A student shall have been in attendance as many school days as he/she missed at the opening of the semester, should his/her enrollment not have been made at the opening of the semester, providing however that he/she shall have made such enrollment and begun regular class work prior to the 11th day of the semester. NOTE: If a student is enrolled in a National Guard summer program approved by the Department of Public Instruction and is not released until after the 11th day of the first semester, the student is immediately eligible in his/her home school if he/she enrolls immediately upon discharge from the Guard program. (Must adhere to practice regulations.) A school approved home bound program shall be interpreted as regular class work.
NOTE ON HOME-BASED SCHOOL:
The 1989 North Dakota State Legislature passed a law that permits home-based education. Basically, this law allows children to be taught at home by their parents if all the provisions of the law are followed.
The 1999 and 2001 legislature amended this provision as follows:
Home education - Participation in extracurricular activities.
A child receiving home education may participate in extracurricular activities either:
- Under the auspices of the child's school district of residence; or
- Under the auspices of an approved non-public school, if permitted by the administrator of the school.
For purposes of this section, a child participating under the auspices of the child's school district of residence is subject to the same standards for participation in extracurricular activities as those required of full-time students enrolled in the district.
For purposes of this section, a child participating under the auspices of an approved non-public school is subject to the same standards for participation in extracurricular activities as those required of full-time students enrolled in the school.
Once a child's parent has selected the public school district or the approved non-public school in which the child will participate for purposes of extracurricular activities, and has provided notification of the selection through the statement required by section 15.1-23-02 in N.D. Century Code, the child is subject to the transfer rules as provided in the Constitution and By-Laws of the North Dakota High School Activities Association.
The responsibility of checking on the eligibility of students involved in home-based instruction is that of the school in which the student is participating in the co-curricular activities program. It is recommended that each school develop a form to be used in checking eligibility of all students including home-based students.
INTERPRETATIONS SECTION I of Article XIV -- Rules of Eligibility
This rule is designed to lend every encouragement for the student to begin school on the first day of school and to discourage students from staying out for varied reasons until the interscholastic season gets under way. Fundamentally, it is intended to see that students do not straggle in over a period of time. If for good and valid reasons a student cannot begin school promptly at the opening of the semester, the rule provides that he/she cannot represent his/her school in an interscholastic contest until he/she has attended as many days as he/she has missed.
It is not the intent of this rule that a student can register in the spring or at a pre-school registration date and then fail to attend classes and still comply with this rule. His/her actual presence in classes is implied.
Further, the rule requires that a student must enroll and attend regular class work before the 11th day of the semester in order to be eligible for any interscholastic competition during the semester.
- Q: What constitutes enrollment?
A. Enrollment means actually having attended one or more classes in a school in addition to the appearance of a student's name on the school records.
- Q: Is it not the purpose of the rule to permit "enrollment" the first day as a protection or evidence of good faith after which a student may be absent for several days or weeks without the application of this rule, assuming he/she may have work to do or other logical or legitimate reasons?
A. No, such is not the intent of the rule. The rule merely means that in the event a student does not start school normally, i.e. on the first day of school, he/she must be in school at least as many days as he/she has missed in order to have a fair chance to "catch up" with his/her studies, and in addition to "make-up work", total attendance since enrollment must at least equal absence prior to enrollment.
- Q: For certain valid reasons a student is unable to attend school the first week of school and enrolls and attends classes the following Monday? When can the student become eligible to represent his/her school?
A. If a student has been out for five days, he/she must attend classes for an equal number of days and could become eligible at 4:00 p.m. or the usual closing hour of the fifth day of attendance.
- Q: A student misses the first week of school and enrolls the following Monday after school has been in session one week. He/she attends Monday and Tuesday but is absent Wednesday and Thursday. When is he/she eligible under the rule?
A. Since this student missed five days of school before enrolling and beginning classes, he/she must be in attendance a minimum of five days before becoming eligible under this rule and hence the earliest possible date would be after school on the following Tuesday. In addition he/she must make up back work and be passing as prescribed under Article XIV, Section IV.
- Q: Because of farm work or some other valid reason, a student cannot begin class work until school has been in session for three weeks, when does he/she become eligible under this rule?
A. Since school has been in session for more than 10 days, he/she cannot become eligible for interscholastic competition for the entire semester.
- Q: A student is prevented from enrolling the first day of school by sickness or other apparently legitimate excuse and being detained from school has books at home and studies faithfully, keeping pace with his/her classes. When he/she does enter school, takes some tests and proves that the work is "up", is he/she then immediately eligible?
A. Article XIV, Section I is not to be confused with Article XIV, Section IV. This is an attendance rule. Either he/she did or did not start school the first day as pupils are supposed to do. In the event that he/she did not, then he/she must be in attendance as many days as he/she missed before becoming eligible.
- Q: In our school we have registration in the spring in preparing for the opening of classes in the fall. Does not this administrative procedure then relieve a pupil who is already enrolled in the spring but delays in entering school the first day or so of school in the fall from the application of the rule?
A. No. The first day of school so to be taken literally, and whatever is expected of other students in the school must be expected of this particular student. No special provisions can be made for the athlete or other students who may participate in interscholastic contests.
- Q: A student who began the school year in school A moves with his/her parents to town B in October or November and enrolled in the high school of town B upon arrival in his/her new home. School B had already been in session for several weeks. Does this student come under this rule and must he/she attend as many days as he/she was out before becoming eligible?
A. Since this student regularly enrolled and attended school prior to the change of residence, he/she has met the requirements of this rule and can be immediately eligible as far as Section I is concerned.
- Q: Suppose a student living in town A knows his/her parents plan to move to town B within a few weeks and therefore decided not to enter the local high school. The parents move to the new town and the student begins attending his/her new high school three weeks after the school has opened. How does Section I affect this student?
A. Since this student did not enroll in any high school by the 11th day of the school term, he/she would not be eligible for the entire semester. If this student enrolls after the opening of the term but before the 11th day, he/she would have to attend as many days as missed before becoming eligible.
- Q: May a student involved in home-based education be eligible for NDHSAA sponsored activities?
A. Yes. The legislature has ruled that a student is eligible in the student's school district of residence or at an approved non-public school, if permitted by the school administration. However, once the student's parent selects either the child's school district of residence or an approved nonpublic school, the NDHSAA transfer rules apply. The transfer rules apply to students involved in home-based education the same as they apply to students who elect to attend a public school or an approved nonpublic school.
A student shall not participate in more than four seasons in grades 9-12 in any interscholastic activity. A student shall have only eight consecutive semesters (four consecutive years) of eligibility in high school in which he/she may participate in one season per year in any activity. (October 2020)
A season is to be interpreted as any part of an interscholastic contest, at either the varsity or sub-varsity level.
