Upper School Athletic Handbook


Athletic Philosophy

The goal of the athletic program at Lincoln School is to develop students' physical skills, enhance self-esteem, encourage team and individual accomplishments, and instill sportsmanship and the spirit of fair play. The school feels strongly that healthy competition and cooperation in sports not only benefits a girls' physical development, but influences her academic life by teaching her to set realistic goals, exercise discipline, and develop time management skills.

While the athletic program seeks to include every student who wishes to participate in a team sport, limitations in facilities and staffing mean that some teams will be forced to make cuts at the beginning of the season.

Code of Sportsmanship


Lincoln School student athletes are expected to live up to a high standard of sportsmanship established by the school, leagues, and coaches. Lincoln School expects all of its athletes, coaches and spectators to behave in a sportsman like manner at all contests. All opponents and officials should be treated with respect and all athletes should accept seriously the privilege of representing the school and the Lincoln community.


Parents are expected to maintain a manner of conduct which supports the standard for sportsmanship within our community.

Program Offering

Lincoln School offers students in Grades 9-12 the opportunity for team participation in the following eleven interscholastic sports:

Fall Winter Spring
Cross Country Basketball Crew
Field Hockey Squash Lacrosse
Tennis Swimming  

The school is a member of The Rhode Island Interscholastic League, The New England Prep School Athletic Conference and The New England Interscholastic Rowing Association.

Student Load and Overlap

A student may only participate on one school team during each of three seasons. Lincoln School depends on our athletes participating on several different teams throughout the year; however, it is important that our students find the proper balance between their academic requirements and their commitment of time and energy to the athletic program.

Participation on an athletic team releases the student from Physical Education class that semester, and fulfills the state Physical Education requirement. A student who participates on an athletic team receives physical education credit on her transcript.

Students who participate in sports can expect at least one week off between the end of an athletic season and the start of the next season or their re-entry into the Physical Education program.

Independent Athletic Program

A student, who is involved in a year-round sport outside of Lincoln School, may petition the Physical Education Department for course credit.

Special exemption from participating in athletics and receiving Physical Education class credit is granted on an individual basis to the student who is participating in a competitive or performance-based sport not offered at Lincoln School. The student must be training a minimum of eight hours a week and be supervised by a coach who submits a written end-of-the-season report.

Levels of Participation and Time Commitment

Of the nine varsity sports that we offer at Lincoln School, several also offer competition at the junior varsity level. Being selected as a member of the team means that you should be willing to fill the role that most benefits the team as a whole.

Upper School students are eligible for selection to the varsity squad. Varsity teams are very competitive and play to win. Varsity teams and starting lineups are selected on the basis of a variety of factors, including skill, motivation, experience, potential, and attitude.The starting line-up is the result of a well-coordinated process including the coaching staff’s close practice and game observations, both over the long term and during recent practices. There are no other people better informed to make the selection for the starting line-up. Similarly, the amount of playing time for each team member is a function of the coach’s assessment of both a player’s skill level and what skills are needed to effectively respond to the opposing team’s strengths and weaknesses.

Players on the junior varsity teams should expect to have considerable playing time in games, provided they have met expectations with respect to practice and attendance, have developed an acceptable level of skill for competition, and have demonstrated that they can compete safely.

Length of Season

The length of the season for varsity teams from pre-season to the end of regular season play varies from ten to twelve weeks. If the team qualifies for post season tournament play, the season could be extended for an additional one to two weeks.

Fall August to November

Winter November to February

Spring March to May


Schedules of practices and games can accessed in the Lincoln School Portal. Any updates and changes to the schedule will be reflected on the portal calendars.

Practice and Game Commitment

Lincoln School expects total commitment to its teams. Students must be at all practices and contests. If a conflict arises, the student-athlete must communicate directly with the coach well in advance of the practice or contest. Students and parents should carefully review their family's schedule before committing to participating on an athletic team. College visits, appointments, and vacations should be reviewed before a student makes a decision to participate. Failure to attend practices and games on a regular basis may result in suspension from games or from the team. In order to be eligible to participate in any athletic activities, a student must be in school by 10 a.m.

