Modified Program


Grades 7, 8, 9




Jim Rose, State Coordinator

Yonkers Public Schools


Judith Salerno, State Coordinator

Hofstra University


Mira Martincich, Secretary


Section Representatives
  1. M a r t y   N e m e c e k ,   B e a c o n   H S 1 2 5 0 8 Beth Staropoli, Fox Lane HS 10506
  2. James Schlegel, CBA, Albany12205

Ron Racey, Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk 12143

  1. Chris Doroshenko, Morrisville Eaton13408 Barb Felice, Holland PatentHS 13354
  2. Carl Koenig, Oxford 13830 Sue Franco, Oxford 13830
  3. Tom DeYoung, Newark 14513

Ann Hosmer, Canisteo-Greenwood CSD, Canisteo 14825

  1. Matt Librock, East Aurora HS, 14052 Katie McGowan, WilsonCS 14172
  2. Matt Winslow, NewcombCSD 12852 Victoria McMillan, Morrisville 12962
  3. Tom Fitzpatrick, The Wheatley School, 11568 Cathleen Dnyprowsky, Great Neck South HS, 11020
  4. Jeremy Weber, Pine Plains 12567 Michele Henn, Washingtonville, 10992
  5. T B D

Lori Brewer, Russell 13684

  1. Dan Robinson, Brentwood USFD 11717 Georgia McCarthy, HuntingtonUFSD 11743




Boy’s Modified Athletics Sports Coordinators


Baseball: Steve Nolan, Warrensburg CSD 12885 Basketball: Bob Hummel, Queensbury HS 12804 Cross Country: George Blessing, Scarsdale 10583 Football: Steve Nolan, Warrensburg CSD 12885 Ice Hockey: Dean Berardo, Brewster HS 10509 Lacrosse: Gordie Pollard, Vestal HS 13850  Soccer: Matt Wood, Vestal Middle School 13850

Tennis: Tom Fitzpatrick, Wheatley School 11568 Track & Field: Teresa Lee, Little Falls MS 13365 Volleyball: Mira Martincich

Wrestling: John Richard, Holland Patent CS 13354




Girl’s Modified Athletics Sports Coordinators


Basketball: Jim Miller, Cato-Meridian HS, Cato 13033 Cross Country: George Blessing, Scarsdale 10583 Cheerleading:   A l i s a  P a c h e c o ,  J o h n  J a y

Field Hockey: Barbara Felice, Holland Patent CS 13354

Gymnastics: TBA

Lacrosse: Beth Staropoli, Fox Lane HS, Bedford 10506 Soccer: Matt Wood, Vestal Middle School 13850 Softball: Micki Bedlington, Yonkers 10701 Swimming: Tom DeYoung, Newark 14513

Tennis: Tom Fitzpatrick, Wheatley School 11568 Track & Field: Teresa Lee, Little Falls MS 13365 Volleyball: Mira Martincich


Staff Liaison: Todd Nelson, Assistant Director







Interscholastic competition  in sports for pupils below the tenth grade level has been modified by the NYSPHSAA, Inc., and adapted to students in grades 7-8-9. School administrators need to realize that the NYSPHSAA, Inc., Modified Sports Program has been approved by its member schools and is based on twenty years of experimentation and implementation with SAFETY as the major concern.






The Medical Society of the State of New York and the American Medical Association has officially approved the NYSPHSAA, Inc., Modified Program as a sound, safe program. It is most important that all school administrators, directors, and coaches note this approval. The safety of the pupil has been the dominant factor in the establishment of the policies, rules, game conditions, and modified rules under which participants in this programcompete.





COUNCILS have definite responsibilities to assure proper administration of  the program:


  1. Abidesby the rules by providingproperadministrationof the program.
  2. Informs all essential personnel of program rules, regulations, andprogram philosophy.
  3. Participates actively in  the organized group of  schools to  properly administer the interscholastic athletic competition within the rules of the Modified Program.
  4. Becomes involved in sectionally sponsored modified sports administrative committee or council, participating in rules and games clarification programs and clinics.


