Athletic Handbook


The purpose of the athletic handbook is to provide student-athletes and parents with specific guidelines and information pertaining to athletics. it is not the official school handbook which encompasses all guidelines and information pertaining to student life at mercy high school.

Mercy High School Athletic Mission Statement

“A Mercy athlete is a women of academic excellence, faith based character, and a leader in her community.”- Mercy Athletics

Mercy High School is committed to excellence in athletics as part of our larger obligation to high quality educational opportunities. The Athletic Department of Mercy High School is dedicated to providing our student-athletes with opportunities that promote character development and success in their future lives by encouraging our young women to embrace discipline, face their challenges, and commit themselves towards achieving common goals through teamwork. They can learn to appreciate being humble in victory and gracious in defeat.

Mercy is committed to excellence in athletics and to the physical, social, and emotional well-being of our student-athletes. Mercy recognizes the numerous demands that are placed on our student-athletes, and we are committed to supporting their needs and development as well as helping them on their journey to make the most of their high school experience. Mercy High School student-athletes are expected at all times to act according to the highest level of conduct that will bring credibility and honor not only to themselves but also to the Mercy community as they uphold Christian values that promote citizenship and service both on and off the field.


Consent to Participate in Athletics

Parental Release and Medical Authorization

My daughter has my permission to participate in Mercy High School interscholastic athletics. We acknowledge that we have read the California Interscholastic Federation Notice to Parents and Students or Guardians and we acknowledge the risks involved as outlined in the Informal Consent section. We acknowledge that we have read the entire Athletic Department’s student-athlete handbook, and agree to abide by all of the rules and regulations detailed therein.

I give my authorization to my daughter’s coach or appropriate school official to approve emergency medical treatment for injuries resulting from either games or practices in the event neither parent can be contacted. I expect every effort will be made to contact me or my spouse in order to receive my permission before any treatment or hospitalization is undertaken. I understand that in an emergency situation it is not always possible to obtain treatment by our specified physician or hospital. I authorize my daughter’s coach or appropriate school official to obtain treatment at the nearest medical facility if the situation dictates such a course.

The parent/guardian is signing this form both in the capacity of a parent/guardian and on behalf of the student.

Membership on an Athletic Team

It is important to understand that participation on an athletic team at Mercy is a privilege. It is also important to remember that unlike recreational or intramural teams, equal or guaranteed playing time does not exist. The coach has the right to play those student-athletes they feel are best suited to the conditions and demands of the contest at that time.


Statement of Commitment

At Mercy High School, we will continue to strive to provide our student-athletes with the best programs, facilities and coaching available to us. Keeping competition in its proper context is critical to allowing high school athletics to be a positive experience for all participants.


For most sports, Mercy High School belongs to the West Bay Athletic League (WBAL) with Castilleja School, Crystal Springs Uplands School, Eastside Preparatory, Harker School, Immaculate Conception Academy, The King’s Academy, Menlo School, Mercy High School - San Francisco, Notre Dame High School - Belmont, Notre Dame High School - San Jose, Pinewood School, Priory, and Sacred Heart Prep. In Water Polo Mercy competes in the Peninsula Athletic League (PAL).  Gymnastics competes in the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League.

Mercy offers fourteen (14) sports. The following athletic opportunities are available to all Mercy High School students:

Season Teams
  • Cross Country* (Varsity, Junior Varsity)
  • Golf
  • Tennis (Varsity, Junior Varsity)
  • Volleyball (Varsity, Junior Varsity, Freshman)
  • Water Polo (Varsity, Junior Varsity)**
  • Basketball (Varsity, Junior Varsity)**
  • Soccer (Varsity, Junior Varsity)**
  • Gymnastics
  • Lacrosse (Varsity, Junior Varsity)**
  • Softball
  • Swimming* (Varsity, Junior Varsity)
  • Track and Field* (Varsity, Junior Varsity)
Year Round
  • Cheerleading (Varsity, Junior Varsity)
  • Dance (Varsity and Junior Varsity)

*denotes non-cut sports

** Junior Varsity teams will filled based on participation.

Levels of Competition

Mercy High School offers athletic opportunities at the Freshmen, Junior Varsity, and Varsity levels. There are a number of factors that differentiate the levels of competition from one another. Student-athletes and parents should make every opportunity to understand and respect these factors. The differences include the commitment required of student-athletes, tryout guidelines, competition levels, playing time, and skills required at each level.


Mercy High School’s athletic program uses a number of facilities both at the school and in the surrounding community. While we do our best to ensure that there is a consistent schedule for our families, we ask that families understand when scheduling conflicts arise and require last minute scheduling changes.

Any questions regarding facilities should go directly through the Athletic Director or another school administrator.