Upper school teams practice five days a week for approximately 2-2 1/2 hours per day. Pre-season practice during non-school days can range up to four hours per day.

Non-School Competition

If a conflict arises between Lincoln School team practice/competition and an out-of-school practice/competition on the same day, the Lincoln School team practice/competition must be honored by the student athlete.

Pre-Season or Captain’s Practices

In accordance to the rules and regulations of the leagues in which Lincoln School competes no pre-season or “Captains” practices may be held before the official starting dates of the season. Lincoln School does not authorize such practices and discourages students from organizing them. Lincoln School’s athletic facilities and equipment are not made available until the official starting date of the season.


A student’s participation in athletics constitutes one aspect of her whole experience at Lincoln School. The student-athlete is expected to contribute to all areas of the community in positive and constructive ways. If her behavior, attitude, academic work, or respect for school rules should for any reason come under review, then her eligibility for athletics will also be subject to reconsideration.

In order to participate in athletics, a student must submit the following forms:

— Health form (required)

— League eligibility form (when required)

— Assumption of risk form (when required)

No student may participate in tryouts, practices or games without having submitted the appropriate documentation.

Expectations of the Athletes

Lincoln School athletes serve as highly visible representatives of the community, both at athletic contests and outside of school hours. It is expected that each Lincoln School athlete will conduct herself according to the guidelines set forth in the Student Handbook. If her behavior violates these guidelines, her eligibility for participation in athletics will be reviewed. In the most serious cases, violating these guidelines may result in suspension or expulsion from the school.


The Athletic Department issues uniforms/equipment to all members of interscholastic teams. These uniforms/equipment are to be cared for by each student and returned cleaned and in good condition promptly at the end of each season. Parents of athletes who do not return their uniforms/equipment will be billed for the cost of replacement.

Graphic Identity

Lincoln School logos, lettering and graphics is the exclusive property of the school and may not be duplicated or used for any purpose without the written permission of the Director of Athletics.


Students are expected to travel to all practices and games in transportation provided by Lincoln School. The only exceptions are made for licensed seniors and juniors who with parent permission may travel by themselves to practices. No other arrangements may occur without specific permission from the Director of Athletics or the Director of Upper School.

Returning to Campus

All student athletes returning to school after practices and games are to wait in the living room for their transportation to arrive.

Athletic Training

All student athletes must have on file a current year medical form in order to participate in any practices or games. If there has been an injury or apparent change in the athlete's health, the athletic trainer may request an updated health form from the students physician. If a student is injured, she should report the injury immediately to the athletic trainer. The athletic trainer will evaluate the injury to determine a course of action. The athletic trainer will then contact the parents of the athlete to discuss the injury. If an athlete needs emergency treatment, first aid will be administered and the parents will be contacted as soon as possible.

Any athlete who has not been able to participate because of an injury or illness will need to be evaluated by the athletic trainer before resuming participation.


Prior to the start of each season sign-up sheets are posted to allow students to choose the sport in which they would like to participate. After the completion of the first week of the season students will not be allowed to join a team. Students who decide not to continue their participation on a team must report immediately to the Physical Education Department for class assignment.

Varsity Letters

Players earn a varsity letter through a high level of participation in interscholastic competition and an extensive commitment of time and energy to the team. If a student is dropped from a team for disciplinary reasons during the season, she may lose her eligibility to earn a varsity letter.

Sport Fees

The Lincoln School Athletic Department offers a wide variety of choices for interscholastic sports. Most of our sports are offered either on the Lincoln campus or at our facility at Faxon Farm. Some programs however, need to be held at off-campus sites. Specifically, swimming is offered at Fox Point Boys and Girls Club, squash at Agawam Hunt Club, and crew at Narragansett Boat Club. If you choose to participate in one of these sports a fee is charged to your account and applied toward the cost of renting the facilities.

Sport Offerings


Basketball is offered during the winter season at both the varsity and junior varsity level of participation. Practices will focus on refining the essential skills of dribbling, passing shooting and rebounding along with the development of complex plays and strategies. The game played with five players on the court from each team is a fast-paced, physically demanding sport. Players must develop mental and physical quickness and expect to meet a high level of aerobic fitness. The season is comprised of an approximate 20-game schedule and practices run five days a week for approximately two hours.


