Who coaches USAT?
Teachers, principals, parents and other volunteers all serve as USAT coaches. Programs are almost exclusively run through school districts, although certain other groups, such as after-school programs, magnet programs, and parent groups, sponsor teams. All Meets are hosted by experienced USAT coaches, who use the official Program Manual rules and forms.
General Responsibilities for Coaches
1. Coaches must run meets as prescribed by the Program Manual (qq add link). In the event that a coach intentionally does not follow this format, her or his team or the coaches may be disqualified for the remainder of the season.
2. Copyright laws must be respected. No alterations to the Program Manual rules or the event problems themselves are allowed without prior written authorization. Appendix pages of the Program Manual and Meet forms supplied by this website can be duplicated, and other materials, such as Meet challenges, may be reused within a district.
3. Coaches must absolutely refrain from assisting any team or individual as they compete in a USAT Meet. This includes but is not limited to in-Meet prep time and times when answers are being given.
4. Coaches must set high standards of sportsmanship and fairness during and surrounding competitions.
5. Coaches must reward good ideas and positive attitudes as they see them displayed by student competitors.
6. Coaches must serve as facilitators during Meets, or provide a prepared substitute in his or her place if unable to attend a Meet. (“Prepared” means familiar enough with the rules of US Academic Triathlon to serve as a judge/facilitator at a Meet. As a professional courtesy, Head coaches and team coaches will make sure that all volunteers have a basic working knowledge of USAT to ensure the integrity of Meets.)
7. Coaches who serve as facilitators always must let a team member finish giving a response if a verbal answer has been started before time is called. They must respect student competitor’s rights to compete in an atmosphere of acceptance and encouragement for positive risk-taking.
8. Coaches must exercise good judgement in serving as facilitators for Meets. This includes the occasional hard decision regarding the levying of penalties on their own or another team. Issuing a warning is often recommended, but not required, before assessing a penalty. The Program Manual has a table of recommended amounts for penalties and the point in the scoring where they should be assessed. The Host/Facilitator of each Meet has final say in levying penalties.
Head Coach Responsibilities
1. Disseminate all relevant program information to team coaches.
2. Facilitate coaches’ training to ensure every team has a trained volunteer coach at each Meet.
3. Communicate with your area’s Program Coordinator if questions arise within your district.
4. Provide leadership with regard to good sportsmanship, practice aids, transportation, Meet times and facility use permits.
5. Handle publicity and act as an information contact. Head Coaches must get permission to use photos of students for publishing purposes.
6. Hold continuing training for coaches, as appropriate.
7. Supply maps to schools which are to host Meets.
8. Provide accurate and complete registration and fee payment for teams under his or her umbrella application for membership.
9. Maintain the phone number and address list of competing teams.
10. Be familiar with district policies regarding student participation.
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