The NYSED Board of Regents will take action upon two proposed NYSED regulation changes pertaining to athletic eligibility on February 13-14, 2017 at the next NYSED Board of Regents meeting.
A public comment period was open until December 27, 2016. Section leadership and school administrators were strongly encouraged to provide public comments. The proposed regulation changes are:
Duration of Competition:
The proposed revisions require school administrators to make individual assessments to determine whether a fifth year student’s participation will result in an unfair advantage in competition and whether the safety of the pupil or others is not at risk. It would be challenging to determine how a Superintendent could make competitive unfairness and safety determinations without an undue burden.
The current Duration of Competition standard allows a student an extension of eligibility where there is evidence a student was unable to participate during a season because of an accident or illness and that accident or illness caused the student to attend an additional year of school. The proposed regulation revisions would revert back to wording the Board of Regents actually changed in January 2015; the Duration of Competition standard “previously” allowed a student an extension of eligibility where the student was physically unable to play because of an accident or illness or “other similar circumstance”.
Athletic Placement Process:
Although K-8 school districts represent a small portion of districts throughout New York State, the NYSPHSAA fears if K-8 students are granted the ability to go through the Athletic Placement Process to participate at a school in which they are not a bona fide student, this will ultimately lead to other students (non-public, etc.) requesting similar privileges.
The proposed regulation is being presented to provide K-8 students with the same “opportunity” to participate at the high school level as students in K-12 school districts. NYSPHSAA fears this could lead to other students requesting similar privileges if their school district does not offer opportunities they wish to receive (i.e. swimming program for a lack of a natatorium, football team for a lack of interest, baseball for a lack of field, etc.).