Girls interested in crew generally spend their first season as "novices" learning about the equipment and the basics of rowing through an instructional program on "the barge" and on a rowing machine. The novice program begins after March break and continues until the third week in May. In her second season, a rower competes for a spot on a shell. Over the course of the season, a rower continues to refine her stroke in coordination with her fellow rowers, with the ultimate objective being to row altogether as a team of four. Rowers who demonstrate both ability and strength graduate to the varsity program. The varsity team races on a weekly basis for six weeks from the middle of April to the end of May.

Rowing is a demanding sport that requires the physical attributes of strength, coordination, and stamina. Rowing also requires commitment to the team, especially at the varsity level; a shell cannot go on the water unless it has a full complement of oarswomen, and so each rower must show up for every practice. Rowing further requires a certain mental fortitude, since practices are held on the water in all but the most extreme conditions, and rowers must learn to endure the vagaries of a New England spring — the cold rains of April, the ever-present winds, and the inevitable first heat wave of the year. At the same time, the rewards for such effort, dedication, and tolerance of the weather are considerable. Rowers learn how even the least movement on their part can affect the "set," or balance of a boat, and thus the stroke of every other rower. As dedicated members of a team, rowers learn to push themselves beyond what they may have thought were their limits of strength and endurance. In the end, rowers learn how individual accountability, effort, and performance can contribute to a whole greater than the sum of its parts.

Coxswains play an integral role in the crew program. While their number (and size) is necessarily smaller than that of the rowers, coxes are the coaches’ alter egos in the boat. A cox is responsible not only for steering a shell and making decisions that affect the entire boat, but also for monitoring each rower’s performance, encouraging the rowers individually and as a group, and helping each rower fulfill her potential during each practice and race. Above all, a cox learns to be a leader.

The Lincoln School crew program conducts its practices on the Seekonk River, with the Narragansett Boat Club as its home base. Due to the limitations of equipment, the number of spots on the varsity crew team is restricted to approximately 10 rowers per squad. Tryouts for those spots are held in the weeks preceding March break; selection is based on a combination of past experience, demonstrated ability as a rower, and performance on an erg test (an erg is a stationary rowing machine). Practices are scheduled from 4:30 to 6:30, five days per week.

A sport fee is assessed for this choice.

Cross-Country Running

One of four sports that are offered in the fall, cross-country is as much of a team effort as it is an individual sport. Participants are required to be present at daily practices as well as participate in the varsity races held over a two-month season. Practices are held at the main campus of Lincoln School, which is conveniently located next to a three mile jogging path. Daily practices always start with a warm-up run and may focus on speed, hills or distance. Time trials are routinely given and discussed so runners may gauge their own improvement.

Races take this team all over Rhode Island. A typical race day includes a course walk from the host team and ample time for warming-up.

Field Hockey

Field hockey is a sport that is played almost exclusively by girls in the United States, and was one of the first interscholastic sports offered at Lincoln School. Over the years, the performance of all of our teams has woven a tapestry of rich tradition within our community.

Field hockey is a fast skill-based game. Whether a beginner or an advanced player, a player’s enjoyment and appreciation for the game will grow as experience and performance improve. Practice consists of learning the techniques of hitting, passing, and dodging a ball while using a field hockey stick. Offense and defensive tactics, plays and strategy will be taught and players will develop and maintain a high level of aerobic fitness and muscular strength. (It is common for a player competing at the varsity level to run between 2-4 miles during a 60 minute game).

Lincoln School field hockey competes in Division II of the Rhode Island Interscholastic League at both the varsity and junior varsity level. Pre-season practice begins in late August and games are scheduled before the start of school in September. Practices are held at Faxon Farm in Rehoboth and are approximately two hours in length. Buses leave Lincoln School at 3:30 and return about 5:45. A typical practice would include a two-mile run, sprints, stick skills, strategy practice and a full field scrimmage. Varsity and junior varsity games are played back-to-back making for a longer time commitment on game days.


