DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

1009 DIAA Senior High School Interscholastic Athletics

Statutory Authority: Section 122(e) (14 Del.C. §122(e)) 14 DE Admin. Code 1009

Education Impact Analysis Pursuant To

14 Del.C. Section 122(d)

1009 DIAA Senior High School Interscholastic Athletics

A. Type of Regulatory Action Required

Amendment to Existing Regulation

B. Synopsis of Subject Matter of the Regulation

The Secretary of Education seeks the consent of the State Board of Education to amend 14 DE Admin. Code 1009 DIAA Senior High School Interscholastic Athletics. The amendments include adding a phrase to 2.2.1.7 concerning students who reach the age of majority to read, shall be ineligible to participate in athletics for 90 school days commencing with the first day of official attendance “on or after their 18th birthday”. The second amendment removes 4.3.1 the chart on Maximum Game Schedules and Designated Sports Seasons allowing the maximum game schedules and designated sports seasons to be designated by the DIAA Board of Directors.

C. Impact Criteria

1. Will the amended regulation help improve student achievement as measured against state achievement standards? The amended regulation addresses maximum game schedules and designated sports seasons and rules for students who reach the age of majority not student achievement.

2. Will the amended regulation help ensure that all students receive an equitable education? The amended regulation addresses maximum game schedules and designated sports seasons and rules for students who reach the age of majority not equitable education issues.

3. Will the amended regulation help to ensure that all students’ health and safety are adequately protected? The amended regulation addresses maximum game schedules and designated sports seasons and rules for students who reach the age of majority not health and safety issues.

4. Will the amended regulation help to ensure that all students’ legal rights are respected? The amended regulation addresses maximum game schedules and designated sports seasons and rules for students who reach the age of majority.

5. Will the amended regulation preserve the necessary authority and flexibility of decision making at the local board and school level? The amended regulation will preserve the necessary authority and flexibility of decision making at the local board and school level.

6. Will the amended regulation place unnecessary reporting or administrative requirements or mandates upon decision makers at the local board and school levels? The amended regulation will not place any unnecessary reporting or administrative requirements or mandates upon decision makers at the local board and school levels.

7. Will the decision making authority and accountability for addressing the subject to be regulated be placed in the same entity? The decision making authority and accountability for addressing the subject to be regulated will remain in the same entity.

8. Will the amended regulation be consistent with and not an impediment to the implementation of other state educational policies, in particular to state educational policies addressing achievement in the core academic subjects of mathematics, science, language arts and social studies? The amended regulation is consistent with and not an impediment to the implementation of other state educational policies, in particular to state educational policies addressing achievement in the core academic subjects of mathematics, science, language arts and social studies.

9. Is there a less burdensome method for addressing the purpose of the regulation? There is no less burdensome method for addressing the purpose of the regulation.

10. What is the cost to the State and to the local school boards of compliance with the regulation? There is no additional cost to the State and to the local school boards for compliance with the regulation.

1009 DIAA Senior High School Interscholastic Athletics

2.0 Eligibility: No student shall represent a school in an interscholastic scrimmage or contest if he/she does not meet the following requirements:

2.1 Eligibility, Age

2.1.1 Students who become 19 years of age on or after June 15 shall be eligible for all sports during the school year provided all other eligibility requirements are met. In determining the age of a contestant, the birth date as entered on the birth record of the Bureau of Vital Statistics shall be required and shall be so certified on all eligibility lists.

2.1.1.1 Requests for a waiver of the age requirement shall only be considered for participation on an unofficial, non-scoring basis in non-contact or non-collision sports

2.2 Eligibility, Residence

2.2.1 With the exception of boarding school students, a student must be living with his/her custodial parent(s), legal guardian(s), or Relative Caregiver in the attendance zone of the school which he/she attends, or be a student 18 years of age or older and living in the attendance zone of the school which he/she attends (see 2.2.1.7), in order to be eligible for interscholastic athletics in that school. In cases of joint custody, the custodial parent shall be the parent with actual physical placement as determined by court. In the case of shared custody the parents must commit to sending the student to a particular school for the year. Maintaining multiple residences in order to circumvent this requirement shall render the student ineligible.

2.2.1.1 A student who, pursuant to established school board policy or administrative procedure, remains in a school he/she has been attending after his/her legal residence changes to the attendance zone of a different school in the same school district, may exercise, prior to the first official student day of the subsequent academic year, a one time election to remain at his/her current school and thereby not lose athletic eligibility. If a student chooses to remain at his/her current school and then transfers to the school in his/her new attendance zone on or after the first official student day of the subsequent academic year, he/ she shall be ineligible, for ninety (90) school days.

2.2.1.2 A student who changes residence to a different attendance zone after the start of the last marking period and, pursuant to established school board policy or administrative procedure, shall be granted permission to continue attending his/her present school, the student shall retain his/her athletic eligibility in that school for the remainder of the school year provided all other eligibility requirements are met.

