October 5, 2016
Dear Parents of St. John’s basketball players,
         This letter is written to inform you about the policies we will be following throughout the basketball season. Please read through this letter with your child, and then sign the attached permission form and return it to school before your child’s first practice.
Purpose: The purpose of our basketball program is to promote Christian fellowship with other schools and to give the children in our school the opportunity to have fun while learning competitive sports. All this will be done while allowing the children to learn that hard work, trust, respect, and commitment can be enjoyable when done to the glory of God. Our basketball program will continue to run in accordance with the overall purpose and goals of our school.
One of the key elements to accomplishing those goals is that we need to recognize the gifts that God has blessed us with.  Those blessings include: loving parents, teammates, physical talent, the opportunity to practice, the Activity Center, uniforms, coaches, and referees. We must always bear in mind that all gifts are from God, and we should give thanks and never take them for granted.
In recognizing these blessings, we must remember to treat everyone with respect.  Coaches, players, and parents all need to respect each other.  We must also remember the difficult task the referees perform for us.  They use their God-given abilities every night and certainly deserve our thanks and respect.
         School Work: Basketball requires a commitment from the students and parents. The other players count on their teammates to show the same commitment. But above your child’s commitment to basketball at St. John’s is his commitment to Christian education.  Keeping our students’ responsibilities in mind, our faculty has developed the following policy: If a student has 3 or more late assignments in one week, that student will not be allowed to play in the first half of the game at the end of that week. A second violation will result in the player missing an entire game and the player will not be allowed to participate until improvement has been shown. All late assignments must be completed before a student may practice.  If a student is performing below his God-given ability in his class work, that student will not be allowed to practice or participate in games until improvement has been shown.
         Also, students who are not in school the last half of the day due to illness are ineligible to participate in an athletic contest.
         Practice: Practice is an opportunity to teach teamwork, strategy, and fundamental skills. During this time, the coaches will work to set a solid Christian example of hard work, trust, and compassion.
Practice times are as follows:
A-Girls (Gr. 7-8) – Mondays and Wednesdays until 5:00 p.m.
B-Girls (Gr. 4-6) – Mondays and Wednesdays until 4:30 p.m. *
         A-Boys (Gr. 7-8) – Tuesdays and Thursdays until 5:30 p.m.
         B-Boys (Gr. 4-6) – Tuesdays and Thursdays until 5:00 p.m.
The B-girls’ team will practice on October 26 starting at 1:00 p.m. after our early release. They will be done by 3:00 to ride the bus home if needed. *For the first few weeks the B-girls will practice until 5:00 p.m. The A-girls will start practice on October 24. They will not have practice on October 26.
Both boys’ teams will start practice on November 1.  Please watch the website for changes to the practice schedule.
         The clothing needed for practice includes: gym shorts, socks, T-shirt, and gym shoes with non-marking soles.  The players will each be given a practice jersey to wear during practice. Also, the clothing worn for practice should be different from that which is worn at school during the day.
         Practice is a very important part of the season.  If your child is going to miss practice, please have your child inform the coach ahead of time if possible. If a child misses a practice for an invalid reason, he will not start.
         The players will not be allowed to check their cell phones or make phone calls during practice. Please make transportation arrangements ahead of time, or call the school number during practice.
         Cheerleading: I hope that we will be able to have cheerleading this year again. At this time I am looking for a coach/coaches for the cheerleading squads.
Games:  This season’s game schedule is attached. It is still a work in progress. A final schedule will be sent home before the first games.
We will be taking a bus to most of our away games this season. Information about when the bus will leave, etc. will be posted on the website the week of an away game. The cost for a player to ride the bus is included in the Activity Fee.
In an effort to increase adult supervision of the kids, the school board voted that a minimum of two parent volunteers must ride the bus to and from each away game.  In the event that there are less than two parent volunteers willing to ride the bus to and from each game, the bus service for that game will be canceled. A decision about whether there will be a bus or not will be made by Wednesday of each week of away games.
The school board has decided that cell phones and electronic devices will be allowed on the bus to away games. These devices must be turned off and put away when the players are in the locker rooms.
If it is a home game or a student does not take the bus, they must arrive a half hour before their game begins.  When we play games at home, the students may not stay at school after 3:00 p.m., unless their parents are going to be with them. The teachers have work to complete after school and do not have time to supervise all the students. If your child is not going to go home before a home game, please send a note saying where your child will be.
