UHS Student-Athlete Eligiblity

In order to be eligible to participate in athletics a student must

  • live within the University High School attendance zone
  • must have a 2.0 unweighted cumulative GPA or higher
  • must have a completed and up-to-date athletic physical packet on file with the athletic trainer
  • must not have exceeded the age of 19 years old prior to September 1st
  • must not have exceeded 4 years of eligibility after they 1st entered the 9th grade

Below are sections from the FHSAA hand book regarding eligibility

 3.5.2.1  Eligibility of Student-Athletes. A member school must certify the eligibility of all student-athletes. The school must not permit a student-athlete to participate in interscholastic competition unless the student-athlete meets all eligibility requirements.

OPERATIONAL BYLAW, ARTICLE 9

9.1  GENERAL PRINCIPLES

9.1.1  Participation in Interscholastic Athletics a Privilege. Participation in interscholastic athletic programs by a student is a privilege, not a right. Students who participate are required to meet the requirements established in state law, FHSAA regulations, and by their respective schools.

9.1.1.1  Local Rules May Be More Stringent. Schools and /or school districts may adopt more stringent rules for the students under their supervision. No school or school district, however, may adopt rules that are less stringent than those of the FHSAA.

9.1.2  School Responsible to Ensure Student Eligibility. A school must not permit a student to represent it in interscholastic athletic competition unless the student meets all eligibility requirements and the school has certified the student’s eligibility to the FHSAA Office.

9.1.2.1  Ineligible Student. An ineligible student shall not be allowed on the players’ bench, in the team box or on the field of play wearing any portion of a team uniform.

9.1.2.2  Falsification of Information. A student and/or parent/legal guardian appointed by a court of competentjurisdiction who falsifies informationto gain eligibility shall be declared ineligible to represent any member school for a period of one year from the date of discovery.

9.1.2.3  Eligibility of Recruited Students. A student may be declared ineligible based on violation of recruiting rules if (§ 1006.20(2)(b)4, F.S.):

(a) The student or parent/legal guardian appointed by a court of competent jurisdiction has falsified any enrollment or eligibility document; or

(b) The student or parent/legal guardian appointed by a court of competent jurisdiction accepted any benefit or any promiseof benefit if such benefit is not generally available to the school’s students or family members; or

(c) The student accepted any benefit if such benefit is not generally available to all of the school’s students or family members or is based in any way on athletic interest, potential, or performance.

9.1.3  Rationale for Eligibility Standards. Eligibility rules are necessary for participation in interscholastic athletics because:

(a) They protect the opportunities of qualified students to participate; and

(b) They promote competitive equity among schools; and

(c) They encourage academic achievement by student-athletes.

9.2  ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENTS

9.2.1  Student May Participate at School he/she First Attends Each School Year. A student must attend school and is immediately eligible to participate in the interscholastic athletic programs sponsored by the school he/she attends each school year, which is either: (§ 1006.20(2)(a), F.S.)

(a) The school where the student first attends classes (i.e. establishes school residency); 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 (i.e. establishes school residency); or

(c) The school the student transfers to after previously attending another school (reference Bylaw 9.3.2).

9.2.1.1  Definition of “Attend School.” A student attends school if he/she is present in a school classroom on a regular basis or is a “Non-Traditional” student participating for a member school. A student can attend only one school at a time for the purposes of interscholastic athletic eligibility.

9.2.1.2  Definition of “Interscholastic Athletic Programs.” Interscholastic athletic programs encompass all activities relating to competitive sport contests involving individual students or teams of students from one school against individual students or teams of students from another school. Eligible to participate includes, but are not limited to, tryouts, off-season conditioning, summer workouts, preseason conditioning, in-season practice and contests. This does not mean that a student must be placed on any specific team (§ 1006.15(3)(a), F.S.).

9.2.1.3  Students with Multiple Residences. A student 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.

9.4  ACADEMIC REQUIREMENTS

9.4.1  2.0 GPA Required for Academic Eligibility. A middle/junior high student must have 2.0 GPA, or the equivalentof a 2.0 GPA based on a 4.0 scale, at the conclusion of each semester. A high school student must have a cumulative 2.0 grade point average on a 4.0 unweighted scale, or its equivalent, at the conclusion of each semester to be academically eligible during the next semester (§ 1006.15(3)(a)1, F.S.). Final grades previously earned by the student from another school shall not be converted using the scale in Bylaw 9.4.2.

9.4.1.1  Courses to be Used in Calculating GPA. The grades from all courses that a student takes, including those high school level courses taken by the student before he/she begins high school, must be included in the calculation of the student’s cumulative GPA at the conclusion of each semester. For public school students, this includes the courses listed in § 1003.4282, F.S..