2.2.1.3 A student shall be permitted to complete his/her senior year at the school he/she is attending and remain eligible even though a change of legal residence to the attendance zone of another school has occurred. This provision shall refer to any change of legal residence that occurs after the completion of the student's junior year.

2.2.1.4 A student may be residing outside of the attendance zone of the school which he/she attends if the student is participating in the Delaware School Choice Program as authorized by 14 Del.C., Ch.4.

2.2.1.5 A student who is a non-resident of Delaware shall be eligible to attend a public school, charter school or career-technical school if, in accordance with 14 Del.C. §607, his/her custodial parent or court appointed legal guardian or Relative Caregiver is a full-time employee of that district.

2.2.1.6 Notwithstanding 2.2.1, a student shall be eligible at a public or vocational-technical school if he/ she is enrolled in accordance with 14 Del.C. §202(f), the Caregivers School Authorization.

2.2.1.6.1 An exception would be a student whose Relative Caregiver does not provide the documentation required by the Relative Caregiver School Authorization (proof of relation and proof of full-time care) but is permitted to register on the basis of a petition for the transfer of guardianship. A student who registers on the basis of a petition for the transfer of guardianship is not eligible to scrimmage or compete until the Relative Caregiver has provided the aforementioned required documentation or has received a signed court order designating him/her as the student’s legal guardian.

2.2.1.7 A student who reaches the age of majority (18) and leaves his/her parents' place of residency and jurisdiction thereof, and moves to another attendance zone to continue his/her high school education shall be ineligible to participate in athletics for 90 school days commencing with the first day of official attendance on or after their 18th birthday. This provision shall not apply to a student participating in the Delaware School Choice Program, as authorized by 14 Del.C. Ch. 4, provided the student’s choice application was properly submitted prior to his/her change of residence.

2.2.1.8 Notwithstanding 2.2.1, a student who is homeless as defined in the McKinney-Vento Act, 42 U.S.C. 11434a(2) shall be eligible to participate at the public school in which he/she is enrolled.

2.3 Eligibility, Enrollment and Attendance

2.3.1 A student must be legally enrolled in the high school which he/she represents in order to participate in a practice, scrimmage or contest.

2.3.2 A shared-time student who attends two (2) different schools during the regular school day shall be eligible to participate only at his/her home school. A student's home school shall be the school at which he/she is receiving instruction in the core academic areas and at which he/she is satisfying the majority of his/her graduation requirements; not a school at which he/she is receiving only specialized educational instruction such as vocational training.

2.3.3 Students with disabilities who are placed in special schools or programs

2.3.3.1 Definitions:

“Campus” means a contiguous land area containing one or more school buildings.

“Special School or Program” means a school or program approved by the Department of Education with the approval of the State Board of Education to serve students with disabilities, but does not include alternative schools.

“Student With a Disability” means a “child with a disability” as that term is defined in the Administrative Manual for Special Education Services (AMSES), 14 DE Admin. Code 925.

2.3.3.2 A student with a disability who is placed in a special school or program shall be eligible to participate in interscholastic athletics as follows:

2.3.3.2.1 If the special school or program sponsors the interscholastic sport in question, the student shall be eligible to participate only at the school or program.

2.3.3.2.2 If the special school or program does not sponsor the interscholastic sport in question and the student is served in a regular high school for all or part of the school day, the student shall be eligible only at that regular high school.

2.3.3.2.3 If the special school or program does not sponsor the interscholastic sport in question, and the student is served exclusively in the special school or program, and the special school or program is located on the campus of a regular high school, the student shall be eligible only at the regular high school on the same campus.

2.3.3.2.4 If the special school or program does not sponsor the interscholastic sport in question, and the student is served exclusively in the special school or program, and the special school or program is not located on the campus of a regular high school, the student shall be eligible only at the regular high school designated to serve the special school’s or program’s students.

2.3.3.2.4.1 School districts or charter schools which administer special schools or programs and have multiple high schools shall decide which of its regular high schools shall be designated to serve special school or program students in these circumstances.

2.3.4 A student who is participating in the Delaware School Choice Program, as authorized by 14 Del.C. Ch. 4, is obligated to attend the choice school for a minimum of two (2) years unless the students custodial parent(s), legal guardian(s) or Relative Caregiver relocate to a different school district or the student fails to meet the academic requirements of the choice school. If a student attends a choice school for less than two (2) years and subsequently returns to his/her home school, the student must receive a release from the “choice district” in order to legally enroll at his/her home school. Without a release, the student would not be eligible legally enrolled and consequently would be ineligible to participate in interscholastic athletics.

2.3.5 A student may not participate in a practice, scrimmage, or contest during the time a suspension, either in-school or out-of-school, is in effect or during the time he/she is assigned to an alternative school for disciplinary reasons.

2.3.6 A student who is not legally in attendance at school due to illness or injury shall not be permitted to participate in a practice, scrimmage, or contest on that day.

2.3.7 A student who fails to complete a semester or is absent for one or more semesters for reasons other than personal illness or injury shall be ineligible for ninety (90) school days from the date of his/her reentry to school.

2.3.8 An ineligible student who practices in violation of 2.2.2 through 2.2.5 shall, when he/she regains his/her eligibility, be prohibited from practicing, scrimmaging, or competing for an equivalent number of days.

2.4 Eligibility, Transfers

2.4.1 A student who has not previously participated in interscholastic athletics (previous participation is defined as having practiced, scrimmaged, or competed in grades 9 through 12) is released by a proper school authority from a sending school, has completed the registration process at the receiving school, and is pursuing an approved course of study shall be eligible immediately upon registration provided he/she meets all other DIAA eligibility requirements.

2.4.2 If a student has previously participated in interscholastic athletics, he/she shall be ineligible for a period of ninety (90) school days commencing with the first day of official attendance in the receiving school unless one of the following exceptions applies:

2.4.2.1 The transfer is within a school district and is approved by the district's superintendent pursuant to established school board policy or administrative procedure. This provision shall not apply to a student who transfers to his/her home school from a “choice school” within the district and who has not completed the two-year attendance requirement unless he/she satisfies the conditions stipulated in 2.4.2.5.1 through 2.4.2.5.4. This provision shall also not apply to a student who transfers from a “choice school” to another “choice school” within the district.

2.4.2.2 The transfer is caused by court action, court action being an order from a court of law affecting legally committed students. In the case of a transfer of guardianship/custody, the transfer shall be the result of a court order signed by a judge, commissioner, or master of a court of competent jurisdiction. A petition for the transfer of guardianship/custody, an affidavit, (except as permitted by 2.4.2.3), or a notarized statement signed by the affected parties shall not be sufficient to render the student eligible to participate in interscholastic athletics.

2.4.2.3 The transfer is in accordance with the student being placed with a Relative Caregiver as per 14 Del.C. §202(f), the Caregivers School Authorization.

2.4.2.3.1 An exception would be a student whose relative caregiver does not provide the documentation required by the Relative Caregiver School Authorization (proof of relation and proof of full-time care) but is permitted to register on the basis of a petition for the transfer of guardianship. A student who registers on the basis of a petition for the transfer of guardianship is not eligible to scrimmage or compete until the relative caregiver has provided the aforementioned required documentation or has received a signed court order designating him/her as the student’s legal guardian.

2.4.2.4 The transfer is the result of a change in residence by the custodial parent(s) legal guardian(s)or Relative Caregiver from the attendance zone of the sending school to the attendance zone of the receiving school. A change in residence has occurred when all occupancy of the previous residence has ended. A student who transfers shall be eligible in the receiving school immediately, when the custodial parent(s) legal guardian(s) or Relative Caregiver has established a new legal residence in another public school attendance zone.

2.4.2.5 The transfer occurs after the close of the sending school's academic year and prior to the first official student day of the receiving school's academic year provided that the following has occurred:

2.4.2.5.1 The student has completed the registration process at the receiving school prior to the first official student day of the academic year. The first official student day shall be defined as the first day on which students in any grade in that school are required to be in attendance.

2.4.2.5.2 The student has not attended class, excluding summer school, or participated in a scrimmage or contest at the sending school since the close of the previous academic year.

2.4.2.5.3 The student's legal residence is located in the attendance zone of the receiving school.

2.4.2.5.4 All other DIAA eligibility requirements have been met.

2.4.2.6 The transfer is the result of the student being homeless as defined in the McKinney - Vento Act, 42 U.S.C. 11434a(2).

2.4.2.6.1 Notwithstanding the above, the student shall be ineligible under the ninety (90) school day ineligibility clause where the student’s homeless status is created by the student or his/her family for the primary reason of:

2.4.2.6.1.1 Seeking a superior team; or

2.4.2.6.1.2 Seeking a team more compatible with the student’s abilities; or

2.4.2.6.1.3 Dissatisfaction with the philosophy, policies, methods or actions of a coach or administrator pertaining to interscholastic athletics; or

2.4.2.6.1.4 Avoiding disciplinary action imposed by the school of origin related to or affecting interscholastic athletic participation.

2.4.3 Transfer Because of Promotion or Administrative Assignment: Transfer because of promotion or administrative assignment to the ninth grade from a school whose terminal point is the eighth grade, or to the tenth grade from a junior high school whose terminal point is the ninth grade, shall not constitute a transfer. Students so promoted or administratively assigned shall be eligible.

2.4.4 Transfer Because of a Change in the Program of Study or Financial Hardship: If a waiver of the ninety (90) school day ineligibility clause is requested due to a desired change in the program of study or financial hardship, the parent(s), legal guardian(s) or Relative Caregiver is responsible for providing documentation to the DIAA Board of Directors to support the request.

