Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association, Inc. Sponsored Athletic Competition Eligibility Rules
(revised July 1, 2011)
Know Your Eligibility Rules
A student who participates in interscholastic athletics at a school which is a member of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association, Inc. ("PIAA") must adhere to PIAA eligibility rules for student-athletes. If a student fails to comply with PIAA rules, he will lose eligibility to represent the school in interscholastic athletics. If he participates while ineligible, the school and/or Team will be penalized. It is, therefore, important for students to be aware of the applicable eligibility provisions.
The information contained herein highlights and summarizes the major eligibility requirements students must meet in order to participate in interscholastic athletics. It does not list every rule or every detail. Unless otherwise indicated, each requirement applies to grades 7 through 12, inclusive.
The Principal and Athletic Director of the school are responsible for certifying the eligibility of all students representing your school in interscholastic athletics. If you have any questions concerning your athletic eligibility, either present or future, you should discuss the matter with your school Principal or Athletic Director. Your Principal or Athletic Director may also obtain from the appropriate PIAA District Committee a formal ruling as to your athletic eligibility. A complete copy of the PIAA eligibility rules may be viewed on the PIAA Web site at www.piaa.org, or may be obtained from your Principal or Athletic Director.
To be eligible to participate in grades 10 – 12, a student must not have reached his 19th birthday by June 30 of the immediately preceding school year. For junior high sports, a student may not have reached his/her 16th birthday by June 30 of the immediately preceding school year.
AMATEUR STATUS AND AWARDS
To be eligible to participate in a sport, a student must be an amateur in that sport. Amateur status, and eligibility, is lost if a student, or his parent or guardian, receive money or property for or related to the student’s athletic ability, performance, participation, services, or training in a sport.
Students may receive awards only from the school, the sponsor of an athletic event, the news media, or a non-profit service organization approved by your school Principal. Permissible awards include items of apparel, a blanket, watch, ring, scroll, carry-on, or warm-up bag, photograph, medal, plaque, or similar award, which must bear appropriate organizational insignia or comparable identification. The fair market value of items provided to you may not exceed $500.
A student must be enrolled in and in full-time attendance at a PIAA member school, or be home-schooled.
Generally, a student is eligible only at the school at which he is enrolled or, if a home-schooled student, at a public school in the public school district in which the student resides. Charter School and Cyber Charter School students should consult with the Principal to determine the school of eligibility.
If a student is absent from school during a semester for a total of 20 or more school days, the student will lose eligibility until he has been in attendance for a total of 45 school days following the 20th day of absence.
Comprehensive Initial Pre-Participation Physical Evaluation and Consent of Parent/Guardian
A student is eligible only if he has completed a comprehensive initial pre-participation physical evaluation ("CIPPE"), performed by an Authorized Medical Examiner (as that term is defined in the GLOSSARY of the PIAA By-Laws) before your first sport season's first Practice of that school year. The PIAA Preparticipation Physical Form must be signed by the parent/guardian and student in all applicable places. If a student seeks to participate in subsequent sport(s) in the same school year, he may be required to be re-evaluated or re-certified that his/her physical condition is satisfactory. Check with the Principal or Athletic Director to determine what re-evaluation or re-certification is needed.
Wrestlers must also obtain from an Authorized Medical Examiner, no earlier than six weeks prior to the first Regular Season Contest day and no later than the Monday preceding the first Regular Season Contest day of the wrestling season, a certification of the minimum weight classification at which they may wrestle during that season.
In all cases, an Authorized Medical Examiner must certify, on the PIAA Preparticipation form, as to the student’s physical fitness to participate. A CIPPE may be performed no earlier than June 1st; and, regardless of when performed during the school year, remains effective only until the next May 31st.
A student is treated as having transferred whenever he changes schools, even if he is promoted to a higher level school or is out of school for a period of time before entering the new school. If a transfer from one school to another is materially motivated in some way by an athletic purpose, the student will lose athletic eligibility in each sport in which the student participated for a period of one year immediately preceding the date of the transfer. This requirement applies even if the student would otherwise be eligible at the school to which he transferred.
PERIOD OF TIME AFTER 8th GRADE, PARTICIPATION, AND GRADE REPETITION
A student’s athletic eligibility extends only until he has reached the end of his fourth consecutive year beyond the eighth grade. Therefore, if a student repeats a grade after eighth, he will be ineligible as a senior.
Additionally, a student may participate in (a) a maximum of six seasons in each sport during grades seven through twelve, (b) a maximum of four seasons in each sport during grades nine through twelve, and (c) a maximum of three seasons in each sport during grades seven through nine.
A student may participate in only one season in each sport during each school year.
If you participate in a non-school athletic program while enrolled at a school which has a Team in that sport, you will be eligible for District and Inter-District Championship Contests in that sport only if you are in uniform and available to participate as a member of your school team for at least 75 percent of its Regular Season Contests.
ACADEMIC AND CURRICULAR REQUIREMENTS
A student must pursue a curriculum defined and approved by the Principal as a full-time curriculum.
A student may not fail two or more subjects according to Upper Perkiomen academic eligibility policy
A student may not fail two or more subjects during the previous grading period, except that eligibility for the first grading period is based on your fourth quarter of the preceding school year. If a student fails to meet this requirement, he will lose eligibility for the first 20 school days of the next grading period, beginning on the first day that report cards are issued. If a student fails two or more subjects for the year, that student is ineligible for the first quarter of the next school year unless he makes up the failed classes during summer school. If this occurs, the student will only be ineligible for the first 20 school days.
A student will lose eligibility in a sport for one year if he participates in an all-star Contest in that sport. Eligibility will not be affected if a student participates in a Contest that is (1) not advertised or promoted as an all-star Contest; (2) open to all participants on the basis of a tryout or a uniform standard of qualification; and (3) you do not represent your school and do not wear any school-affiliated uniform or apparel in the Contest.
All PIAA sports have a defined season. If a Team conducts mandatory Practice and/or participates in Inter-School Practices, Scrimmages, and/or Contests outside that PIAA defined season, the school will be penalized. Club teams or individuals may not use the school district’s name or uniforms outside the PIAA-defined season. Additionally football players may not participate in contact football camps or clinics outside the defined football season and may not wear or use football equipment outside of the PIAA defined season.
USE OF ANABOLIC STERIODS
All Pennsylvania school districts are required to adopt and enforce rules and regulations prohibiting the use of anabolic steroids, except for a valid medical purpose, by students involved in school-related athletics. School Boards are also required to establish penalties for students found in violation of the adopted rules and regulations. As penalties may vary from school district to school district, you should consult with your Principal or Athletic Director as to the penalties that your School Board has adopted.
A concussion is a brain injury that results in a temporary disruption of normal brain function. A concussion occurs when the brain is violently rocked back and forth or twisted inside the skull as a result of a blow to the head or body. Athletes at your age are particularly vulnerable to the effects of concussions. Once considered little more than a minor “ding” on the head, it is now understood that a concussion has the potential to result in death or shot- and/or long-term changes in brain function.
If a sports official removes an athlete from competition or he/she has exhibited signs, symptoms, or behaviors consistent with a concussion (such as loss of consciousness, headache, dizziness, confusion, and/or balance problems) the athlete may not return to participating in Practices, Inter-School Practices, Scrimmages, and/or Contests until cleared by a licensed physician of medicine or osteopathic medicine who is sufficiently familiar with current concussion management. The student must also be cleared by the Upper Perkiomen team physician who will follow the school district concussion management protocol.