About Athletics » Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Q:  What Sports are available to my student?
A:  Competitive sports are offered for Meridian students in grades 7-12. Our current sports offering is:
  • Baseball: 9th-12th (Varsity team)
  • Boys' Basketball: 7th-8th; 9th-12th (up to 2 Middle School teams; a JV and a Varsity team)
  • Girls' Basketball:  7th-8th; 9th-12th (Middle School; JV and Varsity)
  • Cross Country: 7th-8th grade girls and boys (Middle School); 9th-12th girls and boys (High School)
  • Fall Tennis:7th-8th; 9th-12th (Middle School; JV and Varsity)
  • Soccer: 7th-8th co-ed Middle School; 9th-12th co-ed Varsity
  • Spring Running (Fundraiser): 6th-12th grade girls and boys (training/ developmental only)
  • Spring Tennis: 7th-8th; 9th-12th (Middle School; JV and Varsity)
  • Swimming: 7th-8th Develpmental Group; 9th-12th girls and boys competitive High School Swim team
  • Volleyball: 7th-8th; 9th-12th (up to 3 Middle School teams; a JV and a Varsity team)

 

Q: Why does the ability to participate in Meridian Athletics begin in the 7th grade?

A:  Meridian follows the practice common in surrounding schools in having Athletics open to students starting in 7th grade.  6th grade students are eligible to participate in a variety of Meridian extracurricular clubs before and after school, but not in Athletics.

 

Occasionally, Meridian Athletics sponsors a community-building fundraiser that might include 6th grade students, such as the Triangle Triples (3-on-3) Tennis fundraiser and Spring Running/Conditioning for 5K/10K fundraiser.

 

Q: Can boys play in girls sports and vice versa?

A:  The following is the official policy from our league, Texas Charter School Academic and Athletic League (TCSAAL), to which Meridian School also subscribes:
    • Girls are eligible to participate in all boys sports with the exception of Track & Field*, Cross Country, Golf* and Tennis activities. *Sports not offered by Meridian Athletics.
    • Boys' cannot participate on girls' teams.
    • All athletes will have the opportunity to participate in TCSAAL activities in a manner that is consistent with their gender identity, irrespective of the gender listed on the student's records.

For questions regarding Eligibility, please email Meridian-athletics@mwschool.org.

 

Q. What is the proper way to communicate a concern about our team?

A.  Meridian encourages our student athletes to advocate for themselves as they prepare to artfully navigate our complex world. In keeping with this principle, the Meridian Athletics Department has adopted the school approach for how student athletes and parents should communicate concerns. Student athletes and parents should wait 24 hours after tryouts and/or competitions before approaching a coach about a concern. This allows time for the coach to focus on the task at hand and for student athletes and parents to fully reflect on their concern. Please do not approach a coach before or after a tryout, competition or practice.


Please respect the 24-hour reflection period.
After 24-hours, student athletes and parents should communicate concerns following the
this order of escalation:


Order of Escalation for Communicating Concerns or Grievance:
1. Student athlete to Coach. (To find contact information for coaches and the Athletics Department, please go here.)
2. Parent to Coach (To find contact information for coaches and the Athletics Department, please go here.)
3. Student athlete or parent to Athletic Coordinator: Eddie Timmons
4. Student athlete or parent to Director of Student Enrichment Services: Monique Swain
5. Student athlete or parent to Chief Operations Officer: Karalei Nunn
6. Student athlete or parent to Head of School: Rick Fernandez

 

Q:  When can I register my student for a sport?

A:  Each sport has a registration window. There is a 5-step registration process for each sport. Students are not successfully registered until all five steps have been taken by the registration deadline. Find your sport's registration window and a link to your sport's registration webpage on the Registration Information webpage.

 

Q.  Is there late registration available for sports?

A:  No. Each sport's registration window is several weeks long and communicated via several channels. There is no late registration available for students who were enrolled in Meridian during the sport's registration window. New students who enroll in Meridian School after the sport's registration window should email the school registrar for information about possible New Student Late Sports Registration. Please email admin@mwschool.org.