2.4.4.1 Documentation for change in the program of study (a multi-year, hierarchical sequence of courses with a common theme or subject matter leading to a specific outcome) shall include:

2.4.4.1.1 The student’s schedule;

2.4.4.1.2 The student’s transcript;

2.4.4.1.3 Current course descriptions from both the sending and receiving schools;

2.4.4.1.4 A statement from the principal of the sending school indicating that a significant part of the student's desired program of study will not be offered and that it will place the student at a definite disadvantage to delay transfer until the end of the current school year; and

2.4.4.1.5 A statement from the principals of both the sending and receiving schools that the student is not transferring for athletic advantage (see 2.4.6).

2.4.4.2 Documentation for Financial Hardship: Documentation for financial hardship shall include:

2.4.4.2.1 Proof of extreme financial hardship caused by significant and unexpected reduction in income and/or increase in expenses; and

2.4.4.2.2 A statement from the principals of both the sending and receiving schools that the student is not transferring for athletic advantage (see 2.4.6).

2.4.5 Transfer Because of Custody Change: In cases of joint or shared custody when a primary residence is established, a change in a student's primary residence without court action subjects the student to the ninety (90) school day ineligibility clause.

2.4.6 A change of custody or guardianship for athletic advantage shall render a student ineligible under the ninety (90) school day ineligibility clause if the reason for his/her transfer is one of the following: to seek a superior team, to seek a team more compatible with his/her abilities, dissatisfaction with the philosophy, policies, methods, or actions of a coach or administrator pertaining to interscholastic athletics or to avoid disciplinary action imposed by the sending school related to or affecting interscholastic athletic participation.

2.4.7 A student who transfers from a public, private, vocational-technical, or charter school to a school of choice, as authorized by 14 Del.C. Ch.4, shall be eligible immediately provided the transfer occurs after the close of the sending school's academic year and prior to the first official student day of the receiving school's academic year.

2.4.7.1 A student who transfers from a school of choice to another school of choice shall be ineligible to participate in interscholastic athletics during his/ her first year of attendance at the receiving school unless the receiving school sponsors a sport(s) not sponsored by the sending school in which case the student shall be eligible to participate in that sport(s) only.

2.4.8 A student who transfers from a school of choice to either a private school, career-technical school or, after completing his/her two-year commitment, to a public charter school shall be eligible immediately provided the transfer occurs after the close of the sending school’s academic year and prior to the first official student day of the receiving school’s academic year.

2.4.9 If a student transfers with fewer than ninety (90) school days left in the academic year, he/she shall be ineligible for the remainder of the school year but shall be eligible beginning with the subsequent fall sports season provided he/she is in compliance with all other eligibility requirements.

2.5 Eligibility, Amateur Status

2.5.1 A student may not participate in an interscholastic sport unless he/she is considered an amateur in that sport. A student forfeits his/her amateur status if he/ she does any of the following:

2.5.1.1 Knowingly plays on or against a professional team which is defined as a team having one or more members who have received or are receiving directly or indirectly monetary consideration for their athletic services.

2.5.1.2 Signs a professional contract, accepts reimbursement for expenses to attend a professional tryout, or receives financial assistance in any form from a professional sports organization.

2.5.1.3 Enters a competition under an assumed name. The surname and given name used by any player in his/her first game of interscholastic competition shall be used during the remainder of the student's interscholastic career. Any change in spelling or use of another name shall be regarded as an attempt to evade this rule unless the change has been properly certified by the player to the principal of the school.

2.5.1.4 Receives remuneration of any kind or accepts reimbursement for expenses in excess of the actual and necessary costs of transportation, meals, and lodging for participating in a team or individual competition or an instructional camp or clinic. Reimbursement for the aforementioned expenses is permitted only if all of the participants receive the same benefit.

2.5.1.5 Receives cash or a cash equivalent (savings bond, certificate of deposit, etc.), merchandise (except as permitted by 9.1.4) or a merchandise discount, (except for discount arranged by school for part of team uniform) a reduction or waiver of fees, a gift certificate, or other valuable consideration as a result of his/her participation in an organized competition or instructional camp/clinic. Accepting an event program and/or a complimentary item(s) (t-shirt, hat, equipment bag, etc.) that is inscribed with a reference to the event, has an aggregate retail value of no more than $150.00, and is provided to all of the participants, shall not jeopardize his/ her amateur status.

2.5.1.6 Sells or pawns awards received.

2.5.1.7 Uses his/her athletic status to promote or endorse a commercial product or service in a newsprint, radio, or television advertisement or personal appearance.

