Bowie High School
“Home of the Bulldogs”
Where Character Counts
Ms. Robynne Prince, Principal Jessica Brandt, Athletic Director
Prince George’s County Public Schools
Bowie High School “Home of the Bulldogs”
15200 Annapolis Rd, MD 20175
Main Office: (301) 805-2600♦ Fax: (301) 805-2619
Dear Bowie High School Parent:
Welcome to Bowie High School!
We are delighted that you have chosen to become a supporter of the athletic program at Bowie High School. Being a parent of a student-athlete is often challenging. There is much time and energy devoted by you and your child both on and off the playing field. One of the most valuable efforts we can ask of you is to ensure that your child come to school daily and attend all of his or her classes.
Our primary objective at Bowie High School is to ensure your child leave with a high school diploma and an opportunity to play their sport at the collegiate level. The Bowie Family will do everything possible to assist your child in his or her academic endeavors.
We are committed to your child as a student-athlete and, in return, we ask that you respect our commitment. It is a privilege to wear a Bowie High School uniform, not a right. Your child is not only representing you when he or she wears a Bowie High School uniform, but is representing every member of the High School. Our legacy and reputation are at stake every time your child takes the field of play and we ask that you help them maintain the high standards we have established.
We expect your child to conduct him/herself in a positive manner and abide by the PGCPS Interscholastic and MPSSAA state rules and regulations.
This Parent Handbook is provided to you to give you some insight and attempt to answer your questions about the athletic policies that govern our department. If you have questions that are not covered in this booklet, please do not hesitate to call or visit the appropriate person in our department. Thank you for your continued support!
Understanding Interscholastic Athletics at Bowie High School
The Player-Coach Relationship:
The player-coach relationship is perhaps the most critical relationship in athletics. Unfortunately, a parent can have a profound effect on this very important and delicate relationship. While you may not agree with all the decisions of a coach, how and when you express your feelings can have a decided effect upon your child.
If you express a negative opinion in front of your child, you need to remember that he or she will return to practice the next day and may carry with him or her your sentiments. Your son or daughter will then have to interact with this coach. As you can imagine, this can greatly affect this delicate relationship.
As a result of a parent’s previous athletic prowess, they may feel qualified to provide instruction to their child. Receiving technical or strategic instruction at home may interfere and conflict with the instructional process at practice sessions and games. This may ultimately impede your son or daughter’s progress and affect their playing time or whether they win a starting position.
Unfortunately, through televised games, many adults feel they understand or perhaps know more than many coaches. Everyone feels they have become an expert. While this new found knowledge may heighten your appreciation of a sport as a parent, however, you are not the coach.
The Parent-Coach Relationship:
In your role as a parent, you obviously love and are concerned about your child’s welfare. You want the best for him or her. But an athlete can have only one coach. Allowing the coach to instruct and guide the team is crucial in many respects.
While we appreciate that open communication is important between a parent and a coach, should you have any questions or concerns we ask that you not approach the coach immediately at the conclusion of the contest. At this time, coaches have other responsibilities and it may be an emotional time. We encourage you to call and make an appointment for a later time and approach this meeting in a calm, courteous and logical manner.
One of the responsibilities that a coach has at the conclusion of a contest is to have a brief meeting with the players. Athletes should not pause to talk to parents or friends immediately after games. These brief meetings are essential to the learning process involved in athletics.
The Parent-Player Relationship:
Some parents may try to live through their child’s athletic efforts. Being positive and supportive is important, but adding pressure and unrealistic expectations can be extremely harmful. Allow your son or daughter to enjoy and grow from this valuable experience. In numerous national studies, it has been determined that most athletes participate for enjoyment and fun. Excessive pressure or expectations can alter this most fundamental reason for playing.
When you do speak with you child after a contest don’t dwell on his or her play, how many points they scored or if they started. Instead, first ask how the team did? Did your son or daughter play hard, give 100% and have a good experience?
