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Constitution & By-Laws

Part II By-Laws of the North Dakota High School Activities Association

Article III: Contests


Final agreement for contests between two Association schools shall be incorporated into contracts on forms provided by the Association. These contracts shall be executed by mutual consent of the Representatives of the respective schools and exchanged prior to the contests, and shall not be cancelled or altered except by mutual consent of the schools involved.


  • The reason for such a rule should be obvious to any good school administrator. It is just simply good business and provides written evidence of the nature of the contest, the time, terms, and any other stipulation worthy of being added to the contract. Much confusion and trouble can be avoided by following this rule. Note that the rule reads - "SHALL". It is therefore assumed that it should be mandatory to use these contract forms which are posted on the ndhsaa.com web site.
  • Compliance with this rule is now doubly important as the certification of eligibility of students is now incorporated in the contract forms, eliminating the necessity of exchanging eligibility sheets before each contest.
  • Sometimes schools neglect this important duty on the grounds that it is too much work.
  • One thing is certain. Should a school have trouble with another relative to terms of a contract for games and appeal its case to the Board of Directors for settlement, the Board of Directors would be obliged to ignore any such appeal if the contract forms provided by the Association are not used.


No member of the Association shall schedule or engage in any contest with a non-member school which is eligible for membership in the Association under penalty of suspension for the remainder of the year; nor shall any member school enter into any contests with an out-of-state school which is not similarly qualified in respect to its own state.


  • If a high school chooses to belong to the Association, then its relations with other state high schools must be confined to those high schools which also are members. There can be no interscholastic relations between member high schools and non-member high schools who have failed or refused to join the Association and the penalty for such a violation is suspension for the remainder of the year. This rule does not prevent contests with town or independent teams if the local administration wishes to include such teams in the school schedule in as much as such organizations are not eligible for membership in the Association. It will also be noted that our state must again show the proper respect for other state organizations in not scheduling out-of-state schools unless they maintain membership in their own organizations.
  • For schools wishing to engage in contests with out-of-state schools, a national contract form has been drawn up and is available upon request; or schools may use the regular contract form with such minor changes as are needed.


No member of the Association shall engage in any contest with a school whose membership has been suspended during the period of such suspension.


  • Ordinarily the administration of such a penalty is done only after other means have failed. That would indicate in itself that the offense was willful and committed knowingly.
  • If and when such a drastic penalty is invoked, member schools will be informed through letter or email so every school having relations with the disciplined school will have definite information of the status of the school in violation.
  • The rule is clear that once a school is suspended no relations with member schools may be lawfully held until such time as the suspension has been lifted.


In any contest, whatsoever, except those among students in the same school, no ineligible student shall be used; nor shall such student appear on the field or floor in uniform or otherwise participate as a member of the contesting organization or group. Non-member schools using contestants of less than eligible status may not secure membership in the Association within the same year.


  • This rule again reiterates the importance of maintaining all eligibility rules and lists the only instance under which ineligible players may participate. In the case of intramural sports, it is not necessary to maintain the Association rules. The rule further specifies what the penalty may be for violation of the eligibility rules.


Contesting schools shall each have present an authorized faculty representative who shall be responsible to his/her school for the conduct of its participants and students throughout the contest and the visiting team's stay away from home.


  • This rule is included in our Constitution in the interest of good school administration. No doubt there will be many games which the superintendent or principal cannot attend. It is then their duty to see that some member of the faculty is responsible for the students while away from home.
  • Normally this responsibility will be delegated to the coach and the presence of the coach fulfills the requirements of this Section.


Students shall not serve as business managers to arrange or handle contests between schools.


  • The reasons for such a rule should be evident. The operation of the extra-curricular program in any school system is an important one financially. It is likewise important from the public relations angle. Surely it is too important to entrust in the hands of immature students. Schools may avoid many unpleasant situations between neighboring schools by seeing that all business pertaining to inter-school relations is handled through the administration offices.


High standards of courtesy, fair-dealing and sportsmanship must be featured in all Association contests. The Board may rate schools or students in these respects, recognizing high attainment and penalizing low.