  1. Abides by the rules by providingproper leagueadministration of the modified program through chairmen and committee members.
  2. Gives consideration to more restrictive program policies if desired.
  3. Expects league sports chairmen to participate actively on sectional sports committees.
  4. Provides official, active representation on sectionalcouncil.




  1. Establishes essential administrative units and sports chairmen to provide the leadership necessary for the Modified Sports Programs in the schools of the section. Official league representatives and sports chairmen shall comprise the Section’s Council for Modified Athletics.
    1. Shall establish the dates forthe opening of all sports seasons.

Fall –  With Section/League approval the modified program Fall  season starting date will be week #8 in the NYSPHSAA Standard Calendar.

Winter –  Week #20 is the earliest possible date for  the winter sports season. Later datesmay be set.

Spring – Week #37 is the  earliest possible date for the  spring sports season. Later datesmay be set.

Four sports seasons may be set by sectional action and approval. The established fall starting date may not be changed without approval of both the NYSPHSAA Modified Committee and the NYSPHSAA Executive Committee.

  1. Conducts all organized team practiceand competition during one season.
  2. Cooperates with  officials’ organizations – to provide officials with the essential information relating to the modified program and to secure competent officiating for the Modified Sports Program.
  3. Administers all policies essential for proper functioning of the modified program of  sports.

--No sectional championships or tournaments shall be conducted.

--Clarifies sectional participation in innovative programs to assistin experimentation to meet obvious needs for programimprovement.

  1. Participates actively in the functioning of the NYSPHSAA, Inc., State Committees on Modified  Athletics by:
    1. Having official, active representation on the State Committee.
    2. The officially selected sectional  sports  chairmen  shall  provide  the  leadership for the sports conducted in the schools of the section and cooperate with the State Sports Chairmen in their continuing efforts to improve the sports programs and the safety of the participants.
  2. Establishes a relationship with the Sectional H.S. Athletic Council and Central Committee members to clarify section’s final approval of policies, programs, and with representatives involved in the Modified Sports Program of the schools of the section.
    1. More restrictive policies may be adopted for sectionally approved programs if desired.
    2. Recommendations for additional programs that may be desirable to meet particular needs in the section may be inaugurated.
    3. Participation in innovative programs may be clarified and approved.



  1. With sectional approval, variations of modified athletic game rules  and conditions may be adopted selectively for use by specified conferences or leagues.
  2. Essential communications should be established so that all schools are informed as to programs, policies, and administrative procedures necessary for the proper functioning of the Modified Sports Program.
  3. Definite understanding needs to exist between the Section Council for Modified Athletics and the Senior H.S. Sectional Athletic Council relative to the responsibilities and authority of each.

The elected Central Committee members are the section’s official representatives to the NYSPHSAA, Inc., governing bodies – the Central and Executive Committees. The Modified Sports Program for Grades 7-8-9 is their responsibility and complete understanding of the actions and activities of the Modified Athletics Councilneeds to exist.



The establishment of essentially sound, safe, and modified sports programs to meet the needs of varying sized schools has always been a challenge for the State Committee. When new programs have been presented to meet specific needs the committee has requested sections to experiment with the new program to determine its value before recommending the program for  official approval and referenda. Equitable  competition is the constant aim.


Innovative programs may be participated in only after being officially requested by Sectional Representatives on the Committee and the approval of the State Committee. This procedure has  been of real value in presenting practical programs for referenda.


GIRLS may participateon boys’ teams accordingto Eligibility Standard #15.


LIFETIME SPORTS competition is a part of the athletic program in some schools involving grades 7- 8-9. The Committee coordinators welcome suggestions from any schools involved in these sports and who feel standards need to be established. There definitely needs to be a very close correlation of intramurals, extramurals, and interscholastic activities to provide a broad program for all interested students of all levels of ability.


If a student or school participates in the Modified Program on an interschool level in the lifetime  sports, then all General Eligibility Rules must be observed.







SPECTATORS: Parents and  interested students are usually the great majority of spectators at Modified Program games. Spectator buses to away games are most questionable and never should be permitted without the approval of the host school. When spectators visit another school, adequate and appropriate staff members should be available to supervise their spectators.


SCHOOL BANDS: Bands at Modified Program games are not desirable, since they tend to develop an overemphasizedatmosphere for the competitors.


