- Last Updated: 30 June 2021 30 June 2021
|Policies and Regulations||NEPN Code: JJI-R|
Student Athletics and Activities
Scholastic/Academic Eligibility for Athletics and Activities
- Preceding Semester. The student, unless he or she is entering high school for the first time, shall have successfully passed twenty hours of high school work per week, for which academic units of credit earned are used in the issuance of a diploma, for the preceding or for the most recent semester of attendance in any accredited high school. Seventh and eighth grade students participating in cross country, golf, gymnastics, tennis, track, or wrestling at the high school level must be passing the four core classes of mathematics, English, social studies and science, in order to participate. Enrollment in school for fifteen school days or participation in one or more contests shall constitute a semester in determining eligibility. However, the Board of Directors or Executive Director of the South Dakota High School Activities Association (SDHSAA) shall have the authority to waive the fifteen day attendance rule when and if a student withdraws from school after fifteen days of attendance as a result of an injury or illness and does not return to school for the remainder of the semester and the student does not receive any high school course credits.
- Current Semester. The student shall attend a minimum of twenty hours of high school work per week during the current semester for which academic units of credits earned are used in the issuance of a diploma. Online courses approved in advance by the high school principal for which units of credit earned are used in the issuance of a high school diploma may count towards the twenty hour academic eligibility requirement. Seventh and eighth grade students participating at the high school level must be full-time students.
- A student’s grades which are dependent upon completion of a project such as a vocational education project after the close of the academic school year shall be determined by the grade averages of record assuming satisfactory completion of the project.
- Beginning and Ending of a Semester. The first semester shall be considered as ending on midnight on the day before the second semester begins and the second semester shall be considered as starting on the first day classes are held in said semester. The actual ending of the second semester or school year, rather than the date of graduation exercises or diploma date, controls the determination when eligibility terminates. NOTE: Eligibility is extended to all students, including graduating seniors, whenever SDHSAA sanctioned events are held after the school year has been completed.
- Grades of Transfer Students. In the case of a student just transferred from another school the scholastic record from the former school shall be used for determining eligibility. The receiving school may not submit the name of a transfer student on the Master Eligibility list until the official transcript of grades is received from the former school and academic eligibility is verified.
- Students for whom an IEP is on file must be passing in twenty hours of credit bearing courses as determined by the monitor of the IEP.
- It should be remembered that determination of eligibility is the principal's responsibility. Students should be reminded, also, that they may be declared ineligible for reasons other than academic.
- Coaches/Directors are encouraged to work closely with students, teachers and the administration in monitoring student eligibility.
ISS/SAS/OSS and Absence from School Guidelines
- If a student is in ISS, SAS, or OSS, they will not be allowed to practice or compete on the day(s) of suspension. All ISS, SAS, and OSS obligations must be completed prior to participation in any practice, competition, performance, or activity.
- In order to practice or compete on a given day, participants must be present in school three consecutive periods prior to dismissal or at the discretion of the principal.
- It is the responsibility of the coach/director to monitor this on a daily basis during the season.
High School Athletics
The high school athletic program will offer equal opportunities for boys and girls in accordance with Title IX. If the District offers a boys’ team and a girls’ team in the same sport, whether the seasons are the same or not, boys must participate on boys’ teams and girls must participate on girls’ teams. This program is for high school students only, except in the sports of cross country, golf, gymnastics, tennis, track, and wrestling. Seventh and eighth grade students will be allowed to participate in the above listed sports provided they adhere to the Scholastic/Academic Eligibility Requirements for Athletics and Activities, ISS/OSS and Absence from School Guidelines, SDHSAA Eligibility Requirements, and Activity Rules, and complete the petition process as set forth in this document.
Athletic coaches shall have discretion for selecting and determining the participants of athletic teams.
Assessment of Interest
The assessment of interest will include, but is not limited to, results of a student survey or other information collected from students using a method that is designed to fully and accurately access unmet athletic interests and abilities in interscholastic sports among females, review of sports not offered by the District that are offered by other schools in the District’s competitive league, rates of participation in sports, review of information relating to team selection, review of requests (if any) to add a sport or level of a sport, review of elimination of any teams in the past 10 years, observations/assessments from coaches and staff during a sports season, prior participation of students in similar sports, general athletic ability and any other factor or information related to the athletic interests and abilities of District students.
The Coordinator of Athletics/Physical Education will annually recommend for employment adequate numbers of qualified coaches to properly teach and supervise the athletic programs.
Petition Process for 7th or 8th Grade Athlete to Compete at High School Level
Seventh or eighth grade students may be petitioned by their parent/guardian to compete in the SDHSAA sanctioned individual-based team athletic programs of cross country, gymnastics, and track and field at the varsity high school level if approval is granted as designated on the District form, “Petition Request for 7th or 8th Grade Athlete to Compete at the High School Level.” The following criteria will be taken into consideration for approval to be granted:
- Each individual case for advancement is considered on its own merit.
- The student is athletically, academically, socially and emotionally ready for advancement.
- The student demonstrates appropriate behavior in school and community.
- The student’s skill level, as documented on the petition form and as determined by all designated individuals on the petition form, is advanced enough to merit varsity competition.
