Role of Interscholastic Athletics in Fort Worth ISD
Interscholastic athletics is a unique educational forum. Student-athletes learn lessons that augment the overall educational goal of developing productive citizens. As an extension of the classroom, lessons in self-discipline, sportsmanship, teamwork, competition and how to win and lose gracefully are integral components of the athletic program.
The Athletic Department believes that the role and purpose of interscholastic athletic participation shifts accordingly through the levels of competition—middle school, sub-varsity, and varsity. At the middle school level, the focus is on 7th and 8th grade student-athletes developing fundamental skills, learning the rules of the game, gaining a sense of self-satisfaction, and enjoying the athletic experience. Additionally, by focusing on participation and individual improvement, it is desired that a positive sporting experience will lead to the continuation of athletic participation. Although middle school sports are not “farm systems” for high school sports, the knowledge gained can facilitate the transition to high school athletic participation.
In sub-varsity competition, skills are further developed and the intensity of competition increased in anticipation of varsity participation. It is possible that teams may conduct tryouts to provide sufficient playing time for players. Emphasis is placed on being competitive but not to the extent of the varsity level.
At the varsity level, skills are developed to the student-athletes fullest potential. The talented student-athletes are given the chance to excel and prepare for possible collegiate participation. Additionally, varsity student-athletes serve as role models for younger student-athletes. The primary focus of varsity sport teams is to win. Playing time is determined to accomplish this task. However, a “winning at all cost” mentality is not condoned and neglecting good sportsmanship is not tolerated.