Catholic Youth Organization
St. Helena’s Church

Everything the parish sponsors should lead to the Eucharist; the heart of the parish is the Eucharist. CYO ultimately is to bring the participants to the heart of the parish which is the Eucharist.

St. Helena’s Catholic Youth Organization offers CYO sports as one dimension of its total ministry to youth. Our CYO program justifies its existence and the sacrifice and expense it entails only if it allows young people to practice Catholic attitudes and responsibilities. In our CYO sports, emphasis rests not on the number of games won or lost, but on the participants’ attitude in victory or defeat. Learning how to lose is just as important as learning how to win. Learning how to win graciously is more important than winning itself.

CYO programs desires to serve the needs of all youth. They enable the gifted to excel and the less gifted to participate and improve. Principle of Catholic Values, fair play and sportsmanship must govern every game.

All participants should have respect for others on their own team and the opposing team. St. Helena’s CYO participants should have a spirit of loyalty to CYO ideals, to the parish, to the coach, and to the team. They should practice patience with and tolerance of those of less ability. They should feel grateful to all who make the CYO program happen.

Ultimate responsibility for the success of St. Helena’s CYO programs lies with the volunteer adult participant and parent/guardian. Adults involved in CYO must remember that the program exists for the Catholic growth of young people. Conduct of adults must always model Catholic values and virtues. When adults remain faithful to the Catholic ideals of CYO, they exercise a unique and rewarding ministry to the young with whom they come in contact.


The goals of the St. Helena’s CYO Program are to provide a Catholic atmosphere of play, enabling children to:

  • To have fun
  • To maintain good health through physical fitness
  • To develop social skills and an appreciation for diversity
  • To develop healthy relationships with adult leaders who see their role not only as coaches but as youth ministers
  • To learn sports skills
  • To develop and practice good sportsmanship with teammates, to other teams and to sports officials
  • To grow in the qualities of courage, initiative, honesty, cooperation, self-confidence, and loyalty
  • To learn an appreciation of rules and performance in regards to rules
  • To play at their own level of ability and to be able to recognize and to accept that level
  • To work for legitimate goals
  • To accept winning with humility and to accept defeat gracefully
  • To have an opportunity through athletics to practice Catholic values and virtues
  • To grow closer to God, to the Church, to each other
  1. PRAYER – Prayer is encouraged with young people in CYO. All St. Helena’s CYO activities begin with prayer. The home team is responsible for leading a prayer prior to each game for all CYO sports, with both teams assembled at center court or field.
  2. GOOD SPORTSMANSHIP – Taunting and rough play will not be tolerated. St. Helena’s CYO reflects Catholic values and coaches must emphasize good sportsmanship. Coaches will set sportsmanship goals with their teams and discuss proper conduct. Coaches, players and Parents/Guardians should never show disrespect to game officials. Coaches with concerns about officiating should contact the CYO athletic director.
  3. POSITIVE SPECTATOR BEHAVIOR – All spectators at St. Helena’s CYO events must practice good sportsmanship. Spectators must cheer positively and never shout derogatory remarks to coaches, opposing players or game officials. Coaches must emphasize good spectator behavior at their preseason parent meeting by explaining proper spectator behavior. Coaches, players or spectators should never approach game officials after a contest for explanations of calls or to comment on the game. Coaches are responsible for the behavior of their spectators and should act immediately to stop any inappropriate behavior.
  4. ALL PLAY – The “all play” rule guarantees each child minimum playing time. The Athletic Director shall monitor their St. Helena’s coaches for compliance. Repeated violation shall be a breach of sportsmanship. Coaches, under the supervision of their athletic directors, should be certain that all players receive playing time beyond the minimum.
  5. CYO PARTICIPANT ELIGIBILITY – CYO eligibility rules are designed so that CYO teams are parish-based and managed by the Archdiocese. Coaches should verify eligibility prior to the start of the first season practice.
Eligible Participants Include:
  • St. Helena School students.
  • Children of registered Parish members who attend non-Parish Catholic schools at which they receive Catholic education, (GMA, for example).
  • Children of registered Parish members who attend public or other non-Catholic schools, and are registered for and regularly attend the St. Helena Church PREP program. This rule applies through 8th grade.
  • Children of registered Parish members who attend a different parish’sschool provided the school does not offer the sport which the child is playing at St. Helena.
  • Children of registered Parish members who attend a different parish’s school and the child elects to play all of his or her CYO sports for St. Helenabefore registering for or trying out for the other school’s teams.
  1. KEEP CYO FUN! – CYO is for players and is not a spectator sport for the benefit of the parents or the ego of the coaches. St. Helena’s Coaches should teach the skills and strategies of the sport in a positive and constructive manner. Good coaches build self-esteem in their players by emphasizing the skills and proficiencies and the value of participating and competing rather than solely the outcome of the competition. In short, let players play, coaches teach, officials officiate, and parents support.