  • While this rule is a general statement and one which is difficult to enforce or reduce to objective standards, it is the core of the entire Association program. Good sportsmanship, respect for others, and fair dealing are basically the motives through which the entire Association program is justified and defended.


Each school shall keep adequate record of contests and contestants on the record books or blanks provided by the Association; all reports required by the Board shall be supplied promptly and accurately.


  • This rule implies two kinds of records. First, the records of achievement in the local school in the fields of endeavor including music, speech, athletics, and all extra-curricular activities. Second, it implies records that must be sent to the Association office. Proper blanks are sent out for supplying this information, and failure to comply may place the school membership in temporary jeopardy as indicated under Article V of the By-Laws and listed under Article V, Section I, f of the By-Laws.


Interscholastic teams composed of members of both sexes are permissible in sports sponsored by the Association if a school does not provide for separate teams for each sex. Teams composed of members of both sexes shall follow the rules as outlined for boys and compete in the boys' division.


  • Interscholastic programs should be provided for girls as well as boys. Experience has shown that the best programs are those which provide for separate teams for each sex. As a general rule, only a very limited number of girls have an opportunity to compete when only one combined team is fielded.
  • It is the philosophy of the Association that wherever possible, separate but equal programs should be offered for boys and girls.
  • Girls may not participate on a boys interscholastic athletic team in a sport if the school sponsors a girls team in that sport.
  • Girls may participate on a boys interscholastic athletic team in a non-contact sport if the school does not sponsor a girls interscholastic athletic team in that sport. It shall be the responsibility of the local board of education to determine whether to allow girls to participate on boys teams in sports defined as contact sports in the Federal Title IX regulations.
  • Boys may not participate on a girls interscholastic athletic team if the school's overall boys athletic program equals or exceeds the over-all girls athletic program. If the boys overall athletic program is not comparable in scope to the girls overall athletic program, the principal may request an evaluation of his/her athletic program in order to assure equitable athletic programs for both boys and girls.


The Cooperative Sponsorship Amendment, which adds Section X to Article III of the By-Laws, will become effective July 1, 1981, and reads as follows:

  • Cooperative sponsorship of any activity by two or more member schools will be considered under the following conditions:
    • Schools are to be located in the same geographical area.
    • School Enrollments:
      • All member schools of the NDHSAA will be eligible to participate in the cooperative sponsorship program.
      • When Class B schools are involved with the cooperative sponsorship of an activity and the combined enrollment of the schools involved exceeds 325 students in grades 9 through 12, these schools will compete as a Class A school in that activity. (Exception for wrestling, cross country and softball: co-op request must be approved by the NDHSAA Board of Directors.) (Amended January 2004)
    • Cooperative sponsorship agreements will be enforced for a minimum of three years. Any dissolution of cooperative agreements requires NDHSAA Board of Directors' approval. Dissolution will be considered only upon receipt of an official letter from each school board requesting consideration to end the agreement prior to the conclusion of the three-year period.
    • The school board of the participating member schools must jointly make the application to the NDHSAA Board of Directors.
    • A resolution from each school board stating the purpose for sponsoring a joint team or activity must be submitted to the NDHSAA office.
    • Requests for a cooperative agreement for all activities except football between schools with existing programs must be submitted to the NDHSAA Board of Directors prior to the end of the preceding season in that activity. Completed football cooperative agreements must be received by September 15 of the preceding year to be considered by the Board of Directors. (Oct. 2005)
    • Note: "To emphasize the importance of avoiding late athletic cooperative sponsorship requests the Board has placed a $500 late fee on any co-op application involving schools with existing athletic programs submitted after the last day of state competition for each activity (exception football). Each season ends with the last day of the state tournament in that sport/activity."
    • Following the initial three years of an approved cooperative agreement, it will remain in force until dissolved. To dissolve a coop after the initial three-year period, a school in said coop must submit a written dissolution request to the NDHSAA Board of Directors for approval. To be considered, the request must be made in a timely manner.
    • Decisions on all applications will be determined by the Board of Directors at the next regularly scheduled meeting following receipt of each application.

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