Relationship with Officials:
There is an age-old refrain often used by irate fans, “How much are you paying the officials?” The home school does not choose the officials. All officials are assigned by the commissioner of the particular sport and neither team has control of which officials are assigned.
Officials agree to and follow a code of ethics. They do not have a vested interest in which team emerges as the victor. It is also important to understand that they are a very necessary part of the game. A contest cannot be played without them.
So while you may not agree with all of their calls, please do not harass and taunt them. It is also important to remember that they are in charge of the contest and have complete authority to have unruly spectators removed. In many sports, a team will see the same official several times during a season. Coaches, athletic administrators and schools often work hard to establish a rapport and good working relationship which can be damaged by spectators.
Spectators – Cheerleaders Relationship:
Cheerleaders try to infuse spirit to the fans/spectators and to lead them in selected cheers. Taking this responsibility into your own hands is not appropriate. When fans leave the stands to direct cheers, it often leads to confrontations with the opponents. Following the cheerleaders’ direction, therefore, is absolutely necessary at all athletic contests. The emotion and atmosphere at athletic contests can be very exciting and the cheerleaders need to be allowed to direct and control this aspect. Our cheerleading squad will promote spirit in our school and will not in a negative manner incite or promote unsportsmanlike behavior.
Athletic Chain of Command:
At Bowie High School, the following chain of command is in effect:
- Head Coach/ Assistant/JV Coach
- Athletic Director
If you have any questions or concerns, please first contact the appropriate coach.
Since athletics should be educational in nature, it is important that all parents demonstrate good sportsmanship and serve as role models for our athletes and students. Sportsmanship is an overt display of respect for the rules of the sport and for others – players, coaches, officials and fans. It also involves a commitment to fair play, ethical behavior, and integrity. This means:
- There can be no vulgar or inappropriate language from our fans or spectators.
- Taunting or trash talking of our opponents and their cheerleaders cannot be tolerated.
- Spectators cannot leave bleachers or enter onto the court or field during a contest.
- Fans should be supportive and positive. Cheering should be done for our team and not against our opponent.
- We should not impede or interfere with our opponent’s cheerleaders from leading their cheers.
- In some specific sports, such as basketball and volleyball, we should not yell while an opponent takes a foul shot or as a player attempts to serve.
Responsibilities of an Athlete:
Most coaches expect an athlete to adhere to the following guidelines:
- The team’s goals, welfare and success must come before any individual.
- An athlete needs to consistently attend practice sessions. This may include weekends and holidays.
- If the team has a study hall, the athlete is expected to attend and bring material to study.
- Players must be receptive to coaching.
- Team members are responsible for all issued uniforms and equipment.
- As a member of a team, an athlete must agree to and follow the team rules. Athletes need to remember that they are ambassadors and represent not only themselves, but the coaching staff and Bowie High School.
- If injured, an athlete must report all injuries to their coach.
Responsibilities of a Coach:
At Bowie High School a coach has the responsibility for the following:
- The selection of the squad.
- The determination of the style of play, including offensive and defensive philosophy.
- The selection of his or her staff.
- The teaching and instruction at practice sessions.
- The determination of who starts and how long an athlete plays in a contest.
- The decision of who plays what position.
- The establishing of team rules.
- The selection of team captains.
- The head coach is responsible for their entire program both Varsity, as well as Junior Varsity.
Eligibility Requirements for an athlete:
- An athlete must be officially registered at Bowie High School.
- Have a minimum 2.0 grade point average:
- Fall Sports must have a 2.0gpa from 4th quarter and maintain a 2.0 until the end of the season.
- Students who are 19 years of age or older as of August 31 of the school year are ineligible to participate in interscholastic sports.
- Students must have a physical examination prior to tryouts/practice. The form is available on the Bowie website. Physical examinations are needed annually and are good for an entire athletic year.
- Athletes must be registered online (http://bowiebulldogathletics.com/) to be eligible to tryout.
- Students should have their own insurance coverage in effect at the time of sport participation to cover accidental injuries. If requested the county will have supplement insurance for purchase.
You may also find a Prince George’s County Athletic Handbook with more information at: