SECTION I - Sports & Activities - D219 Student Handbook (2023)

[See Board Policies 7:300 and 7:305; also Adm.Procedure 7:305-AP]

Student Athlete Concussions and Head Injuries [7:245]

Extracurricular Code of Conduct [See Board Policy 7:240]

Key Provisions Regarding IHSA Rules

When youbecome a member of an interscholastic athletic team at your high school, youwill find that both your school and the IHSA will have rules you must follow inorder to be eligible for interscholastic sports participation. The IHSA ruleshave been adopted by the high schools which are members of IHSA as part of theAssociation’s constitution and by-laws. They must be followed as minimumstandards for all interscholastic athletic competition in any member highschool. Your high school may have additional requirements, but they may not beless stringent than these statewide minimums.

Theprincipal of your school is responsible to see that only eligible studentsrepresent the school in interscholastic athletics. Any question concerning yourathletic eligibility should be referred to your principal, who has a completecopy of all IHSA eligibility rules, including the Association’s due processprocedure. Only the IHSA Executive Director is authorized to make formal rulingson eligibility, so if your principal has questions or wishes assistance inanswering your questions, the principal should contact the IHSA Office.

Informationcontained here highlights only the most important features of the IHSA by-lawsregarding interscholastic athletic eligibility. It is designed to make youaware of major requirements you must meet to be eligible to compete ininterscholastic athletics. The information here is only a general descriptionof major by-law provisions and does not contain the statement of the by-laws intheir entirety. You can review the by-laws at IHSA's website.

You maylose eligibility for interscholastic competition if you are not in compliancewith IHSA by-laws. Remember, if you have any questions regarding IHSA rules,please contact your principal.

1. Attendance

You may represent only theschool you attend. Participation on a cooperative team of which your school isa member is acceptable.

You must be enrolled andattending classes in your high school no later than the beginning of the 11thschool day of the semester.

If you attend school for ten(10) or more days during any one semester, it will count as one of the eight(8) semesters of high school attendance during which you may possibly haveathletic eligibility.

If you have a lapse in schoolconnection for ten (10) or more consecutive school days during a semester, youare subject to ineligibility for the rest of the semester. The specific termsof your extended absence must be reviewed by the Executive Director to determine if it is “lapse in schoolconnection” or not.

2. Scholastic Standing [See Board Policy 6:190-AP1]

You must pass twenty (25) credit hours of high school work per week. Generally, twenty (25) credit hours is the equivalent of five (5) .5 credit courses (two full credits).

You must have passed and received credit toward graduation for twenty (25) credit hours of high school work for the entire previous semester to be eligible at all during the ensuing semester.

3. Residence

Youreligibility is dependent on the location of the residence where you live fulltime with your parents, parent who has been assigned custody by the court, orcourt appointed legal guardian. You may be eligible if you are entering highschool as a freshman and:

You attend the public highschool in the district in which you live full time with both of your parents,custodial parent or court-appointed guardian; or

You have paid tuition toattend a public school for a minimum of 7th and 8th grades in a district otherthan the one where you live with your parents, custodial parent orcourt-appointed guardian and you continue to pay tuition as a high schoolstudent in that same district; or

You attend a private/parochialschool located within the boundaries of the public school district where youlive with your parents or court appointed legal guardian; or

You attend a private/parochialhigh school and have attended a private/parochial school for 7th and 8thgrades, or for any four (4) grades from kindergarten through eighth grades; or

You attend the private/parochialhigh school which one or both of your birth parents attended or where one ofyour parents’ current spouses attended; or

You attend a private/parochialhigh school located within a thirty (30) mile radius of the residence where youlive with your parents, custodial parent or court-appointed guardian.

4. Transfer

In all transfer cases, boththe principal of the school from which you transfer and the principal of theschool into which you transfer must concur with the transfer in writing on aform provided by the IHSA Office. You cannot be eligible when you transferuntil this form is fully executed and on file in the school office.

