The Eligibility Committee of Section XI meets before each sports season to consider appeals for students from member school districts who are:
I. seeking an extension of eligibility;
II. seeking waivers from the transfer rule;
III. who are foreign or exchange students;
IV. eligibility for shared service students.
It is the responsibility of the school district that requests the appeal to supply all required written documentary evidence needed to support the appeal. That written documentation may be sent to the attention of the Executive Director two weeks in advance of the Eligibility Committee meeting (see Section XI calendar) or directly to the committee members (fax numbers and addresses will be supplied to athletic directors annually) one week in advance. Failure to provide this material within the period requested will require the committee to remove the case from the hearing schedule.
I. Extension of Eligibility
The purpose of the Section XI Eligibility Committee is to consider "Evidence presented by the chief school officer" which "shows that a pupil's failure to enter competition during one or more seasons of a sport was caused by illness, accident, or similar circumstance, beyond the control of the student." Additionally, the chief school officer must include an explanation on how the accident/illness resulted in the athlete needing additional semester(s) to meet the graduation requirement. (Approved 7/1/2009)
Historically, the Section XI Eligibility Committee has interpreted the above noted regulations to mean that: 1) The student must have been prevented from participation through circumstances beyond his/her control, i.e., injury, illness, 2) The student must not be avoiding graduation in order to play a sport for an additional season. It should also be noted that Article II of the constitution of NYSPHSAA indicates that for purposes of eligibility, the clock starts at the point at which the student first enters ninth grade and continues for four consecutive seasons of a specific sport. If the student is in the fifth year of high school, that student is not eligible to participate in the interscholastic athletic program. In order for a student to be considered for participation, the procedures listed below must be followed.
A. Appeal Procedure
1. The superintendent must request, in writing, consideration to extend the eligibility of a student in his/her district. The letter shall indicate the reason(s) for the request.
2. A letter from the high school principal indicating that he/she is aware of the request shall accompany the superintendent's letter.
3. The athletic director must gather the necessary documentation and include it with the superintendent's request for appeal.
According to the NYSPHSAA: Appeal Procedure:
Note: While an appeal is being processed a student(s) may participate in practice sessions commencing from the date the appeal was filed.
1. A complete record of the student's participation in athletics since grade seven specifying sports and sport levels (V,JV,JH) by year. Also include a description of the sports program available to students in that school.*
2. A complete history of the student's physical education record and activities. Include specifics for the period of time he/she was precluded from participating in interscholastic athletics (such as directives from physician regarding physical activity).*
3. Complete documentation relative to the specific injury or illness that precluded the student from participating in athletics. This documentation MUST include statements/records (medical and other) dated at the specific period of time of the injury or illness. Medical information, statements, records, etc., provided at dates that are more recent are not acceptable.
4. A copy of the school's athletic eligibility policy and documentation which indicates the eligibility status of the student-athlete for the period of time he/she was precluded from participating in athletics.*
5. Birth date of student.
6. The transcript of the student, indicating all courses, grades, accumulated credits, and anticipated year of graduation. Include a current report card to supplement the transcript, if necessary.
7. Prior planning that took place (if any) in anticipation of extending eligibility.
8. Any other information that the Guidance Department believes would be pertinent.
9. Any medical, psychological or psychiatric information attested to by the medical authorities shall indicate the illness, its extent, the effect on the student scholastically, and the effect on the individual's participation.
10. If the "...circumstances beyond the student's control", include issues such as physical or sexual abuse or conditions resulting from substance abuse, documentation to support the circumstance must include but not be limited to:
a. a social history prepared by the district's psychologist or social worker
b. medical records
c. hospital records
d. records from public or private agencies that provided support services during the time in question.
The school district must be represented at the hearing. The attendance of the student, parents, etc., is at the discretion of the school district. Attorneys representing the student may not attend the hearing.
II. Transfer Students
1. NYSPHSAA Transfer Rule (Updated - March, 2015)
NOTE: The Transfer Rule will be enforced as written with no variations permitted.