9.4.1.2  Academic Eligibility/Ineligibility is for a Semester. A student who is academically eligible at the beginning of a semester will continue to be academically eligible for that entire semester. Likewise, a student who is academically ineligible at the beginning of a semester will continue to be academically ineligible for that entire semester, except as provided in Bylaw 9.4.5.1.2. The student’s academic eligibility for each successive semester will depend upon his/her cumulative GPA at the conclusion of the previous semester.

9.4.1.3  Attendance During Previous Two Consecutive Semesters Required. A student cannot be academically eligible if he/she has not attended school and received grades for all courses taken during the previous two consecutive full semesters.

9.4.1.3.1  Exception. A student who begins the school year at a FHSAA member school, after completing the full school year in their former country coinciding with the end of the first semester of the FHSAA member school’s previous academic year, may be eligible.

9.4.1.4  Exception – First Semester Attendance. A first-year 6th grade student attending a middle school or combination school beginning with the 6th grade, a first year 7th grade student attending a junior high school or combination school beginning with the 7th grade or any student, entering the ninth grade for the first time, is academically eligible during his/her first semester of middle school, junior high school or high school attendance. The student, however, must meet the provisions of Bylaw 9.4.1 at the conclusion of his/her first semester of attendance to be academically eligible to participate during his/her next semester of attendance.

9.4.1.5  Academic Performance Contract. A student whose cumulative GPA falls below 2.0, or its equivalent, on a 4.0 scale in the courses required by § 1003.4282, F.S., must execute and fulfill the requirements of an Academic Performance Contract between the student, the school, and the student’s parent(s) or legal guardian(s) duly appointed by a court of competent jurisdiction, which at a minimum must require that the student attend summer school, or its graded equivalent (i.e. adult education, Florida Virtual School, etc.), between grades 9 and 10 or grades 10 and 11, as necessary. (§ 1006.15(3)(a)2, F.S.).

9.4.1.5.1 Students who qualify for an academic performance contract must have sat out of competition the full semester immediately following becoming academically ineligible, regardless of the level of participation (i.e. varsity, sub-varsity, middle school, etc.); during which time, or thereafter, the student must have entered into and fulfilled the requirements of the contract before participating in interscholastic competition the subsequent semester.

9.4.1.6  Using Semester GPA for Ninth and Tenth Grade. A student who is academically ineligible during the second semester of ninth grade (i.e. became ineligible at the conclusion of the first semester of ninth grade) or during the first semester of tenth grade (i.e. became ineligible at the conclusion of the second semester of ninth grade) and does not regain a cumulative 2.0 GPA at the conclusion of the semester of ineligibility may be granted academic eligibility for the next semester if all of the following conditions are met:

(a) The student signs an academic performance contract with his/her school as per Bylaw 9.4.1.5; and

(b) The student sits out the semester of ineligibility; and

(c) The student earns a 2.0 GPA on a 4.0 unweighted scale in all courses taken during the semester of ineligibility.

9.4.1.7  No Exceptions During the 11th and 12th Grade. Once a student has completed 10th grade, he/she must have the cumulative 2.0 GPA as required by Bylaw 9.4.1 for the remainder of his/her high school career (§ 1006.15(3)(a)3, F.S.).

9.4.1.8  Students in Dual Enrollment or Early Admission Programs. Students who participate in dual enrollment programs or early admission programs must have the cumulative 2.0 GPA as required in Bylaw 9.4.1 to be academically eligible.

9.4.1.9  Student Not Eligible for One Full Semester if Transcript Cannot be Obtained. A student 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 GPA. The school must submit a written report to the FHSAA Office that includes the student’s name, date of first attendance in the school, and the beginning and ending dates of the previous semester.

9.4.2  Mandatory Grading Scale to be used in Calculating GPA. All member schools must use the following alphabetical grading scale as mandated in § 1003.437, F.S., when calculating the grade point averages of high school students to determine their academic eligibility:

• Grade “A” is 90 to 100 percent and has a GPA value of 4;

• Grade “B” is 80 to 89 percent and has a GPA value of 3;

• Grade “C” is 70 to 79 percent and has a GPA value of 2;

• Grade “D” is 60 to 69 percent and has a GPA value of 1; and

• Grade “F” is 59 percent or less and has a GPA value of 0.

9.4.2.1  Incomplete Grade is a Failure. An incomplete grade must be counted as a failure (Grade “F”) when calculating a student’s cumulative GPA.

9.4.3  Effect of Summer School or its Graded Equivalent Courses on Cumulative GPA. A student may raise or lower his/her cumulative GPA by attending summer school or its graded equivalent if:

(a) The summer school or its graded equivalent is regularly scheduled and regularly organized under the direction of a district school board or private school;

(b) All coursework taken by the student is completed before the first day of classes in the subsequent semester; and

(c) All courses taken by the student, in which he/she receives a grade, whether during the regular academic year or summer school, or its graded equivalent, must be used to calculate the student’s cumulative GPA.

