HEAT History and Philosophy
HEAT originated as Home Education Athletics of Tyler but has expanded to become Home Education Athletic Teams. The acronym has a secondary meaning of “He Enables All Things,” for HEAT’s purpose is to glorify God through providing home school families the opportunity to participate in competitive secondary level team sports.
Each individual home school family is looked upon as a separate private school from a legal perspective by the state of Texas, so HEAT is not parallel to a school organization. It exists to provide the organizational framework to give opportunity for families to participate in competitive athletics, but each individual family makes the decision/commitment to participate and assumes all liability for that decision. God is ultimately in control and in authority over all things with families being given responsibility for their own care and well-being. In deciding whether to participate in HEAT, the family should seek God’s direction in that endeavor and trust His sovereignty in the outcome. HEAT seeks to provide a Godly example in all relationships and decisions and strives to provide a safe environment physically, spiritually, and emotionally for all athletes. If a family does not trust this to be true, then they are encouraged not to participate with HEAT.
HEAT is a Christian organization and seeks to operate on biblical principles, but it is run by humans and there will be mistakes and shortcomings in character, so please expect to exercise Christian forgiveness and reconciliation. If there are any disagreements or constructive criticisms, please go directly to the offending party to work them out and do not spread dissension among others. If things cannot be worked out, please seek audience with the Athletic Director or Sport Coordinator if applicable. For further clarity on resolving problems with others, see the HEAT Conflict Resolution Policy.
Christian families have differing levels of conviction regarding issues of modesty and relationships. HEAT promotes, in accordance with I Cor. 10:32, “do not cause your brother to stumble.” In this regard, we defer to the more conservative views on these issues and therefore highly discourage visible displays of affection among non-family members. Clothing must be modest and not overly revealing or form fitting. There are several forms of clothing that may be considered culturally acceptable but are not acceptable in the HEAT organization. If it is skintight, it is not an acceptable outer garment.
HEAT does not require a signed statement of faith or exclude non-Christian families from participating, but be aware that Biblical, conservative, evangelical principles will be taught and modeled with expectation that all athletes, parents, and coaches adhere to these principles during all HEAT events. There may also be overtly Christian teachings and prayer presented by coaches, parents, and/or players. If this is offensive to you or your family, please do not participate in the HEAT organization.
Practice times and locations
Practice times are most often dictated by the coach’s schedule and available practice facilities and could change to some degree based on the number of players that register. At specific sports meetings coaches will more accurately give information about times and locations. Changes will come up based on conflicts of various sorts so the coaches will communicate with you regularly regarding changes to practice schedule.
It is highly encouraged for athletes to be at all practices and on time. Especially for a team sport, if some players are missing it affects the whole team. The coach has the discretion to administer consequences for missing practice time which could include loss of game time or other forms of discipline. It is also requested that parents not use practice or game participation as a form of family discipline. The other team members and coaches should not be punished for an issue that an individual needs to correct within their family structure.
We try to accommodate as many players as possible and avoid tryouts unless absolutely necessary to allow players of various skill levels to participate; however, at the high school level there is no guarantee of playing time. We seek to put the most competitive team on the court, and although the coaches may work most of the players in the game, there may be games which a player gets no playing time. At the middle school level the coaches are asked to make efforts to play each player at least one fourth of the time of the contest, but depending on the number of players on the team, this may not be possible and is not guaranteed
In order to instill a sense of teamwork, clean cut appearance, and common goals, certain uniform standards for games will be required. The “uniform” includes all visible items worn and not just what is issued by HEAT. No visible jewelry, tattoos, or irregularly colored head bands or hair ties will be allowed. Sock color will be at the discretion of the coach based on the color of the uniform being worn, but must be of uniform color across all athletes and somewhat match the uniform. Some of the teams we play are under more strict rules of appearance such as uniforms tucked in or undershirts/leggings must match the color of the uniform and be symmetrically balanced(no one legged tights). We will seek to adhere to these types of rules as a respect for the organization of the team we are playing and so officials/referees don’t have to enforce two different standards. Hair styles will be generally clean cut and conservative. For boys this would include hair off the shoulders, no tied up hair, or carved images in hair. If in doubt ask your coach.
Parental involvement is critical to the functioning of this organization and to keep costs down. There will be various needs for parent or other family volunteers throughout the season. Some of the needs may include bringing team water, setting up/cleaning up for home games, score keeping, keeping books, etc., Please consider how you might be available and respond as the coaches or home game coordinator, asks. There will also be some needs for coaches and assistant coaches, so if you are willing please let us know.
HEAT seeks to be “set apart” by the Christian character exhibited by it coaches, athletes, and fans. We strive to instill teamwork, otherness, diligence, discipline, and hard work as well as other Christian character traits. In order to accomplish this we have the following expectations regarding attitudes and actions. No foul language or disrespect to coaches or other players on our team or the opponents. Players should be encouraging to each other and refrain from talk or attitudes that belittle another. If parents or players have an issue with a coach it needs to be discussed after any game or practice and with sufficient time for reflection upon the issue. We know that passions can run high during a game, but all those attending a game are asked to show respect toward the officials, coaches, and players.
Health and Safety Issues
Each parent should consider the physical health of their athlete and either have a doctor prepared physical form and/or sign our waiver on the registration form that says you personally confirm that your child is physically fit enough to participate. Also be aware that although there may be a medical professional in attendance at some of our games, there is no regularly scheduled medical personnel at our games or practices. Athletes should take care to be fully hydrated before and during practices and contests. It is the athlete’s responsibility to inform the coach if they are feeling too ill to participate fully in any activity. No coach should punish or belittle a player for taking a rest if needed, but the coach may decide to remove or limit an athlete’s playing or practice time if he feels there may be a health issue.