If you transfer after classesbegin for the current school term, you will definitely be ineligible for thirtydays from the date you start attending classes at the new high school. Inaddition, you will be ineligible for that entire school term in any sport inwhich you engaged in any team activity, including but not limited to tryouts,drills, physical practice sessions, team meetings, playing in a contest, etc. atthe school from which you transferred. For example, if you were out for crosscountry at the school from which you transfer and transfer after classes havestarted for the school term, you will be ineligible for cross country thatentire school term at the new school.

If you transfer attendancefrom one high school to another high school, you will be ineligible unless:

Your transfer is inconjunction with a change in residence by both you and your parents, custodialparent or court appointed guardian from one public school district to adifferent public school district;

Your transfer is between highschools within a public school district and both you and your parents,custodial parent or court appointed guardian change residence to the districtattendance area for the school to which you transfer;

Your transfer is from aprivate/parochial school to your home public high school, you are entering apublic high school for the first time, and the principals of both your formerand the new school concur with your transfer;

Your transfer is from oneprivate/parochial school to another private/parochial school located within athirty (30) mile radius of the residence where you live with your parents,custodial parent or court appointed guardian, you are changing high schools forthe first time, and the principals of both your former and the new schoolconcur with your transfer;

Your parents are divorced orlegally separated; you transfer to a new school in conjunction with amodification or other change in legal custody between your parents by action ofa judge; and required court documents are on file at the school into which youtransfer;

If you transfer in conjunctionwith a change in legal guardianship, a ruling on your eligibility must beobtained from the IHSA Office.

If you transfer attendancefrom one school to another while you are ineligible for any reason, the periodof ineligibility imposed prior to your transfer or the period of ineligibilitythat would have been imposed had you stayed at the school, will be enforced atthe school to which you transfer, even if you are otherwise in compliance withthe by-laws.

Any questions about youreligibility in any of these instances must be resolved by a formal ruling fromthe IHSA Executive Director.

In all other transfersituations, a ruling by the IHSA Executive Director is necessary to determineyour eligibility. This ruling must be obtained in writing by the principal ofthe school into which you transfer before you participate in an interscholasticathletic contest.

5. Age

You willbecome ineligible on the date you become twenty (20) years of age, unless yourtwentieth (20th) birthday occurs during a sport season. In that case, you willbecome ineligible in regard to age at the beginning of the sport season duringwhich your twentieth (20th) birthday occurs.

6. Physical Examination

You mustannually have placed on file with your principal a certificate of physicalfitness, signed by a licensed physician, physician’s assistant or nursepractitioner in order to practice or participate. Your physical examinationeach year is good for only one (1) year from the date of the exam. Thephysician’s report must be on file with your high school principal.

7. Amateur Status

If you win or place in actualcompetition, you may accept a medal or trophy for that accomplishment, withoutlimit to its cost.

For participating incompetition in an interscholastic sport, or for athletic honors or recognitionin a sport, you may receive any type of award (except cash, check or legaltender) that does not exceed $20 fair market value. There is no limitation onthe value of your school letter.

The amateur rule does notprohibit you from being paid to referee, receiving pay for teaching lessons orcoaching in a little kid’s league, etc. It only applies to your own competitionin an athletic contest.

If you violate the amateurrule, you become ineligible in the sport in which you violated. You must bereinstated by the Executive Director before you may compete again.

8. Recruitingof Athletes

The by-laws prohibitrecruiting of high school students for athletics. If you are solicited toenroll in or transfer to a school to participate in athletics, you are beingillegally recruited and your eligibility is in jeopardy.

You will lose your eligibilityif you enroll in or transfer to a school in response to recruiting efforts byany person or group of persons, connected with or not connected with theschool, related to athletic participation.

You will lose your eligibilityif you receive special benefits or privileges as a prospective student-athletewhich is not uniformly made available to all students who attend your school.

You may not receive an“athletic scholarship” or any other special benefit from your school becauseyou participate in athletics.

