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Did You Know?: FHSAA Bylaws and Policies, Part I [High-School Sports Best Practices Alert (Jan. 2014)]

Author: Michael L. Buckner, Esquire (Shareholder)

A world-class compliance program permits senior high schools, middle/junior high schools, combination schools, charter schools and virtual schools to monitor and affect decision making to achieve desired outcomes. Further, an effective compliance program reflects the state high school athletic association regulatory scheme in which a school must operate. Buckner begins an ongoing series reviewing bylaws and policies of the Florida High School Athletic Association. Buckner recommends FHSAA member schools develop and implement an effective compliance program to minimize rules-violations and promote ethical behavior.

Did you know?:

1. A member school principal’s responsibilities include:(a) sign membership renewal application; (b) assure that all contracts for interscholastic athletic competitions have been duly executed, including those entered into by a predecessor; (c) enforce FHSAA bylaws and policies in his/her school; (d) maintain institutional control of all phases of interscholastic athletic activities within a member school, including the activities of its student-athletes, booster clubs, parent groups, etc.; (e) keep on file all records required by the FHSAA for the current school year; and (f) keep all “Pre-participation Physical Evaluation” (EL2) and “Consent and Release from Liability Certificate” (EL3) forms required to be kept on file for at least seven (7) years. [Source: FHSAA Bylaw 6.1.1]

2. A member school is responsible for any violation of FHSAA Bylaw 6 (Authority and Responsibilities of the Principal) and/or FHSAA recruiting policies committed by any person associated with the school (including: the principal; assistant principals; athletics director; coaches; teachers; any other staff members or employees; students; parents; or any organizations having connection to the school (e.g., booster clubs). The member school is also responsible for a violation committed by any third party under the direction of the school or anyone associated with the school. [Source: FHSAA Bylaw 6.3.3]

3. A student-athlete who, through the actions of a court of competent jurisdiction, is required to have multiple physical residences will establish his/her school residence as per Bylaw 9.2.1. The bylaw states a student-athlete “must attend school, and may participate only in the interscholastic athletic programs sponsored by the school he/she first attends each school year, which is either: (s. 1006.20(2)(a), Florida Statutes) (a) The school where the student first attends classes; or (b) The school where the student first participates in athletic activities on or after the official start date of that sport season before he/she attends classes at any school.” [Source: FHSAA Bylaws 9.2.1 and 9.2.1.3]

4. A student-athlete must attend classes within the first 10 school days of a semester. If the student-athlete does not do so, then the student will not be eligible to compete in interscholastic competition until: (a) the student-athlete has made up all class work missed during his/her absence; and (b) the student-athlete has attended one school day for each school day missed. [Source: FHSAA Bylaw 9.2.3]

5. A transfer student-athlete whose former school cannot or will not provide an official sealed transcript will not be eligible in the new school until he/she has been in attendance for one full semester and has established a cumulative grade-point average (GPA). The member school must submit a written report to the FHSAA; the report must include the student’s name, date of first attendance in the school, and the beginning and ending dates of the previous semester. [Source: FHSAA Bylaw 9.3.3.3]

Contact Michael L. Buckner (954-941-1844; mbuckner@bucknersportslaw.com) for additional information on state high school athletic association rules.