A. A student in grades 9-12 who transfers, with a
corresponding change in residence of his/her parents (or other persons with whom the student has resided for
at least six months) shall become eligible after starting regular attendance in the second
school. A residence change must involve a move from one school district to another.
Furthermore, when a student moves from one public school district to another public school
district, for athletic eligibility the student must enroll in the public school district or in a
private school within that district's boundaries of his/her parents' residency.
For athletic eligibility, a residency is changed when one is abandoned by the
immediate family and another residency is established through action and intent.
Residency requires one's physical presence as an inhabitant and the intent to
remain indefinitely. The Superintendent, or
designee, will determine if the student has met district residency requirements.
B. A student who transfers without a corresponding change in residence of his/her parents (or other persons with whom the student has resided for at least six months) is ineligible to participate in any interscholastic athletic contest in a particular sport for a period of one (1) year if as a 9-12 student participated in that sport during the one (1) year period immediately preceding his/her transfer. Students who transfer from any school to the public school district of the residence of his/her parents (or other persons with whom the student has resided for at least six months) or a private school within that district’s boundaries shall receive a waiver from the Transfer Rule. Such a transfer without penalty will only be permitted once in a high school career. Schools must submit the required transfer form to the Section office. Athletes are not permitted to practice before the form has been submitted. Athletes are not permitted to complete without approval. NOTE: A student in a foreign exchange program listed by CSIET has a one-year waiver of the Transfer Rule. If such a student elects to stay a second year, he/she becomes a foreign student at the start of the school year with item (b) in effect.
Exemptions to (B): For athletic eligibility a student must enroll in the public school district or in a nonpublic school within that district's boundaries of his/her parent's residency. Note: Multiple High School Districts - The policies/boundaries of the school district will be followed. If the district has an open enrollment policy, the interpretation to be used will be the same as used for students of K-8 school districts. When a student enrolls in 9th grade, that is the district (building) of their residence. Any subsequent transfer would be subject to the Transfer Rule.
1. The student reaches the age of majority and establishes residency in a district and can substantiate that they are independent and self-supporting.
2. If a private or parochial school ceases to operate, a student may transfer to another private or parochial school of his/her choice. Otherwise, a student must enroll in the public school district of his/her parents’ residency.
3. A student who is a ward of the court or state and is placed in a district by court order. Guardianship does not fulfill this requirement.
4. A student from divorced or "legally" separated parents who moves into a new school district with one of the aforementioned parents. Such a transfer is allowed once every six months. The legal separation agreement must address custody, child support, spouses support and distribution of assets and be filed with the County Clerk or issued by a judge.
5. A student who is declared homeless by the superintendent pursuant to Commissioner's Regulation 100.2.
6. A student of a military employee who is transferred to an active military base may enroll in the non-public school closest to their residence and maintain eligibility if the student enrolls in a non-public school immediately following the change in residence.
NOTE: It is provided, however, that each school shall have the opportunity to petition the section involved to approve transfer without penalty based on an undue hardship for the student. Educational Waivers will not be considered as an undue hardship effective for the 2015-16 school year.
C. Transfer students trying out for sports before school
opens in the fall shall register and be accepted by the principal of that school before the medical
examination and the first practice. This shall constitute the start of the regular attendance for
NOTE: After approval by the school medical officer, a student may practice immediately and must satisfy the specific Sports Standard according to the number of practice sessions required.
D. Practices at the previous school may be counted toward the minimum number of practices required provided the principal or athletic director of the previous school submits, in writing, the number and dates of such practices to the principal or athletic director of the new school.
2. Transfer Appeal Guidelines - For consideration when determining hardship waivers of the Transfer Rule.
Financial - Appeals require documented proof of a significant loss of income or a significant increase in expenses.
Written description outlining the circumstances that led to the financial hardship. Appropriate documentation may include:
- Evidence of loss of income or change in financial obligations that are not self-imposed.
- Family W2 forms - pay stubs.
- Notarized statement from parent.
- Statement from employer or professional with knowledge of circumstances.