 

Q. What if I need to withdraw my student from a sport for which he/she is already registered?

A:  If you need to withdraw from a sport, please follow this process:

  1. The parent of the student withdrawing should email Meridian-athletics@mwschool.org and copy the coaches. Please send a fresh email and don't reply to another email. Please include in your subject line: "Withdrawing from [sport]" and your student's name.
  2. In the body of your email, please include the student's name and grade and the sport from which you are withdrawing. You are welcome to include a reason, but you are not required to do so.

Please note that registration fees and participation fees are non-refundable and non-transferable. You can learn more about that on this webpage. (Scroll down to Athletics Refund Policy.)

 

Q:  When are tryouts for my sport?

A:  All sports but Cross Country and Spring Running require tryouts. Find the dates of your sport's tryouts on your sport's General Information webpage or the Registration Information webpage.

 

Q:  When are participation fees due for my sport?

A:  Please see the Financial Information webpage.

 

Q:  What are competitions like for Meridian sports?

A: Meridian School is a member of Texas Charter School Academic and Athletic League (TSCAAL), which offers a post-season for most of our sports. Volleyball, Basketball, Baseball and Soccer compete within this league, which consists of other charter schools. Cross Country participates in the Regional and State Meets available through TCSAAL. Spring Tennis participates in the TCSAAL State Tennis Tournament. TCSAAL currently does not offer Swimming. Therefore High School Swimming competes in meets with other area schools. The Volleyball, Basketball and Baseball schedules are supplemented with non-league games, mostly before the league schedule begins, in order to help expand competitive opportunities.

 

About Volleyball and Basketball CompetitionsMeridian's regular Volleyball and Basketball seasons consists of league (TCSAAL) games, non-league games and tournaments. Due to resource capacity, there will be a limit of non-league games and tournaments in which each team participates.

 

JV teams and Middle School teams - The maximum number of non-league games and tournaments for Junior Varsity and Middle School teams are as follows:
  • Up to two home non-league games
  • Up to two away non-league games
  • Up to two tournaments (inclusive of Meridian tournaments)

 

Varsity teams - The maximum number of non-league games and tournaments for Varsity teams are as follows:
  • Up to three home non-league games
  • Up to three away non-league games
  • Up to two tournaments (inclusive of Meridian tournaments)

 

Non-league schedules are typically available and posted well before the league schedule. Ultimately, the Game Schedule will show all competitions for all teams for the sport. Non-league games are marked with an asterisk on the game schedules. About Baseball CompetitionsMeridian's regular Baseball seasons consists of league (TCSAAL) games, non-league games and tournaments. Due to resource capacity, there will be a limit of non-league games and tournaments in which our Varsity Baseball team participates.

 

Varsity - The maximum number of non-league games and tournaments for Meridian Varsity Baseball are as follows:
  • Up to six away non-league games prior to the start of league play. (Any exceptions will be at the Athletics Coordinator's discretion.)
  • Up to two tournaments.
  • No home games as hosting baseball games is cost-prohibitive.

 

Non-league schedules are typically available and posted well before the league schedule. Ultimately, the Game Schedule will show all competitions for all teams for the sport. Non-league games are marked with an asterisk on the game schedules. About Soccer CompetitionsMeridian's regular Soccer seasons consists of league (TCSAAL) games only for at least the first three seasons of Meridian Soccer.

 

Q:  When does the season end?

A. For teams Volleyball, Basketball, Cross Country, Soccer and Baseball, the season ends with the final competition. For these sports that participate in TCSAAL, each team's advancement to the league's post-season depends on its performance during league games. Not all teams have the opportunity to advance to State. Junior varsity and middle school teams in the secondary division cannot advance beyond Regionals. (Middle school teams in the Premier division and Varsity teams may earn the privilege to advance as far as State.)  For sports that do not compete in the league, their last scheduled competition will be the end of their season unless otherwise noted on that sport's General Information webpage.  A team's practices end when their competition season ends.

 

Q:  What do my student and I need to know and agree to in order to participate in Meridian Athletics?

