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Transfer Rule Rationale

It is certain that the Michigan High School Athletic Association transfer rule is imperfect. However, whatever imperfections exist are effectively remedied through a process by which member school administrators may make application to the MHSAA Executive Committee to waive the rule if, in the committee’s opinion, the rule fails to serve any purpose for which it is intended or, in its sole discretion, the Executive Committee determines that application of the rule creates an undue hardship on the student. 

In a typical year, the Executive Committee will receive approximately 290 requests to waive the transfer regulation, approving approximately 60 percent of those requests.

The committee brings to its considerations the following rationale, most recently reviewed and reaffirmed on Aug. 2, 2017:

  1. The rule tends to insure equality of competition in that each school plays students who have been in that school and established their eligibility in that school.
  2. The rule tends to prevent students from "jumping" from one school to another.
  3. The rule prevents the "bumping" of students who have previously gained eligibility in a school system by persons coming from outside the school system.
  4. The rule tends to prevent interscholastic athletic recruiting.
  5. The rule tends to prevent or discourage dominance of one sport at one school with a successful program, i.e., the concentration of excellent baseball players at one school to the detriment of surrounding schools through transfers and to the detriment of the natural school population and ability mix.
  6. The rule tends to create and maintain stability in that age group, i.e., it promotes team stability and teamwork expectation fulfillment.
  7. The rule is designed to discourage parents from "school shopping" for athletic purposes.
  8. The rule is consistent with educational philosophy of going to school for academics first and athletics second.
  9. It eliminates family financial status from becoming a factor on eligibility, thus making a uniform rule for all students across the state of Michigan (i.e., tuition and millage considerations).
  10. It tends to encourage competition between nonpublic and public schools, rather than discourage that competition.
  11. It tends to reduce friction or threat of students changing schools because of problems they may have created or because of their misconduct, etc.
Posted in: Transfers

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