1. What is the mission of FHSAA?
The Fairfax Home School Athletic Association (FHSAA) seeks to glorify God by serving home schooling athletes and families through competitive sports.
2. What are the core values of FHSAA?
The mission of FHSAA is accomplished through four core values:
Spiritual Foundation -- FHSAA is a Christian based organization that will operate on biblical principles. Above all, FHSAA strives to help players, coaches, and families, “press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:14) and to be an example of Christlikeness to others.
Operational Excellence -- FHSAA seeks to model integrity, transparency, and stability in its finances, communications, and administration realizing that whatever we do, “in word or deed, [we] do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Colossians 3:17).
Coaching Driven -- FHSAA Coaches’ are the front line leaders for the organization and, as such, are entitled to respect and support from all players and members. They are also held to a high standard through an initial application and interview process, as well as regular evaluations and review (I Thessalonians 5:12-13).
Player Skill and Character Focus -- FHSAA will seek to provide players with the skills training and competitive sports opportunities that will enable them to excel in their athletic abilities and grow in godly character (Colossians 3:23).
3. Are FHSAA teams recreational or competitive?
Northern Virginia offers a wide variety of recreational sports opportunities in which homeschool families can participate, however, homeschoolers are legally excluded from public school sports teams. Therefore, FHSAA strives to provide athletes with a competitive sports environment where they can develop and hone their skills and compete against private middle schools and high schools teams at a high level. By both mission and practice, FHSAA is not designed to serve as a recreational sports organization.
4. Is the amount of playing time my son or daughter will receive promised or guaranteed by FHSAA?
Because of the nature of competitive sports, playing time cannot be guaranteed any player on any FHSAA team. Coaches have the responsibility to put the players in the game that they believe will help the team perform at its best based on individual game situations. This completive environment means that some players will not have the opportunity to play in some games.
5. Who is eligible to participate as a player on an FHSAA team?
Grade level when homeschooling is typically a personal decision based on many factors, therefore when initially registering a player, a parent should choose the grade level based on the number of years remaining before they expect their player to graduate from high school. For example if their player is expected to graduate in 4 years then the player is considered to be in ninth grade.
In order for FHSAA athletes to be held to similar standards with the leagues we participate in and other schools we compete against, FHSAA has developed policy pertaining to grades and request for appeals which can be found at this LINK.
6. At what team level – middle school, junior varsity, or varsity – is a player eligible to participate on an FHSAA team?
A player’s level of eligibility with FHSAA is determined by both their age and grade. A player’s age is based on the birth date supplied to FHSAA by the parents. So, as noted above, a player who turns 19 years of age prior to August 1 of the upcoming school year is not eligible to play on an FHSAA team. Additionally, a player who turns 15 years of age prior to August 1 of the upcoming school year is not eligible to play on a middle school team. Additionally, a player in ninth grade or above is not eligible to play on a middle school team and a player in twelfth grade is not eligible to play on a junior varsity team.
Grade level when homeschooling is typically a personal decision based on many factors, therefore when initially registering a player, you should choose the grade level based on the number of years remaining before you expect your player to graduate from high school. For example if your player is expected to graduate in 4 years then the player is considered to be in ninth grade.
Once a player is registered in FHSAA’s website database, the system keeps track of a player’s grade level. Each year a player’s grade is incrementally raised by one grade per year by FHSAA’s system, and cannot be changed. This means if a player is initially registered as an eighth grader, the next year they will be considered a ninth grader and will be ineligible to participate on a middle school team, even though by age they might still be qualified for a middle school team.
On the other hand, with a parent’s and a coach’s approval, a player in seventh or eighth grade, is eligible to “play up” on an FHSAA junior varsity or varsity team.
7. On how many FHSAA teams is a player eligible to participate?
The number of teams that an FHSAA player may participate on is not limited. There will be some overlapping seasons between one team starting conditioning/tryouts and another team completing a season, so parents have full responsibility for communicating these scheduling situations to coaches and coaches are encouraged to make allowances for these circumstances. When a player elects to participate in more than one FHSAA team sport during the same season (example Girls’ Softball and Girls’ Soccer in the spring) both coaches should be informed of this situation before tryouts occur. And no coach is obligated to accept a player on a team who will not attend the vast majority of practices and games.
8. Does everyone who will try-out for an FHSAA team make the team?
FHSAA attempts to put the very best team possible on the court or field for each sport. Therefore, coaches are encouraged to hold tryouts and keep only the players that the coach believes will contribute to the team’s success. Most FHSAA teams cut some players at the conclusion of pre-season tryouts.
9. What should I do if my player cannot attend a game or a team practice?
Participation on an FHSAA team involves a very high level of commitment and absences from practices and games should be a rare occurrence. However, if a player must miss a scheduled event he or she should always tell their coach ahead of time. Practices are the place where skills are taught and team strategy developed. Not attending practices severely limits a player’s ability to effectively participate in game situations. Players who do not attend games severely compromise the effectiveness of the entire team.