Under the terms of this rule any participation while in the seventh or eighth grade is not counted. Only that participation from the ninth grade up is to be construed as counting under this rule. Thus, a seventh or eighth grader could possibly play more than four years on a high school team, but never more than four years after reaching the ninth grade.
Q. A student transfers to a NDHSAA member school from a state which sponsors boys golf during the fall sports season. The NDHSAA sponsors boys golf in the spring. May the student compete in the spring making it his second golf season during the same school year?
A. No. A student shall have only one season of eligibility per sport per year. Therefore, the new student may not compete with the school golf team but may practice if approved in advance by the school administration.
Q. A student participates in an out-bound foreign exchange foreign exchange program in what would have been the student's senior year of high school. The student returns the following year to complete the required coursework to graduate. Is the student eligible to compete upon their return?
A. The student has no semesters of eligibility remaining as the student's last two semesters of eligibility expired while the student attended school abroad.
Q. A student dropped out of school at the end of the fall semester of the student's 10^th^ grade year and returned to school at the beginning of the fall semester the next school year. The school considers the student a 10^th^ grader academically. How many semesters of eligibility does the student have remaining?
A. The student has four semesters of eligibility remaining up returning in the fall (including the fall semester) provided the student has met all other NDHSAA and local school eligibility requirements.
Q. A student has returned to school after withdrawing for one year (during his/her senior year) due to medical reasons. Is the student eligible to compete?
A. The student has no semesters of eligibility remaining, unless extra semesters are granted pursuant to Part II, Art. XIV, Section X.
a. A student shall not have participated in a similar athletic contest during the same sports season as a member of any other than a high school team nor as an unattached individual in non-school contests during the high school season in that sport and the penalty for this violation shall be loss of eligibility from the date of the infraction for six contests for each violation in that sport. A school may petition the Board of Directors for exemptions from provisions of this section on behalf of a talented student involving competition with U. S. Olympic or International ramifications.
b. Students who have participated in athletics representing a member school and who have not yet graduated from high school shall not compete on an "all-star" team, or in an "all-star" game, contest, or meet during the school year in sports sponsored by the Association. An "all-star" team includes, but is not limited to, the Shrine All-Star Football Teams, the Lions All-Star Basketball Teams, and the Optimists All-Star Volleyball Teams. Violation of this regulation shall result in loss of eligibility of the student for a period of one year from the date of the last violation. Nothing in this regulation shall prohibit any student from participating as an unattached individual or as a member of a non-school team in these sports during the off-season for that sport in the school term, providing the contest is not "all-star" in character. (Jan. 2008)
INTERPRETATIONS - SECTION III of Article XIV -- Rules of Eligibility
There are several justifications for this rule. In the first place, it is designed to prevent an over-indulgence in a given sport by seeking membership on several teams during a sports season. Without such a rule, it would be comparatively easy for an ambitious student to join up with several teams at the same time. Every town now has several teams such as Church, Sunday school teams, scout teams, YMCA teams, and independent teams.
The rule is further designed to assist the school and coach to guide and advise the student with no interference from outside teams; and further, to give some degree of assurance to the coach that his/her instructions will not be interfered with or modified by other coaches during the time students are under his/her charge.
The rule further specifies the penalty for violation of the rule.
- Q: What is the penalty to a student who plays on another team other than a school team in a particular sport?
A. If he/she does so during the high school season for that sport, he/she loses his/her eligibility for six games or the remainder of the season if less than six games remain. However, if he/she does so prior to the start of the high school season for that sport or after the close of the high school season, there is no penalty.
- Q: May students play on an independent or non-school team during the basketball season and then in the spring be a member of the track team or baseball team?
A. If a student is not a member of any high school basketball team that represents the school in a contest, he/she could play on some non-school basketball team such as a recreational team, 4-H Team, or an independent team with no penalty.
If the student represents the school on any team, whether first or second, "B" team, Junior High team, or any team, he/she cannot play on any other non-school team in that sport except as explained under question 27.
- Q: May a student play a few games, maybe just one, on some other team than the high school team and still be eligible to play on the high school team?
A. No. During the entire school season of a sport, he/she must not participate in any game on ANY OTHER than a regular high school team except intramural school teams. The rule applies to his/her playing regularly or even incidentally in many games or in part of one game on any independent team or city team, or scout team, or YMCA team, Sunday School team, or Church, or lodge or club team, or country league team, or "brothers" team, or any other team.
- Q: Five brothers made up a brothers' team to play a special game during the Christmas holidays when there was no school in session. Two of the boys are on the high school team. Is this all right?
A. No. Such play would make the high school boys ineligible for their high school team for they have "participated in a similar contest during the same school sports season as a member of some team other than their high school team".
- Q: A group of college students, home for the holidays, make up a team by adding two or three high school students and play several games on a tour. Does this affect the standing of the high school students who are regular members of the high school team?
A. Yes. It makes them ineligible under this rule.
- Q: Last year a student played on an independent team. Does this affect his/her eligibility this school year?
A. No. The rule applies only for the given school year.
- Q: A student played on an independent baseball team last spring. Does this affect his football playing this fall?
A. No. The penalty would only be loss of eligibility for the school baseball team that spring.
- Q: What is meant by participation?
A. Taking part for any length of time, however brief, even substituting for a minute or two in one or more interscholastic games or contests constitutes participation. A player in uniform on the bench has not participated unless he actually enters the game.
- Q: A student is not eligible for the high school team the first semester and plays on an independent or some other basketball team. Will this affect his/her eligibility for basketball the second semester?
A. Yes. He/she cannot be made eligible for the second semester for under this rule he/she has participated on some other than a high school team during the same sports season. His/her first semester ineligibility gives him/her no special privileges.
- Q: Does this rule prohibit participation in intramural sports?
A. No, for such teams would be "high school teams" as approved by the rule.
- Q: If a player on any team representing the high school plays a game against some other team, does it matter if some of the students on the reserve or team are not eligible?
A. Yes. The given high school must not be represented at any time in any contest of any kind against any contestant of whatever nature, unless the representatives of that given high school are all fully eligible in every respect.
- Q: Early in the fall before the volleyball season has started, may a student play with some other than a school team, provided she severs all connections with this team as soon as the school season opens?
A. Yes, however if she continues to play with the non-school team after the opening of the school season, she loses her eligibility for the school team in that sport for six contests for each violation.
- Q: Our County promotes a 4-H Basketball Tournament and a student is a member of the 4-H Club and also a member of the high school basketball squad. Is there any way in which he/she can participate in a county 4-H tournament?
A. Yes, only if the 4-H tournament is held prior to the beginning of the high school season or after the high school season schedule is completed and the team disbanded for the year.
- Q: May a student participate as an unattached individual in an AAU or college invitational indoor track meet in December or January?
A. Yes, however participation in such meets after the opening of the school track season results in loss of eligibility in that sport for six contests for each violation.
- Q: May a student participate in a non-school golf tourney after the beginning of season in the fall?