Because St. Helena is a participant in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia CYO Program, we adhere to the General Policies and more specifically the CODE OF CONDUCT outlined in the CYO Athletic Ministry Handbook and we expect players, coaches and parents/guardians to comply with the policies.


Specific to St. Helena CYO, acceptable standards of coaching behavior include:

  1. Set a good example for participants and spectators to follow, exemplifying the highest moral and ethical behavior.
  2. Respect the judgment of officials and abide by rules of the event.
  3. Treat opposing coaches, participants, and fans with respect.
  4. Instruct participants in sportsmanship and demand they display good sportsmanship.
  5. Coach in a positive manner, reflecting Catholic values.


Specific to St. Helena CYO, acceptable standards of participant behavior include:

  1. Treat opponents and teammates with respect; shake hands after contests.
  2. Respect the judgment of officials and abide by the rules of the contest.
  3. Accept seriously the responsibility of representing the school or parish by displaying positive behavior at all times.
  4. Play in a positive manner, reflecting Catholic values.


Acceptable standards of spectator behavior include:

  1. Remember that the players are children and are playing for their enjoyment, not yours.
  2. Respect decisions made by contest officials.
  3. Be a role model by positively supporting teams and by not shouting instructions or criticism to the players, coaches or officials. Do not coach from the stands.
  4. Make no derogatory comments or gestures to players, coaches, and parents of the opposing team, officials or league administrators.


The St. Helena’s CYO Bylaws are the official rules for the ST. HELENA CYO Program. The bylaws are available on the CYO Website and all participants are responsible for reading and becoming familiar with the bylaws. The bylaws shall govern the manner in which the Board of Directors conducts business.

  1. Advising regarding policy in the conduct of the parish programs.
  2. Managing and purchasing necessary equipment.
  3. Planning and supporting fund-raising activities. Advising and monitoring budget and registration fees.
  4. Managing the scheduling of gym facilities and fields and support sponsored tournaments.
  5. Selecting and recruiting of athletic director/sports chairperson and coaches.
  6. Arranging the annual CYO Banquet.
  7. Ensuring that all ST HELENA CYO VOLUNTEERS have satisfied all diocesan and parish requirements for CYO volunteer eligibility.
  8. Fostering involvement and participation in Community Service projects by all CYO participants

The Board shall be comprised of no fewer than eight and no more than 15 maximum adult members in good standing of the St. Helena Parish and/or parents of St. Helena School students. The St. Helena Parish Youth Minister shall be a member of the Board, unless he or she is unable or expressly unwilling to serve.


Individuals wishing to serve on the Board must receive the affirmative vote of a simple majority of sitting Board members in order to be elected to the Board. Prospective new members of the Board may request consideration for a Board seat on their own initiative. There is no requirement that any individual be formally nominated for Board membership by a sitting Board member in order for that individual to stand for election to the Board.

Only sitting Board members may vote for Board candidates. The election shall be by secret paper ballot and the ballots shall be collected and tabulated by the Secretary of the Board, who shall announce the results immediately.

Ordinarily, election of Board members shall take place at the Annual Meeting. However, for good cause shown, and with approval of a majority of the sitting Board members, elections for Board membership may be held at a regular monthly meeting of the Board.

The Election of all officers and board members are subject to the approval of the Pastor.


Membership on the Board shall be for a term of two years. Elections of sitting members shall be conducted in the same manner as elections of new members.