9.4.3.1  “Forgiveness.” If a student repeats a course, regardless of whether he/she passed or failed the course on the first attempt in which the student earned a “D” or “F,” or the equivalent of a grade of “D” or “F,” the grade may be replaced with a grade of “C” or higher, or the equivalent of a grade of “C” or higher, provided for required courses the course is the same or comparable course, or with a grade of “C” or higher, or the equivalent of a grade of “C” or higher for an elective course and that grade will be used to calculate the student’s cumulative GPA (§ 1003.4282(5), note, F.S.).

9.4.3.1.1  Grade GPA Calculation. For the purposes of GPA calculation, each subsequent unsuccessful attempt on a course taken for forgiveness will not be computed in the calculations. One successful attempt will over write the original grade and all previous unsuccessful attempts.

9.4.3.2  Course Taught by Private Tutor Cannot be Used to Raise GPA. A school cannot accept a grade received by a student in a class conducted by a private certified tutor to raise his/her cumulative GPA for academic eligibility purposes.

9.4.4  Determination of Academic Eligibility at Conclusion of Each Semester. A school must calculate the cumulative GPA of a student at the conclusion of each semester to determine the student’s academic eligibility for the next semester.Only those grades that are first reported by the student’s teachers at the conclusion of the semester can be used to calculate the student’s cumulative GPA.

9.4.4.1  Definition of “First Reported.” “First reported” means the grades that are originally submitted by the student’s teachers at the conclusion of the semester. Changes to grades that are first reported by a student’s teachers may only be made according to the published policies of the school.

9.4.5  Course Work must be Completed by First Day of Next Semester. A student must complete all work required to earn credit in a course taken during a semester by the first day of the next semester. A grade of “incomplete” must be considered a failing grade when calculating a student’s cumulative GPA.

9.4.5.1  Considerations

9.4.5.1.1  Special Course Work That Cannot be Completed by First Day of Next Semester.An exception to Bylaw 9.4.5 is made for students taking courses such as agriculture, which have special projects that cannot be completed until late summer.

9.4.5.1.2  Work Not Completed Due to Illness or Excused Absence. A student who is academically ineligible because of a failure to complete his/her course work by the first day of the next semester due to an extended illness, supported by a physician’s report, or other excused absence may have his/her academic eligibility restored once the course work is completed and the student receives a passing grade that raises his/her cumulative GPA to 2.0 or above. A school must notify the FHSAA Office in writing whenever this occurs.

9.4.6  Change in Eligibility Status. If a student’s academic eligibility changes at the end of a semester, the student will become eligible or ineligible on the sixth school day of the next semester as published on the school’s official calendar for that school year. Even if the last day of the semester coincides with the last day of school for the winter holidays, the student will not become eligible or ineligible until the sixth school day of the next semester that follows the winter holidays as published on the school’s official calendar for that school year.

9.4.7  Student Must be an Undergraduate. A student must not have completed the terminal grade of high school in the secondary education system of the U.S. or any other country. The terminal grade of the student is based on the graduation requirements of the country the student last attended school, including the completion of the GED or its equivalent.

9.5  LIMIT OF ELIGIBILITY

9.5.1  High School Student Has Eight Semesters of Eligibility. A student is limited to eight consecutive semesters of eligibility beginning with semester he/she begins ninth grade for the first time. This does not imply that the student has eight semesters of participation. After eight consecutive semesters, the student is permanently ineligible.

9.5.1.1  Student Whose Limit of Eligibility Expires During Sports Season. A student whose eight-semester limit of eligibility expires during the season of a sport in which the student is participating may complete the season if the student continues to meet all other eligibility requirements. The student, however, will not be permitted to participate in any other sport that begins after his/her limit of eligibility has expired.

9.5.1.2  Participation Prior to High School Does Not Affect Limit of Eligibility. A student’s eight-semester limit of high school eligibility is not affected by the student’s participation in interscholastic athletics before beginning the ninth grade for the first time.

9.5.1.3  Exception. A student who begins the school year at a FHSAA member school, after completing the full school year in their former country coinciding with the end of the first semester of the FHSAA member school’s previous academic year, will not have their limit of eligibility impacted by the missed semester.

9.6  AGE

9.6.1  High School Age Limit. A student who reaches the age of 19 prior to September 1st shall become permanently ineligible.

9.6.4  School Must Verify Age of Student. A school must verify the age of each student who represents it in interscholastic athletic competition. The student must provide documented proof of his/her age for this purpose. A student who is unable to provide documented proof of his/her age cannot participate.

9.6.4.1  What is Documented Proof of Age? Documented proof of age is one or more of the following:

(a) An original birth certificate issued by the office of vital records in the country, province, state, county or city where the student was born;

(b) A passport, visa, “green card” or “Employment Authorization Document” (EAD Card) that lists the student’s date of birth; or

(c) An official record of birth from the hospital in which the student was born.