A. As boys golf is a spring sport, they would be allowed to participate in such a tourney since this is not during the school season for the sport. However, girls would not be permitted to do so during their fall season. Exception: Participation in a local club tourney confined to club members only is allowed. Also a tournament that is a result of advancement in Junior Golf. Also see Part Three, page1, #2.
- Q: May students participate in a non-school golf tourney in the spring or summer months?
A. Boys golfers would no longer be permitted to play on the school team if they take part in such a meet prior to the end of the season; however, girls golfers could participate in such a tourney with no loss of eligibility. Any participant may enter such tournaments during the summer months, providing they do not violate the amateur rule.
- Q: If a student runs on his/her own all winter, would he/she be in violation of the rule for starting practice prior to the beginning of the track season?
A. No, providing the coach or school does not mandate out of season student participation.
- Q: May a (a) cross-country runner or (b) track and field participant enter a community road race during the respective high school season in each of the sports?
A. (a) No, (b) Yes. A road race has been interpreted as being the same as cross-country, but not the same as track and field competition.
- Q: May students enter a non-school wrestling meet after the close of the high school season or play on a non-school basketball team after the date of the final game of the last state tournament?
A. Yes, providing they do so on their own.
- Q: The gymnastics season ends before the basketball season is over. Are gymnastic teams permitted to put on exhibition performances for half-time entertainment at basketball games after the close of the gymnastics season?
A. Yes, however formal coaching by the school coach shall be discontinued at the end of the gymnastics season.
- Q: May a student take part in a club gymnastics program or participate in non-school meets after the close of the high school season and be eligible for spring sports?
A. Yes, however she would have to do so as an unattached individual or as a member of a non-school team.
- Q: Are high school basketball players permitted to compete in a school "Class" tourney following the close of the regular season?
A. Yes, this is strictly within the local school system, providing there is no formal instruction after said date and such tourney is held as part of the regular physical education or intramural program with no public attendance or admission charged.
- Q: May a student play on some out-of-school basketball team between the close of the school schedule and the date for the final game of the last state tournament?
A. Technically, this would make him/her ineligible for school basketball the rest of the season but since that individual's school schedule is over, there is no penalty.
- Q: (a) May a school sponsor a "benefit" basketball game after the close of the season between high school students or (b) may a school participate in a "donkey" basketball game after the close of the season?
A. (a) A school is not permitted to field a team in any sport after the close of the season for competition against other schools or teams consisting of personnel other than the student body except by special permission of the NDHSAA. These "benefit" contests must strictly adhere to NDHSAA guidelines which include:
- Fundraiser for uniforms, equipment, etc.
- Raise money for community member in need
- Promote the activities program(s), school or community.
B. (b) "Donkey" basketball is not considered as a basketball game under this rule, so participation in such a contest would not be a violation of the rule.
- Q: May a student play one game a week in a church or city league program during the regular season?
A. No. If he/she does so, he/she loses his/her eligibility for the high school team.
- Q: Do these regulations apply to members of the varsity team only?
A. No. All regulations apply to members of any team which participates in interscholastic contests, whether they are members of the varsity, junior varsity, B or junior high team.
- Q: What is the penalty if a school starts organized practice prior to the beginning of that sports season?
A. This is a violation of one of the By-Laws and a school may be placed on probation, suspended or expelled from the Association for such a violation.
- Q: May a member of a school district's coaching staff in that sport hold practice sessions during June and July with students from that district?
A. No. The coach may only have contact with his/her school's students during a contest or during a camp.
- Q: The junior high coach has been asked to coach the school's varsity team at an out of season tournament in April. Is this legal?
A. Yes. However, no member of the high school staff could coach this team.
- Q: Could a school track team enter a summer track meet without penalty?
A. No. A school cannot enter a team in such a meet, nor can a group of students compete in such a meet under the name of the school or use school uniforms; however, students from a certain high school can enter on their own or as members of a city recreation or similar team. If a school enters a team, that school is subject to suspension from the Association.
- Q: May the high school coach give some members of the football team a football to take home during the summer months so that they can get some practice?
A. Yes. This is not a violation of rules.
- Q: May a member of a high school girls' basketball coaching staff coach a boys' out-of-season basketball team?
A. No, with the exception of the June/July regulation. (Part III) During June and July, coaches of team sports (basketball, football, hockey, soccer and volleyball) from a NDHSAA member school's coaching staff in that sport (Boys' and Girls' Basketball, Boys' and Girls' Hockey, and Boys' and Girls' Soccer are each interpreted as one sport) (Aug. 2004)
- Q: Are the eligibility rules of the Association for athletic events only?
A. Most of the eligibility rules apply to all interscholastic events. However, some of the rules apply specifically to athletics. Part Two, Article XIV, Section III, which deals with membership on out-of-school organizations applies only to athletics. It is possible for a member of a high school band or choir to be a member of an out of school organization of a similar nature and still be eligible to represent the school in music contests and festivals. It is a common practice for high school musicians to participate in church or community choirs or musical groups and certainly it would be ill-advised and impractical to apply this rule to music and speech participants.
- Q: May the Board of Directors grant a school's request for an exemption from provisions of this section after a student has competed in a competition with U.S. Olympic or International ramifications?
A: No. Board of Directors permission is necessary prior to any competition; otherwise the penalty for violation of the rule must be applied. (May 2017)
- Q: May a student participate in a skills contest (free throw; punt, pass, and kick; drive, chip and putt, etc.) or a randomly drawn halftime contest during the season?
A: Local school policy will determine whether or not participation in non-school skills contests or randomly drawn halftime contests during the season is permitted. Variations of a sport due to numbers or surface are not considered skills contests (3 on 3 basketball, beach volleyball, 7 on 7 football, slow pitch softball, futsal, etc.) and participation in such events shall result in penalty**. (Nov. 2017)**
Students must be making satisfactory progress toward the school's requirements for graduation. The school where the student is fully enrolled and regularly attends shall determine satisfactory progress. Failure to acquire two and one half credits at the end of a semester will make him/her ineligible for a minimum of two weeks the following semester. (2015)
INTERPRETATIONS - SECTION IV of Article XIV -- Rules of Eligibility
Q: What is meant by fully enrolled?
A: Fully enrolled is the minimum number of credits required by the local school district with the minimum standard being two and one-half credits per semester.
Q: How is satisfactory progress determined?
A: The Association does not set up academic standards for schools. Satisfactory progress is determined by the local school district.
Q: May a student earn credit during the summer to make up failed course(s) from the preceding semester?
A: Summer makeup courses may be accepted as determined by the local school district.
Q: When may a student who is academically ineligible the current semester for not having made adequate progress toward graduation the previous semester be considered eligible for participation?
