CHAPEL HILL — The N.C. High School Athletic Association board of directors made a major change in its regulations about transfers and addressed non-traditional schools during an action-filled spring meeting Wednesday.
The board passed a rule that would make ineligible for 365 days any student who transfers without a legitimate address change. Local systems can override the NCHSAA rules for transfers within their own system.
Currently, a student can transfer from one system to another and participate in athletics if both systems are agreeable.
The board voted 14-5 against the motion that would have required non-traditional schools to move up a classification in the playoffs in sports in which they had been successful.
Under the proposal, Cardinal Gibbons, which has dominated the state 3A volleyball championships, would have been moved to the 4A playoff bracket for volleyball. for example. Winston-Salem Bishop McGuinness, a 1A girls’ basketball power, would have played in the 2A basketball bracket.
Davis Whitfield, the NCHSAA commissioner, said some board members had concerns about treating non-traditional schools differently than other members.
Mac Morris, a representative from the N.C. Coaches Association, said moving the teams up would amount to punishment for being successful.
Other board members said the non-traditional schools have an advantage because they do not have attendance zones.
The board did establish geographical boundaries governing eligibility for the non-traditional schools, which usually are non-boarding parochial schools such as Cardinal Gibbons or charter schools such as Raleigh Charter.
Students at non-traditional schools meet geographical requirements if they live in the county where the school is located, live within a 25-mile radius of the school (or a distance established by the system), or are a member of a parochial church.
Students transferring for athletics is a major concern, said Stewart Hobbs, the NCHSAA president.
He said he met with representatives in the Winston-Salem area and asked how many of their schools had lost students transferring to Bishop McGuinness. None had. Everyone, however, had students transfer without changing addresses.
“We are not saying that students can’t transfer,” Whitfield said.. “But we are saying that you can’t play athletics for 365 days if you do.”
Whitfield said the NCHSAA is facing many of the same tough decisions that high school athletics are throughout the nation as education changes.
The board voted 13-5 against a motion that would have removed a requirement that athletes be in attendance 85 percent of the time in the previous semester in order to be eligible. The motion would have turned academic eligibility over to local systems.
In other action:
• The wrestling season will be shortened by a week because of availability of the Greensboro Coliseum, the traditional site of the state finals.
• Tickets prices for the playoffs will rise and the NCHSAA will not receive any proceeds from the first round of the playoffs in any sports except football and basketball.
• A recommendation by football coaches to have spring practice after the start of the baseball playoffs begin did not get out of committee.
• Beginning next year, lacrosse will use three officials during the playoffs.
• NCHSAA schools have had 6,011 coaches receive national certification. The NCHSAA goal is for all of its coaches to be nationally certified by August 2015.
• All new schools must field three boys’ and three girls’ teams, including at least two each season, before being placed in a conference.
• The playoffs in basketball will continue to be seeded according to conference finish and overall record, but the seeding will be done on the basis of 22 games. Boys’ and girls’ soccer also will be seeded.
A maximum stroke average was established for girls golf. Girls must have a 55 stroke average on nine holes or less to participate in the 1A/2A or the 3A state championships. 4A golfers must have a 50 stroke average or less.