The following was taken from the MSHSAA Guide.
Eligibility to represent a school in interscholastic activities is a privilege students may attain by meeting the essential eligibility requirements established by member schools through this association and any additional requirements set by a member school for its own students.
Students who represent a school in interscholastic activities must be a credible citizen and judged so by the proper authority. Those students whose character or conduct is such as to reflect discredit upon themselves or their schools are not considered "creditable citizens."
SCHOOL - Each school shall diligently and completely investigate any issue that could affect student eligibility.
LAW ENFORCEMENT - A student who commits an act for which charges may be or have been filed by law enforcement authorities under any municipal ordinance, misdemeanor or felony statute shall not be eligible until all proceedings with the legal system have been concluded and any penalty (i.e. jail time, fine, court cost, etc.) or special condition of probation (i.e. restitution, community service, counseling, etc.) has been satisfied. If law enforcement authorities determine that charges will not be filed, eligibility will be contingent upon local school policy. Minor moving traffic offenses shall not affect eligibility, unless they involve drugs, alcohol, or injuries. After a student has completed all court appearances and penalties, and satisfied all special conditions of probation and remains under general probation only, local school authorities shall determine eligibility.
STUDENT RESPONSIBILITY - Each student is responsible to notify the school of any and all situations that would affect his/her eligibility under the above standards. If the student does not notify the school of the situation prior to the school's discovery, then the student shall be ineligible for 365 days from the discovery, pending review by the Board Of Directors. The school would have to forfeit all contests in which the ineligible individual competed.
Grades 9 - 12
Students must take a minimum of five classes and are required to pass all classes in which they are enrolled. Credits earned or completed after the close of the semester, or in summer school, will not fulfill this requirement.
Students must be enrolled in a normal course load for their grade at the member school.
Students must have been promoted to a higher grade at the end of the previous year. However, even though they may have been promoted, they will be ineligible if they failed more than one course the previous semester.
3. Transferring Schools
If students transfer schools and their parents do not move into the district of their new school, they will be ineligible for 365 days - unless they meet one of the exceptions listed in the MSHSAA Residence and Transfer Rules.
If students move with their parents to their new school district, they will be eligible at their new school provided they were eligible in all other respects at their former school. A student shall not be eligible to represent two different schools in the MSHSAA state tournament series in the same sport during the same season.
Students should always check with their school principal before they transfer to determine whether it will affect their eligibility.
4. Participation Limits
Students are eligible to participate in any sport for a maximum of four seasons. Any part of a contest played during a season counts as a season of participation.
Students' eligibility to participate in high school activities begins when they first enter the ninth grade and lasts for the next succeeding four consecutive years (eight consecutive semesters).
Students are eligible for only their first two semesters of attendance in the seventh grade and for only their first two semesters in the eighth grade.
Students are not eligible to compete with or against students enrolled in the tenth grade or above when they are enrolled in either the seventh or eighth grade.
NOTE: Students should check with their school principal for exceptions to this rule if they are ineligible for their grade level because of age.
5. Entering School
Students must enter school within the first 11 days of the semester in order to be eligible.
6. Amateur And Awards Standards
An athlete must maintain "amateur standing" 365 days a year in the sport concerned in order to participate in interscholastic athletics - the following restrictions govern the receipt of awards in both interscholastic play AND non-school competition/participation.
After entering a member school, you will become ineligible in the sport concerned if you receive any of the following PROHIBITED awards for participating in an athletic contest or being an athlete:
- An award of cash, a gift-certificate/gift-card or an award that is the equivalent of cash is PROHIBITED for amateurs.
- Merchandise that exceeds a manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) of $100 is PROHIBITED for amateurs. However, there is no value limit in regard to awards that are symbolic in nature, such as medals, ribbons, trophies, plaques, etc.
- Awards should be approved in advance by the school.
- Commemorative jewelry may be presented by the school (i.e., championship ring or necklace) (no value limit).
7. Age Limits
If students reach 19 years of age prior to July 1, they will be ineligible the next school year.
Over-aged eighth graders may move up to the senior high team to have eight semesters of eligibility.
In order to participate on or against teams made up of only seventh graders, students must not have reached 14 years of age prior to July 1 preceding the opening of school.