The sitting members of the Board at the time of the adoption of these Bylaws believe that it is in the best interest of the Athletic Ministry that the membership terms of the sitting members end on a staggered basis, rather than at the same time. Therefore, the currently sitting members will select an end date for their current terms (such date not to be more than three years hence), at which time they will be eligible to stand for re-election.

Ordinarily, members of the board will be limited to serve in a maximum of three consecutive two year teams. Any board member wishing to serve more than 3 consecutive terms must be elected by unanimous vote of the other sitting board members.


The presence of at least half the sitting members of the Board shall be necessary for the transaction of business.

The Board shall in all cases seek a consensus on all matters before it. When a consensus cannot be reached after reasonable debate, the President of the Board shall call for a vote on the matter at issue. The vote shall be by secret paper ballot or by a show of hands. The decision to vote by secret ballot will be determined by the sitting Board President. A simple majority of the members present for the vote shall be binding. The Secretary of the Board shall collect and tabulate the ballots, if any, and announce the result immediately.


The Board shall meet monthly in order to conduct its business. The President of the Board shall schedule the monthly meetings and shall distribute the agenda for each monthly meeting at least two calendar days before the meeting is scheduled to take place. There is no requirement that the Board hold a monthly meeting in the months of July and August, though they may do so if they feel it is in the best interest of the Athletic Ministry to do so.


The Board shall hold a special meeting one time per calendar year, known as the Annual Meeting. The Annual meeting shall be held on the second Wednesday of October, unless a majority of the sitting members of the Board decide to hold the meeting at a different time. The members of the Parish and parents/guardians of St. Helena School students shall be notified of the Annual Meeting at least thirty days in advance of the meeting through St. Helena School e-mail, the Church Bulletin and by posting the date and time of the meeting on the CYO website.

The purpose of the Annual Meeting shall be to:

  1. Present a summary of the Athletic Ministry’s activities over the prior twelve months; Hold elections for Officers and Board membership;
  2. Present the Athletic Ministry’s plans for the upcoming year;
  3. Take questions and comments from Parish members and parents of St. Helena School students relevant to the business of the Board


The officers of the Board shall consist of a President, an Athletic Director, a Treasurer, a Secretary, a Director of Registration, a Director of Equipment, a Director of Operations, and a Director of Administration. The term of each officer shall be for one year. The Parish Priest Moderator is a permanent member of the Board and need not be elected.


The President shall be responsible for scheduling, chairing and establishing the agenda for all meetings of the Board. The President shall report the prior years’ activities of the Athletic Ministry at the Annual Meeting. The President shall be responsible for taking all reasonable steps to enable the Board to reach a consensus on all matters before the Board, and for calling for a vote when he or she believes that a consensus cannot be reached.


The Athletic Director (“AD”) shall be appointed by the Pastor of St. Helena Parish, in conformance with the Archdiocese CYO Handbook, with the advice and counsel of the Board. The AD’s term shall be the same as all other officers of the Board. The AD shall be responsible for identifying appropriate candidates to serve as Sports Chairs and, to coach the St. Helena CYO teams, and to present those candidates to the Board for approval. The AD is responsible for overseeing the sports activities of the St. Helena CYO teams, to ensure that those activities are conducted in conformance with CYO rules and regulations. The AD is responsible for ensuring that the St. Helena CYO teams have the resources necessary to enable the Athletic Ministry to provide a safe, fun, healthy athletic experience for the players. This includes reasonable access to fields and courts for practices and games, access to necessary equipment and the like. The AD is also responsible for handling disciplinary matters relating to players, coaches and/or spectators. Unless time does not allow, all disciplinary action shall be with the advice and consent of the Board.

The AD is responsible for scheduling all field/court time for St. Helena CYO teams, and for ensuring that all teams have reasonably equal access to fields and courts. It is understood that varsity teams ordinarily have priority access to fields and courts.

The AD shall review, approve and submit to the Treasurer for payment all routine expenditures necessary to conduct the Ministry’s athletic operations. Expenditures that are not routine, and exceed $500, shall require approval of the Board.