Lacrosse is a fast paced free flowing running game that requires endurance, coordination, quickness and speed. Lacrosse is played with a stick, the crosse, which must be mastered by the player to throw, catch, dodge, carry, and scoop a hard solid rubber ball. The player must have highly developed eye-hand coordination to play this aerial game of grace and skill. Unlike men’s lacrosse, women’s lacrosse does not allow physical contact between body and or body and stick.

A lacrosse team consists of eleven field players and a goalkeeper and is played on a hundred yard long playing field. The game is played in two twenty-five minute halves.

Lincoln School lacrosse competes in Division II of the Rhode Island Interscholastic League at both the varsity and junior varsity level. Practices are held at Faxon Farm in Rehoboth and are approximately two hours in length. Buses leave Lincoln School at 3:30 and return about 5:45. A typical practice would include a two-mile run, sprints and fitness training, skill drills, practice of specialty game situations and full field scrimmage. Games are usually played back-to-back for varsity and J.V., making for a longer time commitment on game days.


Lincoln School soccer competes in Division III of the Rhode Island Interscholastic League at both the varsity and junior varsity level.

Pre-season training begins in late August in preparation for weekly games held from early September through early November. Practices are held at Faxon Farm in Rehoboth and are approximately two hours in length. Buses leave Lincoln School at 3:30 and return about 5:45.

Practice and training for soccer are essential to individual and team success. The player who works hard to develop her skills, improve fitness, and learn tactics will enhance her own enjoyment of soccer and make a positive contribution to team play. Players are encouraged to work on fitness levels during the summer and to play soccer whenever possible. Practices during the season focus on skills development, with an emphasis on ball control and passing, fitness enhancement, and learning tactical aspects of the game.

The soccer program at Lincoln School offers players an opportunity to enjoy the game while developing confidence, decision-making, and leadership skills.


Squash has both individual and team components. The squash team consists of a ranked order of players, called a "ladder." In competitions with other teams, each player competes against her counterpart on the other team; e.g., the number 1 players compete against each other, the number 2 players compete, and so forth down the ladder. In a team match, the results of the top seven players on the ladder count; a team wins its match by winning four of seven individual matches. An individual player wins her match by winning three out of a possible five games; and an individual player wins a game by scoring 9 points before her opponent does. Points are earned only when a player is serving.

Although it is played on the confines of a relatively small court, squash is a physically exacting sport that requires a high degree of conditioning, speed, upper-body strength, and hand-eye coordination. In addition to being able to hit a squash ball with power and accuracy, a player must learn to watch her opponent’s moves and anticipate in a split-second where her opponent’s return shots will end up. A player must also master a variety of shots that will enable her both to return her opponent’s shots as well as move her opponent around the court. In competing against a previously unknown opponent, a player must be adaptable; she must quickly analyze the strengths and weaknesses of her opponent’s skills and adjust her own game plan accordingly. Finally, squash requires, and thus teaches, mental toughness: individual matches at this level are often won by the player who most successfully embodies the will to win by both outplaying and outlasting her opponent.

Lincoln School practices and plays home matches at The Agawam Hunt Club in East Providence. Since Agawam has only three courts, and our court time is limited to an hour and a half each day, the number of squash players Lincoln School can support is restricted to no more than twelve. Lincoln School can therefore instruct players new to the game only on a very limited basis. Many of the top players on the team earn and keep their spots in part by attending squash camps during summer vacation and during the fall and winter months.

A sport fee is assessed for this choice.


Lincoln School's swim team is able to accommodate a wide range of abilities from the beginner to the advanced level swimmer. Swimmers must be able to swim freestyle and have an introductory level of experience in the backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly. Students must embrace hard training with practices consisting of long endurance swims, fast sprints and technique drills in all four strokes. The practice sessions also involve a combination of starts, turns and stroke instruction as well as customized training for both endurance and sprint sets.

Swim meets provide the opportunity to perform in four events. Events range from short (50 yds.) to long (500 yds.) and are contested in all four strokes.

Practices are held after school at Fox Point Boys and Girls Club. Students not only learn to swim well but in addition learn about time management, long-term goal achievement and team work.

