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north carolina high school athletic association


2012-2013 Eligibility Summary, Rules & Regulations



“Discipline and diligence are up there on the list. But one of the most important qualities of many really successful people is humility – if you have a degree of humility about you, you have the ability to take advice, to be coachable, teachable. A humble person never stops learning.”

Todd Blackledge

  • Student may not participate if he/she becomes 19 years of age on or before August 31.
  • Must be in attendance 85%
    • cannot miss more than 13.5 days in the previous 90-day semester
  • This includes all absences
    • excused and unexcused
  • Attendance is regulated by local LEA policy in terms of length of day required to be counted in attendance.
  • Local attendance policy may be more stringent in terms of counting/earning credit for courses.
  • Must pass a minimum load of course work the previous semester to be eligible at any time during the semester. Any student, including seniors, must also pass the minimum load even if they need fewer courses for graduation.
  • All students must also meet local promotion standards, set by the L.E.A. and/or local school.
  • Courses must be approved for credit, (i.e., audited courses would not count).
  • Minimum load is defined as five (5) courses in the traditional school schedule.
  • Minimum load is defined as three (3) courses on the traditional 90 minute “block” schedule. This applies to all student athletes, including seniors.
  • If the school is on an A/B form of “block” scheduling, a student must pass six (6) of eight (8) courses during what would traditionally be defined as a semester.
  • No work previously passed by a student may be submitted as part of a minimum load.
  • A detailed example of the NCHSAA Academic Requirements, inclusive of HYBRID formats, can be found on page XX of the NCHSAA Handbook.
  • Local units may be more restrictive, but not less restrictive, in regards to the academic requirements of the NCHSAA.
  • Summer school work used to make up part of the minimum load must be applied to the most recent semester.
  • Credit for summer school work is the determination of the local unit.
  • A student not eligible at the beginning of the semester is not eligible at any time during the semester.
  • Exception: a student who receives an incomplete or is awaiting a final grade due to EOC re-testing or any other state mandated testing, which causes him/her to fail to meet minimum scholastic requirements is ineligible until the course is satisfactorily completed. Eligibility is restored immediately.
enrollment residence
  • Student must be a regularly enrolled member of the school’s student body.
  • Student must participate at the school to which he/she is assigned by the local board of education.
enrollment residence1
  • School assignment is based on the residence of the parent or legal custodian (court ordered custody, not guardian) within the administrative unit.
  • Student must live with the parents or legal custodian.
enrollment residence2
  • A “legal custodian” is a person or agency awarded legal, court-ordered custody of a child.
  • A student may not have two residences for eligibility purposes.
enrollment residence3

In order for a change of residence to be bona fide at least the following facts must exist:

  • The original residence must be abandoned as a residence; that is sold, rented or disposed of as a residence and must not be used as residence by any member of the family.
  • The entire family must make the change and take with them the household goods and furniture appropriate to the circumstances.
  • The change must be made with intent that the move is permanent.
enrollment residence4
  • Transfers within the same administrative unit may be governed by the local board of education.
  • A student transferred from one administrative unit to another by mutual agreement is immediately eligible, for athletic participation in the receiving unit, if eligible in all other respects.
enrollment residence5
  • Student must be properly enrolled at the member school no later than the 15th day of the present semester, and must be in regular attendance at that school.
  • No student may participate at a second school in the same sport season except in the event of a bona fide change of residence of the parent(s) or legal custodian. Change of schools must be contemporaneous with change of residence.
enrollment residence6

A student is eligible at their assigned school if he/she attended school within that administrative unit the previous two (2) semesters, provided it meets LEA policy.

