Registration and Fees

The SHAA collects a registration fee for each sport played. What is this money being used for and what does this cover?

The registration fee collected by the SHAA is applied to all needs of the SHAA and all of its sports programs. This includes, for example, the costs of uniforms and other equipment (balls, training aides, nets, field paint, etc.). The SHAA, together with Sacred Heart Elementary School (“SHES”) and St. Jude Parish, also maintains its facilities, which includes periodic sealing and resurfacing of the gym floor and bleacher maintenance. At times, the SHAA must make larger purchases, which can be expensive, such as new soccer nets and volleyball net systems. Registration fees also cover the cost of referees, tournaments and field rentals. Our goal is to work to keep fees low while providing a high-quality sports program for SHES and its students.

Why does the association request early registration for sports?

A number of factors often change from season to season, including logistics with the City of Pittsburgh and the Diocese. Early registration allows the SHAA to know the approximate number of children intending to participate in a sports program so that we can work with coaches and others to offer the best possible programs each season. This includes ensuring that we have sufficient uniforms and equipment for all teams. It is critical to receive registrations and all necessary forms and releases when requested in order to satisfy all deadline requirements with the City of Pittsburgh and the Diocese.

Once I pay online is my registration complete?

No. To complete registration, every student must have submitted a completed and signed (1) Physician Medical Form, (2) SHAA Uniform Policy, and (3) Communicable Disease Waiver. All of these forms are provided on the Active.com registration website and here.

Are there any registration fee discounts available?

Yes. The SHAA offers a discount when siblings are registered for the same sport during the same season. For this discount to apply both (or all) siblings must be registered for the same sport (e.g., JV soccer and developmental soccer), during the same season and in a single transaction.

By registering for a sport, am I required to volunteer to help my child's team?

Yes. All families involved in sports at SHES are expected to volunteer. The SHAA does not pay administrators or coaches, so it needs all parents of students playing sports to volunteer. Volunteer requirements are minimal, and if every parent volunteers we will have no problems ensuring all needs are met. Each team requires a “team parent” who will work with the coaches to ensure that all volunteer needs are met. Each team is required to provide parents to carry out various functions during games and practices. For basketball and volleyball games, parent volunteers are needed to collect admission fees, run concessions, keep the book, operate the scoreboard and run the 50/50 drawing. For cross country, parents are needed to help monitor kids at practices and help at meets.  In addition, SHES and the SHAA sometimes host tournaments and other similar events, the proceeds of which benefit all Sacred Heart sports, and all parents (even those whose children are not participating) are expected to volunteer for such events.  

By registering for a sport are there guidelines which I and my child must comply with?

Yes, all SHES student athletes and their families are expected to act in accordance with Diocesan guidelines as well as those available here.

Sports Teams

What is SHAA’s policy on “competitive” teams?

Sports in grades K – 4 are considered to be developmental, where the primary goal is to instill a love and understanding of the game, while developing fundamental skills and a basic understanding of team play. Once students reach grades 5 – 8, they will play on our JV teams and varsity teams, where development remains important but reasonable competition can be prioritized. For more information, see our Guidelines for Athlete Evaluations available here.

How is playing time handled across different teams?

Every student that wishes to participate in a sport at SHES will be provided the opportunity to do so (i.e., everyone makes a team), and coaches at all levels strive to provide quality playing opportunities for all team members. At the developmental level (grades K – 4), kids will have as equal playing time as possible during each game throughout the season except in competitive tournaments, where variations in playing time and team composition can be determined by coaches in their discretion. As kids move into the JV and varsity levels (grades 5 – 8), and as teams shift their focus to competition, playing time is earned on the court and field. For more information, see our Guidelines for Athlete Evaluations available here. In all instances, however, regardless of which team they play on, parents and children must recognize and appreciate that playing time is a privilege and may be affected by attendance at practice, behavior, effort and attitude.  

Do older teams get priority for gym and field time over younger teams? 

Yes. While we give priority to the competitive JV and varsity teams, we ensure that all teams at all levels get adequate time and access to facilities for practices and games.

Sacred Heart Coaches & SHAA Representatives

Are coaches and SHAA Representatives paid or volunteers?

All representatives and coaches are unpaid volunteers.

How can a parent share their feedback about their child's coach?

Parents are welcome to discuss their child and share feedback directly with coaches, the SHAA president or team representative. Parents can also share feedback via surveys provided by the various team representatives, which will be circulated either at the end of a season or end of the school year.  

Does this year's coach automatically become next year's coach?

Not necessarily, but in many cases if feedback is positive and the coach is willing to return, he or she will be invited to return as a coach. However, if other qualified individuals wish to volunteer for the position, the SHAA will consider their qualifications for the coaching position. Ultimately, a number of factors are considered when selecting a coach but most important are the best interests of the students and the program, both now and in the future.  

Can I coach sports if I do not have my clearances?

No. All clearances must be completed prior to coaching or volunteering at any Diocesan school. No exceptions.

Practices & Games

How many times per week will a team practice?

There is no set rule as to how many practices or how much practice time a team of any age gets at Sacred Heart. Generally, JV and varsity teams (grades 5 – 8) will practice 2-3 times per week and possibly 3-4 times per week in the case of “A” teams. And developmental teams (grades K – 4) will often practice 1 – 2 times per week. Practices times and frequency are also subject to Diocese and Parish activities, permitting by the City of Pittsburgh, coach availability and game schedules.

Will gym sports (e.g., basketball and volleyball) have open gyms where players can come and practice during the off season?

The SHAA tries to arrange for offseason open gyms to allow players to work on their skills and play with their friends and teammates. However, our ability to host open gyms always depends on the availability of coaches and willingness of parents and players to participate.

Can my child play on multiple teams?

Maybe. The SHAA follows rules set forth by the Diocese, which in some instance may prevent an athlete from being rostered on multiple teams or playing more than a certain number of minutes in a day. Also, please keep in mind that team practice and game schedules may conflict, preventing a student from fully participating in two (2) sports in the same season.


Do I have to buy my student’s uniform?

No. Uniforms are provided for all Sacred Heart athletes. Uniforms are purchased by the SHAA and are the property of Sacred Heart. All athletes that receive a uniform are subject to and expected to comply with the SHAA Uniform Policy available here.

What happens if my athlete loses their uniform?

Per the SHAA Uniform Policy (available here), if a uniform is lost or damages, a family may be required to pay a $75 replacement fee.