Protect your athletic eligibility by knowing the basic eligibility guidelines. If you have any specific sport questions or questions about something that is not covered in the general guidelines, please contact your school’s athletic director.EligibilityClick here for NCHSAA eligibility forms & checklists.
All students must be eligible prior to dressing or participating in any interscholastic contest.
Only students in grades seven and eight can participate in middle school athletics.
Student-athletes may not accept prizes, merchandise, money or anything that can be exchanged for money as a result of athletic participation (NCHSAA amateur status rule).
Residency requirement for athletic eligibility – A student who transfers from one school to another without a change of residence is ineligible to participate in athletics for one calendar year. However, the principals of the two schools involved may grant athletic eligibility by completing the appropriate waiver form. Exception: by NCHSAA rules, a student may not participate in the same sport at two different schools unless there is a documented change of residence.
A student must have been in attendance for at least 85% of the previous semester to be eligible.
All student-athletes must attend the school in which their parents/legal guardian reside unless an out of district application has been approved.
All student-athletes must meet the ISS local promotion standards.
A student-athlete, upon entering the seventh grade for the first time, is automatically eligible to participate in middle school athletics; a student-athlete, upon entering the ninth grade for the first time, is automatically eligible for high school athletics.
In high school, a student must pass three out of the four courses on the block during the semester.
In middle school, a student must pass at least one less than the number of required core courses during the semester.
Students in middle school have four consecutive semesters to participate, and students in high school have eight consecutive semesters in which to participate.
Students who attend summer school or extended school programs to recover credit will have the credits applied to the most recent semester for eligibility purposes.
All student-athletes must receive a medical examination once every 365 days by a licensed physician, nurse practitioner, or physician’s assistant in order to try out, practice or participate in athletics.
Age of Player
No student may be approved for any athletic contest if his or her 19th birthday comes on or before August 31st of that school year at the high school level;
Middle school students can not be approved if his or her 15th birthday falls on or before this same date.
Note: An eighth grader who has aged out of the middle school program may participate at the feeder high school. This begins the eight consecutive semesters of eligibility for that student.
There shall be no athletic practice during the regular school day. Practice may begin after the last regularly scheduled instructional period.
No authorized practice or contest may occur during a teacher workday. Exception: If the Superintendent gives permission for schools to practice prior to the end of a workday due to inclement weather.
Each coach will schedule practice times. Players should be in attendance for all scheduled practices. It is the responsibility of the student-athlete to contact their coach prior to a practice or game if they need to be absent.
There shall be no Sunday practice of any kind on or off the school’s campus.
The coach will decide who makes the team and how much a student-athlete plays in the games. Questions concerning cuts, playing time or other issues should be directed to the head coach at an appropriate time- not immediately after a game. Parents with concerns should call the school and set up an appointment with the coach.
Interscholastic athletic events should be conducted in such a manner that good sportsmanship prevails at all times. Every effort should be made to promote a climate of wholesome competition. Sportsmanship is more important than victory and student-athletes, coaches and spectators should respect the judgment of games officials at all times. The primary purpose of interscholastic athletics is to promote the physical, mental, moral, social and emotional well being of the players through the medium of contest. Student-athletes who are penalized in a contest for unsportsmanlike actions will be subject to the NCHSAA and DPI mandated suspension and ejection policy, plus any sport-specific rules that the coach may have for his/her team.
The NCHSAA Sportsman/Ejection Policy applies to all persons involved in athletic contests, including student-athletes, coaches, managers and game administrators. The following examples include behavior or conduct which will result in an ejection from a contest: fighting, biting observed by an official, taunting, baiting or spitting toward an opponent, profanity, obscene gestures, or disrespectfully addressing an official, (making physical contact with an official is subject to automatic expulsion and can result in ineligibility for remainder of career).
Players receiving two ejections for unacceptable behavior will be suspended from all sports for the remainder of that sports season.
Receiving a third ejection in a school year will result in suspension from athletics for one calendar year (365 days) from the date of the third ejection.
For soccer, five yellow cards accumulated by the same player will result in a suspension. An additional five yellow cards accumulated by the same player will result in an ejection. The player will be suspended from all sports for the remainder of that season on the 15th yellow card. A red card disqualification that is not an ejection is the equivalent of two yellow cards.
For wrestling, track, tennis, golf, cross-country, and swimming any individual ejected from an individual event or individual tournament may not participate for the remainder of the event from which he or she was ejected.
All student-athletes are to abide by the policies and Student Code of Conduct of the ISS system. Student-athletes who violate policies, regulations or the Code of Conduct may be subject to additional consequences as determined by their school or coach. Each school is responsible for setting guidelines in regards to their athletic program. Each coach is responsible for setting and administering team rules.
It is the expectation of ISS that all student-athletes conduct themselves appropriately, realizing that each student-athlete represents their school and the school system.
Any student-athlete who is convicted of a crime classified as a felony under NC or federal law or is an adjudicated delinquent for an offense that would be a felony if committed by an adult, is not eligible to participate in athletics per NCHSAA rule.
In School Suspension (ISS), Out of School Suspension (OSS), Monticello School
Students that are assigned one full day or more of ISS or OSS are not permitted to participate or be in attendance at any extracurricular activities, including practices, during the assigned time. The suspension does not end until midnight of the last day assigned.
Tobacco Products, Alcoholic Beverages, Illegal Drugs & Controlled Substances
The ISS and the NCHSAA emphatically opposes the use of tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs by students, student-athletes, coaches and officials. All ISS schools, grounds and vehicles are tobacco free.
Spectators, participants, coaches and other team representatives and officials should not use any tobacco products, alcoholic beverages or controlled substances at any game sites or on any ISS school grounds.
Student-athletes who violate rules and regulations in regards to tobacco, alcohol, and illegal drugs are subject to consequences as outlined in the Student Code of Conduct as well as athletic consequences from the coach.
ISS engages in random drug testing of student-athletes in grades 9-12. This policy was developed to serve as a determent for drug use among student-athletes, as well as to identify those with problems and offer support. This program was not designed to be punitive. The entire policy can be found on the ISS web-site under Board Policy 3623/4343. It is also mentioned on the first page of the ISS athletic permission/physical form and requires a parent/guardian signature.
Hazing and Initiations
Initiations to be a member of an athletic team are prohibited. Initiations can lead to a more serious situation of hazing, which is defined as deliberately subjecting another person to physical injury as part of an initiation or prerequisite for membership (HB 171) and it is against NC law (G.S. 14.35). Regardless of a student’s willingness to participate, hazing and other humiliating activities expected of a student to belong to a team or group, have many negative consequences. Incidents of hazing could lead to suspension or expulsion, depending on the seriousness of the act.
Note: The above guidelines are taken from the NCHSAA and DPI athletic manuals, as well as local ISS policies. In addition, every school has sport specific guidelines that are established by the school’s athletic department. Participating in interscholastic athletics is a privilege not a right, and every school and ISS has the authority to determine who is allowed to participate based on meeting established eligibility criteria.