Program & Philosophy
Germantown Friends School’s athletic program is guided by our school’s statement of philosophy that there is that of God in everyone. Through the process of learning to be a member of a GFS team, we encourage our student-athletes to continue to cultivate the principles valued by the school community. Among these are truthfulness, simplicity, self-discipline, the resolution of differences without violence, respect for others and oneself.
The athletic program at GFS stresses participation and encourages all student-athletes to develop their capabilities to the fullest extent possible. We value excellence in each sport, and we aim to field successful teams that are competitive within the Friends Schools League as well as with comparable non-league schools. We want our student-athletes to be committed to themselves, their team, the GFS school community, and the Friends Schools League. In order to do this, they need to learn what it means to cooperate with others, to set individual and team goals, to manage their time balancing sports with other areas of their lives, and to learn the physical and technical skills demanded by their sport. It is our hope that as student-athletes progress through the athletic program they gain a stronger sense of themselves and their role in the GFS community.
Winning is important, but it does not stand alone in determining the success of a season. Winning is much more than the outcome of a game.
It is also about:
Challenging oneself to perform the best that one can. The ability to work as a coordinated part of a strong, cohesive team and to learn from mistakes. Earning the respect of one’s peers, knowing that teammates count on one another for support and encouragement, even when confronted with defeats. Developing an appreciation of one’s teammates for their athletic skills and ability to work with others. Understanding that fairness and sportsmanship promote healthy competition.
By participating in GFS athletics, players take with them not only winning records and trophies, but also an outlook that will serve them throughout their lives. Our focus is on the development of team unity throughout the season. The realization of potential, the development of a strong work ethic and sense of pride in accomplishment are factors that determine success at GFS.
- Goals & Guidelines
- Sportsmanship for Student-Athletes
- Sportsmanship for Parents, Students and Other Fans
- Show respect for the opponent at all times. The opponent should be treated as a guest or host, greeted cordially on arriving, and if at home they should be given the best accommodations and accorded the respect, honesty and generosity that all people deserve. In the field of competition, respect for opponents is central to good sportsmanship.
- Show respect for the officials. The officials should be recognized as impartial arbiters who are trained to do their job and who can be expected to do it to the best of their ability. Sportsmanship implies the willingness to accept and abide by the decisions of the officials.
- Know, understand, and appreciate the rules of the contest. A familiarity with the current rules of the game and the recognition of their necessity for a fair contest is essential. Good sportsmanship includes the importance of conforming to the spirit as well as the letter of the rules.
- Maintain self-control at all times. A prerequisite of sportsmanship is to prevent the desire to win from overcoming rational behavior. A proper perspective must be maintained if the potential educational values of athletic competition are to be realized. We expect sportsmanship from everyone involved in the game.
- Recognize and appreciate skill in performance regardless of affiliation. Applause for a good performance of an opponent is a demonstration of generosity and good will. The ability to recognize quality in performance and the willingness to acknowledge it without regard to team membership is one of the most highly commendable gestures of sportsmanship.
- Always play fair. We play within the rules, and fairly as well. A player with good sportsmanship does not want a hollow victory that comes as a result of cheating ("dirty" fouls, ineligible players, performance enhancing drugs, etc.)
- Follow the directions of the coach. A player with good sportsmanship listens to and follows the directions of the coach, realizing that each player’s decisions affect the rest of the team. If a player has disagreements with the coach, the player discusses the disagreements privately in a civil manner, away from the public eye.
- Use positive language. Trash talking, profanity and negative comments are not acceptable. Help us maintain and encourage a positive atmosphere.
- Accept seriously the responsibility and privilege of representing your school and community; display positive public action at all times.
- Treat opponents with the respect that is due them as fellow student-athletes.
- Exercise self-control at all times, accepting decisions and abiding by them.
- Accept both victory and defeat with pride and compassion, never being boastful or bitter.
- Live up to the high standard of sportsmanship established by your coaches and help fellow student-athletes and fans maintain these standards.
- Be an exemplary role model by positively supporting teams in every manner possible, including content of cheers and signs.
- Recognize and acknowledge good performances by student-athletes on GFS and opposing teams.
- Give support to those participating in, conducting, and/or officiating the athletic event.
- Respect the judgment and strategy of the coach.
Hazing involving students, student groups or any individuals at GFS is strictly prohibited.
Hazing is defined by applicable law as:
Any action or situation which recklessly or intentionally endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a person or which willfully destroys or removes public or private property for the purpose of initiation or admission into or affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in, any organization. The term shall include, but not be limited to, any brutality of a physical nature, such as whipping, beating, branding, forced calisthenics, exposure to the elements, forced consumption of any food, liquor, drug or other substance, or any other forced physical activity which could adversely affect the physical health and safety of the individual, and shall include any activity which would subject the individual to extreme mental stress, such as sleep deprivation, forced exclusion from social contact, forced conduct which could result in extreme embarrassment, or any other forced activity which could adversely affect the mental health or dignity of the individual, or any willful destruction or removal of public or private property. For purposes of this definition, any activity as described in this definition upon which the initiation or admission into or affiliation with or continued membership in an organization is directly or indirectly conditioned shall be presumed to be “forced” activity, the willingness of an individual to participate in such activity notwithstanding.
Responsibility for Compliance
All GFS students, faculty, staff, teams, clubs and organizations are responsible for abiding by this policy, both on campus and off, including on privately owned facilities and/or property. GFS recognized organizations are responsible for any activity in violation of this policy by any individual or group affiliated with the organization (new member, member, auxiliary, or alumnus), unless it is proven that the group or individual activity was independent of, and occurred without the knowledge or consent of, the recognized organization. Such responsibility will apply equally to situations in which one or more members knew or should have known of the activity and failed to make every reasonable attempt to prevent or stop it.
Reporting of a Possible Violation
Anyone who witnesses or suspects that hazing has occurred shall immediately report what was witnessed, or the basis for the suspicion that hazing has taken place, to the Head of School or Division Head. If the hazing has occurred in connection with a GFS team, club or organization, then the incident shall also be reported to the person or coach responsible for the team, club or organization.
Violations and Sanctions
The Head of School shall have discretion to impose any discipline deemed appropriate for an incident of hazing against both the individual who engaged in the conduct, and the team, club or organization of which he/she was a member. Discipline and penalties shall include, but not be limited to, withholding diplomas or transcripts, the imposition of fines, restitution, probation, suspension, dismissal or expulsion. In the case of teams, clubs or organizations, penalties may include withdrawal of permission for the team, club or organization to continue to operate under the auspices of the School. Imposition of discipline by the School does not preclude any criminal penalty which may be imposed for violation of criminal laws and the School will fully cooperate, and share information, with law enforcement as part of any investigation.