A: This student becomes eligible exactly two weeks from the first day of the semester. If the first day of the semester falls on a Wednesday, this student shall become eligible at 4:00 p.m. the day prior to the Wednesday two weeks later if passing the current semester. Likewise, if the first day of the semester falls on a Monday, this student shall become eligible at 4:00 p.m. on the Friday, two weeks later. Local schools districts may have higher standards.
Q: What courses count toward the minimum number of credits needed to make satisfactory progress?
A: Approved course credits recorded on a student transcript are allowable as determined by the local school district.
Q: What other information should be considered in determining eligibility:
- A student entering ninth grade for the first time is immediately eligible for interscholastic competition. Each succeeding semester after the first time in the ninth grade, a student must complete a minimum of two and one half credits and be eligible as determined by the local school district.
- Thirty days or more of attendance or participation in interscholastic competition within any shorter period constitutes enrollment in any semester.
- The last semester of attendance need not necessarily be immediately preceding the present semester except under Part II, Article XI, Section X, which states that the seventh and eighth semesters of a student must be consecutive.
- Jr. High students must be passing all courses to be eligible to participate on a high school team.
Q: Is a high school released from application of the rule if they maintain all of their credits on a unit or trimester basis and do not record credits at the end of a semester?
A: No. All Association rules apply equally to all member schools. The school is responsible for determining a date that will be considered the end of the semester that is approximately halfway through their school year. In order to be eligible to participate in NDHSAA sponsored sports and activities the following semester, each student must have completed at least two and one half credits per local school policy the previous semester of attendance.
Q: Is a fully enrolled ninth grade student who fails to make satisfactory progress and returns as a ninth grade student the following school year eligible to participate immediately just like other ninth grade students?
A: No. This would be his/her third semester in high school.
Q: May a student who is academically ineligible during a semester transfer to another school and be eligible to participate at the new school?
A: A student is academically ineligible for competition at all levels until he/she is determined academically eligible by the local school district in his/her new school.
Q: What is meant by regularly attends?
A: Regularly attends is the minimum number of classes required by the local school district.
Q. What if a student maintains a full class load entirely online?
A. Member schools determine instructional delivery. Students who are enrolled, attend per school policy, and are eligible in all regards may participate in sponsored athletics and activities provided at least half of the student's class load is delivered and administered by that member school's faculty and administration.
Q. Which school is a student eligible to represent when the student's school of residence and school of instructional delivery share state funding?
A. The student shall represent the member school holding a majority of the student's class load. The NDHSAA transfer rule applies if a change of schools occurs.
A student shall not be eligible to compete in interscholastic activities after he/she is a high school graduate. Exception: A student eligible for and participating in a spring activity prior to graduation shall remain eligible in that activity until the season is completed. A "graduate" is defined as a student who has received a valid high school diploma from the high school of attendance. (A student shall also not be eligible to compete after having earned credits sufficient to meet graduation requirements unless said credits have been earned in less than eight semesters of school attendance.) (January 2006)
INTERPRETATIONS - SECTION V of Article XIV -- Rules of Eligibility
This rule is primarily to make alumni ineligible for interscholastic competition. As far as this rule is concerned, a student is a graduate regardless of diploma, cap and gown, commencement exercises, or other formalities as soon as he/she has earned credit to meet the simplest graduating course of the high school unless he/she has earned those credits in less than the normal number of semesters. This rule does not contemplate that a student may switch courses within a high school and prolong his/her number of semesters in high school. Thus, he/she cannot graduate from a commercial course and then decide to switch to a scientific, vocational, or a college preparatory course and create a situation where his/her number of semesters are increased and retain his/her eligibility beyond the normal number of semesters.
Note also that this rule does not penalize the ambitious student who could possibly meet the graduation requirements of a minimum course in less than the normal number of semesters. If this student could meet the other eligibility rules, it is possible for him/her to compete after having the normal units required for graduation.
A graduate shall be defined as a student who has received a signed high school diploma or equivalent from the high school of attendance, regardless of the number of semesters attended. Accepting the diploma constitutes graduation making the student an alumnus of that school and therefore, no longer eligible for extra-curricular activities or competition at the high school level.
Q: A student completes his/her graduation requirements at the end of the first semester. There is no mid-year graduation. May he/she be considered eligible for the second semester since he/she has not "graduated"?
A. Yes, as long as he/she has attended less than eight semesters and is taking at least 2.5 credits.
Q: A student has never participated in athletics before. May he/she return after graduating to take advantage of this privilege he/she has missed?
A. No. The student has graduated.
Q: A student's parents prefer to have their child spend another year in high school rather than graduate since they cannot afford to send him/her to college. Can this student return to high school?
A. The right to return to high school would be determined by local administration. Eligibility would be governed by all eligibility rules including the eight semester rule in Part Two, Article XIV, Section X.
Q: A student gains the required credits at the end of the seventh semester. May he/she be considered eligible during his/her eighth semester even though he/she has now credits enough to graduate?
A. Yes, this is specifically provided in the rule.
A student shall not be eligible to compete in interscholastic activities on or after the day on which the twentieth anniversary of his/her birth occurs.
INTERPRETATIONS - SECTION VI of Article XIV -- Rules of Eligibility
Under the terms of this rule a student becomes ineligible to participate in interscholastic activities on and after the day on which his/her twentieth birthday occurs.
Q: A student's birthday is Friday, and a game is scheduled for that night. May he/she play?
A. No. The definite interpretation has been made to avoid any misunderstanding that a student may not play on the twentieth anniversary of his/her birthday.
Q: Suppose a student becomes 20 years of age during the football season. May he not complete the season?
A. No. He is through on the last day before the 20th anniversary of this birth.
Q: If he/she has played all season, may he/she not play a post season game, even though it might come a few days after his/her 20th birthday?
A. No. He/she is only eligible through the day before the 20th anniversary of his/her birthday.
Q: Should a school use a player whose 20th birthday comes during the season?
A. There is no reason so far as the Association rules are concerned why he/she should not be used up to the very day before the 20th anniversary of his/her birth occurs. Such a question can be answered only by the local administration.
Q: During the regular season a student is okay, but his/her birthday comes within the few days of the final tournament. Since he/she has built up the team and helped it toward victory, should he/she not be allowed to play these extra two or three days?
A. No. The rule is to be taken literally. Nothing can be done to change the student's birthday.
Q: How can a student's age be determined?
A. This is one of the most significant questions in this book. The Board of Directors considers testimony to be valid and acceptable in the following order: (a) A record in the State Bureau of Vital Statistics at Bismarck, (b) A record in the local birth registry, (c) An infant baptismal certificate.
- Any of these foregoing records have almost complete testimony value, practically incontrovertible, but the following testimony is of very doubtful value, and particularly so when there are discrepancies among them as is quite likely: (f) Record in the family Bible, unless there is some way of establishing that the record was made at the time of birth, (g) School or census records when free from discrepancies have some testimony value, but they are not sufficient to depend upon in case of question, and (h) Affidavits of doctor, midwife, parents, or player, these have been found, sorry to say, have almost no marked accuracy and have little testimony value.