COACHES: The most important factor  in the program is the coach. One must adapt coaching to the age level and the abilities of the junior high  school  youngsters and must teach the basic fundamentals of the games and avoid the intricacies of more advanced programs. Real patience and knowledge of the youngsters at this particular age level is necessary. An understanding of all program policies and game rules and conditions is essential. Relations with opposing coaches should be  one  of cooperativeness and good sportsmanship,  yet  teaching  and  coaching  the  team  to  be the best of one’s ability, realizing that the  chief  obligations  are  to  the  pupils  and their proper  sports education.


SCOUTING: There is no need for scouting of opponents’ games at this level of completion.





PHYSICIANS: It is recommended that a physician be present at all football games and to be readily available during practice sessions. If an injury occurs during a game in any sport, the physician in attendance will determine the athlete’s fitness to continue play. During practice sessions, in the event of potentially  serious injury  to  head,  neck  or spine of a player, a physician should see the injured as soon as possible. Any pupil whose safe participation is in question as a result of the health history review interview, or injury, or prolonged absence must be re- qualified by the school physician prior to participation.


OFFICIATING: Proper officiating is a most important safety factor. The following policies should  be in effect:

  1. The use of the “fast whistle” is mandatory when participant safety is questionable.
  2. Strict enforcement of all rules violations will inculcate the proper playing habits and  attitudes.
  3. Special  attention  should  be  made  to  determine  “potentially  dangerous”  holds in  wrestling and to eliminate them.
  4. It is required that certified officials should be used in contact sports to provide the safestpossible game supervision.Three (3) officialsare preferredfor football.


EQUIPMENT: Only sneakers or shoes with molded soles and molded cleats are permitted in the modified program. Shoes with metal posts or spikes are not permitted in any modified sport.

Protective equipment which is properly fitted should be provided for sports of  a contact nature. Supporter cups should be worn in those sports where this protection is logical.

Protective headgear may be worn by soccer goalies for protective purposes.  Shin guards must  be wornat all times by all soccer playersand field hockeyplayers.


COACH ON THE FIELD: The coach is permitted  to be on the field during timeout periods to check such matters as seem desirable to control the safety of the games and to use the existing situation as a teaching opportunity. It is realized that this rule is subject to abuse by overzealous coaches. Any coach violating the spirit  of  this  rule should be removed from the  program.


RULES OF THE GAME: The approved game rules for all sports are listed in the Modified Sports Standards. All adopted modifications indicated for each sport take precedence.






Situations not covered by the following specified modified rules shall be governed by the Eligibility Standardsof the New York State PublicHigh School Athletic Association,Inc.


  1. AGE: Upon entry into the 7th grade, a student is eligible for modified program competition. One is ineligible when the sixteenth birthday is attained; however, if a student attains the sixteenth birthday during a sport season he/she may complete that sport season. NOTE: Schools, leagues and sections may organize  Modified Program competition by age, grade, geography and/or ability levels within the limitations of the NYSPHSAA Eligibility Rules to ensure safe and equitable competition. Teams shall practice and  compete  only  against other teams that use the same criteria for organization (i.e. age, grade, performance).


  1. BONA FIDE STUDENTS: A contestant must be a bona fide student of grades 7, 8, 9 of the school represented. NOTE: If it becomes necessary to  combine  member  schools  to maintain a team or sport, a written request  must  be  submitted  and  approval  obtained from the league and section involved. Schools which have combined must submit a report to the Modified Committee and  this will be submitted to the Executive Committee.


  1. CHAMPIONSHIPS-TOURNAMENTS: Tournament competition is not permitted in the Modified Program. No sectional team  or  individual  championships  are  to  be  conducted, nor are there to be championship playoffs on a team or individual basis.


