Frequently Asked Questions

  • All questions may be answered by reviewing the Student Activities Handbook
    Question: When do I register for fall, winter and spring sports?

    Answer: You can register online through the district's online registration (coming soon) system for all activities beginning in Early August 2020.

    What are the requirements for student-participants to be scholastically eligible (6-12)?

    In order to participate in a South St Paul co-curricular activity, each participant must make satisfactory academic progress.
    In order to participate in a South St. Paul Secondary co-curricular activity, each participant must make satisfactory academic progress.
    To be eligible for participation a student must meet a 1.70 GPA criterion the previous marking period. A student who has failed to meet the 1.70 GPA criterion will be placed on academic probation and will be ineligible to participate in co-curricular contests and/or performances, according to the following conditions:
    1)   The student is permitted to practice or rehearse, but may not compete or perform in a contest or performance during the period of academic probation.
    2)    The student is ineligible for whichever is greater: two consecutive interscholastic contests or two weeks (fourteen calendar days) of the new marking period.*
    Following the period of ineligibility, if a review of the student’s academic performance indicates that the student is performing at a satisfactory level, eligibility may be regained. If the review indicates the student is failing to meet the 1.70 GPA criterion, he or she cannot regain eligibility until the end of the grading period.
    *If a student is found to be academically ineligible at the beginning of a fall season, that student will serve a two week suspension from the date of the first game of his/her team. The student’s academic progress will be reviewed after two weeks of the fall marking period. If the review indicates that the student is performing at a satisfactory level, the student will regain eligibility. If the review indicates the student is failing to meet the stated criterion, he or she cannot regain eligibility until the end of the grading period.
    Scholastic Eligibility Calendar for 2020-21

    First Trimester Date (for winter eligibility)
    Monday, December 21, 2020

    Second Trimester Date (for spring eligibility)
    Monday, March 29, 2021
    Third Trimester Date (for fall eligibility)
    Monday, June 28, 2021

    Question:  How long does a student need to be in attendance in order to practice or play in a contest that day?

    Answer:  Students who miss part of the school day due to illness must be in attendance by 9:57 a.m. in order to participate in a contest or practice on that day.  Students missing school for reasons other than illness must have an excused absence in order to participate.  A parent or guardian signed note from home (due to illness) is not an excused absence.   

    Students who are in attendance at the start of the school day will not be allowed to participate in any extra-curricular activities if the student leaves school due to personal illness.

    Final authority for infractions of this rule will rest with the overseeing administration.  Examples of excused absences: doctor excused, family emergency, death in family, school authorized absences (i.e. field trips, college visits, etc...), religious release and family vacations.

    Is possession of alcohol, tobacco or vaping products a rules violation?

    Answer: Yes. Minnesota State High School League rules specify "use or consumuption, have in possesion of alcohol, tobacco related products, or a controlled substance" as a chemical violation (Bylaw 205.00).
    As a student participating in interscholastic activities, he or she must accept the responsibility of respecting and obeying the rules of our school and laws of our community, state and country. Possession of alcohol and/or tobacco would violate school rules and state law. A student who violates the Student Code of Responsibilities is not in good standing and is ineligible for a period of time as determined by the school principal, acting on the authority of the local board of education.

    Can middle school students play on senior high teams?

    Answer: If enrolled in school and meets all South St. Paul High School and Minnesota State High School League requirements, any student grades seven through twelve are eligible to participate on Freshman, B-Squad, Junior Varsity and Varsity teams. Varsity level is generally reserved for participants in grades 9-12; however, on a case-by-case basis, seventh and eighth grade participants may receive consideration.  Sixth grade students are not eligiblie to compete on any upper level programs.

    Question: How often does my son or daughter need to get a physical examination?

    Answer: To participate in high school interscholastic athletics a student must have a qualifying physical examination performed by a physician within the previous three years. Typically this occurs when the student is in the seventh and tenth grades. The physical examination record must be on file with the school prior to the student's participation. Sports qualifying physical examination forms are available in the Activities Office.

    Is my son or daughter able to participate in a sport and co-curricular activity during the same season?

    Answer:  Yes. An individual student who attempts to participate in several activities will, undoubtedly, encounter a conflict of obligations. The Activities Department recognizes that each student should have the opportunity for a broad range of experiences, and to this end, will attempt to schedule events in a manner to minimize conflicts. Students have a responsibility to do everything possible to avoid conflicts. This would include being cautious about belonging to too many activities where conflicts are inevitable. It also means notifying coaches/advisors involved before conflicts arise. When a conflict does arise, we ask the coaches/advisors to work out a compromising solution so the student is not penalized. If it becomes obvious that a student cannot fulfill the obligation of a school activity, he/she should withdraw from the activity.

    Do athletic teams have to raise funds each year?

    Answer:  The decision to do any fundraising activity is left up to the individual head coach. A head coach's request to do any fundraising must be approved by the activities department and the high school administration. Basic supplies, equipment, game uniforms, transportation, officials, game workers and coaches' salaries are all funded by the school district's general fund budget. Coaches wishing to provide supplemental supplies or equipment, not approved through the general fund, are encouraged to request funds through the South St. Paul OPEN. Over the past 45 years the SSP OPEN has raised over $500,000 through an annual golf tournament and program. Typically, head coaches choose extra fund raising activities to: 1) buy clothing that the student-athletes keep (i.e. t-shirts, sweatshirts etc.); 2) to pay for end-of-season awards (other than team MVP) they desire to present; 3) to pay for transportation and lodging if they wish to participate in any out-of-town game or scrimmage and choose to stay overnight. School district policy dictates that general fund money may not pay for overnight lodging and/or associated transportation costs.

    What is the school's varsity lettering policy?

    Answer: It is the responsibility of the coaches and advisors to establish the lettering requirements for their respective activity and to receive the approval of the Administrator in Charge of Activities. These requirements must be given in writing to all team members and their parents and explained fully at the start of the season. Penalties for violation of team rules shall also be in writing and be administered by the coach or advisor.

    What is Captains Practice?

    Answer: The Minnesota State High School League has not developed a composite definition of Captains Practice. Captains Practice is primarily for the purpose of physical conditioning and salaried or non-salaried school personnel may not be involved in any capacity. It is the responsibility of school officials to become aware of the preseason activities in their school district and to verify that the spirit and intent of the League rules are respected.