Q: We have searched everywhere, and to the best of our knowledge and belief, a player's age is only 18 although some of our school records seem to show him/her a year older. Or worse still, sometimes the question pertains to a 20 year old player. So what can be done?
A. These situations must be addressed the moment there is any question raised. Every effort should be made to have the matter settled before it can have any possible bearing on the student's subsequent or present participation.
NOTE: The situation of all ninth semester high school students should be studied well in advance of their participation. Check on the student as soon as he/she begins his/her athletic career. The burden rests on the school to find the legal birthday of a student. It is a matter of legal significance that the school will be rendering him/her a valuable service to get the matter settled.
Thirty days or more of attendance or participation in interscholastic competition within any shorter period being sufficient to constitute enrollment in any semester. (2015)
INTERPRETATIONS - SECTION VII of Article XIV -- Rules of Eligibility
Q: Is a student eligible to participate if he/she did not attend school the previous semester but was academically eligible per local school policy the last semester of attendance?
A: Yes, the last semester of attendance need not necessarily be immediately preceding the present semester except under Part II, Article XIV, Section X, which states that the seventh and eighth semesters of a student must be consecutive.
Q: If a student is enrolled less than thirty school days in a semester, would this constitute one of his/her semesters of attendance?
A: No, since it is less than thirty school days, unless he/she participated in interscholastic competition.
Q: If a student withdraws after 30 school days in a semester, does this count as a semester of attendance?
A: Yes. Enrollment of thirty school days or more constitutes a semester.
A student shall be an amateur and shall always have contested under his own name.
INTERPRETATIONS - SECTION VIII of Article XIV -- Rules of Eligibility
The first portion of the rule dealing with amateur standing is so important that Article VIII, Section I through V of the By-Laws is devoted to it.
It is suggested that Article VIII be carefully studied by all school coaches and principals so no question remains as to the intent of the rule.
The second part of the rule states that no player may use an assumed name. No doubt violations of this rule are few and far between. However, instances are known where professional or semiprofessional players have assumed fictitious names either to conceal their real identity or for publicity purposes. The rule is designed to prevent high school players from using this means to cover up any infractions of the eligibility rules. It is to be taken literally and the violation of this rule must be considered a serious as well as an unethical offense.
Note: Perhaps the rule accomplishes its completed purpose merely by being on the books, thus preventing students from yielding to other temptations to break rules.
Q: What is meant by an "amateur"?
A. An amateur under this rule is an athlete who has never used his/her athletic ability or training for financial gain by being a participant in any athletic contest. Remember, students would lose their amateur status in only the sport in which they have been ruled to be a professional.
Q: What is meant by the term "professionalism"?
A. "Professionalism" is defined as the acceptance of remuneration, either directly or indirectly for playing on an athletic team.
Q: Does this rule apply to high school students who may form a school band and play for a few dances for a small fee?
A. No. This particular portion of the rule applies to athletic teams only as explained in Section II of Part Two, Article VIII of the By-Laws.
Likewise, Part Two, Article XIV, Section VIII, concerning amateurism applies only to athletics.
High school musicians frequently sing at weddings and funerals or other church events or may become members of local bands who receive token payments for performances they may make. To enforce this regulation against music and speech participants would be undesirable and impossible.
Q: May a high school basketball player who plays on an independent team share in the profits made by the team during the season and divided amongst the members of the squad at the end of the season?
A. Sharing of any such profits would be considered a violation of the amateur rule.
Q: May a high school player be a member of a baseball or basketball team where there are one or more paid players if he/she doesn't receive or accept any pay for his/her services?
A. Yes, as long as he/she does not accept any pay for his/her services.
Q: May a student be paid for his services as a baseball player on an independent team during the summer months when school is not in session?
A. No, the amateur rule applies to athletic activity during the summer vacation as well as during the school year.
Q: Does the acceptance of expense money for meals, lodging, or travel violate the amateur rule?
A. No, provided it can be shown that any money so received is for that purpose and the amount appears to be compatible with the expenses incurred.
Q: May a student officiate at a contest and accept pay for this service without violating his/her amateur standing?
Q: May a student compete in an amateur tournament and accept money or merchandise prizes without violating his/her amateur standing?
A. The Board has ruled that the acceptance of cash prizes by a student would be a violation of the rule, but acceptance of merchandise prizes of reasonable value in amateur tournaments held outside the high school season would not be a violation.
Q: If a student accepts a $75.00 cash prize in a bowling tournament during the year, would this affect his/her eligibility?
A. No, because it is a non-sponsored activity.
Q: What is the penalty for violating the amateur rule?
A. The penalty is loss of eligibility for a calendar year in that sport. The student may then apply to the Association Board for reinstatement.
A student shall have been in attendance at the school which the student represents for one (1) calendar year upon transferring from another school unless the student's parents have become residents of the school district to which the student transferred or unless the school from which the student transferred does not offer work of the corresponding year in which the student is ranked, and there is no evidence of recruitment or undue influence. In the instance of a pupil transferring from a public high school to a private or parochial high school, or vice versa, the student shall not be eligible to represent the new high school in varsity competition for one (1) calendar year beginning with the first day of attendance in the new school. Should a school district maintain more than one high school, residence shall be understood to refer to the territory assigned to a specific high school by the Board of Education, and any transfer by a student from one school to another within the school district without a corresponding change in parental residence shall result in a loss of eligibility in varsity competition for one (1) calendar year. Should the student transfer from one school after the completion of the school year to another school prior to the start of the subsequent school year, the one (1) calendar year loss of varsity eligibility shall begin on the first date for fall practice in any sport. (Jan. 2016)
A student who, because of hardship including, but not limited to, broken home conditions, death of parents or guardians, abandonment or other exceptional or emergency reasons, finds it necessary to transfer schools, may be declared eligible for varsity competition by the Executive Secretary, provided the member school of attendance submits and supports a hardship application and the Executive Secretary's investigation verifies the transfer was necessary and there was no undue influence or recruitment. The decision of the Executive Secretary may be appealed pursuant to Due Process Procedures of Article VI, Sections XV through XVII of these By-Laws (see Hardship Appeals Flow Chart, attached hereto at page 37 and incorporated by reference). (Oct. 2011)**
INTERPRETATION - SECTION IX of Article XIV -- Rules of Eligibility
This is perhaps one of the most important eligibility rules and is the source of more correspondence seeking answers to individual problems of transfer than all other eligibility rules combined.
If parental custody of a student is removed by court order, for court-determined reasons which are not related to extra-curricular eligibility and which do not involve parental consent, the student is immediately eligible in the new school in that community if all other eligibility requirements are met. When the court-order removal of custody is related to eligibility or involves parental consent, other than for a legal adoption, the student is not eligible unless eligibility is established under the "hardship rule" provision of paragraph b of this section.