- Transportation to and from practice is the responsibility of parent/guardian.
If, at any time following a student’s successful petition, any of the above criteria indicate that it is not in the student’s best interest to continue competing at the high school level, approval will be revoked by the Superintendent/designee and the respective high school activities principal. Approval may be revoked by the student’s parent/guardian for any reason at any time.
SDHSAA Eligibility Requirements
The following eligibility requirements are taken from the SDHSAA by-laws for athletics. Unless stated otherwise, these requirements will apply to all 7th and 8th grade students participating at the high school level in cross country, golf, gymnastics, tennis, track or wrestling.
- The following will clarify application of the above rules to the Sioux Falls situation:
- Division lines, based on residence, have been determined by the School Board for Lincoln, Roosevelt, and Washington high school students. Parents' residence as of the first day of school will determine the student's school assignment unless an open enrollment request is granted.
- A student is eligible at any high school, public or private, at the outset of 9th grade. Any subsequent transfer shall cause the student to be ineligible for one year with the exception of the circumstances detailed in Number 5 below or under SDHSAA Open Enrollment Eligibility Requirements Chapter II Section I (m) of the SDHSAA by-laws (Open Enrollment Eligibility Requirements). Any 7th or 8th grade cross country, golf, gymnastics, tennis, track or wrestling participant who has open enrolled from one middle school to another will participate at the high school in the attendance area in which the parent or legal guardian resides or the high school for which an open enrollment request is granted. Transportation to and from practice would be the responsibility of parent/guardian.
- Students transferring from a private high school located within the geographical boundaries of the Sioux Falls School District to Lincoln, Roosevelt, or Washington are ineligible for one year unless the transfer is under the Open Enrollment Eligibility Requirements.
- A student, who has been attending a private member school outside of Sioux Falls and whose parents reside in the Sioux Falls School District may return to the District, and is eligible for competition at the appropriate public school if the transfer is not under the Open Enrollment Eligibility Requirements.
- In the event parents change their residence from one Sioux Falls public school area to another, the student has the option of:
- remaining at the school where the student was enrolled.
- transferring to the public school in the area in which the new residence has been established.
In either case above, the student is eligible for competition in all activities following a ten-day waiting period. Students are eligible to compete on the eleventh school day. If students transfer and are in class the first day of a semester, there is no waiting period.
- Transfer rules - The following is the present interpretation of the transfer rule as applied to the Sioux Falls School District:
- When a student completes the eighth grade at one of the middle schools in the Sioux Falls public school system, the student can enroll in a public or private high school that is located within the geographical boundaries of the Sioux Falls School District at the outset of grade 9 and be eligible immediately.
- Pursuant to Chapter II, Part I, Section 1, subsection (m); Open Enrollment Students: Any student who transfers from one high school to another high school shall be eligible immediately to participate in inter-scholastic athletics provided such student has met the standards and time-lines for open enrollment. Students must complete SDHSAA Transfer of Eligibility “Open Enrollment Students” form in order to be considered for eligibility. Any subsequent transfer to another high school shall render the student ineligible for one year with one exception. The exception: In the event a student returns to his/her former school, where his/her parents reside, the student will not be eligible until the beginning of the following school year.
- The bylaw does not permit the student to transfer athletic eligibility within the Sioux Falls School District. Parents establish eligibility at the outset of grade 9. Any subsequent transfer will cause the student to be ineligible for one year with the exception of the circumstances detailed in Part A, Number 5, or Part B, Number 2 of this section of regulation JJI-R.
Middle School Athletics
- The middle school athletic program will offer equal opportunities for boys and girls in accordance with Title IX. If the District offers a boys’ team and a girls’ team in the same sport, whether the seasons are the same or not, boys must participate on boys’ teams, and girls must participate on girls’ teams.
- The Eligibility Requirements detailed in the High School Athletics and Activities portions of this regulation and the Activity Rules outlined in regulation JJAA-R shall apply to participation in middle school activity programs.
- All middle school students will be given the opportunity to participate in any sport within the program. No student will be cut from any squad in the middle school program.
- To allow maximum participation, reserve contests will be scheduled as needed. Team size may limit the length of playing time of each athlete.
- When more students than can be accommodated wish to participate in organized sports in a school, coaches will organize inter-squad games.
- The Coordinator, Athletics/Physical Education, will annually recommend for employment adequate numbers of qualified coaches to properly teach and supervise athletic programs.
- Athletic practice sessions shall be organized to provide students the opportunity to learn fundamental skills of the sport, as well as to develop qualities of sportsmanship.
- An award procedure will be uniform throughout the school system. Participation in the athletic program will be recognized in the same manner as other middle school activities.
- The guidelines and procedures outlined in the District Athletic Handbook shall be adhered to by all School District personnel.
- The most recent middle school athletic bulletins will be considered the current philosophy, rules, and regulations in effect for each middle school sport.
Activities are completely voluntary programs. Participation is not required for advancement or graduation. Therefore, to prevent adverse public reaction, prevent dissension in groups, and for the general welfare of groups and participants, activity rules will be enforced. For a complete list of rules and procedures, please refer to Board Policy/Regulation JJAA/JJAA-R - School Activity Rules.