A.  Prior to participating in any Meridian sports, students and parents/guardians must read Athletics Terms for Participation carefully. Questions about the terms, procedures and agreements outlined in the Terms for Participation should be emailed to Meridian-athletics@mwschool.org. Please allow two school days for a response. Upon submitting a registration form for Meridian Athletics, the parent/guardian agrees to all terms outined in the Terms for Participation for themselves and their participating student(s).

 

Q:  What are the eligibility requirements for participating in Meridian Athletics?

A:  Great question! There are four eligibilty requirements: Academic, Physical, Financial and Character Good Standing. Please see the Eligibilty webpage for details about each.

 

Q. My student is involved in several extra-curricular activities. Will they be excused from practices and/or competitions because of conflicts due to these other activities?

A. Meridian's students are extremely talented and involved in multiple activities, from multiple Meridian sports, to theatre and Model UN, to select and club sports outside of school. 

 

The Athletics Department supports measured risk-taking AND balance. Balance is often difficult to achieve. 

 

Athletics leadership strives to avoid overlaps in vital MWS Athletics activities; however, it is important to note that participation in multiple activities (including but not limited to multiple sports), means that the student is likely to have an occasional schedule conflict.

  

Students are responsible for knowing their own schedules and their limitations. The Athletics Department works hard to communicate important dates and times before the registration period for a sport closes. Students should review these important dates before committing to a sport and team. 

 

Those who are involved in multiple activities will be held accountable to their team just as those who committed only to the single sport or activity. 

 

When in doubt, student athletes are encouraged to connect with their coach (or potential coach) and discuss possible conflicts and resolutions. Exceptions to participation requirements at the team-level will be at the coach's discretion.

 

For sports with tryouts, cuts are generally made. The coaches for a sport run the tryouts together to make the best decisions for the sport and each team. For that reason, it is essential that all students who plan to participate in a sport participate in tryouts, regardless of possible personal conflicts due to participation in other activities.

 

While the Athletics Department works with other school departments to avoid major conflicts, at times, conflicts are simply unavoidable, and students will have to make choices. 

 

Q: Are there limits regarding how many practices and competitions in which my student will be permitted to participate?

A. Yes, limits are set weekly by team level (Middle School, JV, Varsity). Please see below.

Limits on Practices and Competitions (Games / Matches / Meets)

The following limits were set by Meridian Administration.

These limits are per sport.

Varsity

  • Practice - 6 hours per week maximum, 3 days  
  • Competitions - 2 per week

Junior Varsity

  • Practice - 4.5 hours per week maximum, 3 days  
  • Competitions - 2 per week

Middle School

  • Practice - 3 hours per week maximum, 2 days  
  • Competitions - 2 per week
 Essentially, the practice/competition limits allow five activities a week at the varsity or JV level and four activities a week at the middle school level. For example, if there are three games in one week, practices must be reduced to two for varsity and JV; reduce to one practice for middle school. For weeks that include a tournament, the team should remove a game or a practice during the week as they are essentially getting an ‘extra’ day in and taking time away from available academic time.

 

Q. Will there be practices or competitions during school holidays or testing?

A. There will be no competitions during finals week, although a competition may be scheduled the evening of the last day of finals. If a competition is accepted on the last day of finals, practice may take place the weekend before, but not during the week of finals.

Q.  Are there consequences if my student does not participate in optional practices?
A.  Any practices offered during finals week and during school holidays are optional for the student athletes. "Play time" in the next game/competition will not be determined based on participation in optional practices.

 

Q.  Are practices on campus open to parents and spectators?
A.  Practices on campus are closed to parents and spectators. Different coaches have different preferences regarding open vs. closed practices. In order to offer consistency throughout the program, practices will be closed in general. On occasion, a coach may invite parents for a specific practice, but this must be arranged for beforehand by the coach, who would coordinate any necessary changes in the facility needs and communications through the Athletics Department.
 
Q.  Are tryouts open to parents and spectators?
A.  All tryouts, whether on campus or offsite, are closed to parents and spectators. 
 
Q:  Does Meridian School provide or arrange transportation for offsite practices and competitions?
A:  No. Per the Athletics Terms for Participation, parents are responsible for the transportation of their students to practices and competitions. Coaches cannot arrange or provide transportation.
 
