Levels of Competition
Amherst Central School District participates in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) under Section VI regionally and the Erie County Interscholastic Conference (ECIC) as its league affiliate. Amherst participates under the direction of the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) which has served interscholastic competition since 1920.
The varsity teams represent Amherst Central School District in the highest level of interscholastic competition. Our varsity teams serve as the culmination of our athletic program and our student athletes demonstrate competence, character, civility and citizenship as a member of our program.
At the varsity level, students are selected to represent the district based on a number of characteristics. These include (but are not limited to) level of physical ability, level of skill development, and personal traits that enable the student to be a contributor to the team. Participating in varsity level sports requires a commitment to the rigors or numerous practices, as well as games that may take place during “vacation periods”.
The squad size at the varsity level may be limited. Students may be cut based on the number of participants that are needed to make the team function effectively in practice situations, as well as during competition. Team members need to be willing to understand and accept their role with the team; while also striving for excellence and competing to win. Although providing playing time for each of the members of the squad is a goal, there is no guarantee as to the amount of playing time.
Junior Varsity Level
The junior varsity level is intended to develop and prepare student athletes to participate and compete at the varsity level. Team membership varies depending on the sport, but much of the student athletes at this level are represented by the sophomore and freshmen classes.
Junior varsity participation emphasizes key component including physical conditioning, refinement of physical skills, as well as the understanding of the elements of play and team strategy. Junior varsity programs work together with the Varsity coaches to help make a smooth transition within each given sport. At the junior varsity level there is a balance among the goals of continued player development, team development, school pride, and striving to compete at the highest level.
Students who participate at the junior varsity level need to understand and accept responsibility for practicing and working as a team. A high level of commitment and dedication is expected from all participants. Students can expect to be involved in meaningful contest participation during the course of the season. However, the amount of playing time will vary and is not guaranteed.
The modified level provides an opportunity for seventh and eighth grade students to be involved in interscholastic competition. The program is aimed at teach the fundamentals of the various games and team play. It focuses on athletic development, skill development, and teaching game rules. It is also aimed at developing a sense of healthy athletic competition, as well as socio-emotional growth for students. The level of competition and practice sessions will be appropriate for the physical development of the adolescent’s body.
The modified level activities will be aimed at providing as many opportunities as possible for students. However based upon the sport, students may be cut contingent on the number of participants that are needed to make the team function effectively and safely in practice and game competitions. In some instances developmental squads may be instituted when it is feasible and appropriate, although not all teams may have this opportunity.
Students participating in modified athletics need to accept the responsibility of team membership and dedication to practice sessions. At the modified level students will be given the opportunity to start to develop and understand the competence, character, civility and citizenship of an Amherst Central District student-athlete.