  1. DURATION OF COMPETITION: High School Eligibility Standard #8  becomes  effective on the date of entry in ninth grade.


  1. EMERGENCY PROCEDURES: It is recommended that all schools develop  emergency procedures to be followedby coaches.


  1. EXTENDED PLAYING TIME: Eligibility for play in an extended playing time should be determined on the basis of the following participation standards:
    1. Players with  no  participation in  the  regular  game/contest should be  eligible for  play in an  extended playing time.
    2. Players whose participation in the regular contest is  limited,  i.e.,  their  total participation was no more than one-half of the regular playing periods/quarters shall also be eligible for play in an extended playing time.
    3. Limited participation shall be further defined to mean that entry into a playing period rather than actual playing time shall constitute “participation” in the regulation contest.



Optional Plan for use at the league or Section level: If a team has fewer than the minimum number of players to play the five (5) period concept the following game rules will apply.


A four  (4) quarter game will be played with the number of minutes being increased for each quarter (see chart); however no player may  play  more  than  three  (3)  quarters (*see exception). This will apply provided the team has a sufficient number of players so as not to exceed the NYSPHSAA regulated playing time allocation for each sport (see following chart).









Regulation Game

5 Period Play

4 Quarter Extended Play

4 Quarter Extended Play


7 minute quarters

7 minute quarters

9 minute quarters

(quarter 1-8 min)



25 minute halves

12 minute periods

15 minute quarters



10 minute

10 minute quarters

12 minute quarters



9 minute quarters

9 minute quarters

11 minute quarters



25 minute halves

12 minute periods

15 minute quarters



15 minute quarters

15 minute periods

18 minute quarters




In boys’ and girls’ lacrosse and in girls’ field hockey, if a team has only one goal keeper that goal keeper may play in all periods of 4 Quarter Extended Play or in all periods of 5 Period Play. Except for the goal keeper, the “time” allocated for the game will not be extended. All players except for the goal keeper will follow the 4 quarter or 5 periods extended playing time format and are therefore  only eligible to play 3 periods.


  1. HEALTH EXAMINATION: A student who may engage in interschool competition shall receive an adequate health examination and may not practice or participate without the approval of the school medical officer. NOTE: Physicals for participation in school sports may be scheduled at any time during the calendar year. The results of the physical shall be valid for a period of 12 months after the last day of the month in which the physical was conducted. Unless  the medical examination is conducted within 30 days of the start of a season, a health history update is required. Any pupil whose safe participation is in question as a result of the health history interview, or injury, or prolonged absence must be re-qualified by the school physician prior to participation. If the  12 month period for the physical expires during a sports season, participants may complete the season as long as a health history was conducted prior to the season. For example, a physical conducted on  August  1  would  be  valid  through  August  31.  If  a  student  plays  beyond  August  (ex,



football), the student may complete that sports season as long as an  interval  health history was conducted before the start of the season. Immediately following the last sanctioned tournament competition for that season, a new physical is  required if the student is going to play another sport. Sport season includes tryouts.

NOTE: The Handbook Committee recommends that each incidence of prolonged absence should be reviewed individually by the coach and the athletic director, consulting with the school physician when necessary  and a reasonable amount of practice  time  and  playing time be established based on the athlete’s readiness for safe return to competition.


  1. INTERSCHOOL PRACTICE SESSIONS/SCRIMMAGES: A school is limited to three (3) interschool practice sessions/scrimmages which, if conducted, may be held at any time after minimum practice requirements and previous to the last scheduled contest. By sectional approval, in cases where officials are not available for contests and all avenues of obtaining certified official have been exhausted, additional scrimmages are permissible as replacements to the scheduled contests. Interschool practice sessions/scrimmages are governed  by the same hours to elapse between such sessions/scrimmages as for regularly scheduled contests with the exception of football.

NOTE: With Section/League approval, up to 50% of the maximum number of games permitted for each modified level sport may be designated as scrimmages. (Example: Basketball – 14 games scheduled, 50% (7) could be scrimmages plus 7 games for a total of

  1. Under this option, if a contest is converted to a scrimmage, the scrimmage would count toward the 50% as outlined in the Promotion Rule.  NOTE: In practice sessions/scrimmages:
    1. Both squads use the same field simultaneously with both coaches making corrections and  givinginstructionto players as theywould do during their own practice,
    2. No official score is kept’
    3. No admission is charged,
    4. No spectators are permitted unless such is the usual plan whenever the squad has a practice.