nchsaa regulations
  • Falsification of information in terms of eligibility will result in the student athlete(s) being declared ineligible for a period of 365 days from the point of notification to the NCHSAA.
  • Student athlete will be prohibited from involvement in all athletic-related activity for the 180-day school year and any school-sponsored activity(s) during the summer.
medical requirements
  • Student must receive a medical examination once every 365 days by a duly licensed physician, nurse practitioner, or physicians assistant.
  • Students absent from athletic practice for five (5) or more days due to illness or injury shall receive a medical release by a physician licensed to practice medicine before re-admittance to practice or contests.
nchsaa regulations1
  • No student may be eligible to participate at the high school level for a period lasting longer than eight (8) consecutive semesters, beginning with the student’s first entry into ninth grade or an over-aged seventh or eight grade student’s participation on a high school team, whichever occurs first.
nchsaa regulations2
  • No student may participate at the high school level for more than four (4) seasons in a sport (one season per year, i.e., A student could not play fall women’s soccer in one state and then play NCHSAA women’s soccer in the spring).
nchsaa regulations3
  • A student must not be convicted of a felony in this or any other state, or be adjudicated as a delinquent for an offense that would be a felony if committed by an adult in this or any other state.
nchsaa regulations4
  • A student may not play, practice or be on the roster if ineligible.
  • This does not apply to summer workouts, but the student should be enrolled in your school.
  • Managers, statisticians, etc. do not have to meet NCHSAA eligibility standards.
  • There shall be no Sunday practice in any sport. This includes the assembling of athletic squads (full teams or selected individuals) for purposes ofviewing films, chalk talks, or other materials pertaining to the coaching of the team.
nchsaa regulations5
  • A student may not dress for a game or scrimmage when he/she is not eligible to participate in the game.
  • If serving an “ejection”, student may be in the bench area but may not be in uniform.
  • If ejected, coach may not be on the premises during the contest and is not allowed to communicate with the coaches/team during the contest.
nchsaa regulations6
  • To maintain amateur status, a student must not accept money or awards having utilitarian value (golf balls, clubs, tennis rackets, etc.) for participation in athletics. A student may accept an award (gift certificate/food coupon), each sport season, that does not exceed a value of $20.00.
  • A student must not have signed a professional contract or played on a junior college /community college team.
nchsaa regulations7
  • Un-sanctioned Sports/Activities
    • Schools may sponsor teams in sports not sanctioned by the NCHSAA (e.g. gymnastics, weightlifting, women’s field hockey, men’s volleyball).
    • Even though such sports are not sanctioned by the NCHSAA, member schools should work, wherever possible, to adhere to the ideals and guidelines established by the NCHSAA for their member schools in sports which they do sanction. The need to promote sportsmanship, to protect instructional time, or the physiological and emotional needs of maturing teens should not disappear simply because it is not a sport sanctioned by the NCHSAA.
school requirements
  • Each coach must sign off on the eligibility summary form that is signed by the principal and/or athletics director.
  • Master Eligibility sheets are to be shared with each member school of your conference for each sport program.
  • A mandatory parent/guardian meeting must be held to have the parent sign the parental permission form to acknowledge eligibility and sportsmanship policies/expectations have been reviewed.
coaches certification requirement
Coaches Certification Requirement
  • All non-faculty (non-teaching certified personnel) and all newly hired coaches (new to your LEA) must complete the NFHS “FUNDAMENTALS OF COACHING” certification course within sixty (60) days of hire. This is for head coaches and assistant coaches.
  • If currently a non-faculty coach, certification course must be completed prior to first day of practice.
  • Course is an online offering through the National Federation (NFHS). To access and complete the course, go to . Cost of course is $35 and is a one-time completion requirement to be nationally certified.
  • NCHSAA Board of Directors has recommended 100% of coaching staff(s) complete the “FUNDAMENTALS OF COACHING” certification in three (3) years. Target date is August 1, 2015.
nchsaa regulations8
  • UNPAID FINES – Schools that have unpaid fines to the NCHSAA are not eligible to compete in the playoffs for that sport (i.e. baseball fine would be specific to baseball playoffs) unless the fine is paid two (2) days prior to the playoff reporting date for that sport.
  • Any fine not paid at the end of the fiscal year (June 30) will carry over to the following school year making all teams at said school ineligible for playoffs until the fine is paid in full.
nchsaa regulations9
  • Tobacco Products, Alcoholic Beverages and Controlled Substances at Game Site:

“Participants, coaches, and other team representatives and game officials, including chain crew, official scorers and timers, should not use any tobacco product, alcoholic beverage or controlled substance at a game site; violation of the policy will be disqualification from the contest.”