When the custody of a student is placed with a local Human Services agency and that agency subsequently places the student in a new community within its jurisdiction, the student is immediately eligible in the new school in that community if all other eligibility requirements are met.
The one (1) calendar year ineligibility period is waived if:
A student is a first-time ninth grade student.
A student is placed in another school by Special Education placement, English-Language Learners (ELL) placement, or other NDHSAA Board approved programs. After that placement the student's election to compete in his/her school of placement becomes his/her school for eligibility purposes. Any subsequent change not made necessary by a change in parental residence or change in placement, makes him/her ineligible one (1) calendar year for varsity competition. (June 2017)
A student who transfers from one school to another within an existing co-op (see definition of Cooperative Agreement, Part Two, Art. III, Sec. XI) will be eligible immediately in the activity/activities within the agreement if the student meets all other NDHSAA standards.
A foreign exchange student who is participating in an approved and listed CSIET Program. All foreign exchange students must have the school they are attending in the state have a NDHSAA Foreign Exchange Student form on file at the Association office. (Jan. 2006)
Except for a legal adoption, the establishment of guardianship or other consensual assignment of a student's parent(s), with or without a court order, will not be sufficient to establish a student's eligibility, unless the student qualifies under the "hardship rule" provisions of paragraph b of this section.
A change in residence is not established until the entire family makes the actual physical move by totally vacating the old residence and begins residing in the new home. Open enrollment is not a change of residence under this interpretation.
A student who transfers to be with a parent, who is a state legislator, during the legislative session, will be eligible.
A student returns to his/her school where eligibility was established following participation in a United States Congressional Program. (June 2018)
A student, who is a U.S. Citizen, returns to his/her member school where Eligibility was established following the completion of a study abroad in a foreign country outside the United States, a U.S. Territory, a U.S. Military Base or Canada, provided there is no evidence that the transfer to or from the foreign country was motivated by athletics or activities and all NDHSAA academic requirements were met. (December 2022)
If a student is enrolled in the National Guard during his last semester in school under a program endorsed by the Department of Public Instruction and earning credits for same equivalent to the regular rule pertaining to scholastic eligibility, said student shall be considered eligible in his/her home school should he/she be back in time to participate in extracurricular activities that semester.
If a high school building closes, as a result of a school district's decision to become a non-operating district, a dissolved district or a reorganized district, students who were attending the high school at the time it closed, would become immediately eligible in the North Dakota high school they elected to attend, the same as any ninth grade student. (July 2005)
First, the rule recognized several reasons for transferring schools without loss of eligibility. In the first place, when a parent moves, a student is permitted and expected to move with his/her parents to the new location. He/she may do so with no loss of eligibility.
Second, when a student has attended and completed the number of years of work offered in that school system, he/she is privileged to seek a new high school. He/she may select any high school in the state. However, it should be remembered that once a student selects a high school, that high school becomes "his/her" high school and any subsequent change makes him/her ineligible for a period of one (1) calendar year.
A transfer is considered complete on the first day of attendance or the date on which a change of residence occurs.
Under the hardship rule, a student may become eligible under certain conditions.
A farm pupil living in a district where there is no high school is to be neither at an advantage or disadvantage as compared with other students. His/her first semester of high school in the ninth grade may be in any school he/she or his/her parents select. Once selected, that is his/her high school and any subsequent change except for the two reasons cited previously must result in ineligibility for varsity competition for one (1) calendar year.
The same thing is true for all classes of school - parochial, private, or public. If a student elects to attend a parochial school his/her first year of high school, he/she may do so without penalty. Once the school is selected, that is his/her high school and any change from parochial to public or public to parochial, unless for the two reasons cited, must result in ineligibility for varsity competition for one (1) calendar year.
The rule applies equally to students within a given city or to students living in different cities or districts. In cities where several schools exist, a student must make a choice and, once made, that choice is final. There are conditions of convenience, financial reasons, chance for a part time job, ease of securing room and board, living with an uncle, desire to get special subjects, and possibly other good reasons for transferring schools, but they do not countermand the effects of this rule.
Q: A pupil completes the eighth grade and there is no high school in his/her district. What high school may he/she attend?
A. According to Association rules he/she may enter any high school in the state and be immediately eligible just like all other ninth grade students in their first semester.
Q: Suppose the same student changes schools the second year to be nearer home, or for any one of a number of good reasons. Is he/she then immediately eligible in the new school?
A. No. Having chosen a school for the first semester of his/her ninth grade, that becomes his/her school, and any subsequent change not made necessary by a change in parental residence makes him/her ineligible for one (1) calendar year.
Q: A student is 18 years old and moves into his/her own apartment in a school district different from his/her parent(s) residence. Is this student eligible at (a) the original school or (b) the new school within his/her district of residence to which he/she transfers?
A. In (a) the student remains eligible at the original school if no transfer of schools takes place. In (b) this student will be ineligible for varsity competition for a period of one (1) calendar year.
Q: Only two years of work are offered in the high school a student attends. For his/her third year may he/she change to a four year school and be eligible.
A. Yes, he/she is immediately eligible as provided specifically by the wording of the rule.
Q: A student cannot secure the course or some of the studies he/she wants in the high school he/she has been attending and changes to another high school. Is he/she eligible?
A. No. Transfer in order to obtain certain subjects or a special course is not a legitimate reason under this rule.
Q: If a high school is closed, as the result of a school district's decision to become a non-operating district or to dissolve or to reorganize, what is the eligibility status of the students who were attending the school when it closed?
A. These students would be immediately eligible in the high school of their choice, the same as any ninth grade student. However, once these students have enrolled in another school, any subsequent transfer would result in a period of ineligibility as provided in this rule.
NOTE: All questions dealing with the eligibility of student involved in the formation of a consortium shall be referred to the NDHSAA.
Q: If a school district closes its high school but continues to operate an elementary school, what is the eligibility status of the students who were attending the high school when it closed?
A. These students would become immediately eligible in the high school of their choice, the same as any ninth grade student. However, once these students have enrolled in another school, a subsequent transfer would result in a period of ineligibility as provided in this rule.
Q: Would the same ruling apply to the closing of a private or parochial school?
Q: A home is broken. The mother continues to live in the same town and the father moves elsewhere. A student goes with his/her father though there is no court order. Or the parents are roving or any one of a wide variety of unstable conditions that exist following "broken homes", the status of which have not yet been established by court decrees. What is the eligibility of a high school student who changes schools for this reason?
A. These are some of the "complicated cases" each of which must be answered only after a rather complete investigation is made. They come from abnormal home conditions or untraditional conditions; hence, no traditions can be established that can "fit" such cases properly. It is wisest to write in full to the Board of Directors and secure a specific ruling for each such case. The Board usually likes to find some good and appropriate way of ruling such students' eligible, but frequently there is no way it can be done within the meaning of the rule.