10. What does the $30 pre-season fee pay for?
In order for a player to participate in conditioning sessions or to try out for an FHSAA team, the player must be registered on the FHSAA website and pay the $30 pre-season fee. This fee covers facility rental, liability insurance, and supplemental medical insurance and is not refundable. Some venues used by FHSAA require insurance coverage in order for us to use their facilities.
11. How much are the season fees to participate on an FHSAA team?
Before the season begins, coaches submit a budget to the board for approval of season expenses and fees. Built into this budget are facility costs, referee fees, administrative overhead, team equipment, and in many cases tournament fees and a uniform replacement escrow. Because these costs can vary widely by the sport and by the number of players and scheduled games for a team, families will typically be informed of the season fees soon after the team tryouts. Coaches are encouraged to set deadlines within two weeks of final rosters being set Deadline dates and full payment must be made no later than one week before the first game. Each coach will set and communicate the deadline date for each team. Players with unpaid balances are not eligible to participate in games or practices.
12. Does FHSAA offer scholarships or multi-player discounts?
FHSAA does not offer family discounts or scholarships. The organization operates on a pretty simple financial model. The team costs are divided evenly over the players for each team. So if we were to offer discounts or scholarships to individuals on a team, the only way for the uncovered costs to be met would be to have them transferred to the other families on any given team. At this point in time, FHSAA does not have other significant funding sources other than season fees. A family may request a hardship provision by petitioning the FHSAA Board for a payment plan to be considered by the FHSAA Board by placing a request through the head coach of their team.
13. What behaviors during games and practices are expected by players, coaches, parents, and spectators?
To participate in FHSAA, all players, coaches, and parents agree to follow the FHSAA Code of Conduct. The Code of Conduct includes the following points.
We shall try to discern what is pleasing to God and exhibit behavior on and off the field/court which will glorify God.
We shall not take part in any derogatory or taunting activity.This includes foul language, profane gestures, sexual innuendos, “trash talk,” and tearing down of teammates, opponents, or others.
We shall treat the officials, opposing teams, cheerleaders, and spectators with respect.
We shall address officials’ decisions in a respectful manner (words, tone of voice, facial expressions).
We shall respect the property and reputation of our opponents as well as that of our own facilities.
We shall not take part in or be party to any form of violence.
We shall encourage aggressive (hard-working) play, but not tolerate dangerous or out-of-control play.
We shall address disputes in a godly manner as soon as possible between the parties involved
We shall respect the decisions of our coaches and be teachable at practice, games, and all FHSAA activities.Parents and spectators are expected to refrain from coaching players during games.
We acknowledge that a players’ use of illegal or performance-enhancing drugs or alcohol will not be tolerated and is grounds for dismissal from all FHSAA programs.
We acknowledge that, for players to participate in practices and games, all fees and required paperwork must be submitted to FHSAA on schedule.
14. How is FHSAA governed?
FHSAA is governed by a Board of Directors comprised of five members. Candidates for board seats come from members in good standing with the organization. Board members serve three year terms and board member terms are staggered so that at most two seats are up for election each year. The board is responsible for maintaining the overall policy and direction of the organization.
15. What are the steps I should take to resolve a conflict with a team member, team family, or coach?
Competitive sports can be an environment where conflicts and disagreements can easily arise. FHSAA is committed to resolving conflicts in accordance with the 18th chapter of Matthew. So we encourage coaches, players, and parents to try to resolve disagreements through direct dialog with the individual(s) and/or parent(s) with whom there is a disagreement. If these attempts to resolve a conflict have been unsuccessful, the problem can be shared with a member of the FHSAA board for review and input. Finally, if the conflict remains unresolved, the issue can be submitted to the entire FHSAA board for resolution.
16. Do coaches, board members, or the athletic director get paid for their work?
FHSAA is a volunteer-driven organization. Board members and coaches are not paid for their service. Because of the major time commitment required for the role, the athletic director receives a monthly stipend.
17. How are coaches appointed and evaluated by the FHSAA board?
In order to create a safe and high quality program, FHSAA has established a thorough review system for appointing and retaining coaches. Prospective team coaches and assistant coaches must complete a detailed application, agree to the FHSAA Statement of Faith and the Coaches Code of Conduct, be interviewed by the FHSAA Board of Directors, provide a letter of reference, and undergo a third party background check. Furthermore, at the completion of each season, coaches’ evaluations are requested from the participating families and may be provided by other coaches and the Athletic Director. After the evaluations are reviewed by the Board and if the original appointment requirements continue to be met, coaches can be re-appointed for the following season. If a coach is not re-appointed, the families of the team will be notified and the coach will be offered an opportunity to meet with the Board to discuss the decision. FHSAA will not make public the issues or reasons behind personnel decisions made by the Board unless legally required to do so.