It is a violation for anystudent-athlete to receive or be offered remuneration or any special inducementwhich is not made available to all applicants who apply to or enroll in theschool. Special inducement includes, but is not limited to.

It is also a violation toinduce or attempt to induce or encourage any prospective student to attend anymember school for the purpose of participating in athletics, even when specialremuneration or inducement is not given. Please remember that you may not beoffered or receive any benefit, service, privilege or opportunity which is notalso provided or made available to all prospective students at that school. NOTE:If you are interested in finding out more information about a school, contactthe principal or an administrator at the school, not a member of the coaching staff.

9. School Team Sports Seasons

Each sport conducted by IHSAmember schools has a starting and ending date. Your school may not organize ateam, begin practice or participate in contests in a given sport until theauthorized starting date. Your school may not continue to practice or participatein contests after the authorized ending date. This means that:

During the school year, youmay not participate on a non-school team coached by any member of your school’scoaching staff unless it meets specific criteria established by the by-laws.

No school coach may requireyou to participate in an out-of-season sport program as a requirement for beinga member of a school team.

Violation of the sport seasonby-laws will result in penalty to you and/or to your school’s coachingpersonnel.

10. Playing in Non-School Competition

During the time you areparticipating on a school team in a sport at your high school, you may neitherplay on a non-school team nor compete in non-school competition as anindividual in that same sport or in any skill of that sport.

If you participate innon-school competition during a sport season and subsequently wish to join theschool team in the same sport, you will not be eligible.

If you wish to participate ina competition sponsored and conducted by the National Governing Body for thesport, your principal must request approval in writing from the IHSA Officeprior to any such participation.

You may try out for anon-school team while you are on your school’s team in that same sport, but youmay not practice, receive instruction, participate in workouts, or participatein competition with a non-school team in that same sport until you cease beinga member of your school’s team. You cease being a member of your school’s teamwhen the team(s) of which you are a member terminates for the school term.

You will become ineligible ifyou participate on, practice with or compete against any junior college,college or university team during your high school career.

11. All-Star Participation

Afteryou have completed your high school eligibility in the sport of football,basketball, soccer or volleyball, you may participate in no more than three (3)all-star contests in any of these sports and still play for other school teams,provided:

The high school season in thatsport has been completed.

You may lose your eligibilityfor other interscholastic sports if you play in all-star competition in any ofthese sports under any other conditions.

You are not restricted fromparticipating in all-star competition in sports other than football,basketball, soccer or volleyball, except that you may not do so during the school season for the sport.

12. Coaching Schools

A coaching school, camp orclinic is defined as any program, sponsored by an organization or individual,which provides instruction in sports theory and/or skills; which does notculminate in competition, and which is attended by more than two (2) personsfrom the school which the student attends.

During the school term, youmay not attend a coaching school or clinic for any interscholastic sport.

You may attend a coachingschool, camp or clinic during the summer (that period between the close ofschool in the spring and the opening of school in the fall) within thefollowing criteria:

You may not attend a coachingschool, camp or clinic for any sport after Saturday of Week No. 4 in the IHSAStandardized Calendar.

You may take a private lesson at any time provided no more than two studentsfrom your school are in the private lesson.

13. Misbehavior During Contests

If youviolate the ethics of competition or the principles of good sportsmanship, youmay be barred from interscholastic athletic contests, either as a participantor spectator or both. If you are ejected from a contest for unsportsmanlikeconduct, you will be ineligible for your team’s next contest. You are alsosubject to other penalties.

14. Student Commitment to Co-Curricular Activities

In the event a conflict arises regarding student commitment to an activity or athletic program, the sponsors/coaches of the activities will meet to resolve the conflict. If the conflict involves a curricular activity and a co-curricular activity, the curricular activity will be given preference. If the parties are unable to reach consensus and resolve the conflict, the respective Directors of each activity will be informed immediately. The Directors shall render a decision that is in the best interest of the student.


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