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Frequently Asked Questions – O’Dowd Athletics

How do I register to play sports at O’Dowd

Follow the instructions at the following link: Register to play sports at O’Dowd (2020-21 year.) The 2021-22 year registration will open in May. Students intending to participate in O’Dowd Athletics are required to complete an online athletic registration process and await notification of clearance by a member of the O’Dowd athletic training or athletic department staff. By registering, your student will appear on the varsity head coach’s sign-up and information distribution list. Students must upload a valid Bishop O’Dowd Pre-participation Physical Form in your FamilyID account in order to be cleared and approved to tryout and participate. Students will not be allowed to participate or tryout until this process is completed. Students will not be allowed to participate or tryout until this process is completed.

Do I need a physical exam to play sports?

Yes. It is required you take the Bishop O’Dowd Pre-participation Physical Form to your examination and have your physican complete the form. Then, upload the completed form into your athletic registration account (FamilyID).

A completed Bishop O’Dowd Pre-participation Physical Form is valid for 365 days from the date signed by a physician. We highly recommend scheduling your student’s pre-participation physical examination appointment between June 1 and August 1 as this will allow for your student to be fully eligible for the entire school year without having to schedule another appointment mid-year.

Download Preparticipation Physical Form

When do the sports seasons start?

Official practice start dates are governed by the WACC (West Alameda County Conference) and NCS (North Coast Section). For fall sports, practice begins the second Monday in August. Check the specific sport web page for more details.For winter sports, practice begins the first Monday of November. Check the specific sport web page for more details.

For spring sports, practice begins the first Monday of February. Check the specific sport web page for more details.

Most sports offer some kind of preseason conditioning once school starts. Contact the varsity head coach for more specific information. Coaching Staff Directory

If you cannot reach the head coach, please contact Director of Athletic, Mike Bowler

Will I be able to make a team at Bishop O’Dowd?

Most teams at Bishop O’Dowd conduct tryouts for the purpose of selecting the members of athletic teams. While competition to make the team in some sports at Bishop O’Dowd is certainly competitive, fall and spring seasons have at least one “no cut” sport. football (fall), cross country (fall), rugby (winter/spring), swimming (spring), and track and field (spring) do not make cuts. Many of those who participate in cross country, lacrosse, rugby, track and field, and swimming do so for the first time at Bishop O’Dowd, and discover that they love the sport.

Parents and athletes are encouraged to talk with coaches about the tryout process for a particular sport. Cutting athletes on a particular team is difficult emotionally for coaches, families, and athletes. The athletic department philosophy is to provide those cut from a team the opportunity to continue athletic participation in a non-cut sport such as cross country, football, rugby, swimming, and track and field. This philosophy has proven to provide students with renewed motivation and personal growth. Last year, there were nearly 1000 roster spots filled on teams, so there is ample opportunity for student participation.

Can I play for my club team and still play for Bishop O’Dowd High School?

While the specific answer to this question varies a little bit from sport to sport, the basic answer is “yes.” Although the California Interscholastic Federation does not permit a student-athlete to participate in the same sport for an outside club organization and high school sport simultaneously, it is possible for a student-athlete to compete in different sports simultaneously (Ex. AAU Basketball & Bishop O’Dowd High School Track) if the outside club organization’s sport (ex. AAU Basketball) does not conflict with the Bishop O’Dowd head coach’s team expectations. The Bishop O’Dowd athletic department strongly discourages student-athletes from playing any sport for a club or other outside team when they are in season playing a sport Bishop O’Dowd High School due to the risk of overextension and injury.

Does attending a summer camp/clinic improve my chance of making the team?

No. While attending a summer camp/clinic is one opportunity to improve your skills, it certainly isn’t the only way. Athletes will improve by attending a summer camp/clinic, but the primary focus of these camps is for students to enjoy themselves. These camps also provide students with an opportunity to get to know members of the Bishop O’Dowd coaching staff and current Bishop O’Dowd athletes, and to make new friends.

Can I play multiple sports at Bishop O’Dowd High School?

Absolutely. The athletic department encourages all athletes to be as involved as their schedule allows. Our coaches are willing to meet with athletes that are interested in playing two or three sports and help an athlete plan his/her time effectively so that he/she can maximize his/her high school athletic experience. While many students may choose to focus their energy on one sport, the athletic department firmly believes that there is value in trying multiple sports, and encourages students to do just that. Every student has an equal opportunity to try out for his sport, and students are never penalized for coming out later for sport, after their prior season has ended. You can only play one sport per season (Fall, Winter, and Spring).

How big is the Bishop O’Dowd athletic department?

Bishop O’Dowd offers competition in 15 different sports with 60 different levels of competition with a total of 90 coaches.

What does it cost to play on a team?

Bishop O’Dowd High School athletic teams are funded by the school, but there are items necessary in each sport that the athletes must purchase on their own.

Generally speaking, if Bishop O’Dowd wants the equipment back for future use, we will purchase the items. Examples of such would be most uniforms, football equipment, and some team warm up suits. If Bishop O’Dowd does not want the equipment back, the athletes will generally purchase the equipment. Examples would include baseball hats, swim suits, socks, shoes, and practice shirts. Financial aid is available.

I need an athletic locker. How do I get one?

Each student-athlete in-season will be provided an athletic locker for storage by their head coach. Should a student-athlete have more stuff than the locker can store, we ask they to carry their belongings with them to their practice location. Athletic lockers are not provided for students out of season.

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