHSAA eligibility rules. A physical exam is good for one calendar year and must be performed by an approved provider as outlined in KHSAA Bylaw 12.

Positive Motivation & Character First!

Coaches/Sponsors should always use positive motivational strategies when dealing with students. The use of profanity is never acceptable. Using negative reinforcement, name calling, threatening, or other tactics should be avoided. JCPS school athletics are an educational experience and should always be treated as such. Character First! All coaches/sponsors are required to attend a positive motivation seminar yearly conducted by the Executive Director or the school athletic director, upon approval.

Professional-Development Days

Practices/Games Scheduled for Professional Development Meeting Days

  • On flexible Professional-Development (PD) Days, practices/games may be conducted.

  • On Gold Days, practices/games may be conducted after 2:30 p.m.

  • On Parent-Teacher Conference Days, practices/games may be conducted; however, the principal will determine starting times.

Games may be played on Election Days as long as the traffic flow at election sites is not impeded or affected.


Athletic Recruitment Prohibited

No student shall be recruited to a KHSAA member school for the purpose of participating in athletics, including recruitment under the guise of academics. Failure to adhere to Bylaw 16—Recruitment may result in the loss of coaching employment in the year following a proven violation.

Rules Violations by Coaches/Sponsors

Any coach, sponsor, or athletic director who violates any JCPS and/or KHSAA rule or regulation will be subject to the following disciplinary process:

  • Notification of all violations must be submitted in writing to the director of Activities/Athletics and signed by the person submitting it.

  • The local school principal will be notified and will be provided a copy of the complaint. The Activities and Athletics Office will notify the KHSAA, when appropriate.

  • The Activities and Athletics Office and the school principal shall recommend penalties to the KHSAA.

A local school conference will be held with the coach/sponsor, the principal, and the athletic director. Coaches/Sponsors have the right to hear or read any allegation, ask questions, and present evidence pertinent to the allegations or charges.

Scheduling Athletic Events

The athletic director/principal should schedule all athletic events. Coaches should never schedule events without consulting with school administration. All events must have signed KHSAA contracts from both schools that describe all conditions and exceptions for the event. All schools must abide by the JCPS Public School Master Schedule. There are no exceptions.

Title IX compliance must be considered when scheduling all events per KHSAA guidelines.

School Postponement & Game Cancellation

If school is closed all day or for less than a legally constituted school day due to weather, all extracurricular and intramural events are canceled. This includes all practices and home or away games/activities for all JCPS District schools regardless of the opponent. Game cancellation must be made by 2 p.m.

If school is closed all day on a Friday due to inclement weather, all extracurricular and intramural events can be conducted on Saturday of that week at the principal’s discretion in consultation with the superintendent and executive director of activities and athletics. The principal also has discretion in whether to use activity buses or contract with a common carrier. Schools should exercise extreme caution in decisions regarding poor weather conditio

If the superintendent/designee directs the cancellation of all events due to weather, no exceptions shall be made unless teams are already at out-of-town sites. If that occurs, the assistant superintendent must approve play.


Every participant in a game must remember the true purpose of playing and must practice great sportsmanship at all times. Coaches should model good sportsmanship and accept all consequences that go with poor sportsmanship.

Student Accident Insurance Requirement

All students participating in a middle or high school sport, including cheer and dance are covered by the district’s student accident insurance policy. This policy provides secondary medical coverage for all students during the school day and while participating in school-sponsored activities. All parents must be aware of the policy’s limits.

Summer Events—Camps, 7-on-7, Clinics

In order to permit outside organizations to conduct any camp, league, clinic, etc., the following guidelines must be followed:

  1. The organization must complete a facility and grounds use application prior to the league or camp.

  2. This application must be approved by the building principal and forwarded to Real Estate and Insurance for final approval.

  3. All money must be run through the school bookkeeper or booster club.  

If a camp, league, clinic, etc., is school-sponsored, it must be approved by the principal and all money must be turned in to the school bookkeeper.

Transporting Students

Field Trip Approval for Athletics

Athletic Trips Only: If the trip is an out-of-county and/or an overnight high school athletic trip, the Field Trip Request must be added to this Form

Note: Cheer and dance teams may attend one national competition annually with a maximum of two days of nonschool attendance.

  • If the trip is an out-of-county and/or an overnight trip, the Field Trip Request will also be forwarded to the appropriate assistant superintendent’s office for informational purposes only.

  • If the trip is an out-of-county and/or an overnight trip, the Field Trip Request will also be forwarded to the district’s Health Services Department at 485-3670 by 10 a.m. prior to the due date listed for each board meeting. (Refer to the Board Meeting Dates for Field Trip Approval document.)

If a field trip is cancelled, you must notify the individuals/departments to which the Field Trip Request has been distributed.

General Information

With proper parental authorization, a student may transport himself or herself but under no circumstances may a student transport another student to athletic events. State law prohibits transporting students in vans that carry more than nine passengers, including the driver. All personnel assigned to drive a JCPS bus shall be certified by the JCPS Transportation Office. Wages of drivers, if necessary, will be paid by local school funds. JCPS buses must adhere to a strict 120-mile, one-way radius.

Under no conditions may a JCPS bus be driven beyond the limit.  For trips outside of the surrounding counties (Bullitt, Oldham, Spencer, Shelby, Meade, Hardin, Floyd (IN), Clark (IN), athletic directors must request a late model bus from the appropriate compound, no later than one week prior to the scheduled trip.  Estimated expense and Cost Codes must be acquired prior to trip as well.  Common Carriers should be sought for destinations outside of the 120 mile, one-way radius.

Using Commercial Establishments

Involvement of Commercial Establishments/Sponsors With Athletics and Extracurricular Activities

  • Any school wishing to participate in a cooperative venture with a commercial establishment shall make written application for approval—in advance of such participation—to the superintendent or the superintendent’s designee. The application shall contain a brief description of the nature of the enterprise(s) of the company or companies involved.

  • In no case will approval be granted to a proposed activity involving the name of an alcoholic beverage or a tobacco product.

  • Any revenue obtained by a school from the promotion of events by a commercial establishment shall be turned in to the school bookkeeper.

  • See Board Policy KHA.