Athletics Philosophy

Overview of The Bear Creek School's athletics program

Upper School (Grades 9-12)

The Bear Creek School is a member of the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) competing in the 1A classification and participates in athletics as a member of the Emerald City League. Only students in grade 9-12 are allowed to participate on Upper School sports teams.


Participation in sports is a key component to a classical, Christian education. Athletics afford students the challenge of building character, working in an atmosphere where physical hard work and discipline are valued, and where they can explore their own unique God-given gifts. We believe this experience is valuable for all students; therefore, Bear Creek maintains a “no-cut” policy, which provides each student the opportunity to participate. Approximately 75% of our Upper School students participate in at least one Bear Creek athletics team.

Section 9.2.14 of the Family Handbook contains all of the essential information regarding athletics at Bear Creek including the student participation agreement and student-athlete code.

Length of Season

In Upper School, each sports season lasts between 10-12 weeks. Depending on the length of post-season play and the success of the team, the season can even extend beyond that. The fall sports season begins the week before school starts. Make sure those summer vacations have concluded before the first day of practice!

Level of Commitment

As a general rule, all athletics participants are expected to attend practice every day. Additionally, the length and intensity of practice will increase considerably over Middle School. Varsity teams schedule practices, games, matches, and contests throughout school breaks (e.g. Christmas Break, Mid-winter Break, and Spring Break), and team members are expected to participate during those times.

Cost to Participate

In addition to the $200 Upper School athletics registration fee and equipment purchases, there are additional costs associated with participating in varsity sports. Some sports are susceptible to additional registration costs (e.g. golf, baseball, lacrosse, and softball). Team gear purchases (sweats, shoes, etc.) are handled on a team by team basis. Summer team camps are also scheduled for some Bear Creek teams which are paid for by the families.

Middle School (Grades 6-8)

Participation in Middle School athletics allows students in grades 6-8 to develop physical skills, learn game strategies, and most importantly, put into practice the concepts of commitment, teamwork, and good sportsmanship. The Bear Creek School participates as a member of the Cross Town Middle School League. All policies for participation will be in full compliance with school and league standards. Grade 5 students are not eligible to participate in Middle School athletics regardless of age.


Everyone has a slightly different take on what athletics should look like in the Middle School, and we do our best to balance expectations. At Bear Creek, the foundation of athletics is built upon participation, skill building, and experience. We want all of our Middle School students to participate in as many sports as possible while building their skill level in each sport. Middle School sports exist not just to provide an arena for students to play and have fun, but to also improve and prepare themselves for varsity athletics. The goal in all of this is to ensure a good experience for each student-athlete who participates.

We provide a quality program that encourages participation of a large population of our student body through a "no-cut" policy. Approximately 80% of our Middle School students participate in athletics.

Sections 7.2.9 and 8.2.12 of the Family Handbook contains all of the essential information regarding athletics at Bear Creek including the student participation agreement and student-athlete code.

Length of Season

Each Middle School season is between 6-8 weeks in length, which is a very deliberate factor. The goal is to give our students a season that is short enough as to not consume the entire year (so that they can participate in multiple sports), and at the same time long enough that they can still improve their skills, play a meaningful schedule, make friends, and have fun.

Level of Commitment

We acknowledge that Middle School sports are not varsity athletics. Nor is it premiere, select, ASA, or any other elite sports program. With that said, one of the most important lessons that an athlete can take away from an athletics experience is the value of team and commitment. When a child signs up to participate, we ask that a commitment is made to that team. Practices and games should not be viewed as “optional.” There will be times when a child may need to miss a practice, or match, but this should be the exception, and not a regular occurrence. Practices are generally each day after school for approximately 90 minutes.

Cost to Participate

In addition to the $160 Middle School athletics registration fee, there are equipment purchases that are necessary in order to participate. The school provides team uniforms, but appropriate shoes are expected for each individual sport, in addition to sport-specific equipment (e.g. shin guards for soccer, knee pads for volleyball, etc.).

Junior Grizzlies

Stay tuned for information about involving your child in community sports teams.