nchsaa regulations10
  • Any head coach who has a student-athlete ejected for fighting, must take the NFHS “Teaching & Modeling Behavior” course before returning to coaching.
  • Cost of the program is $20.00. Fax copy of certificate to Mark Dreibelbis @919/240-7396. FAILURE TO DO SO WILL RESULT IN FORFEITURE AND A $500.00 FINE.
  • This is in addition to the EJECTION POLICY criteria sanctions as stated in the NCHSAA Handbook.
player coach ejection or disqualification
Player/coach ejection or Disqualification
  • Any student athlete and/or coach who is ejected or disqualified for unsporting action must complete the STAR SPORTSMANSHIP program before being eligible to return to competition. Cost of the program is $7.00 to the school.
  • Fax a copy of the STAR SPORTSMANSHIP CERTIFICATE to Mark Dreibelbis @
  • 919/240-7396.
ejection policy
  • FLAGRANT CONTACT added as a provision to the ejection policy.
  • Flagrant contact includes, but is not limited to combative acts such as:
    • Maliciously running over the catcher/fielder without attempt to avoid contact
    • Excessive contact out-of-bounds or away from playing action that is unwarranted and extreme in nature
    • Tackling/taking down a player dangerously in a malicious manner
    • Illegally hitting or cross-checking an opponent in an excessive manner with the Lacrosse stick (crosse)
  • Flagrant Contact carries same penalty as all other NCHSAA Ejection Policy criteria – 1 game in football and 2 games in all other sports.
  • When the combative act causes an opponent to retaliate, it is a fight and carries a double penalty.
sports medicine concussions
  • A concussion is a traumatic injury to the brain and presents a wide variety of signs and symptoms
    • Headache
    • Confusion
    • Amnesia (not remembering events before or after the injury)
    • Vision changes
    • Loss of consciousness
    • Dizziness
    • Irritability/emotional changes (inappropriate or atypical crying, laughing, etc)
    • Nausea/vomiting
    • Fatigue/feeling sluggish/slow/’foggy’
    • Having “bell rung’
    • Excessive fatigue/drowsiness
  • ANY sign/symptom after a blow to the head is a concussion until proven otherwise
sports medicine concussion
  • A high school athlete should NEVER return to play on the day they suffer a concussion
    • Returning an athlete to play before complete resolution of symptoms can lead to recurrent concussion, prolonged post-concussion symptoms, OR even ‘Second Impact Syndrome’ (which is often fatal)
sports medicine gfeller waller concussion law
SPORTS MEDICINE: Gfeller-Waller Concussion Law
  • An athlete with suspected concussion cannot return to play until he/she is cleared by a licensed medical physician
  • The Return to Play Form must be presented prior to practicing and/or playing again
  • Athletes, parents, coaches and all involved with program must receive education regarding signs and symptoms of concussions
  • All must sign a form indicating the education session has been conducted
  • All schools must develop and post an Emergency Action Plan (EAP)
  • Note: This information, along with the necessary forms are available on NCHSAA web site
sports medicine concussions1

Managing concussions is difficult even for well-trained and experienced medical providers. Coaches, you do not want this responsibility (or liability).

Take home point: At the end of the day, it’s not an athlete’s knee, ankle, or elbow… it’s his or her brain and you cannot get this one wrong…

sports medecine concussions
  • An online coach education course – “Concussion in Sports – What You Need to Know “ is now available from the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) at
  • The course provides a guide to understanding, recognizing, and properly managing concussion in high school sports. The course is FREE, but you must register at
  • The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has endorsed the course and has provided many useful resources.
sports medicine heart issues
  • Sudden cardiac death occurs in young athletes for a variety of reasons:
    • Most are due to genetic abnormalities of heart rhythms or heart anatomy
    • Drugs can trigger cardiac arrest (cocaine, stimulants, anabolic steroids, and ephedrine are common culprits)
    • Heat stroke can lead to cardiac arrest
    • Viral illnesses can cause ‘myocarditis’ (infection of the heart muscle) which can cause sudden cardiac arrest
    • Sickle cell trait makes athletes more likely to have sudden cardiac arrest (more common in African-Americans)
sports medicine heart issues1

There are red flags which can tip us off to undiagnosed heart problems:

  • Chest pain with exertion
  • Passing out/fainting from exertion – this is not normal or due to being ‘out of shape’
  • Family history of a sudden cardiac death or unexplained death before age 50

Take home point: Any athlete who passes out or has chest pain with exertion needs a medical evaluation

sports medicine respiratory issues asthma
  • Asthma attacks remain a leading cause of death among young people
  • Be aware of common asthma triggers:
    • Respiratory infections
    • Both extreme heat/humidity and cold/dry
    • Pollen & other allergens

