Rules and Policies

CYO Handbook 2016 - Rules and Guidelines

A link to the 2015 CYO Handbook for the Diocese of Allentown is below.  In addition, the Medical Release & Liability Form is provided below; this form must be completed for all student athletes and remain on file with the CYO program.  Coaches should keep a copy of this form with them at all times.

2016 CYO Handbook – Diocese of Allentown

CYO Medical Release and Liability Form

Eligibility Standards for Grades 1-8 and 9-12 are listed separately below.

Grades K-8

Rule A

Section 1 All boys and girls who are registered members of the parish they wish to represent, must be given an opportunity to participate in any sport or activity.  Participants must uphold the religious and academic standards of said parish.  If they become 15 years of age before the date listed in Rule A, Section 2, they are ineligible. Students who have been promoted from the eighth grade are also ineligible.

Section 2 All sports: September 1

Section 3  

A. Any boy/girl who attends a parish school or diocesan school, regardless of religious affiliation, may participate in the Diocesan CYO Programs for said school or any boy/girl may choose to participate in Diocesan CYO Programs for his/her own parish or merged parish.  They may NOT play for both, and must stay within that program for the entire year.

The Catholic child must be a practicing Catholic, attending Sunday Mass and Religious Education weekly or a Youth Ministry Program if no Religious Education is offered.  The inclusion of non-Catholic students enrolled in a RCIA program is at the discretion of the Pastor. 

B. Parishes wishing to merge for a particular sport or activity must file a written request signed by the Pastors or their designated representative, with the parish seal affixed, to the District Board for submission to OYYAM.

C. In consolidated schools (more than one parish) with only one parish CYO team, members of said parish and said school are eligible to participate in sports activities for the parish CYO team.  Mergers will be needed to include any others on said team.

Section 4 Any boy/girl participating in Diocesan CYO Programs who maintains the same home address but transfers to a new parish for the purpose of athletics and/or as a result of recruiting, is ineligible to participate in that sport for one year. 

Section 5 Any student who is legally homeschooled is permitted to play for their parish team or for a school team that their home parish would feed into provided that their home parish is located within the boundaries of the Diocese of Allentown.

Section 6  In Districts 1, 2, 3 (Lehigh, Northampton, and Berks Deaneries), players participating on a CYO team may not participate on their non-Catholic school team in the same sport at the same time. Districts 4 and 5 (Schuylkill and Carbon Deaneries), due to population demographics of the regions, players participating on a CYO team are eligible to participate on their non-Catholic school team in the same sport at the same time.  This is a CYO-only rule; students also need to abide by public school eligibility requirements. This ruling will be reviewed on an annual basis.

Section 7  All players who participate on a CYO team (regardless of what school they attend) must be recorded in the official scorebook (as verified by the game official), and attend, at least two-thirds of the scheduled games in order to participate in District or Diocesan playoffs, notwithstanding injury or illness.  All players must have the following information recorded in the official scorebook for each game:  first name, last name, and jersey number.  Official scorebooks must be available for review at any time by CYO diocesan/district personnel.

Section 8  If a player chooses to attend any game or event connected to their non-CYO team during District or Diocesan playoffs, they will be ineligible to participate for the duration of the CYO post-season.  

Section 9 One may protest a violation of Eligibility Standards.  Refer to Rule E (Protests)

Section 10 All participants in Diocesan CYO Athletic Programs should be covered by hospitalization insurance.  Diocesan insurance is a secondary coverage.  In case the participant is not currently insured, the diocesan insurance becomes the primary insurance.

Section 11  The Diocese of Allentown, acting in its sole and absolute discretion, retains the ultimate decision making authority concerning who will be allowed, and who will not be allowed, to participate in Diocesan CYO programs. The Diocese of Allentown reserves the right to deny participation to any person in any CYO program, for any reason or for no reason.

Section 12 A grandfather clause can be added to make a smooth transition due to rule changes if so agreed upon by the Diocesan CYO Executive Board.

Grades 9-12

Rule B

Section 1 Any boy/girl participating in Diocesan CYO Programs who maintains the same home address but transfers to a new parish for the purpose of athletics and/or as a result of recruiting, is ineligible to participate in that sport for one year.

Section 2 Any boy/girl who is legally homeschooled is permitted to play for their parish team or for a school team that their home parish would feed into provided that their home parish is located within the boundaries of the Diocese of Allentown.

Section 3 All participants must be registered members of the parish or merged parishes they wish to represent.  Participants who become 19 years of age before September 1 (all sports), are ineligible to participate.  Students who have graduated from the twelfth grade are also ineligible.

Catholic players must be a practicing Catholic, attending Sunday Mass and Religious Education weekly or a Youth Ministry Program if no Religious Education is offered. The inclusion of non-Catholic students enrolled in a RCIA program is at the discretion of the Pastor. 

Section 4  A player participating on a CYO team may not participate on a school team in the same sport at the same time.  Township recreation leagues and High School feeder teams are exempt. 

Section 5 Only players in grades 9 through 12 may participate.  However, an ineligible player in grade school due to age must participate in the high school program for his/her parish or merged parish.

Section 6 No player may participate after the graduation of his/her entering freshman class.

Section 7 All participants in the Diocesan CYO Athletic Programs should be covered by hospitalization insurance.  Diocesan insurance is a secondary coverage.  In case the participant is not currently insured, the diocesan insurance becomes the primary insurance.

Section 8 Parishes wishing to merge for a particular sport or activity must file a written request signed by the Pastors or their assistants, with the parish seal affixed, to the District Board for submission to the Diocesan Executive Board. 

Section 9  Non-Catholics attending Catholic High Schools may participate in the CYO High School Program.  The District Commissioner has jurisdiction over which parish/CYO program a non-Catholic high school student will participate.

Section 10 One may protest a violation of Eligibility Standards.  Refer to Rule E (Protest)

Section 11 The Diocese of Allentown, acting in its sole and absolute discretion, retains the ultimate decision making authority concerning who will be allowed, and who will not be allowed, to participate in Diocesan CYO programs. The Diocese of Allentown reserves the right to deny participation to any person in any CYO program, for any reason or for no reason.

Grades K-8 and Grades 9-12

Rule C

Section 1 Teams or players may participate in any tournaments during the school calendar year provided said tournaments do not conflict with the Diocesan Athletic Program on scheduled playoff dates.  Single elimination tournaments count as one game.  Double elimination tournaments count as two games.  

No team may exceed the following number of games:

Baseball          20
Basketball        25
Track              16
Softball           20
Volleyball         22
Cross Country    16 

Section 2 A team or player participating in Diocesan CYO Playoffs may not participate in another League or Tournament during said playoffs. If a player participates in another league or Tournament and violates this rule, only the player is ineligible not the whole team.  

Section 3  Teams or players violating Rule C, Section 1, will become ineligible to participate in the Diocesan CYO playoffs program for a period of one year.

Section 4  One may protest a violation of Rule C, Sections 1 or 2. Refer to Rule E (Protests.) 

Rule D

Section 1  In basketball, volleyball, baseball, and cheerleading, the team designated by the District Committee will qualify for the Diocesan CYO playoffs.