The PIAA adopts new provision to address transfers

MECHANICSBURG – On Wednesday, the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association adopted a new provision to the existing eligibility rules to address students that move from school to school.

The provision is the 10th modification to the PIAA by-laws that has been made since the Board of Directors initiated a thorough review of the transfer rules that their implication upon competitive balance. In the first 15 months of its establishment, the PIAA’s Competition Committee has intiated the following changes:

• Overhauled the athletic transfer waiver request form used by transferring students.

• Adopted a mandatory 21 day sit-out for in-season transfers.

• Adopted a provision establishing that a transferring student who was eligible to participate in 50 percent of maximum number of contests before transfer is not further eligible that season.

• Adopted a Competitive Classification formula to add a success factor if caused by transferring students to determine new classifications in football and basketball.

• Adopted definitions of open gyms, and limited the number of times they may be utilized per week during the school year and prohibited school affiliated/related competition within 10 days before the start of practice in each sport season.

• Mandated timely submission of eligibility lists per sport season and established a penalty for non-compliance.

• Developed an eligibility portal to track and view all school transfers.

• Adopted a one-year postseason ban for students who transfer after completing their 10th grade sport season.

• Adopted hardship provisions exceptions that would permit eligibility for new transfers, with guidelines as to what types of actions are acceptable.

• Established a compliance committee to be used to review schools’ adherence to PIAA policies and investigate abuse by the rules.

According to the statement by PIAA Executive Director Dr. Bob Lombardi, the PIAA recognizes that a number of public schools have concerns relating to competition between thos schools and schools of choice.

“PIAA believes that these changes are part of the process in addressing these concerns,” the statement released by the PIAA said.

In the statement, President of PIAA and Superintendent of Shamokin James Zack said, “PIAA recognizes the challenges of having member schools compete against each other. The lack of enrollment boundaries, success and perceived competitive advantage over other schools are major issues of which the Board of Directors is well aware and actively pursuing equitable resolution.”

“Through the process of representative democracy that allows all consituencies their voice at the Board level, we believe co-operation, not discrimination, is the correct path to find solutions to make competition equitable,” Zack added.