Q: A student comes to live with an uncle, grandmother, other relative, friend, school superintendent, or coach, who assumes a "guardianship" of one or another of the many legal kinds. Is he/she eligible?
A. No. The Board of Directors does not accept guardianship of any kind as bearing upon this rule. Only actual "legal adoption", a rare condition, can affect a student's eligibility under these conditions, unless he/she qualifies under the terms of the "hardship rule".
Q: Economic conditions make it impractical for a student to continue to live at home, but he/she has a chance to work for his/her room and board with an uncle or friend or someone else, or he/she gets a chance to go to school in a new school, or any one of a wide range of possibilities. What is his/her eligibility status?
A: No. Not until he/she has been in attendance the specified period prescribed in the rule does he/she become eligible for varsity competition.
Q: A student is on his/her own, and has been for a year or more. Under the circumstances he/she can get along much more readily in some other town, and changes high school. Is he/she immediately eligible?
A: No. Not until after one (1) calendar year attendance, but it is worthwhile to write the Board for a special interpretation for there may be something about his/her individual conditions that may make him/her eligible. Usually such cases are not "entirely on their own" except for some degree of convenience.
Q: A student enters a parochial or private high school from some other town. When is he/she eligible?
A: Not until at least one (1) calendar year have passed is he/she eligible unless entering high school for the first time.
Q: After attending a parochial or private high school in a given town away from his/her home town, a student returns to his/her home town to attend the high school at home. When is he/she eligible?
A: After one (1) calendar year he/she would become eligible for varsity competition.
Q: A student attending a state training school is released by the court during the school year to return to his/her own town and attend school there. Is he/she eligible?
A: The Board of Directors rules that he/she is eligible on the grounds that his/her actions were being controlled by the court, an influence just as direct and authoritative as would be his/her family's changing residence.
Q: A family moves from the farm and rents an apartment in a city located in another school district. What is the eligibility status of the students of this family?
A: The students would be ineligible at the new school unless the former residence is totally vacated "lock, stock and barrel".
Q: A family moves to a new home. When is he/she eligible?
A: He/she is immediately eligible each time the family moves as far as the rule is concerned.
Q: Suppose the student did not move with the parents but elected to stay in his/her original school. Is he/she then eligible to compete?
A: Yes, he/she continues to be eligible as he/she did not transfer schools.
Q: If a family moved to a new town and a student elects to remain in his/her present school for the balance of the school year in order to avoid complications in his/her program of study is there any limit on the time when he/she must make his/her choice of going with his/her parents or remaining in his/her present school?
A: Yes, this choice must be made within a reasonable time. If, after finishing the school year in which he/she was originally enrolled, he/she decided to go to his/her new home, he/she is immediately eligible in his/her new school. It is reasonable to assume that curricular difficulties may make it advisable for a student to finish out a school year before he/she goes to his/her new location. However, should he/she continue in his/her present school and register the following year, it would be assumed that he/she is exercising the right of choice of schools, and any subsequent change of schools would result in ineligibility for one (1) calendar year under this rule.
Q: Does the transfer rule apply to open enrollment students?
A: Yes. The North Dakota Legislature was careful when crafting the open enrollment law in that transfers were to be for academic reasons only.
Q: What are the applicable definitions for determining residence, hardship, and undue influence/recruitment?
A: The following definitions are applicable to determining residence and transfer requirements:
- Residence: "Residence" shall be defined as the place where the student's parents have established their permanent home. This means that the family regularly eats and sleeps in a specific place of lodging. It is the place where the student and the student's parents are habitually present and to which when departing, they intend to return.
- Change of Residence: A change of residence under this rule shall consist of the moving of all household properties to the new address and the parents and student actually living there with the intent to change legal residence; a second residence shall not meet the requirements of this standard.
- Parents: The term "parents" shall mean the student's:
- natural parents;
- adoptive parents;
- foster parents, if the student is placed in a foster home after becoming a ward of the court;
- custodial parent, if the parents are divorced;
- A student of divorced parents who have joint, legal custody of the student, as indicated in the court-issued divorce decree or most recent custody judgment, who transfers schools and moves from one custodial parent to the other custodial parent shall be immediately eligible at the time of the move;
- At the moved-to public school of residence
- At a nonpublic-school located within the moved-to public school district of residence.
- The student may utilize this provision only one time during grades 9-12. The parents must provide proof of joint, legal custody as identified in the parents' court-issued divorce decree or most recent custody judgment to the administrator in the school the student attends.
- legal guardian, but only in a case where neither parent is living or legally competent; or
- a family with whom a student has been living continuously for at least one (1) calendar year
- Open Enrollment: Open enrollment is treated as any other transfer.
- Limitations on Hardship: A hardship under Part Two, Art. XIV, Section IXb is limited to those cases which are beyond the control of a student or the student's parents. It must involve undue hardship or an emergency which does not violate the intent of any standards of eligibility. Cases involving any choice on the part of the student or parents shall not be heard under this Section. The Board of Directors has determined that any transfer deemed to be motivated by athletics or activities shall not be approved.
- Undue Influence: Undue influence may, if primarily used to encourage or facilitate participation in interscholastic activities, include but not be limited to:
- The offer or acceptance of money, room, board, clothing or other valuable considerations to a student, or a student's parents or guardian, including but not limited to:
- transportation to and/or from school by any school official;
- provision for free or reduced rent for a parent or guardian;
- offer or payment of the moving expenses of a parent or guardian
- the offer or acceptance of remuneration for work in excess of the amount regularly paid for such service
- the offer or acceptance of school privileges or considerations not normally granted to other students
- any inducement to get a parent, guardian or student to change residence for interscholastic activities purposes
- the contracting of a student(s) in another school by any person or group connected, directly or indirectly, with a member school (including but not limited to alumni associations, booster groups or similar organizations), and attempting to persuade or induce that student(s), primarily for interscholastic activities purposes, to attend the inducer's school
In the event that a student has been unable to participate in an activity due to a diagnosed life threatening disease or other exceptional reason, the Executive Secretary has the power to grant/deny the student one or two additional semesters of eligibility provided the member school of attendance submits and supports an extra semester(s) application establishing that the student has not reached his/her twentieth birthday and the student is academically eligible. The decision of the Executive Secretary may be appealed pursuant to Due Process Procedures of Article VI, Sections XV through XVII of these By-Laws (see Extra Semesters(s) Appeals Flow Chart, attached hereto at page 38 and incorporated by reference), provided the student has not reached his/her twentieth birthday and is otherwise eligible. (October 2019)
INTERPRETATIONS - SECTION X of Article XIV -- Rules of Eligibility
This rule is to be taken literally and merely requires that a student, who is in his /her senior year, must see that his/her seventh and eighth semesters follow one another consecutively.
Q: A senior who is now in his/her ninth semester has never participated in basketball before. Since he/she has never participated previously, may he/she not be free from the application of the rule?