Take home point: Know who your asthmatic athletes are & make sure they have accessible inhalers

sports medicine heat illness
  • Death from heat illness is preventable
  • Hydration is only one part of the solution
  • Know who is at increased risk
    • Obese, out of shape athletes
    • Athletes with fever or recent stomach or respiratory infections
    • Athletes with sickle cell trait
    • Athletes with history of prior heat illness
    • Athletes on illicit drugs, ADD meds, or supplements w/ stimulants
sports medicine heat illness1
  • Prevention is key
  • Be aware of heat index (see handbook/website)
    • General Rules when using WBGT Index:
      • < 80 F: Unlimited activity; cautious with new or unconditioned athletes
      • 80 – 84.9 F: Normal practice; closely monitor all if extreme exertion
      • 85 – 87.9 F: New & unconditioned athletes should not practice; frequent rest for all others
      • 88 – 89.9 F: Constant observation of all; remove pads and equipment
      • >89.9 F: SUSPEND practice
  • Practice at cooler times when feasible (mornings, evenings)
sports medicine heat illness2
  • Allow athletes/teams to acclimate and become accustomed to heat over time
  • Allow regular breaks for cooling and hydration
  • A “Kiddie” pool on the sidelines is strongly recommended
  • Monitor body weight pre/post practice
  • Recognize early and initiate cooling immediately
    • confusion, collapse, nausea/vomiting
sports medicine neck injuries
  • Cervical spine injuries are typically caused by contact with a forward flexed neck
    • ‘spearing’ position
  • Any numbness/tingling in BOTH arms is suspicious for a cervical spine injury
    • a ‘stinger’ never causes burning in both arms

Take Home Point: Any suspected cervical spine injury should be immobilized and evaluated by medical personnel

sports medicine skin infections
  • Skin infections are common in contact sports
  • Most skin infections are relatively minor and self-limited
  • Resistant staph infections (MRSA) have become quite common and can be severe
  • Skin infections are spread by skin-to-skin contact, sharing pads/equipment/work-out gear, dirty equipment
  • Any boil or abscess needs medical evaluation
sports medicine skin infections1

Take home point: the vast majority of skin infections can be prevented by good hygiene

  • Shower right after every practice & game
  • Do not share equipment, pads, work-out clothes, towels, etc
  • Wash hands frequently with soap/water or anti-bacterial towels/gels
  • Wash equipment, mats, clothes, towels, etc regularly
mandatory question answer session
Mandatory Question & Answer Session

1. Can you play sports at one school while enrolled and attending another school?

2. What are the rules regarding a physical examination

3. Can a student participate in 2 sports in the same season (i.e. football and soccer)?

  • What are the seven criteria for an ejection?
mandatory question answer session1
Mandatory Question & Answer Session
  • 5. Are “home-schoolers” eligible to participate in athletics at NCHSAA member schools?
  • Can open gym and skill development be held on the same day?
  • Are certified athletic trainers required to attend practices and games? If so, which sports?
mandatory question answer session2
Mandatory Question & Answer Session
  • 8. If I am an NCHSAA member school coach, and also coach an outside team such as select soccer, AAU basketball, fall baseball, are there restrictions with working with my high school team members outside the high school season? If so what are they?
  • 9. What is the minimum number of courses a student must pass at your school to be eligible to participate in athletics?
mandatory question answer session3
Mandatory Question & Answer Session
  • What is the minimum number of courses a student must take at your school to be eligible to participate in athletics?
  • What is the age cut-off date (turning 19 years of age) for participation in athletics in North Carolina?
  • Can you participate in the same sport for two different schools during the same season? If so, how?
mandatory question answer session4
Mandatory Question & Answer Session
  • 13. What is the maximum monetary value of an award, an athlete can receive and retain their amateur status?
  • Are 8th-graders allowed to participate on your high school team? What about practice?
  • If a senior only needs 3 classes his senior year to graduate and takes 2 during the fall semester, is he/she eligible to participate in athletics during the spring semester?
mandatory question answer session5
Mandatory Question & Answer Session

16. At which school would a student be eligible if the parents are separated, but have legal joint custody?

  • 17. What are the rules regarding a physical examination?
  • 18. What is the NCHSAA promotion policy?
  • 19. Who are your representatives on the NCHSAA Board of Directors?
  • Where are the NCHSAA offices located?
  • Answers will be sent to Athletic Directors for discussion with all coaches