Q:  Does Meridian help with carpooling to offsite Athletics events?
A:  No. Arranging carpools is the responsibility of the parents. However, there are several tools available to help parents connect with each other to both arrange carpooling and build their team's community. These tools include:
  • A Parent Contact List provided by the Athletics Department once the team roster has been finalized. 
  • TeamApp - a tool accessible from computers and smart phones/mobile devices that allows parents to start private and group chats, which could include carpooling collaborations.
 
Q:  My student has a competition that starts at a time that will require us leaving campus earlier than the regular dismissal time. What should we do?
A:  Please connect with your coach as soon as you see something on your schedule, which you believe will require an early release from school. The coach will work with the Athletics Department to arrange an early release when it is necessary. Due to regular dismissal times and procedures, the latest an early release for a team will be authorized is 2:20pm. 
 
Please note that only academically eligible students will be released early from school for Athletics purposes.
 
Q:  What if there is an early release for my team, but my student athlete is riding with a teammate?
A:  Please see the Carpooling and Transportation/Permissions under Athletics Terms for Participation.
 
Q. What is the Refund Policy for Athletics fees?
A. There are two parts to the refund policy.
 
The first is to the Registration/Processing Fee:
Registration/Processing Fee: A $35 registration fee must be paid for each student athlete for each sport's season. The registration fee is refundable only for sports that require tryouts, and it is only refundable if the student athlete tries out and is not offered a place on any team in that sport during that season. In this case, the parent who paid the registration fee must request a refund via email to Meridian-athletics@mwschool.org within 30 days of that sport's tryouts.The registration fee is not refundable if the student leaves the school or decides not to tryout or not to participate or if the student does not establish or maintain eligibility. Each sports' season (and each special sport activity that has a participation fee) will have their own registration/processing fee.
 
The second is for the Participation Fee:
Participation Fees are non-refundable and non-transferable. Should a student athlete leave the school, decide not to participate, and/or not establish or maintain eligibility, the participation fee is non-refundable and non-transferable (to another sport, student or school fee). Student athletes are ineligible to participate in a sport without having first paid their participation fee.Sports with tryouts, such as Volleyball, Basketball, Tennis, Swimming, Soccer and Baseball depend on a commitment to the sport and team the day of tryouts.Therefore, participation fees are collected as soon as teams are formed after tryouts in the form of a check (made out to Meridian School).As previously noted, student athletes are not permitted to participate until the participation fee is paid. In the case when the participation fee remains unpaid and the student athlete remains ineligible for 10 days past the payment deadline, then the student athlete will lose financial eligibility and could be removed from the sport's roster. The registration fee remains non-refundable in this case. Student athletes who have been dropped by the Athletics Department for failure to achieve or maintain financial eligibility (for two sports or two seasons), may not be allowed to register for Athletics at Meridian in the future. Fundamental to Athletics, the opportunity to participate requires a commitment to the team, the coaches and the program.
 
Q:  Is financial assistance available for Meridian sports?
A:  Meridian School wants all students to have the opportunity to participate. Financial assistance and/or payment plans are available for those who need it. To learn more, please visit Financial Information. Please contact financialaid@mwschool.org to request a payment plan or a sport's participation fee reduction.
 
Q:  Is a uniform provided for my sport?
A:  This answer varies from sport-to-sport, and sometimes from season-to-season based on fundraising done by the sport the previous season. Here is a list by sport for 2019-2020:
 
Baseball - Meridian provides 1 loaner jersey, 1 keeper cap and 1 keeper practice T-shirt, which is also approved spirit wear. All other pieces of the uniform must be provided by the student. See Baseball.
 
Basketball
  • Varsity - 2 loaner jerseys, 2 loaner shorts, and 1 keeper practice T-shirt, which is also approved spirit wear. All other pieces of the uniform must be provided by the student. See Boys Basketball or Girls Basketball.
  • JV - 1 loaner jersey, 1 loaner short and 1 keeper practice T-shirt, which is also approved spirit wear.. All other pieces of the uniform must be provided by the student. See Boys Basketball or Girls Basketball.
  • Middle School - 1 loaner jersey and 1 keeper practice T-shirt, which is also approved spirit wear. All other pieces of the uniform must be provided by the student. See Boys Basketball or Girls Basketball.
 