In order to participate on or against teams made up of only eighth graders, students must not have reached 15 years of age prior to July 1 preceding the opening of school.
In order to participate on or against teams made up of only ninth graders, students must not have reached 16 years of age prior to July 1 preceding the opening of school.
However, students may participate with the next higher grade when they no longer meet the age limit for their grade.
NOTE: Students should check with their school principal for options available to them if they are ineligible for their grade level because of age.
8. Non-school Competition
Students are not allowed to play on an outside team (same season, same sport). Please note that golf, tennis, swimming/diving have exemptions. See athletic office for further information.
Students can play on an outside team (same season, different sport) only if they have received the proper permission from the school administration. See form 5.13.
Approval To Participate On Outside Team (Different Sport) During MSHSAA Athletic Season
- This form must be completed and submitted to the director of athletics prior to the start of the season.
- Request must be granted before non-school participation in conjunction with school participation is allowed.
- Request will be approved only if the following requirements are met:
- No school-sponsored contest (MSHSAA activity) will be missed.
- Practice sessions of the school's team will not be missed without advanced notice (at least three days) to the coach, which he/she must approve. Requests for absences from practices must not be excessive.
- No school instructional time will be missed unless approved by the principal two weeks in advance of contest.
- Any violations of these requirements will result in the student's immediate removal from the school's team and a possible ruling of ineligibility by MSHSAA for 365 days.
9. All-Star Games
(All-Star is defined as, but not limited to, when the selection process is based upon ability and/or no open tryouts are held.)
Students may not compete in an All-star game or contest before they complete their eligibility in each high school sport. Participation in an All-star game or contest before ending their high school eligibility will result in them becoming ineligible to participate in any high school sport.
A senior with no high school eligibility remaining for a specific sport may participate in one All-Star game for that sport during the school year. Students should see their administrator before agreeing to play.
10. Recruiting Of Athletes
Students will be ineligible for 365 days if they are influenced by a person or persons to attend upon promotion or transfer schools for athletic or activities purposes.
11. Transfer For Athletic Reasons
Students shall become ineligible for 365 days if they transfer to another school for athletic reasons, as defined in MSHSAA By-Law 238.
12. Sports Camps And Clinics
The seven days prior to the first allowable practice date for the season (starting Aug. 1 for fall sports) shall be a seasonal dead period in which no "contact" takes place between school coaches and students enrolled in the member school, or who will be enrolled in the member school during the coming school year.
Winter And Spring Sports:
There is a two-week dead period for camp/clinic attendance prior to the allowable practice date for the sport concerned.
During the school year outside of the school sport season, athletes may attend a non-school sponsored specialized sports camp or group instruction, provided it does not result in any loss of school time; attendance does not occur within 14 days of the start of the school sport season for the sport concerned; it is not a team camp; no competition occurs other than limited scrimmaging; and no member of the coaching staff of the school the athlete attends (or will attend) is involved in any way.
During the school sport season, an athlete may attend a non-school sponsored specialized sports camp or group instruction provided a school coach attends with the athlete; camp attendance does not result in any loss of school time; it is not a team camp; there is no competition other than limited scrimmaging; and a school administrator approves the athlete's participation.
The athletes or their parents must pay all camp/clinic fees, tuition and other related expenses. A scholarship, waiver of fees shall result in the loss of an athlete's eligibility. The school may provide transportation at no cost during the summer or during the school sport season.
Athletes may attend only ONE sport camp per sport during the school year by special invitation. They may attend any number of "open" sport camps.
Note: Before attending any specialized athletic camp(s)/clinic(s) or group sport instruction, athletes should consult with the principal or athletic director to make sure it meets the criteria published in the MSHSAA Official Handbook.
If students should commit an unsportsmanlike act while participating in an event, they could become ineligible.
If their conduct as a spectator is found to be unsportsmanlike, they could be barred from attending any further high school athletic contests.
The unsportsmanlike conduct of any spectator - regardless of age - could cause that spectator to be barred from attending school athletic contests.
Note: An infraction of a Missouri State High School Activities Association rule may result in the student-athlete being declared ineligible to represent his/her school in competition for a period of 365 days and in some cases longer.