A National Perspective

The Handbook of the National Federation of State High School Associations provides rationale for the following eligibility rules that are common to its member associations across the USA:

  •  Age
  •  Enrollment/Attendance
  • Maximum Participation
  • Transfer/Residency
  • Academic
  • Non-School Participation
  • Preparticipation Evaluation
  • Restitution
  • Amateur/Awards
  • Recruiting/Undue Influence

Here’s the rationale provided by the National Federation for the transfer/residency rule:

“A transfer/residency requirement: assists in the prevention of students switching schools in conjunction with the change of athletic season for athletic purposes; impairs recruitment, and reduces the opportunity for undue influence to be exerted by persons seeking to benefit from a student-athlete’s prowess.

“A transfer/residency requirement: promotes stability and harmony among member schools by maintaining the amateur standing of high school athletics; by not letting individuals other than enrolled students participate, and by upholding the principle that a student should attend the high school in the district where the student’s parent(s) guardian(s) reside.

“A transfer/residency requirement: also prohibits foreign students, other than students who are participants in an established foreign exchange program accepted for listing by the Council on Standards for International Educational Travel (CSIET), from displacing other students from athletic opportunities.”


Posted in: Transfers


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About the Author

Jack Roberts

Jack Roberts has been at the helm of the MHSAA as its Executive Director since 1986, implementing programs and overseeing tournament administration and regulations for the Association which boasts 1,500 member schools, 10,000 registered officials and 13,000 head coaches.

During the last 45 years, Roberts has spoken to educator and athletic groups, business leaders and civic groups in almost every state and five Canadian provinces. He is one of the nation's most articulate advocates for educational athletics.

Roberts has served on the board of directors of the National Association of Sports Officials (NASO), is in his second term on the board of the National Federation of State High School Associations, and is the first chairman of the NFHS Network board of directors. He has been board president for the Refugee Development Center for nine years, and is a past-chair of the board of directors of the Michigan Society of Association Executives. He is chair of the board of trustees for the Capital Region Community Foundation for 2018.

He is a 1970 graduate of Dartmouth College, where he played defensive safety for the Ivy League's winningest football team during that span, and he sang in Dartmouth's close harmony vocal group.

His wife, Peggy, has retired from a 30-year career in social services, and is serving as president of the board of the Fenner Nature Conservancy in Lansing.