Cross Country - 1 loaner jersey and 1 keeper practice T-shirt, which is also approved spirit wear. All other pieces of the uniform must be provided by the student. See Cross Country.
 
Soccer - 2 loaner jerseys (home and away) and 1 keeper practice T-shirt, which is also approved spirit wear. All other pieces of the uniform must be provided by the student.
 
Swimming  -
  • High School - Up to 2 Meridian swim caps and 1 keeper spirit wear T-shirt. All other pieces of the uniform must be provided by the student. See Swimming.
  • Middle School - 1 keeper spirit wear T-shirt. All other pieces of the uniform must be provided by the student. See Swimming.
 
Tennis - 1 loaner jersey  and 1 keeper practice T-shirt, which is also approved spirit wear. All other pieces of the uniform must be provided by the student. See Fall Tennis or Spring Tennis.
 
Volleyball
  • Varsity - 2 loaner jerseys, 1 loaner warm up, and 1 keeper practice T-shirt, which is also approved spirit wear. All other pieces of the uniform must be provided by the student. See Volleyball.
  • JV - 1 loaner jersey and 1 keeper practice T-shirt, which is also approved spirit wear.. All other pieces of the uniform must be provided by the student. See Volleyball.
  • Middle School - 1 loaner jersey and 1 keeper practice T-shirt, which is also approved spirit wear. All other pieces of the uniform must be provided by the student. See Volleyball.
 
Find more about Athletics Uniforms here.
 
Q.  How should students dress at school on competition days?
A.  When student athletes have a competition (home or away), they may wear their team's jersey with the appropriate school uniform bottoms to school that day. No jeans are to be worn with jerseys for games Monday-Thursday.
 
If the competition is on Friday or over the weekend, the student athlete may wear the team's jersey with jeans on Friday.
 
Swimming - Because the Swim Team does not have jerseys, high school swimmers may wear approved Meridian Swimming or their "Meridian Athletics" spirit wear with the appropriate school uniform bottoms to school the day of swim meets. (No jeans are to be worn with Meridian Swimming spirit wear Monday-Thursday.)
 
Jerseys are not to be worn on Fridays as spirit wear when there is not a competition that day or that weekend.
 
Please note that for the 2018-2019 school year, Professional Attire is not to be worn by student athletes. This will be reevaluated in the spring of 2019 for the 2019-2020 school year. Student athletes who dress in professional attire could receive a written referral for a dress code violation.
 
Q:  If our team would like to get spirit wear, how would we go about doing this?
A:  Sport-specific spirit wear is offered to the entire Meridian community through the school twice a year. For students who participate in Meridian Athletics, starting in 2019-2020, they will receive a Meridian Athletics spirit wear T-shirt, which their coach may also chose to use as the required practice shirt. 
 
For all other spirit wear requests, please see Athletics Spirit Wear,

Q. What communication tools should I utilize to stay fully informed about my team/sport?A. Once a team is formed, the primary communications that are team specific will come from the coach or the team parent. The Athletics Department strives to be diligent in its communications. All deadlines, registration windows, important dates and Athletics events are communicated through each of the following channels:
  • Athletics News - available online and updated weekly on Tuesday mornings.
  • The Athletics Newsletter - emailed periodically on Tuesdays for time-sensitive or important announcements to all secondary students and their parents. If you are not receiving this email, please check that Meridian's registrar has a valid email address for you, and please check your promotions/spam folders. 
  • The Athletics website, accessible at mwschool.org/athletics - Important dates and deadlines are communicated on each sport's General Information page and the Athletics Calendar.
  • Advisory Slides - On Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, slides are posted during Advisory at 2pm. Reminders about important dates and deadlines for Athletics are included in these slides that are shown to all secondary students. The slides are also accessible to parents through the Lion's Share newsletter, emailed from Mr. Ryder weekly, or here is the link to the current Advisory slides/announcements.
 
If you have additional questions, please email Meridian-athletics@mwschool.org.