A Change Narrative
October 13, 2017
Here are five points to describe the essence of possible changes being processed by the Michigan High School Athletic Association for its transfer rule.
We would move from a rule designed years ago for three-sport athletes to a rule that’s equally effective for regulating single-sport athletes.
We would be treating all sports the same, regardless of season – fall, winter, spring. No longer would the transfer rule have a greater impact on winter sport athletes than fall or spring sport athletes.
We would be getting out of the way of more “school of choice” parents who want to move a child from one school to another. If the student has not played a particular high school sport before, then eligibility is immediate in that sport ... at any level, and without any MHSAA Executive Committee action.
We would be causing students who have played a high school sport (and their parents) to pause before they transfer. They would miss the next season in that sport unless one of the 15 stated exceptions to the transfer rule applies. (There is significant sentiment that this apply only to students who have played previously at the varsity level – i.e., if the student has participated previously only at the subvarsity level in a sport, that student could transfer and remain eligible at the subvarsity level; but this would be allowed one time only.)
We would make it even tougher on students (and their parents) to circumvent the athletic-motivated and athletic-related transfer rules by eliminating the automatic residency exception in those special cases. (This is the most hotly debated of the changes being considered.)
The theme is “get out of the way of the benign transfers and get still tougher on the really bad ones.”