2.5.2 Accepting compensation for teaching lessons, coaching, or officiating shall not jeopardize his/her amateur status.

2.5.3 A student who forfeits his/her amateur status under the provisions of this rule is ineligible to participate at the interscholastic level in the sport in which the violation occurred. He/she may be reinstated after a period of up to the number of days in the school year provided that during the suspension, he/she complies with all of the provisions of this rule. The suspension shall date from the time of the last offense.

2.6 Eligibility, Passing Work

2.6.1 In order to be eligible for participation in interscholastic athletics, including practices, a student must pursue a regular course of study or its equivalent as approved by the local governing body, and must be passing at least five (5) credits. Two (2) of those credits must be in the areas of English, Mathematics, Science, or Social Studies.

2.6.1.1 A student who is receiving special education services and is precluded from meeting the aforementioned academic requirements due to modifications in the grading procedure or course of study, shall be adjudged eligible by the principal if he/she is making satisfactory progress in accordance with the requirements of his/her individualized education plan (IEP).

2.6.2 In the case of a student in the twelfth grade, he/she must be passing all courses necessary for graduation from high school in order to be eligible for participation. A course necessary for graduation shall be any course, whether taken during or outside the regular school day, that satisfies an unmet graduation requirement.

2.6.3 A student whose work in any regular marking period does not meet the above standards shall be ineligible to participate in interscholastic athletics, including practices, for the next marking period.

2.6.3.1 In the case of a conflict between the marking period grade and the final grade, the final grade shall determine eligibility.

2.6.3.2 The final accumulation of credits shall determine eligibility for the first marking period of the following school year. When a student makes up a failure or earns the required credit(s) during the summer, he/she shall become eligible provided he/she successfully completes the course work prior to the first official student day of the school year.

2.6.3.3 Written verification of the successful completion of a correspondence course must be received before a student shall regain his/her eligibility.

2.6.4 A student forfeits or regains his/her eligibility, in accordance with the provisions of this rule, on the day report cards are issued.

2.6.5 Local school boards and non-public schools may establish more stringent requirements for academic eligibility than the minimum standards herein prescribed.

2.6.6 An ineligible student who practices in violation of 2.6.1, 2.6.2, 2.6.3 or 2.6.4 shall, when he/she regains his/her eligibility, be prohibited from practicing, scrimmaging, or competing for an equivalent number of days.

2.7 Eligibility, Years of Participation

2.7.1 No student shall represent a school in athletics after four (4) consecutive years from the date of his/her first entrance into the ninth grade unless a waiver is granted for hardship reasons.

2.7.1.1 No student shall have more than four (4) opportunities to participate in a fall sport or combination of fall sports, in a winter sport or combination of winter sports, or in a spring sport or combination of spring sports.

2.7.1.2 “Hardship” shall be defined as extenuating circumstances peculiar to the student athlete caused by unforeseen events beyond the election, control or creation of the student athlete, his/her family, or school which (1) deprive him/her of all or part of one of his/her opportunities to participate in a particular sports season; (2) preclude him/her from completing the academic requirements for graduation within the normal period of eligibility; and (3) deprive him/her of all or part of one of his/her opportunities to participate in a particular sport. The waiver provision is intended to restore eligibility that has been lost as a result of a hardship situation. Injury, illness or accidents, which cause a student to fail to meet the basic requirements, are possible causes for a hardship consideration.

2.7.1.2.1 A waiver shall not be granted under this section where DIAA finds that the student was academically eligible pursuant to DIAA’s minimum passing work standards but was ineligible to participate under more stringent locally adopted academic standards and where the local school board has adopted its own waiver or exemption policy.

2.7.1.2.2 A clear and direct causal relationship must exist between the alleged hardship condition and the failure of the student to complete the academic requirements for graduation within the normal period of eligibility and the loss of all or part of one of his/ her opportunities to participate in a particular sports season.

2.7.1.2.3 The burden of proof rests with the student in conjunction with the waiver process as described in 14 DE Admin. Code 1006.9. Claims of extended illness, debilitating injury, emotional stress, etc., must be accompanied by appropriate documentation. Evidence must be submitted to verify that the student or his/her parent(s) or court appointed legal guardian(s) sought assistance to ameliorate the effects of the hardship condition.

2.7.2 Satisfactory completion of studies in accordance with promotion policies established by the local governing body shall determine when a student is beyond the eighth grade. If the eighth grade is part of the same administrative unit as grades 9 through 12, participation on the part of an eighth-grade student toward five (5) years of eligibility shall be at the discretion of the individual school.

2.7.2.1 Eighth grade students who are enrolled or transfer to schools that meet the above criteria begin their five years of eligibility for senior high school athletic participation the first year they enter eighth grade.

2.7.3 Seventh-grade students shall not be permitted to participate on senior high school interscholastic teams.

2.7.4 Participation of Postgraduates

2.7.4.1 Participation shall be defined as taking part in a school sponsored practice, scrimmage or contest on or after the first allowable date for practice in that sport.

