Posted: 4:37 pm Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

FHSAA’s open letter to middle school athletes: Protect your high school eligibility 

By Matt Porter

With the upcoming fall season a little less than two months away, the Florida High School Athletic Association will next month send out word to middle school students who hope to play high school sports.

Here’s the letter. Pass it around. Knowledge is power.

ATTENTION ALL MIDDLE SCHOOL ATHLETES THAT PLAN TO PLAY SPORTS FOR A HIGH SCHOOL TEAM

PROTECT YOUR FUTURE HIGH SCHOOL ELIGIBILITY

Important FHSAA athletic eligibility guidelines that affect middle school athletes:

1. You must be regularly enrolled and in regular attendance at your current school. (FHSAA Bylaw 9.4.1.3).

2. You are encouraged to maintain a 2.0 grade point average on a 4.0 unweighted scale each semester while inmiddle/junior high school. THIS IS A “C” AVERAGE. (required of FHSAA member middle schools, FHSAA Bylaw 9.4).

3. You can only compete for the high school you attend. There are exceptions; see FHSAA Bylaw 9.2 in the FHSAA Handbook. (FHSAA Bylaw 9.2).

4. If you play on a non-school team affiliated with a school and go to that school within one year, you most likely will be ineligible. A non-school team affiliated with a school has a coach or someone from the school you will be attending involved in the activities (Bylaw 9.2).

a. Ask your club/travel team coach with which high school he/she is affiliated prior to participating on that team.

b. A non-school team may be, but not limited to: club teams, travel teams, recreational league teams, etc.

5. You may participate in athletic activities sponsored by or affiliated with the high school you will attend during the summer period immediately preceding attendance in that school. But make sure you you have been assigned to or accepted by the high school before participating (FHSAA Bylaw 9.2), unless you have participated according to #4 above.

6. If you are enrolled in more than one school (i.e. during the summer), the first team with which you participate is where you must play for that upcoming school year. This includes a non-school team affiliated with the school, work-outs and conditioning. (FHSAA Bylaw 9.2).

7. Once you begin the school year at your high school, you cannot be eligible at any other school during that school year. There are exceptions; see FHSAA Bylaw 9.3 in the FHSAA Handbook. (FHSAA Bylaw 9.3).

8. You must complete all participation forms before participating in any athletic activities. (FHSAA Bylaws 9.7 and 9.8).

9. You must display good sportsmanship and follow the rules of competition before, during and after every contest in which you participate. If not, you may be barred from participation for a period of time. (FHSAA Bylaw 7).

10. You must not provide false information to your high school or the FHSAA to gain eligibility. (FHSAA Bylaw 9.1.2.2).

11. Talking to a coach or someone from the school about playing at his/her school before you begin attending that school is a violation and could result in: (FHSAA Policy 36).

a. you being ineligible for a year;

b. the coach may be fined and suspended;

c. the school may face penalties including fines and not making the playoffs.

For more information on the FHSAA’s rules and regulations, download a copy of the handbook by clicking here.

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