Mercy High School’s home facilities are as follows:

  • Water Polo and Swimming- Mercy High School and Junipero Serra High School (San Mateo)
  • Dance - Mercy High School
  • Tennis - Mercy High School and Skyline College (San Bruno)
  • Softball- Cuernavaca Park (Burlingame)
  • Basketball- College of San Mateo and Junipero Serra High School (San Mateo)
  • Track and Field- Junipero Serra High School (San Mateo)
  • Volleyball- Junipero Serra High School (San Mateo)
  • Soccer- Skyline College (San Bruno)
  • Golf-  Crystal Springs Golf Course (Burlingame)
  • Cross Country- Crystal Spring Cross Country Course (Belmont)
  • Gymnastics- Gymtowne Gymnastics (South San Francisco)
  • Cheerleading - Rebel Cheer (South San Francisco)
  • Lacrosse - Franklin Field (Burlingame)


Student-athletes are required to attend all scheduled practices. If a player is not at practice the day before a game, the player will not be able to start or compete in the competition. It is up to the coaches’ discretion as to what degree the player will participate.

Injured athletes should report to the athletic trainer to discuss activity restrictions. Coaches and the Certified Athletic Trainer will determine if an athlete is excused from practice.

  • Individual times and days of the week are issued by the coach of each team.
  • Students-athletes must be present in school to practice or to play in any contest.
  • Practice sessions are closed to spectators.


Student-Athletes are expected to attend all games and team events. Student-Athletes should try to avoid all conflicts during season.

If a family decides to go on vacation or attend a school trip, upon their return the student-athlete will sit out as many contests as they missed during their absence from the team. Excessive absences from practices and games will result in a meeting with the coaches and Athletic Director to determine if the student-athlete should continue to be a member of the team.

Required Athletic Clearance

All student-athletes must be registered in Magnus Health before tryouts/participation on a team. No student-athlete will be allowed to start tryouts/participation on a team unless they are fully cleared with a Health Examination form signed by a medical provider.

In addition, student-athletes and parent/guardians must read the Mercy High School Athletic Handbook and sign the online contract.


Student-athletes injured in games or practices where medical attention was necessary, may not return to practices or games without written permission from a medical doctor. If a doctor is consulted, the family must file an injury report online with Magnus Health.

Injured student-athletes seen by the Athletic Trainer must follow the process put in place by the Athletic Trainer as a condition for return to participation.

An injured student athlete not seen by a medical doctor, who still can’t compete after three weeks, will be required to get medical clearance before returning to the team, if not referred sooner by the athletic trainer.

Uniforms and Equipment

All uniforms and equipment are the property of the Mercy High School Athletic Department. No student-athletes, including seniors, are allowed to keep any portion of their athletic attire or equipment. All uniforms and equipment must be returned in good condition at the end of the season.

If uniforms or equipment are not returned after the season, families will be billed for the cost of the gear.

Transportation to Athletic Practices and Competitions

Participation in school-sponsored activities involves travel beyond the confines of the Mercy High School campus. Mercy High School will attempt to coordinate transportation to and from school-sponsored activities. However, transportation to/from practices and games is the sole responsibility of the parents. Please ensure that all student-athletes are picked up promptly at the end of each practice/game.

Mercy has vans that are used for Athletic transportation to competitions.  All requests for use must be approved by the Athletic Director. Coaches and parents who have been approved through the DMV may drive the vans. To be eligible to drive, one must complete the following steps: Provide a copy of driver’s license, fill out the Mercy Driving form, provide a copy of the driver’s automobile insurance policy, and complete the DMV Pull Notice Program form. These forms can be found on the Mercy website and should be returned to the Main Office.

Mercy High School allows Mercy students-athletes to drive other Mercy students-athletes in the radius of Notre Dame- Belmont and Skyline College assuming that all DMV rules are complied with. If the contest is within the radius, student-athletes can carpool with another student-athlete as permissible by law. If contests are beyond the radius, the coach or eligible parents must drive- there are no exceptions to this rule. The families should be aware that if a student-athlete is found to go against the driving rules that she may be suspended and/or removed from the athletic team. Families are expected to uphold the driving regulations.

Removal From Team - Family Decision

The Head of School, Athletic Director, and coaches will respect and support the decision of a parent to remove his or her child from a team for any reason. However, once the child is removed, she may not return to that team for the remainder of the sport season or participate in that sport the following year in any capacity. If a student discontinues with an athletics team, they may not participate in another extracurricular outside of the athletics department during the same season. Counselors will be notified and the student-athlete will not be given credit on their transcript.