2.7.4.2 Postgraduates shall not be eligible to participate in interscholastic athletics. All graduates of recognized senior high schools shall be considered postgraduates.

2.7.4.3 A regularly enrolled student taking courses in an institution of higher education shall be eligible provided he/she meets all other DIAA requirements.

2.7.4.4 Students whose commencement exercises are prior to the completion of the school's regular season schedule and/or the state tournament shall be eligible to compete.

2.8 Eligibility of Foreign Exchange Students and International Students

2.8.1 Notwithstanding 2.2, 2.3, and 2.4, foreign exchange students and international students may be eligible to participate in interscholastic athletics upon arrival at their host school provided they have not attained the age of 19 prior to June 15 and are enrolled as participants in a recognized foreign exchange program.

2.8.1.1 All foreign exchange programs which are included on the Advisory List of International Educational Travel and Exchange Programs of the Council on Standards for International Educational Travel (CSIET) and are two (2) semesters in length shall be considered as recognized.

2.8.1.2 Students participating in programs not included on the CSIET list shall be required to present evidence that the program is a bona fide educational exchange program before it shall be considered as recognized.

2.8.2 International students who are not participating in a foreign exchange program are considered to be transfer students and are ineligible to compete in interscholastic athletics unless they are in compliance with all DIAA eligibility requirements including 2.2.

2.8.3 Once enrolled, foreign exchange and other international students must comply with all DIAA eligibility rules.

2.8.3.1 Athletic recruitment of foreign exchange students or other international students by a member school or any other entity is prohibited, and any such students recruited shall be ineligible.

2.9 Student Eligibility Report Forms

2.9.1 Member schools shall use eligibility forms approved by the Executive Director. A copy of the original eligibility report and subsequent addenda must be either received by the Executive Director or postmarked prior to the first contest for which the students listed are eligible. Failure to file an eligibility report as prescribed shall result in a $15.00 fine against the school.

2.9.1.1 In the case of a student who met all DIAA eligibility requirements but was omitted from the eligibility report due to administrative or clerical error, he/ she shall be adjudged eligible and the school assessed a $10.00 fine.

2.10 Use of an Ineligible Athlete:

2.10.1 If a school uses an ineligible athlete, the administrative head or his/her designee shall notify the opposing school(s) or event sponsor, in the case of a tournament or meet, and the Executive Director in writing of the violation and the forfeiture of the appropriate game(s), match(es), and/or point(s) won.

2.10.2 The deliberate or inadvertent use of an ineligible athlete in the sports of soccer, football, volleyball, field hockey, basketball, baseball, softball, and lacrosse shall require the offending school to forfeit the contest(s) in which the ineligible athlete participated.

2.10.2.1 If the infraction occurs during a tournament, including a state championship, the offending school shall be replaced by its most recently defeated opponent. Teams eliminated prior to the most recently defeated opponent shall not be allowed to reenter the tournament, team and/or individual awards shall be returned to the event sponsor and team and/or individual records and performances shall be nullified.

2.10.2.2 The offending school may appeal to the DIAA Board of Directors for a waiver of the forfeiture penalty. If the forfeiture penalty is waived, the offending school shall be reprimanded and fined $200.00 unless the athlete or his/her parent(s) or court appointed legal guardian(s) knowingly withheld information or provided false information that caused him/her to be eligible for interscholastic competition. The burden of proof, in both instances, rests entirely with the offending school. A forfeit shall constitute a loss for the offending school and a win for its opponent for purposes of standings and playoff eligibility and shall be automatic and not subject to refusal by the offending school's opponent.

2.10.3 The deliberate or inadvertent use of an ineligible athlete in the sports of cross country, wrestling, swimming, track, golf, and tennis shall require the offending school to forfeit the matches won and/or points earned by the ineligible athlete or by a relay team of which he/she was a member. The points contributed by an ineligible athlete to his/her team score shall be deleted and the contest score as well as the affected placements will be adjusted according to the rules of the sport.

2.10.3.1 If the infraction occurs during a tournament, including a state championship, the ineligible athlete shall be replaced by his/her most recently defeated opponent or the next highest finisher. Contestants eliminated prior to the most recently defeated opponent shall not be allowed to reenter the tournament.

2.10.3.1.1 Individual awards earned by the ineligible athlete and team awards, if necessary because of adjustments in the standings, shall be returned to the event sponsor. Individual records and performances by the ineligible athlete shall be nullified.

2.10.4 If an ineligible athlete participates in interscholastic competition contrary to DIAA rules but in accordance with a temporary restraining order or injunction against his/her school and/or DIAA, and the injunction is subsequently vacated, stayed, or reversed, or the courts determine that injunctive relief is not or was not justified, or the injunction expires without further judicial determination, the penalties stipulated in 2.10.1 and 2.10.2 shall be imposed.

