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Athletic Philosophy

TUHSD Athletic Philosophy

Athletics play an important part in the Tamalpais Union High School District. Young people learn a great deal from their participation in interscholastic. Lessons in sportsmanship, teamwork, competition and how to win and lose gracefully are an integral part of each team in our athletic program.  Athletics play an important part, too, in helping the individual student develop a healthy self-concept as well as a healthy body. Athletic competition adds to our school spirit and helps all students – spectators as well as participants – develop pride in their school.

Objectives of Participation: To provide students opportunities for:

  1. Physical, mental and emotional growth and development
  2. Acquisition and development of special skills in activities of each student’s choice
  3. Team play with the development of such traits as loyalty, cooperation, fair play and other desirable social traits.
  4. Directed leadership and supervision that stresses self-discipline, responsibility, self-motivation, excellence and the ideals of good sportsmanship that makes for winning and losing graciously.
  5. A focus of interests on activity programs for the student body.
  6. Achievement of initial goals as set by the school in general and the student as an individual.
  7. Provisions for worthy use of leisure time in later life, either as a participant or spectator.
  8. Participation by the most skilled that will enable those individuals to expand possibilities for future vocational pursuits.

Value Foundation: The cardinal athletic principles and code of ethics shown below reflect the District’s interest in having our student athletes experience a quality athletic program.

  1. CIF/NCS Cardinal Athletic Principles
  2. Code of Ethics
  3. Pursuing Victory with Honor

This value foundation reflects the District’s interest in having our student athletes experience the joy and satisfaction which comes from winning on the field, but not at the expense of character development, good sportsmanship, physical well-being, positive self-esteem and personal academic success.


To be of maximum effectiveness, the athletic program will:

  1. Be a well-coordinated part of the secondary schoolcurriculum.
  2. Justify the use of the tax funds and school facilities because of the educational aims achieved.
  3. Be based on the spirit of amateurism.
  4. Be conducted by secondary school authorities.
  5. Provide opportunities for many students to participate in a wide variety of sports in every sport season.
  6. Encourage professionalism.
  7. Prevent "All-Star" contests or other promotional events.
  8. Foster training in conduct, game ethics, and sportsmanship for participants and spectators.
  9. Include a well-balanced program of intramural sports.
  10. Engender respect for local, state and national rules and policies under which the school program is conducted.


It is the duty of all concerned with high school athletics:

  1. To emphasize the proper ideals of sportsmanship,ethical conduct and fair play.
  2. To eliminate all possibilities which tend to destroythe best values of the game.
  3. To show cordial courtesy to visiting teams and officials.
  4. To stress the values derived from playing the game fairly.
  5. To establish a happy relationship between visitors and hosts.
  6. To respect the integrity and judgment of sports officials.
  7. To achieve a thorough understanding and acceptance ofthe rules of the game and standards of eligibility.
  8. To encourage leadership, use of initiative, and goodjudgment by the players on the team.
  9. To recognize that the purpose of athletics is to promote physical, mental, moral, social and emotional well-being of the individual players.
  10. To remember that an athletic contest is only a game – not a matter of life and death for the player, coach, school, officials, fan, community, state or nation.

Pursuing Victory With Honor

Pursuing Victory with Honor

16 Principles of Pursuing Victory With HonorSM

  1. The essential elements of character building and ethics in CIF sports are embodied in the concept of sportsmanship and six core principles: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and good citizenship. The highest potential of sports is achieved when competition reflects these “six pillars of character.”
  2. It’s the duty of School Boards, superintendents, school administrators, parents and school sports leadership — including coaches, athletic administrators, program directors and game officials — to promote sportsmanship and foster good character by teaching, enforcing, advocating and modeling these “six pillars of character.”
  3. To promote sportsmanship and foster the development of good character, school sports programs must be conducted in a manner that enhances the academic, emotional, social, physical and ethical development of student-athletes and teaches them positive life skills that will help them become personally successful and socially responsible.
  4. Participation in school sports programs is a privilege, not a right. To earn that privilege, student-athletes must abide by the rules and they must conduct themselves, on and off the field, as positive role models who exemplify good character.
  5. School Boards, superintendents, school administrators, parents and school sports leadership shall establish standards for participation by adopting and enforcing codes of conduct for coaches, athletes, parents and spectators.
  6. All participants in high school sports must consistently demonstrate and demand scrupulous integrity and observe and enforce the spirit as well as the letter of the rules.
  7. The importance of character, ethics and sportsmanship should be emphasized in all communications directed to student-athletes and their parents.
  8. School Boards, superintendents, school administrators, parents and school sports leadership must ensure that the first priority of their student-athletes is a serious commitment to getting an education and developing the academic skills and character to succeed.
  9. School Boards, superintendents, principals, school administrators and everyone involved at any level of governance in the CIF must maintain ultimate responsibility for the quality and integrity of CIF programs. Such individuals must assure that education and character development responsibilities are not compromised to achieve sports performance goals and that the academic, social, emotional, physical and ethical well-being of student-athletes is always placed above desires and pressured to win.
  10. All employees of member schools must be directly involved and committed to the academic success of student-athletes and the character-building goals of the school.
  11. Everyone involved in competition including parents, spectators, associated study body leaders, and all auxiliary groups have a duty to honor the traditions of the sport and to treat other participants with respect. Coaches have a special responsibility to model respectful behavior and the duty to demand that their student-athletes refrain from disrespectful conduct including verbal abuse of opponents and officials, profane or belligerent trash-talking, taunting and inappropriate celebrations.
  12. School Boards, superintendents, and school administrators of CIF-member schools must ensure that coaches, whether paid or voluntary, are competent to coach. Training or experience may determine minimal competence. These competencies include basic knowledge of:
    1. The character building aspects of sports, including techniques and methods of teaching and reinforcing the core values comprising sportsmanship and good character.
    2. The physical capabilities and limitations of the age group coached as well as first aid.
    3. Coaching principles and the rules and strategies of the sport.
  13. Because of the powerful potential of sports as a vehicle for positive personal growth, a broad spectrum of school sports experiences should be made available to all of our diverse communities.
  14. To safeguard the health of athletes and the integrity of the sport, school sports program must actively prohibit the use of alcohol, tobacco, drugs and performance-enhancing substances, as well as a demand compliance with all laws and regulations, including those related to gambling and the use of drugs.
  15. Schools that offer athletic programs must safeguard the integrity of their programs. Commercial relationships should be continually monitored to ensure against inappropriate exploitation of the school’s name or reputation. There should be no undue influence of commercial interests. In addition, sports programs must be prudent, avoiding undue dependency on particular companies or sponsors.
  16. The profession of coaching is a profession of teaching. In addition to teaching the mental and physical dimensions of their sport, coaches, through words and example, must also strive to build the character of their athletes by teaching them to be trustworthy, respectful, responsible, fair, caring and good citizens.

“Pursuing Victory With Honor” and the “Six Pillars of Character” are service marks of the CHARACTER COUNTS! Coalition, a project of the Josephson Institute of Ethics. For more information on promoting character education and good sportsmanship, visit