Column: No cut confusion


julieI challenge you to find it. That is the official no cut sports policy at Carmel High School. I have scoured the website, studied the student handbook, and searched the freshmen transition guide. This is what I found:

The words “eligible to compete on any team” are found on page 16 of the 2014-2015 Freshmen transition guide (

Also, the student handbook states, “All students with sufficient ability are eligible to participate provided they meet the scholastic standards and conduct requirements as established by the CHS Athletic Board and IHSAA.”

Both of these statements are misleading and would be more accurately stated as “eligible to ‘Try out’”, not “compete” or “participate”.

In an email on Aug. 14 from CHS Athletic Director, Jim Inskeep, confirmed this, “All sports are open to freshmen for tryouts.”

The reality is that there are only two sports at CHS that are truly no cut – wrestling and football. There are no sports available for girls at CHS that are no cut after freshmen year. My statement in the Aug. 12 cover that “football, swimming, and cross country are open to all students” should have been explained in more detail. But, confusion still remains.

As far as the CHS swim team, Inskeep said, “Swimming requires students to be legal in three of the four strokes”.

But, a recent graduate who was on the CHS swim team for four years had a different experience.

“As of last year there were time cuts and a very specific workout you had to complete in a certain time. If you didn’t make it you didn’t make the team,” 2014 CHS graduate Kate Riedel said.

According to Head Coach/CEO of Carmel Swim Club at CHS, Chris Plumb, “There are no time requirements to be on the team but there are training standards to be on the team. Freshmen are given a greater latitude with the standards.”

Several attempts to get an “official statement” on the no cut policy at CHS from Jim Inskeep failed so I summarized what I pieced together from coaches and Inskeep. Here is my very unofficial summary that received an “All is correct” email confirmation from Inskeep.

There are two no cut sports at Carmel – football and wrestling.

  • Cross country is open to freshmen but has time requirements for sophomore year on (with some exceptions made based on commitment to summer training)
  • Swimming has “standards”, not time requirements, but freshmen are given a greater latitude with the standards.

The bigger question is “Why is this not clearly explained on the website, handbooks, and other materials?”  Folks, it just doesn’t have to be this confusing!

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