Tournaments: The A-teams will participate in two tournaments during the season – the LALSAC Tournament and the MLC Tournament. All sixth graders are invited to participate with the A-teams for these tournaments. The sixth graders are invited to stay after the B-team practices and practice with the A-teams. Any sixth grade boys who want to will suit up with the A-team at the beginning of the season. The sixth grade girls may join the A-girls sometime after Christmas.
The B-girls will participate in the Luther High B-girls tournament in January. The B-boys will participate in our B-Bounce Off in January. The games on Saturday will be hosted here and at St. Matthew’s in Winona. The Sunday games will be played here. More information about all of these tournaments will be sent home and posted on the website as it becomes available.
         Playing Time: Our faculty and coaches believe that playing time is a privilege, and in most cases, the older students will play more based on experience and leadership.
For the “B” teams, playing time will be based on the players understanding of the fundamentals and team concepts. Therefore, early in the season the older players will see greater playing time. The playing time will not be based solely on talent, and with hard work during practice, all the players should see meaningful playing time by the end of the season.
With more emphasis on the concept of teamwork, the “A” teams will try to maximize the team’s talent on the court. The goal will be to try to incorporate playing time for all players, while providing the team with the best opportunities to use their collective talent.
It is the coaches’ intention to get everyone in the game, but it will not always happen.  The coaches will do their best to balance competitiveness with fair playing time.
      Coaches: We are thankful for the men and women of our congregation who volunteer their time to coach our children. The head coaches of teams are: B-Girls – Brett Weishalla (523-9070)
                                    A-Girls – Trisha Schultz (312-0150 or 689-0047)
                                    B-Boys – Matthew Essig (458-2478)
                                    A-Boys – Karl Hoppe (429-2833)
   If you know ahead of time that your child will not be able to attend a practice or game, please call the coach or myself. This will help the coaches plan accordingly. Also, if you have any concerns, please contact the coaches or myself.
         Uniforms: Uniforms will be given to each player before the first game.  The uniforms will be issued to the oldest players first.  The uniforms are to be kept by the players and to be used only on game days.  They should be cleaned after each game. The uniforms should be worn with non-marking gym shoes and short socks.
         In order to have the uniforms returned in a timely manner, listed below is a date when I would like each team to turn in their uniforms. On the date listed, please send all of your child’s uniform to school with them to return to me.
      B-Girls and B-Boys – February 2
      B-Squad Cheerleaders – February 8
      A-Girls and A-Boys – February 23
      A-Squad Cheerleaders – February 23
         Parents’ Responsibility: We ask our parents to be supportive of their children, understanding throughout the season, and to be positive role models and ambassadors of St. John’s.  This includes showing respect to other fans, coaches, and referees at home games and away.  Enjoy watching the players grow in basketball skills and Christian character.
         Each family is required to supervise in the hallways one time during the season. We are asking parents of A-team only players to serve in the concession stand for two time slots, and parents of B-team players to sign up for one slot. A link for online sign-up has been sent to all families. For those who do not sign up, you will be assigned a time slot. You are responsible for finding a replacement if you can’t make it. The B-team parents will also be required to work in the concession stand and monitor the halls during the B-Bounce Off. If you have questions about the concession stand schedule, contact Holly Jacobs (951-1538). At any time, anyone can volunteer to help with the scorebook or score clock. Volunteers are also needed to clean up the bleachers after home games. If everyone does their part, we can all enjoy the games and support our school. 
         New Rules: LALSAC has voted to do a one year trial of playing halves for the 2016-2017 season. The B-teams will play 11 minute halves, and the A-teams will play 13 minutes halves. Also, the league has approved a running clock in the second half for games with a point lead of 25 or more. Once started, the running clock remains in effect for the rest of the game. The clock will only stop for time outs. This is for both A and B teams.
         Attitude:  We believe that a winner is one who is humble in victory and gracious in defeat.  The best that we can do in life and basketball is use our God-given talents to the glory of God. When a game ends, don’t clap because we put an inflated ball through a hoop more times than the other team. Parents and fans, clap to say “Thank you for your effort”. We can win every game regardless of the score if we put God first. Players, shake hands to show thanks to the other team for their effort and the opportunity to play.
         If you have any questions or concerns throughout the season, please call me. May this basketball season bring fun and enjoyment to all of us, and, above all, glory to God through all of our actions!
                           In Christ,
                     Mrs. Julie Weishalla