Frequently Asked Questions

Below are common questions and answers about athletics at SPA.

How do I sign up my child for a sport?

Students sign up for fall sports in the previous spring, for winter sports in the fall, and for spring sports in the winter.  Team sign-up takes place in advisories or by emailing the Department of Athletics.

When do seasons start?

Seasons vary by sport, but generally, Upper School fall sports start two weeks prior to the start of school in August, and Middle School fall sports start one week prior to the start of school in August.  Winter sports generally start the second or third week of November, and spring sports start right after spring break.

Is there a participation fee to play?

There is no participation fee required to play on a SPA team. There may be fees associated with the purchase of uniforms, travel costs, and meals, but this will vary by division and team.

Are there tryouts for every team?

SPA follows a "no-cut" policy in regards to sports at both the Middle and Upper School levels.  This reflects our belief that all students, no matter their skill or experience level, should be encouraged to participate in sports.

In the Middle School, there are no tryouts: players are evaluated by the coaching staff during practices in the start of the year, and will be divided into balanced teams depending on the cohort's size and skill level.  Division into "A" and "B" teams typically begins in Grade 7 or 8.  

There are tryouts for Upper School teams, which take place prior to the start of the season.  No athlete is ever cut from a team; players will be placed on the varsity, junior varsity, or C team based on their skill, effort, attitude, and commitment.

Can my child change their selection of sports?

Yes, students may switch sports up until the end of the first week of practice. 

Where can I find specific information related to one team?

All teams have a Team Page on the SPA website, which has all information related to that team, including a game schedule, directions to away games, coach information, win/loss record, and contact information for coaches.  Visit Team Pages.

What are typical practice times and expectations?

Middle School teams (Grades 5-8) typically practice right after school from 3:15-4:30 pm. Upper School teams typically practice from 4:30-6:00 pm. Due to limited indoor space in the winter, some Upper School teams may have a practice slot from 6:00-7:30 pm.

Generally, Middle School teams practice/play 3-5 times a week and Upper School teams practice/play 5-6 times a week. Players are expected to be at all practices and games. Reasonable accommodations can be made with prior communication with the coach. Expectations increase as students move from the Middle School to the Upper School, including practices and competitions during holidays or school vacations. 

Do teams practice over school holiday periods?

Middle School teams have optional practices over school holidays. Upper School teams have required practices during most holiday periods. 

Can a student participate on a team and in a theatrical play during the same season?

Generally not; the time committment for athletic practice and games and the time committment for play rehearsals would likely preclude a student from doing both.  There may be the possibility of a student playing on a team and participating on the crew of a production during the season (i.e. building sets, running lights, helping with costumes), but this is dependent on both the sport and the production. Contact your student's coach and the faculty member directing the production for more information.

Can a student play two different sports the same season?

Generally not.  The time committment to a single sport would preclude a student from participating on two teams during one season.

When are game schedules available?

Upper School game schedules are usually be available a month before the season starts, if not earlier. Middle School game schedules are not available until the season starts, usually one week in advance of the first game.

Where can I find the most accurate game schedule?

The most up-to-date game schedules will be on the Team Page on the SPA website.

When will we be notified if there is a cancellation due to weather?

When weather is an issue, a decision about cancellation will be made by 2 p.m. Cancellations will be posted inside the school and an email notification will be sent to all parents. Parents can also sign up to be notified by email whenever there is a schedule change for their student's team.  Click the "Notify Me" icon on the Game Schedule page to sign up for this service.

Does SPA give varsity letters for participation on outside teams?

Varsity letters are earned on SPA teams or teams in which SPA is a formal co-op memeber.  The school does not award letters for play on a club or other external team.

When is the athletic trainer available to student-athletes?

Mallory Young, the school's Certified Athletic Trainer, is available to student-athletes starting at 2 p.m. Monday-Friday for injury assessment, acute care (i.e. taping, bandaging, ice), injury prevention, rehabilitation, and guidelines for return to play. If a student-athlete requires an orthopaedic referral, Mallory can facilitate a priority appointment with a fellowship trained sub-specialist physician of Sports and Orthopaedic Specialists.

Does SPA use ImPact baseline concussion testing and is there a formal concussion protocol?

Yes. SPA has teamed up with Sports and Orthopedic Specialists Allina Health to offer ImPACT Testing (Immediate Post Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing), an innovative concussion management program for athletes or individuals who are at risk for a concussion. ImPACT involves an online exam that athletes take prior to the athletic season. This baseline test is done on the SPA campus, administered by the athletic trainer. All costs for the baseline testing are covered by SPA. For more information, visit the ImPACT Test website.


What is the school's "return to play" policy?

If an athlete is seen by a physician for an injury or illness that keeps them out of practices/games, they MUST have a signed doctor's' note or SPA Return to Play Letter before they are allowed to resume participation. This can be faxed to the athletic office at 651-696-1510 or given directly to the athletic trainer.
1150 Goodrich Avenue, St. Paul MN 55105
Main school line: 651-698-2451
Goodrich front desk: 651-696-1560 
Goodrich attendance line: 651-696-1414
1712 Randolph Avenue, St. Paul MN 55105
Main school line: 651-698-2451
Randolph attendance line: 651-696-1410
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