Outside of School Participation

During a high school season, student-athletes may not compete on teams of the same sport outside of school. Per CIF, CCS rules, if a student-athlete does compete with an outside team (club team) during the high school season, the high school team will be required to forfeit all games that the student-athlete participated in. Student-athletes are only allowed to practice with an outside team of the same or different sport if it does not conflict with the high school team’s schedule.

Eligibility/Academic Probation

A student-athlete’s academic standing is of the utmost importance to the Mercy High School Athletics Department. The academic standing of every student-athlete will be reviewed at the end of each three week grading period. Please refer to the 2018-2019 Student Handbook for academic guidelines and expectations.

Should a student-athlete be placed on any level of disciplinary probation, the family will be notified by the Dean of Students or Athletic Director. In order to protect the privacy of the student, coaches will be notified and will be expected to keep this personal information confidential and may only talk to the student-athlete about her grades when no other students are around.

Coaches are expected to work with a student-athlete on academic probation so that she may improve her academic standing as instructed by the school administration.

Parent/Coach Communication

Parent communication is welcome at any time for information about the team, however there is a process that should be followed. If there is an issue that needs to be addressed the student-athlete must contact the coach first. If the parents feel there is still something that needs to be resolved, contact one of the coaches 24 hours after the practice or game in which the issue arose. A meeting will be held with the coach, student-athlete, and parent to resolve the issue. All three parties must be present. Coaching decisions regarding playing time or positioning will not be discussed on game day or during a tournament.


At Mercy High School, sportsmanship and character development is the focus of our Athletics Department. Demonstrating respect for teammates, coaches, officials, opponents, and oneself  is expected from our student-athletes. The same principles of respect are encouraged to be followed by the greater Mercy High School community. The Athletic Department endorses and supports the principles of appropriate behavior and sportsmanship set forth by the California Interscholastic Federation “Pursuing Victory With Honor” program  and our local athletic leagues.

Any student-athlete who is not adhering to the sportsmanship and character development standards of Mercy High School will be dismissed from the team.

*Mercy High School maintains the right to remove a spectator from an event when his or her behavior becomes detrimental to the objectives of high school athletics

Inherent Risk of Injury

By its very nature, competitive athletes may put students in situations in which serious, catastrophic and perhaps fatal accidents may occur. Many forms of athletic competition result in violent physical contact among players. The use of equipment, strenuous physical exertion, and numerous other exposures may result in accidents and contribute to the risk of injury.

Student athletes and parents must assess the risks involved in such participation and make their choice to participate in spite of those risks. No amount of instruction, precaution or supervision will totally eliminate all risk of injury. Just as driving an automobile involves choice of risk; athletic participation by high school students may also be inherently dangerous.

The obligation of parents and student athletes in making this choice to participate cannot be overstated. There have been accidents resulting in death, paraplegia, quadriplegia, and other very serious permanent physical impairments as a result of athletic competition.

Steroid Policy

As a condition of membership in the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF), all schools shall adopt policies prohibiting the use and abuse of androgenic/anabolic steroids. All member schools shall have participating students and their parents, legal guardian/caregiver agree that the athlete will not use steroids without the written prescription of a fully licensed physician (as recognized by the AMA) to treat a medical condition (CIF Bylaw 524).

By signing below, legal guardian/caregiver hereby agrees that the student shall not use androgenic/anabolic steroids without the written prescription of a fully licensed physician (as recognized by the AMA) to treat a medical condition. We also recognize that under CIF Bylaw 200.D., there could be penalties for false or fraudulent information. We also understand that the Mercy High School policy regarding the use of illegal drugs will be enforced for any violations of these rules.

Concussion Policy

Any athlete suspected of suffering a concussion will be removed from the game or practice immediately. No athlete may return to an activity after an apparent head injury or concussion, regardless of how mild it seems or how quickly symptoms clear, without medical clearance. Close observation of the athlete should continue for several hours. The new CIF Bylaw 313 now requires implementation of long and well-established return to play concussion guidelines that have been recommended for several years:

  • A student-athlete who is suspected of sustaining a concussion or head injury in a practice or game shall be removed from competition at that time and for the remainder of the day.
  • A student-athlete who has been removed may not return to play until the athlete is evaluated by a licensed health care provider trained in the evaluation and management of a concussion and received written clearance to return to play from that health care provider.
  • The “scope of practice” for licensed health care providers and medical professionals is defined by California state statutes. The scope of practice will limit the evaluation to a medical doctor (MD) or doctor of osteopathy (DO).

You should also inform your child’s coach if you think that your child may have a concussion. Remember, it’s better to miss one game than the whole season. And when in doubt, the athlete sits out. Refer to the Concussion Acknowledgement & Management Plan in Appendix I for additional information.