A. No, the rule applies just as stated. Whether or not the student has participated he/she has had eight semesters of eligibility
Q: Our school had midyear promotions. Instead of graduating at the close of the fall semester, a student does not attend school for the eighth semester but with parental approval prefers to take a trip abroad, get a four months' job, or do some other worthy thing. Does the fact that the eighth semester does not follow the seventh affect his/her eligibility?
A. Yes, he/she is ineligible unless the eighth follows the seventh consecutively.
Q: How shall the eighth semester be interpreted in our school where we have a three year junior high school of grades seven, eight and nine, and a three year senior high school?
A. Under the Association rule by "high school" is always meant the four years of secondary education included in grades 9, 10, 11 and 12, without regard to the type of school organization. The ninth grade represents the first two semesters of secondary education (high school) whether it is in the junior high school or in the traditional four year high school.
Q: Is there a definite connection between this rule and Part Two, Art. XIV, Section VII?
A. Yes, a definite connection. Under Part Two, Art. XIV, Section VII, attendance for 30 days or more represents a semester and must count as one of the eight semesters.
Q: Is there any time when a student may be granted up to one extra year of eligibility?
A. Yes, if a student underwent an organ transplant or was unable to attend school for a portion of a school year because of cancer or some other life threatening disease, the Executive Secretary may grant this student an extra year of eligibility if he/she has not reached his/her twentieth birthday and is academically eligible.
NOTE: If a student is denied an opportunity to participate during any previous semester(s) of eligibility due to unusual circumstances beyond his/her control, the Executive Secretary will consider granting additional semester(s) of eligibility.
Q: Does attendance at a non-accredited high school count towards semesters of eligibility?
The use or possession of tobacco, alcohol, or any controlled substance as defined by North Dakota Law is prohibited. Any student who is in violation of the foregoing shall be suspended from participation in interscholastic contests or activities for a minimum period of six consecutive school weeks for the first offense and a period of 18 consecutive school weeks for any subsequent offense.
The use, possession or sale of non-prescriptive anabolic steroids by any student athlete at any time during the school year is prohibited. Any student athlete found to be in violation of this policy shall be subject to the penalties provided in Section XI of Part Two, Article XIV of the Constitution and By-Laws of the Association.
The use or possession of anabolic steroids prescribed or directed by a physician shall not be a violation of this section. NOTE: Administrators should remind students when suspended that they may not play on non-school teams while under suspension.
INTERPRETATIONS - SECTION XI of Article XIV -- Rules of Eligibility
Q: Why was the previous rule which left the penalty for violation of this rule in the hands of the local school administration changed so as to establish a rigid uniform penalty?
A. The membership felt that because of the extreme variance in penalties prescribed by schools that a minimum penalty should be established. The penalties as outlined are minimum penalties, schools may adopt more stringent regulations if they so desire.
Q: Who determines whether a student has violated the rule and enforces the penalty?
A. As is true of all other rules, the local school authorities are responsible for determining whether a student has complied with the rule, and for the enforcement of the penalty in case of violations. As is the case with all rules, should a member school feel that another school is not complying with the rule, they may enter a protest with the State Association as provided under Section III of Part Two, Article IV.
Q: If a school is not aware of the violation until several days afterwards and as a result the student participates in a contest or contests after the date of violation when does the penalty begin?
A. In all cases, the penalty would be prescribed as 6 weeks from the date of notification of suspension by the school administration.
Q: If the suspension period runs into Christmas vacation, is the period extended by an amount equal to the length of said vacation?
A. No, the suspension period is for 6 calendar weeks of the school term from the date of suspension.
Q: If the violation occurs two weeks before school is out in the spring, does the suspension carry over for the next school year?
A. No, however the suspension remains in effect until the end of the spring activity season.
Q: Is this rule applicable during the Christmas vacation or during the summer months?
A. The rule is applicable during the Christmas vacation period as this is considered as part of the school term. However, it is not applicable during the summer vacation period, but becomes effective with the opening of school in the fall or with the opening of the fall sports seasons for students engaged in those sports.
Q: Is the use of anabolic steroids a violation of the tobacco, drug and alcohol rule?
A. Yes, if the anabolic steroids have not been prescribed or directed by a physician, the student is in violation of said rule and would be subject to the same penalties as said rule.
Q: What types of tobacco products are included in this rule?
A. "Tobacco products" means: any product containing, made, or derived from tobacco that is intended for human consumption, whether chewed, smoked, absorbed, dissolved, inhaled, snorted, sniffed, or ingested by any other means, or any component, part or accessory of a tobacco product including e-cigarettes.
NOTE: The above interpretation includes a reported violation for use, possession, or sale of non-prescription anabolic steroids.
SPECIAL NOTE: A student may be reinstated for competition upon completion of an inpatient alcohol or drug treatment program, provided the student or school provided a signed completion report from said treatment center to the NDHSAA office and eligibility is approved by the local school's administration.
Any student or coach ejected from an interscholastic contest by game officials for unsportsmanlike conduct, including but not limited to flagrant, violent or verbal misconduct, will be ineligible for the next regularly scheduled game/meet at that level of competition and all other games/meets in the interim at any level of competition. When a non-typical schedule is involved, the ejection penalty may be administered on a case-by-case basis.
Any subsequent ejection in that season's activity carries a four (4) regularly scheduled game/meet ineligibility. If penalties are imposed at the end of the sport season and no contest remains, the penalty is carried over in that particular sport until the next school year. In the case of a senior, the penalty will continue to the next sport season. (Oct. 2006)
INTERPRETATIONS - SECTION XII of Article XIV -- Rules of Eligibility
Student: Any time a student is ejected from a game/meet, he/she does not participate the remainder of that day. The student is also suspended for the next scheduled, rescheduled or contracted contest at that level of competition and all contests in the interim at any other level of competition. Note: To meet this requirement, the contest must take place.
Coach: "When a coach has been ejected in accordance with Section XII, he/she is not allowed to attend any of his/her team's contests or to be on site for any pre-game contact direct or indirect with participants during the suspension."
Appeal: A coach may appeal the penalty only when he/she is disqualified and his/her action did not contribute to the disqualification. This appeal will be heard by the local school administration. A complete report must be sent to the NDHSAA for review.
The "next regularly scheduled game/meet" is defined as the next scheduled, rescheduled, or contracted contest.
Baseball Example: "A1 is ejected from the first game of a double-header baseball game. What is the penalty for A1?" Ruling --A1 must sit out the second game of the double-header. If the second game is the same level as the first, A1 would be eligible for the next regularly scheduled contest. If not, A1 will sit out the regularly scheduled contest at that level and all games in the interim. This ruling would also apply to double-dual or dual team wrestling meets and junior varsity/varsity football or basketball double-headers, as well as any other sport sanctioned by the NDHSAA.
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