2.10.5 The intentional use of an ineligible athlete by a member school or repeated indifference to its responsibility to determine the eligibility of its athletes will subject the school to additional penalties which may include suspension for the amount of days up to length of the school year from the date the charge is substantiated.

2.10.6 If a coach knowingly withholds information or provides false information that causes an athlete to be eligible for interscholastic competition, the coach shall be suspended from coaching in any sport at any DIAA member school for the amount of days up to length of the school year from the date the charge is substantiated.

2.10.7 If an athlete or his/her parent(s), legal guardian(s) or Relative Caregiver knowingly withholds information or provides false information that causes him/ her to be eligible for interscholastic competition, the athlete shall be suspended from participation in any sport at any DIAA member school for up to the amount of days up to the length of the school year from the date the charge is substantiated.

2.11 Determination of Student Eligibility and the Appeal Procedures

2.11.1 In cases of uncertainty or disagreement, the eligibility of a student shall be determined initially by the Executive Director. If the Executive Director determines that the student is ineligible, the school and the student shall be notified and the student suspended immediately from participation in interscholastic athletics.

2.11.2 The school and the student shall be informed that the decision of the Executive Director may be appealed to the DIAA Board of Directors.

2.11.3 Decisions of the DIAA Board of Directors to affirm, modify, or reverse the eligibility rulings of the Executive Director may be appealed to the State Board of Education in accordance with 14 DE Admin. Code 1006.11.

4.0 Sports Seasons, Practices Sessions and Maximum Game Schedules and Designated Sports Seasons

4.1 Sports Seasons

4.1.1 The fall sports season shall begin with the first approved day for practice and end with the start of the state championship in that sport. Any regular season contest that was postponed must be rescheduled and played before the beginning of the state tournament in that sport. A conference championship game must also be completed before the start of the state tournament in that sport and practice for any fall sport shall not begin earlier than 21 days before the first Friday after Labor Day.

4.1.1.1 The first three (3) days of football practice shall be primarily for the purpose of physical conditioning and shall be restricted to non-contact activities. Coaches may introduce offensive formations and defensive alignments, run plays "on air," practice non-contact phases of the kicking game, and teach non-contact positional skills. Protective equipment shall be restricted to helmets, mouth guards, and shoes. The use of dummies, hand shields, and sleds in contact drills is prohibited. Blocking, tackling, and block protection drills which involve any contact between players are also prohibited.

4.1.1.2 No member school shall participate in spring football games nor shall a member school conduct football practice of any type outside of the regular fall sports season except when participating in the state tournament. Organized football" or "organized football practice" shall be defined as any type of sport which is organized to promote efficiency in any of the various aspects of football. Touch football, featuring blocking, tackling, ball handling, signaling, etc. shall be considered "organized football" and shall be illegal under the intent of this rule

4.1.2 The winter sports season shall begin with the first approved day for practice and end with the start of the state championship in that sport. Any regular season contest that was postponed must be rescheduled and played before the beginning of the state tournament in that sport. Conference championships must also be completed before the start of the state tournament in that sport and practice for any winter sport shall not begin earlier than 21 days before the first Friday in December.

4.1.3 The spring sports season shall begin on March 1 and ends with the start of the state championship in that sport. Any regular season contest that was postponed must be rescheduled and played before the beginning of the state tournament in that sport. Conference championships must also be completed before the start of the state tournament in that sport and practice for any spring sport shall not begin earlier than March 1.

4.1.4 A school which participates in a game prior to the first allowable date or after the start of the state championship shall be required to forfeit the contest and be assessed a $100.00 fine.

4.1.5 A school which conducts practice prior to the first allowable date shall pay a fine of $100.00 per illegal practice day.

4.1.6 No member school shall participate in a post-season contest without the written approval of the Executive Director.

4.2 Practice Sessions

4.2.1 A practice session shall be defined as any instructional activity on the field, court, mat, or track or in the pool, weight room, or classroom such as team meetings, film reviews, blackboard sessions, warmup and cool down exercises, drills or mandatory strength training. Member schools shall conduct a minimum of 21 calendar days of practice under the supervision of the school's certified, emergency and/or approved volunteer coaching staff prior to the first scheduled contest in all sports.

4.2.2 Practice sessions shall be limited to two (2) hours on official school days. Split sessions may be conducted but practice time shall not exceed two hours for any individual athlete. The two-hour practice limitation does not include time for non-instructional activities such as dressing, showering, transportation, or training room care.

4.2.3 Practicing on holidays and weekends shall be left to the discretion of the individual schools and conferences. However there should be one day of no activity (practice, scrimmage, or contest) during any seven day period.

4.2.4 A student shall be required to practice for a period of at least seven (7) calendar days prior to participating in a contest. However, if a student has been participating in a state tournament during the preceding sports season and is unable to begin practicing at least seven (7) calendar days before his/her team's first contest, he/she shall be exempt from this requirement.

