“NON-TRADITIONAL” STUDENTS ELIGIBILITY
The AHSAA now recognizes “Non-traditional” students and has passed a set of bylaws to ensure that these students are allowed a chance to participate in High School sports. “Non-traditional” students are defined as home schooled or virtual school students. Jackson County will follow these guidelines as outlined by the AHSAA. For a complete description of these students and their eligibility guidelines, please visit www.ahsaa.com.
Daily attendance at school and practice is expected. In order to be eligible to participate in any after school activity, athletes must be present in school on the day of the activity. If the activity is to be held on a Saturday, then the student must be in attendance on the preceding Friday.
To be considered present in school, a student must be in school at least one half of the school day. They may not check-in any later than the 4th period or check out prior to the conclusion of s period on the said day. If he/she is not in school for at least one half of the school day, then he/she is not to participate in the activity. Practices are considered an activity. Any exceptions to this rule must be approved by the Principal or the Athletic Director of the school.
An athlete must be in school on a regular basis in order to be eligible to participate in athletics. An athlete who accumulates excessive unexcused absences or tardies will be subject to discipline by the administration.
All students are expected to conduct themselves at all times and in all places in a manner that reflects positively on the school and/or its programs. In addition to following the rules and guidelines set forth by the Jackson County Student Code of Conduct and the Student Athletic Handbook, student athletes are expected to adhere to individual sport policies and procedures. Violations of school rules, disruptive behavior, showing disrespect toward school staff, unsportsmanlike conduct, and/or committing any act that reflects negatively on the Athletic Department will not be tolerated and such actions could lead to eligibility restrictions. If the behavior is serious enough, the athlete may be placed on probation or suspended from participation.
If a violation of the Code of Conduct occurs in the latter part of a sport and the athlete cannot fulfill the terms of his/her consequences, the suspension will carry over to another sport. When serving a school suspension, including out of school suspension or Alternative school placement, the student athlete will be ineligible for all contests and practices during the suspension period. Attendance at athletic events is prohibited during the suspension period regardless of whether you are a participant or a spectator. In school detention (ISD) does not count as suspension and athletes will be allowed to participate at the conclusion of the school day.
Consequences for off campus violations of the Code of Conduct or the student athlete handbook will not be based on hearsay or rumor. When there is a reasonable knowledge and belief based on the facts and circumstances or when there is admission of guilt by the athlete to a violation, student athletes are subject to discipline by school administration.
The rules under this section are enforced twelve months of the year for athletes in grades 7-12.
AHSAA REQUIREMENTS: REPRESENTATION RULES
To represent your school in athletic contests:
- You must be a regularly enrolled student and must have enrolled in a school prior to the 20th school day of the semester in which the contest occurs.
- You must not have graduated from an accredited high school or equal grades.
- You must not have reached your 19th birthday prior to Aug. 1 of the current school year. Junior high students must not have reached your 15th birthday prior to Aug. 1. A student reaching these birthdays on or after Aug. 1 is eligible for the entire year.
- You must not have attended high school more than eight consecutive semesters after entering the 9th
- You must not have participated in any sport more than four seasons after entering the 9th grade or have participated more than six seasons in any one sport after entering the 7th
- You must be an amateur athlete and never have played on a college team.
All first-time student-athletes (those who have not taken the STAR Course) will be required to complete the NFHS Sportsmanship Program as an eligibility requirement.
Any student or coach who currently holds a certification of completion for the STAR Sportsmanship program is “grandfathered” and will NOT be required to complete the new program.
A copy of the certificate of completion will remain on file in the Principal’s office for each student. It is good practice to do this in the 7th grade as student athletes begin their school careers. A certificate achieved from the Advanced Middle School portion of the course will suffice for the athlete’s entire school career.
Each student athlete and their parents must annually sign and complete a concussion policy statement. A copy of this form will remain in the Principal’s office for the entirety of the school year.
Each student athlete and their parents must annually sign and complete an AHSAA Release Form. A copy of this form will remain in the Principal’s office for the entirety of the school year.
Each student athlete must have a certified birth certificate (issued by the State Bureau of Vital Statistics in the state where you were born and bearing its official seal and number) on file in the Principal’s office.
Each student athlete must have received an adequate physical examination for the current school year and have a Physician’s Certificate on file in the Principal’s office. The examination must be signed by a MD or DO and cannot be signed by a PA or CRNP.
All student athletes are required to have medical insurance and must supply information verifying such before participating in a sport. The catastrophic insurance obtained from the AHSAA should in no way be interpreted as replacing regular insurance and accident coverage. Catastrophic insurance only becomes effective after $10,000 in medical expenses have been incurred within one year.
All student athletes must meet the residency requirements set forth by the AHSAA as well as the Jackson County Board of Education. Any student whose parents make a “bona fide” move from one community, school zone, or district to another may transfer all rights and privileges to the new school that serves the area into which the parents moved and currently reside. Listed below are some key points to identify “bona fide” moves.
- Household furniture of the family must be moved.
- All principal members of the family must reside in the new place of residence.
- The original residence should be closed, rented, or disposed of and not used by the family. Non-compliance of this could mean that the family has dual residencies, which prohibits participation.
- Nine months at the new residence shall be required to make a bona fide move. If a family moves into a new school zone and remains there for less than 9 months, the move will not be considered bona fide and the family’s child who is enrolled and participating in athletics in the new zone becomes ineligible at that school.
- Any student upon completion of the highest grade taught in any school that offers less than the number of years required for high school graduation, becomes eligible immediately at the member high school that serves that area which the parents reside.
ELIGIBILITY OF MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS PLAYING AT THE HIGH SCHOOL
Direct feeder schools are Bryant, Bridgeport, Hollywood, Macedonia, Rosalie and Stevenson.
Non-Direct Feeder Schools are Flat Rock and Dutton.
- Seventh and Eighth grade students from a direct feeder school may not participate in a school sport at the high school level until their school’s sport season is over. (Example: an 8th grader at Bryant cannot play basketball at NSM High until his/her basketball season has ended at Bryant)
- If the feeder school does not offer the sport being offered by the high school, the student may participate at the upper level. (Example: if a student at Rosalie wants to play softball and Rosalie does not have a team, the student could participate in that sport at Pisgah) Non-Direct Feeder Schools are Flat Rock and Dutton.
- On August 20, 2008, a ruling was made by the AHSAA that will allow 7th and 8th grade students at non-direct feeder schools to participate in a sport at the high school they are zoned for and plan to attend as a freshman, if that sport is not offered at their middle school. However, AHSSA have rules that must be followed in order for the student to participate.
For a student from Flat Rock or Dutton to be able to participate at the high school they plan to attend, the following rules must be followed:
- The prospective student/athlete’s parent or legal guardian must sign a document that establishes the student’s eligibility at one of the two schools. This document must be filed in the school office. Once eligibility is established the student may not transfer his/her eligibility to another school without forfeiting a year of eligibility unless a bona fide move, as explained by the AHSAA rules.
- Student/athlete must also have on file in the school office a copy of the original birth certificate as well as an up to date physical signed by a doctor and parent.
- The student/athlete must also meet all other AHSAA guidelines in regards to academics and behavior. (example: and 8th grade student at Dutton wanting to play football at Section would have to declare their eligibility to Section school and would not be eligible to participate in sports at Pisgah as a freshman. They would be required to sit for a one year period as defined by the AHSAA)