18. Who needs to go through a third party background check to be involved with FHSAA or an FHSAA team?
The safety of our players and families is a top priority for FHSAA. Therefore, anyone over the age of 18 who will be directing or in a position of authority over players on an FHSAA team as a coach, assistant coach, team manager, or trainer must undergo a third-party background check, through an independent firm under contract with FHSAA, before they begin their role with an FHSAA team. In addition, FHSAA board members and the athletic director must also go through an annual background check.
19. What additional volunteer time is requested from parents of players?
FHSAA is an all-volunteer organization and requires the generous service of members to function effectively. Volunteers are regularly needed for organization wide roles like fundraising and webmaster, and for team positions including coaches, team administrative managers, field preparation, scorebooks, and first aid. There is not a proscribed hourly volunteer requirement for members, but there is a need and expectation that family members will pitch in to help the association and teams on which their players participate.
20. Who should be notified if a player is injured in a game or practice?
If a player is injured, communication between the coach, player, and parents is critical. Players and parents should notify the coach of any injury or illness that will prevent a player from participating in team activities. If the coach observes the injury, the coach will notify the parents. After a serious injury or illness, the coach may require a physician's note in order for a player to once again participate in practices or games.
offered an opportunity to meet with the Board to di
scuss the decision. FHSAA will not make public
the issues or reasons behind personnel decisions ma
de by the Board unless legally required to do so.
Who needs to go through a third party background ch
eck to be involved with FHSAA or an
The safety of our players and families is a top pri
ority for FHSAA. Therefore, anyone over the age of
18 who will be directing or in a position of author
ity over players on an FHSAA team as a coach,
assistant coach, team manager, or trainer must unde
rgo a third-party background check, through an
independent firm under contract with FHSAA, before
they begin their role with an FHSAA team. In
addition, FHSAA board members and the athletic dire
ctor must also go through an annual
What additional volunteer time is requested from pa
rents of players?
FHSAA is an all-volunteer organization and requires
the generous service of members to function
effectively. Volunteers are regularly needed for o
rganization wide roles like fundraising and
webmaster, and for team positions including coaches
, team administrative managers, field
preparation, scorebooks, and first aid. There is n
ot a proscribed hourly volunteer requirement for
members, but there is a need and expectation that f
amily members will pitch in to help the
association and teams on which their players partic
Who should be notified if a player is injured in a
game or practice?
If a player is injured, communication between the c
oach, player, and parents is critical. Players and
parents should notify the coach of any injury or il
lness which will prevent a player from participatin
in team activities. If the coach observes an injur
y, he or she will notify parents. After a serious
injury or illness, the coach may require a physicia
n’s note in order for a player to once again
participate in practices or games.
21. What role do parents play in FHSAA?
FHSAA recognizes and fully supports a player’s parents as the God given authority in their lives. The board, athletic director, and coaches seek to support the position and role of parents in raising and homeschooling their children.
22. What leagues does FHSAA participate in?
FHSAA participates in four leagues: Northern Virginia Independent Athletic Conference (NVIAC), Virginia Home School Athletic Association, Old Line Baseball, and the National Independent School Athletic Association (NISAA) for Varsity Girls Basketball. Up to date listings of teams, standings, and tournament information can be found on the NVIAC website (http://www.nviac.org/). In addition, FHSAA teams play a wide variety of other teams outside of these leagues in the metropolitan DC area.
23. How does FHSAA protect against the inappropriate use of our organization’s logo?
FHSAA has added a © Copyright to the Hawks logo and developed an approval process to prevent it from being used to imply endorsement for events or messages that are not consistent with our mission and values. The logo may be used by teams and FHSAA members with prior approval of the message and graphics by the FHSAA President or Vice President.
24. What is the link to the Amazon website?
When anyone clicks through the Amazon banner ad at the top of the FHSAA website and places and order, FHSAA receives a portion of the sale back from Amazon -- at no additional cost to the customer. In addition, to clicking through the banner ad, this link may also be used and shared with friends and family members: http://www.amazon.com/?&tag=fairhomeschoa-20 .
25. How does FHSAA honor those who display outstanding Christian Character?
The Susie Miller Christian Character Award is named after the founder of our organization and is presented by FHSAA in recognition of an individual or team who demonstrates outstanding sportsmanship, exemplary behavior, or exceptional service to others. Recipients of this award may be players, coaches, parents, officials, or volunteers who exhibit these traits as participants in FHSAA. Nominations for the award may be made at any time before April 30th to the President of FHSAA. The award is presented each year at the FHSAA Annual Meeting.
Provided February 18, 2013 and Update April 27, 2014, July 7, 2014, January 10, 2015, March 24, 2015, and August 1, 2015.