  1. MIXED COMPETITION: see Eligibility Standard #15.


  1. MULTI-SCHOOL CONTESTS/TOURNAMENT COMPETITION/CHAMPIONSHIP/FINALS AND AWARDS: Tournament competition is not permitted in the modified program. No sectional team or individual championships are to be conducted. With sectional/league approval in multi-school contest and invitational, may award place ribbons to the top competitors. Championship playoffs on a team or individual basis  are  prohibited. Sections, leagues, devices or groupings should not host an end-of-season  finale  multi- school contest that can be construed as a jamboree, carnival, or invitational tournament. Multiple school contests can be conducted at the end of  the  season  only  if  it  is  in  a sport in which multiple team contests are regularly scheduled throughout the season and the final contest mirrors that of the rest  of  the  schedule,  thus the contest is  not larger than all the others. This may be true for individual dual sports (i.e. squad meets for wrestling, cross country or track). Team sport multiple school contests prior to the end of the season are permitted provided:



  1. No participant shall compete in more events, matches or games than permitted in any other regularlyscheduledcontest in that sport, on that day
  2. All handbook rules are applicable.

Coaches and directors are encouraged to design ideas that follow the spirit of, and guidelines for, modified athletics.


  1. If a school uses an ineligible student in any interschool contest, the penalties shall be as follows:
    1. In all team sports-forfeiture of the contest. In individual sports, the use of an ineligible player would result in the contest being forfeited. However, the performances and outcomes of the other individualswould stand.
    2. In the individual sports-bowling, cross country, fencing, golf, gymnastics, rifle, skiing, swimming, tennis, t rack, wrestling – all points scored by the individual shall be forfeited and placesmoved up accordingly.
  2. For any violation of eligibility or sports standards a school or a school authority may be censured, placed on probation, or suspended.
  3. Consistent with good ethical standards the  prompt reporting of  the  knowledge of an infractionshall be made to the proper authorities in writing.
  4. School Districts may appeal to the Section to gain relief from the prescribed penalty if the violation of eligibility standards resulted from circumstances out of the District’s control.


  1. PRACTICE SESSIONS: Each student may participate in only one practice session a day on only six days of a calendar week. Practice sessions shall be limited to two hours and be at least 45 minutes in length. No student may be permitted to participate in school organized practice or  play on seven consecutive days.

All required practice  sessions shall include vigorous activity related to the specific sport.

A tryout session may be used toward the required number of practices needed prior to the first scrimmage or contest when the high school and modified seasons start simultaneously or when the high school tryout periods are contiguous to the beginning of the modified sports season.


  1. PROMOTION: A contestant in grades 7, 8, and 9 who practices or  competes  with  or against a freshman, junior  varsity or varsity performer shall not return to the modified athletic program in  that same season in that same sport. Contestants shall not be promoted to a higher classification within the modified program or to a junior varsity or varsity team after completion of fifty percent of their modified schedule.


  1. General EligibilityRule #17 “TRYOUTS”.
  2. In school where no junior varsity program is provided in a specific sport, a ninth grade modified contestant may be promoted to the varsity team at any point in the season if he/she displays the skills and  maturity  to  compete  at  the  varsity  level.  A  promoted 9th  grade  contestant is  eligible to participate  immediately upon promotion providing



that he/she has completed the necessary number of required practices for that specific sport. The contestant may not exceed the total number of contests as outlined in the HS Sport Standards Chart.

  1. In a section whose “early winter” season ends in mid-winter, followed by the  “late winter” season, the modified ninth grader could not be elevated to the varsity for post schedule contests in a sport played in the “early winter” modified season.
  2. Promotion Regulation shall be waived for Boys’ and Girls’ Swimming &  Diving  and Boys’ and Girls’ Outdoor Track and Field permitting schools with section approval the option of running combined modified and varsity swimming and  diving  meets, alternating events.
  3. The NYSPHSAA Executive Director may grant a waiver of the promotion rule if a High School  team is dropped by the school district.


