The N.C. High School Athletic Association’s board of directors had other decisions to vote on besides who would televise its championship games this spring, picking out a new playoff format and what to do with the rise in girls wrestling.
One of the biggest items was the transfer rule.
Student who transferred schools after beginning their ninth grade year were originally ineligible to play high school athletics for one full year unless the transfer was for a bona fide change of address or the local education agency approved it.
Now, all students will get one transfer after their ninth grade year if the two local education agencies agree.
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“The parents, you can hear it in their voice, ‘I’m just trying to make the best decision for my child, but I don’t want to deny them an opportunity to participate in high school athletics,’ ” said Rodney Shotwell, NCHSAA board of directors president and Rockingham County Schools superintendent. “When that policy was put in place a few years ago, we didn’t know the unintended consequences that came along with that.”
The decision will also apply to students transferring from a traditional public school to a charter or parochial school, though those schools can establish their own student transfer policies.
▪ The in-season dead periods – in which coaches cannot work with players in skill development – were shortened from six weeks to three weeks. The May dead period for football and all girls sports was eliminated, and there is a new dead period: the last 10 student days of the school year.
▪ Athletes who have exhausted their eligibility can wear their school uniform and equipment for outside organization competition so long as the school gives permission. The rule opens up the option for players to wear their school uniform or jersey in all-star games.
▪ Transfers who must sit out will now do so for either two consecutive semesters (at least 50 percent of the current semester plus the following semester) or 365 days, whichever is less. Previously, it was just 365 days. Also, transfers do not have to sit out if the two local education agencies involved agree.
▪ Students residency shall be deemed to be with the parent they begin the semester with if there is no custody order.
▪ The host school in an endowment game will remit 25 percent of the gross revenue to the NCHSAA’s endowment fund.
▪ A proposal that would have frozen rosters at a certain point in the season did not make it out of committee.
▪ Cheerleading and tennis coaches will attend summer rules meetings in Greensboro like all others, but a proposal to make cheerleading a governed sport did not make it out of committee.
▪ The fee for live radio football and basketball games was raised from $50 to $100. All other sports stay at $50.
▪ The NCHSAA has the right to require host teams to find an adequate facility based on expected game/contest attendance or quality of venue. This arose when a school was unable to have a home game in its normal facility and used a nearby middle school. The school approached the NCHSAA after the playoffs to ask for a change in order to help secure a facility in those situations.
▪ Three officials are required for softball regional finals. Three were already required for baseball regional finals.
▪ An N.C. Senate bill that would have allowed home school students to play for their closest high school did not cross over, or pass, before a deadline last week. Bills that don’t cross over are effectively dead but sometimes resurface in unrelated legislation.