- Most recent tax returns - two years.
Health and Safety - Appeals are considered for safety, mental health, personal relationships and other like circumstances.
- Written documentation is required from Superintendent of Schools or HS principal of the sending school indicating the specific circumstances which necessitated the transfer.
- Supporting documentation from a third party outside of the school may be submitted (ex. police report).
Foreign Exchange Students
1. Foreign Students
- Report all through the Section office by using a standardized form.
- All foreign students who have been graduated from the secondary school system in their country are ineligible for the interschool athletic program.
- Foreign students' eligibility shall be determined under the requirements of NYSPHSAA Standard #29 - Transfer.
NOTE: If a foreign student has participated in an organized sports program in a particular sport, equivalent to or on a higher level than our high school programs, he/she is ineligible to participate in that sport for one year.
2. Exchange Students
A bona fide foreign exchange student may be immediately eligible the first year in residence and be limited to one year eligibility provided the student (a) is a participant in an established foreign exchange program accepted for listing by the Council of Standards for International Travel (CSIET), and (b) complies with all State Education Department and NYSPHSAA, Inc. standards. Furthermore, there shall be no evidence that a student, school or other interested party has influenced the assignment of the foreign exchange student to a school for athletic purposes.
III. Eligibility for Shared Services Students
New York State Public High School Athletic Association Eligibility Regulations indicate that a student in a shared services part-time or full-time program, taking the equivalent of four subjects including physical education, is considered as being registered in the home (sending) school and, therefore, eligible to participate in the interscholastic athletic program in the home (sending) school. Exceptions to this rule must be approved by Section XI.
The Section XI Executive Board has established a simplified procedure to facilitate the approval of such exceptions:
1. Approval is required by both the "sending" and "host" school superintendents in order for a shared services student to participate in athletics at a "host" school. All other eligibility standards must be met prior to the superintendent's approval.
2. The completed request form is to be forwarded to the office of the Executive Director for final approval.
IV. Hearing Procedures
Should a hearing be necessary, documentation must be provided to assist in the review of the case.
1. At least one of the following documents must be submitted:
a. deed of ownership of property
b. lease (signed)
c. contract of sale (signed)
d. County tax bill
2. Appropriate affidavits to verify current occupation of residence as noted above:
a. telephone bill
b. electric/gas bill
c. water bill
d. oil company bill
e. bank statement
f. credit card bill
g. payroll stub with address
h. cablevision bill
i. insurance bill
j. driver's license (not amended)
k. medical bill
3. Transfer documents from departing school
B. Joint Custody - In cases of joint custody, copies of the court documents that relate to the residency arrangements for the child.
C. School Records - Records that describe, in detail, the investigation initiated by the receiving school which were used to ascertain residency.
D. Representation - The school district must be represented at the hearing. The attendance of the student, parents, etc., is at the discretion of the school district. Attorneys representing the student may not attend the hearing.
E. Waiver of NYSPHSAA Transfer Rule (NYSPHSAA approved August 5, 2004) - Upon receipt of the appropriate request, a waiver of the transfer rule for any student athlete returning to his/her district of residency from a non-public school will be granted. The waiver will be granted only one time per athlete.
NOTE: We stress to all concerned that the transfer rule is still in effect and that without a waiver, an athlete for which the rule applies remains ineligible. Schools using ineligible athletes are subject to the forfeit penalty which cannot be made retroactive. Therefore, athletic directors are urged to establish leak proof tracking systems.
F. Practices and Competition - Students who are appealing the Transfer Rule can participate in practices, but not in contests, when the appeal application is completed and sent to the Section XI Executive Director. Participation against other schools in league or non-league competition is only permitted when the appeal has been approved.
V. Eligibility Violation
In the event that a school becomes aware that it has been using an ineligible player(s), it shall be the duty of that school to report at once to the Executive Director of the Association, and it shall be the duty of the Executive Director to declare all games forfeited in which this player(s) participated.
NOTE: If the student has attended more than one high school during this time, documentation from each school must be presented.