A sport fee is assessed for this choice.


Successful tennis players possess high levels of aerobic fitness, hand-eye coordination and the ability to change directions quickly. Endurance is often a deciding factor in three-set matches, which can take close to two hours to complete. Equally as important are the player's ability to concentrate, demonstrate self-control and interpret honestly the rules in a self-governed match. Players must be mature enough to successfully negotiate the social aspects of the game both with their opponents (during warm-up and changeovers and when making line calls) and with their doubles partner. Communication and choreography of movement and shots are the foundations of well-played doubles. Singles play relies heavily on the ability to determine a strategy and then adjust it when necessary.

Lincoln School tennis competes in Division I of the Rhode Island Interscholastic League at the varsity level. Tennis combines individual and team components. Four singles and three doubles positions make up the varsity roster. The roster will be determined at the beginning of the season based on the number of girls who have signed up and court space. The total number of the seven matches won determines the team outcome. However, at the State level the opportunity exists for individual player's and/ or doubles teams to advance.

Public Relations

Lincoln’s athletic program has grown considerably over the past ten years, reflecting the growth of girl’s and women’s participation in high school sports nationwide. Every effort is made by the Athletic Department to distribute information about upcoming games, and to publicize their results. Coaches are encouraged to work closely with the Athletic Department to recognize teams and athletes. Lincoln student-athletes are recognized for their team play, skill level, sportsmanship, and excellence on the field both through school assemblies, such as the annual athletic awards ceremony, and through area news media. Student athletes also have an opportunity to receive All-Division and All-League honors in their respective sports, which are named by school coaches within the league, and All-State honors, named by the staff of the Providence Journal. Lincoln School makes a commitment to both involving and educating girls and young women about athletics and sports.


Code of Ethics and Conduct

Proper Conduct and Good Sportsmanship

At the heart of this matter lie several terms that are often hard to define — yet, no more important task confronts teachers and coaches than to set standards that are fair and honorable. Throughout this Code, when such terms as "proper conduct" and "good sportsmanship" are mentioned, they refer to such standards as these:

1. Treat other persons as you know they should be treated, and as you wish them to fairly treat you.

2. Regard the rules of your game as agreements, the spirit or letter of which you should not evade or break.

3. Treat officials and opponents with respect.

4. Accept absolutely and without quarrel the final decision of any official.

5. Honor visiting teams and spectators as your own guests and treat them as such. Likewise, behave yourself an honored guest when you visit another school.

6. Be gracious in victory and defeat; learn especially to take defeat well.

7. Be as cooperative as you are competitive.

8. Remember that your actions on and off the field reflect on you and your school.

Guidelines for Players

1. Players shall at all times represent themselves and their school with honor, proper conduct and good sportsmanship. They shall understand that competitive rivalries are encouraged, but that disrespect for opponents is unsportsmanlike and lessens the value of the rivalries. They shall confine the competitiveness of the game to the field, and in particular behave properly on the sidelines and in the locker rooms both before and after games.

2. They shall comply fully with the rulings of the officials. In no way, either by voice, action or gesture, shall they demonstrate their dissatisfactions with the decisions made.

3. Players will not deface property or remove equipment of any kind from their own or another school.

Guidelines for Spectators

1. Spectators — whether students, faculty, parents, alumnae or friends — bear important responsibilities to the school for the atmosphere and conduct of games, whether home or away.

2. Spectators should watch games from those areas defined by each school as spectator areas. They must not run up and down sidelines, call to players, coaches or officials in an unsportsmanlike manner, go onto the field of play, or deface property. Any action, that detracts from the ability of coaches, players and officials to do their best, is not acceptable.

3. Faculty members should remember that their responsibilities for student discipline and behavior extend to disciplining and controlling students who misbehave as spectators.

4. The use of alcohol and illegal drugs should not be associated with any athletic event.

Expulsion Rule

Players or coaches who are ejected from interscholastic games for "unsportsmanlike conduct" or other flagrant behavior will forfeit their eligibility to play or coach in the next regularly scheduled interscholastic game or tournament game played in that sport. We encourage a conversation between athletic director, coach and disqualified offender.