Possible Sports Eligibility Scenarios as a Result of Rezoning
Scenario 1…A student with an athletic record at Greenbrier High school is rezoned to Springfield High School. Because the move was due to the student being rezoned by the school system, the student would be eligible based on Article II, Section 12 (c)…the student changes schools as a direct result of rezoning or reassignment of students by the local school system.
NOTE: Schools that have students who transfer in as a result of rezoning are responsible for submitting an online transfer form for eligibility with TSSAA. Schools will indicate that the student(s) were rezoned on the transfer form.
Scenario 2…Melton Hill is a 10th grader who runs cross country and attends Springfield High School. He has been re-zoned to Jo Byrns High School. His family presents a lease agreement for an apartment that they allegedly are moving to which is in the Springfield zone in order to continue attending Springfield High School. The family has not really moved into the apartment. On September 1st, the school system discovers that the family has provided false information and is still living at their previous address. Melton Hill is transferred to Jo Byrns where he is actually zoned. As a result, Melton has now become a transfer student with an athletic record with no bona fide change of residence that justifies a change of schools. He would then be ineligible in cross country for 12 months from his last day of participation.
Scenario 3…Eighth graders are often moved up to high school JV or varsity teams after the middle school season is over. This can occur at East Robertson, Jo Byrns, and White House Heritage, (8th graders enrolled in the same school as 9th-12th graders), but TSSAA rules do not permit this at Springfield Middle, Greenbrier Middle, and Coopertown Middle (8th graders not enrolled in the same school as 9th-12th graders). Sunny Meadows is a rising 8th grader currently enrolled at East Robertson High. She is rezoned to White House Heritage and elects to take the terminal grade option and remain at East. She plays middle school basketball and at the end of the season, she is moved to the high school varsity or JV team. She plays in an actual contest at the high school varsity or JV level. She now has established an athletic record at East Robertson High School. By not transferring at the first opportunity to White House Heritage, she would be ineligible to participate 12 months from the date of last participation if she chooses to transfer to White House Heritage as a 9th grader. However, if she transferred to either Greenbrier or Springfield High, her 8th grade participation at East would not impact her eligibility at either school because of the following rule:
Eligible Transfer Students (Article II, Section 12e)…The student is transferring to a senior high school in the same system into the earliest grade offered at that senior high school, i.e. at the student’s first opportunity to move to that school;
Scenario 4… Bryce Canyon is a rising 6th grader at Greenbrier Middle that elects to attend the STEM Academy at Springfield Middle School. Bryce makes the basketball team at SMS. At the end of his 6th grade year, he decides he no longer wants to attend the STEM Academy and returns to Greenbrier Middle. The student would be ineligible to participate at Greenbrier Middle for 12 months from the date of last participation at Springfield Middle.
Scenario 4 (a)..Sheldon Cooper, a rising seventh grader at Coopertown Middle, wants to attend the STEM Academy at Springfield Middle. He wants to play basketball at Springfield Middle. He was on the CMS basketball team his sixth grade year, but did not participate in any athletic contests. Because he has not participated in any athletic contests, he has not established an athletic record at Coopertown Middle and is therefore eligible to play for Springfield Middle.
Scenario 5…What is the impact of an out of zone student participating on an athletic team? Peter Parker is a rising 9th grader who has been attending Coopertown Middle, but has been rezoned to Jo Byrns High. His parents provide proof that his residence is now in the Springfield High school zone and he begins his 9th grade year at SHS and is playing on the football team. Near the middle of September, it is discovered that the family has not moved and the student is, in fact, attending a school he is not zoned for. Peter’s parents are told that he will be dropped from the roll at Springfield High and must enroll at Jo Byrns High. Because he did not enroll at the beginning of the new school year, Peter is ineligible for 12 months from the date of last participation. In this scenario, Springfield High’s football team would not be penalized for playing an ineligible player. However, if the students enrolls at Jo Byrns and begins participating in football, he is an ineligible player and any wins Jo Byrns records while he is participating would be forfeited.
Scenario 6…Fall sports (football, volleyball, girls’ soccer, golf, and cross country) start with the first day of school, but the official start date of practice for 2016 is July 30th. Ronda Rousey,a rising ninth grader who attended Greenbrier Middle School as an 8th grader, is rezoned to Springfield High. She attends three days of volleyball practice at Greenbrier High. On the fourth day, the coach discovers that she has been rezoned to Springfield and notifies the athlete and parent. She enrolls in S.H.S. However, because she participated in three volleyball practices, she becomes a transfer student and is now ineligible at the varsity level for the remainder of the season for the sport she participated in practice (volleyball). This does not affect her eligibility in any other sport.
As cited in TSSAA Bylaws: Enrolled – A student is considered “enrolled” at a school, for purposes of these Bylaws, when the student has (a) completed all paperwork required for attendance at the school; (b) paid all deposits and tuition due where applicable; and (c) either (i) attended classes for three days; (ii) engaged in three or more days of football, girls volleyball, cross country, golf, or girls soccer practice during the period on or after the Monday of the week of August 1; or (iii) participated in an athletic contest in any sport. A student may not be considered to be enrolled in more than one school at any time.
Scenario 7…Knox Forte is a rising 9th grader. His family owns a house that had previously been in the Springfield High School zone, but has been rezoned to Greenbrier High School. The family rents an apartment so he can attend Springfield High. They move into and reside at the apartment. The family still owns their home; it is not on the market, and the parents go by and perform occasional maintenance to the house. After basketball season begins, they go back to staying at the home. Knox is now an ineligible transfer student and is ineligible for 12 months from the date of last participation at Springfield High School..
Ineligible Transfer Students: (Article II Section 13)…. c. If a student has been ruled eligible as a result of a change of residence, and the parents or guardian return to the former residence before the student has been enrolled in the new school for one complete school year (or twelve months if the transfer occurred during the school year), the student will be ineligible for twelve months from his/her last participation date;
Section 14. Practice Rules. Only those students who are enrolled and in regular attendance at a school may participate in practice.
A student who engages in three or more days of off-season practice in football and/or basketball with a school in which the student is enrolled shall be ineligible in that sport the following season if the student enrolls in another school without a corresponding change in the residence of the student's parents.
Practice is defined as: Any interaction between a coach and student-athlete(s) where instruction, teaching, coaching, etc., is occurring. Happenstance communications between coach and student-athlete(s), in circumstances where attendance by the student-athlete is neither expected nor required, are not considered to be practice. Such communications may not, however, be used to circumvent the requirement in open facilities that a coach act in a supervisory capacity only. In addition, tryouts are considered practice.
Remember: The only sports with approved off-season practice are football and boys’/girls’ basketball. …a student must be enrolled in the school in order to participate in off season (spring) practice. If they participate in three or more days of off season practice and then attend their new school of zone (without a bona fide change of residence), they are ineligible for 12 months from the date of when they last participated (practiced).
TO REMEMBER: Make clear to parents that falsifying information in an effort to avoid the school system's rezoning plan can jeopardize a student's athletic eligibility.