The Treasurer shall keep all financial records of the Athletic Ministry and shall present a written summary of the Ministry’s finances at each monthly meeting. The Treasurer shall collect and deposit all income for the Ministry, and shall collect all invoices and issue payment for all of the Ministry’s expenditures.

The Treasurer shall prepare an Annual Report for submission to the board, listing in summary form all receipts and expenditure made by the Ministry and showing the assets and debts of the Ministry.


The Secretary shall be responsible for recording the activities of the Board and shall keep minutes of all meetings of the Board, and distribute the minutes to all members of the Board within two weeks of the adjournment of each meeting. The Secretary shall be responsible for giving notice of the Annual Meeting. THE


The Director of Registration shall be responsible for the management of the St. Helena CYO website and for the management of all St. Helena CYO sports registrations.


The Director of Equipment shall be responsible for the distribution, storage, inventorying and collection of all athletic equipment and uniforms utilized by the St. Helena CYO sports teams. The Director of Equipment shall from time to time assess the quantity and quality of the equipment and uniforms and shall make recommendations to the Board regarding the purchase of new items. The Director of Equipment shall also be responsible for taking reasonable steps to ensure that the equipment and uniforms are obtained at the least expense to the Ministry.

The Director of Equipment shall also be responsible for organizing the CYO storage facility adjacent to the Recreation Center, and shall from time to time discard old or unused items from the facility and keep the facility clean.


The Director of Operations shall be responsible for ensuring that all St. Helena Parish CYO volunteers complete all paperwork and attend all classes as required by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, The St. Helena Parish and Regions in which the St. Helena’s teams participate. The Director of Operations shall act as the Board’s liaison with the St. Helena Rectory on all matters relating to CYO volunteer eligibility.

The Director of Operations is responsible for ensuring that all St. Helena CYO team rosters contain only players who are eligible to participate in St. Helena CYO sports, and to present the rosters to the St. Helena Pastor or his designee for approval and signature. However, it is the head coach of each team’s responsibility to fill out the roster completely and accurately and to submit it to the Director of Operations for review and approval by the director of operations and Pastor at least seven days before the roster is required to be submitted to the Region in which that team is competing. No team’s roster is final until it is reviewed and approved by the Director of Operations and the Pastor and/or his designee.


The Director of Administration shall be responsible for the fundraising activities done by or on behalf of the Ministry, and shall head efforts to obtain and organize volunteers for all such activities. The Director of Administration shall also schedule and run the annual CYO Banquet. The Director shall also be responsible for managing the SNACK STAND duties.


The Coordinator of Community Service shall be responsible for organizing, promoting and scheduling Community Service Activity done by or on behalf of the Ministry, and shall head efforts to obtain and organize volunteers for all such activities.


A CYO HEAD Coach is primarily a minister to youth with a gift of reaching out to young people through athletics. An adult HEAD coach (21 years of age or older) must be present and responsible for the team at all times. Coaches are appointed by the CYO Board.

Responsibilities of the CYO Coach include:

  1. Obtain and ALL required certifications required by the Archdiocese to coach CYO Sports
  2. Conducting a preseason meeting with parents to be certain that all parents, coaches and youth understand their responsibilities and the philosophy of the CYO athletic program.
  3. Being knowledgeable concerning the CYO Bylaws, league rules, sport rules and the techniques of teaching fundamentals for that sport.
  4. Determining the eligibility of each player on the team prior to participation. Return accurate rosters and support materials to the athletic director.
  5. Coaching in a Catholic manner and following the CYO “Code of Conduct”.
  6. Being responsible for the actions of team members and team followers; ensure that their behavior follows the CYO “Code of Conduct”.
  7. Teaching and guiding the youth on the team with a sense of fair play, sportsmanship and acceptance of winning and losing in accordance with Catholic ideals.
  8. Taking special precautions to ensure a safe playing environment. Maintaining an adequate first aid kit. Providing required safety equipment in good repair and making certain that they are properly used by the players. Making certain that there will be at least one adult present for each game or practice.
  9. Scheduling practices and games so as not to conflict with the religious obligations of the youth.
  10. Working with the athletic director in supporting the region and parish CYO programs.
  11. .Support the Community Service Projects and Activities