4.2.5 A school which exceeds the two-hour practice limitation shall pay a $100.00 fine.

4.3 Maximum Game Schedules and Designated Sports Seasons:

4.3.1 The maximum number of regularly scheduled interscholastic contests/competition dates for each team and individual in the recognized sports and their sports season shall be designated by the DIAA Board of Directors. and is as follows:

 

Team Limitations

Individual Limitations

Sport

Season

Week

Week

Day

Fall

       

Cross Country (boys and girls)

16 competition dates

+3 competition dates

+3 competition dates

 

Field Hockey (girls)

16 contests

3 contest

3 Competition dates

2 halves

Football (boys)

10 contests

1 contest

4 varsity quarters or any combination of 5 varsity and subvarsity quarters provided no more than 3 quarters are at the varsity level

 

Soccer (boys)

16 Contests

3 contests

3 competition dates

2 halves

Volleyball (girls)

16 competition dates

of which 1 date may involve more than

2 teams

3 competition dates

3 competition dates

 

Winter

       

Basketball (boys and girls)

22 contests

3 contests

3 competition dates

4 quarters

Swimming and Diving boys and girls)

0

3 contests

3 contests

 

Indoor Track (boys and girls)

12 contests

+ 3 contests

+ 3 contests

 

Wrestling (boys)

* 18 contests

3 competition dates

3 competition dates

5 matches

         

Spring

       

Baseball (boys)

20 contests

3 contests

3 contests

 

Softball (girls)

20 contests

3 contests

3 contests

 

Golf (boys)

16 competition dates

3 competition dates

3 competition dates

 

Tennis (boys and girls)

16 contests

3 contests

3 contests

 

Outdoor Track (boys and girls)

18 competition dates

+3 competition dates

+3 competition dates

 

Lacross (boys and girls)

16 contests

3 contests

3 competition dates

4 quarters (boys)

or 2 halves (girls)

Soccer (girls)

16 contests

3 contests

3 competition dates

2 halves

The third contest/competition date in a week must be held on Friday (no early dismissal permitted), Saturday or Sunday. This requirement is waived when a school is closed for the entire week such as during winter or spring vacation.

+ A team may not participate in two different cross country, indoor track or outdoor track meets on the same day.

* Participation in a triangular meet shall count as two contests and participation in a quadrangular meet shall count as three contests toward the seasonal limitation.

4.3.2 The third contest/competition date in a week shall be held on Friday (no early dismissal permitted), Saturday or Sunday. This requirement is waived when a school is closed for the entire week such as during winter or spring vacation.

4.3.2.1 A team shall not participate in two different cross country, indoor track or outdoor track meets on the same day.

4.3.2.2 Participation in a triangular meet shall count as two contests and participation in a quadrangular meet shall count as three contests toward the seasonal limitation.

4.3.2.3 Participation in any part of a quarter/half shall count as a quarter/half toward the weekly and daily limitations in that sport. However, in the case of football, participation on a free kick or a play from a scrimmage kick formation shall not count as a quarter. Overtime periods shall be considered as part of the fourth quarter or second half.

4.3.3 A week shall be designated as starting on Monday and ending on Sunday for all sports except football. A football week shall begin the day of the varsity game and end the day preceding the next varsity game or the following Friday.

4.3.3.1 The preceding game limitations, with the exception of the individual daily limitation, shall not prohibit the rescheduling of postponed games at the discretion and convenience of the member schools involved provided the game was postponed due to inclement weather, unplayable field conditions, failure of the assigned officials to appear for the game, breakdown of the bus or van carrying the visiting team, or any other circumstances beyond the control of site management which preclude playing the game. However, a team may not participate in more than four (4) contests/ competition dates in a week.

4.3.4 The maximum number of regularly scheduled contests for each of the recognized sports, except football, shall be exclusive of conference championships, playoffs to determine tournament state berths, and the state tournament/meet. The maximum number of regularly scheduled football contests shall be exclusive of the state tournament.

4.3.4.1 Any playoffs to determine state tournament berths shall be under the control and supervision of the DIAA tournament committee.

4.3.5 A student shall participate in a particular sport for only one season during each academic year.

4.3.6 A school which participates in more than the allowable number of contests in a season shall be suspended from the state playoffs or, if a non-qualifying team, fined $200.00.

4.3.6.1 A school which exceeds the weekly contest limitation shall be required to forfeit the contest and pay a $100.00 fine.

4.3.6.2 A student who exceeds the weekly or daily contest limitation shall be considered an ineligible athlete and the school subject to the process stipulated in 2.10.

*Please Note: As the rest of the sections were not amended they are not being published. A complete set of the rules and regulations for the Department of Education are available at http://www.state.de.us/research/AdminCode/title14/index.shtml#TopOfPage

8 DE Reg. 1544 (05-01-05)