  1. SPORTS SEASONS: All competition shall be completed within  the  sport season indicated by each individual section.


  1. TIME INTERVAL: Unless extenuating circumstances arise, it is recommended that no more than two contest should be scheduled per week. Except in football and cross country, contests may be played with only one night of rest three times  per  season  for rescheduling purposes only. A team may never play three days in a row. There shall not be more than three contests played per calendar week. Baseball and softball shall be permitted to play two games a day twice during the season. (See Baseball and Softball – Game Conditions.)


  1. TRANSFER: A student who is enrolled in one school may subsequently transfer no more than once during a school year without a corresponding change in the residence of his parents or  guardians, or havingreached the age of majorityestablishes a residency.
    1. A student who transfers from one school to another becomes eligible after  starting regular attendance.
    2. Transfer students trying out for sports  before  school  opens  in  the  fall  shall  register and be accepted by the principal of that school before the medical examination and the first practice. This shall constitutethe start of regularattendancefor fall sports.

NOTE: After approval by the school medical officer a student may practice immediately and must satisfy the specific Sports Standard according to the number of practice sessions required.

  1. Practices at the previous school district may be counted toward the minimum number of practices required provided the principal or  athletic director of the previous school submits, in writing, the number and dates of such practices to the principal or athletic director of the new school.



  1. A section may establish tryout periods to allow EXCEPTIONAL ATHLETES who have completed and passed the NYS Education Department Selection/Classification (S/C) Procedures and Standards the opportunity to be selected for a high school team.
  2. Seventh and eighth grade students must pass the S/C qualifications prior to the tryout period.
  3. Ninth grade students do not have to pass the S/C qualificationto participatein the tryout.
  4. The tryout period for a modified athlete shall be defined as participation in three (3) of the first five (5) practice days of the high school season. During the tryout period, the modified athlete may not return to modified program until the athlete’s tryout is complete.
  5. Tryout periods for wrestling, boys lacrosse and ice hockey shall be a maximum of five

(5) of the first seven (7) practice days of the high school season.

  1. The tryout period for football shall be a maximum of eight (8)  of  the  first ten  (10) days of the high school season.
  2. Student athletes participating in sectionally approved tryout sessions are not subject to the  Promotion rule.
  3. In cases involving new transfer students, overlapping season, and/or medical conditions the student's try-out period will be 3 out of 5 days, 5 out of 7 days, or 8 out of 10 days of the high school season depending on the sport.








  1. To provide as broad  and varied an athletic program as is possible with an opportunity for competition on an equal basis for all  students. A  desirable modified interscholastic program will encourage participation at several achievement levels. Interschool competition in a modified sports program should encourage participation for as many children as possible.


  1. To realize that the individual schools have the final responsibility to equalize competition and must administer the program so that no overmatching of teams or individuals shall be permitted.


  1. To conduct the athletic program so that educational objectives shall be achieved; so that the highest ideals of sportsmanship are upheld; so that no single phase of the educational program  is promotedat the expense of other equallyimportant programs.


  1. To realize that the athletic program should be balanced with all other activities essential to youth, including those which  may  be  conducted  by  out-of-school  groups,  to  avoid  an excessive load for any student.


  1. To administer the program  in such a manner that participants are  properly  examined, approved, equipped, insured, selected, classified, instructed, and supervised so that as safe a program as is possibleis conducted.


  1. To administer the educationally based  athletic program  in its  proper  perspective,  with minimal loss of school time, limited publicity, competent officiating, and limited awards focused on  participation.


  1. To provide qualified leadership that understands the teaching of sports to the age group, the objectives of this modified sports program, and the emphasis on safety procedures.


  1. To cooperate with  schools in the area in providing an interscholastic athletics administrative organization within your section that will achieve the objectives and will aid in the development of the highest type of cordial interschool relationships.


  1. To conduct the program so that proper respect for authority is achieved. All participants, coaches, parents,  spectators  and  interested  individuals  will  demonstrate  appropriate  conduct at  all times.


  1. To promote sportsmanship by competing within the spirit of the rules, to give  every opponent due credit and respect, and to win honorably and to lose graciously.





Revised 9/09




< >To finance the program through Board of Education approved funds.To cooperate with the Sectional Athletic Council, League or Conference in its efforts  to provide sound leadership for all in modified athletics program. No sectional team or individual championships are to be conducted in modified interscholastic athletics.