Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


1. Who makes up the legislative body of AHSAA?   The members of the eight district boards. 

2. Who is eligible to be a District Board member?
| Superintendents, assistant superintendents, principals, assistant principals and teachers in the member schools of the respective district. 

3. When a vacancy occurs in the District Board, how is it filled temporarily?
Appointment by the President of the Central Board of Control, with the approval of the remaining members of said Board.

. How long does a temporary appointment to the District Board last?
Until the vacancy can be filled by election at the first meeting of the member schools of the district.

How are funds of the AHSAA safeguarded? The Executive Director and assistants are under a surety bond and the accounts are audited annually by a Certified Public Accountant approved by the Central Board.

Where is the final authority of the AHSAA vested? The Central Board of Control has final authority in all matters concerning the Association

How can the Constitution and By-Laws of the Association be amended? Any principal of a member high school may submit a legislative proposal to the Executive Director in writing. This must be done at least 30 days before the annual meeting. A two-thirds vote of the members of the Legislative Council is necessary for a proposal to pass.

8. Who is held responsible for a member school’s observance of the Association Rules and By-Laws?
The principal.

9. Who is the proper person to sign reports, contracts, etc.? The principal.

10. Who is responsible for the conduct of the spectators at athletic contests? The principal

11. When must the eligibility list (Form 3) be submitted to the State Office?  Not later than 5 days before the first contest of the students listed on the form.

12. Can new names be added to the eligibility list?  Yes.

13. When should physical examinations be made? 
Before practice starts. The physician’s certificates are kept in the school’s file.

14. When may football practice with pads be started?
In 2003, August 4. A player may use personal uniform pads only after three days of practice in shorts and helmets. Beginning with the first day of practice, teams may use all other equipment (blocking sleds, dummies, etc.) that is normally used during the season. A player reporting late to fall practice must practice three days in shorts and helmet before using personal uniform pads.

15. When may basketball practice be started? 
October 18, 2010, for high school girls and boys; Sept. 22 for junior high and middle school girls and boys.

16. How many basketball games may a school play per season?
20 games and 3 tournaments (two must be during holiday periods) other than area and state playoffs. 

17. When does a student become too old to participate in interscholastic athletics?  A student becomes ineligible for the current school year if he/she reaches his/her 19th birthday prior to August 1. 

18. What is accepted evidence in proving a student’s date of birth? 
A certified birth certificate issued by the State Bureau of Vital Statistics or a passport for foreign exchange students. (In Alabama, certified birth certificates may be obtained at each county health department.) 

If there is doubt about the correct age of a student, should the student be allowed to participate in games pending removal of doubt?  No. Doubt must be removed before the student is allowed to participate. 

20. When must a student enroll in a given semester to be eligible?
 On or before the 20th day of the semester. 

21. How many semesters can a student attend high school and remain eligible for participation in athletics? 
Four fall semesters and four spring semesters after completing the eighth grade. 

22. Maya student be eligible for more than four fall and four spring semesters?
No. A student cannot drop out during a spring semester and pick it up in the fall or vice-versa. Attendance of 15 days counts a semester regardless of where the student attended. 

23. May a student drop out of school for a semester and be eligible when returning? 
Yes. If the student has not attended the number of semesters that are allowed and he/she does not drop out just before the last semester. 

24. When is a student credited with a semester’s attendance? 
When the student has attended 15 days of any semester, it is regarded as a semester’s attendance. 

25. How many subjects must a student have passed during the previous two semesters in attendance in order to be eligible?
  10th, 11th and 12th graders—Six units (including four core courses) with a minimum composite numerical average of 70 in those six units ....... 8th and 9th graders—Five subjects with a minimum composite numerical average of 70 in those five subjects 

. Is a student who becomes ineligible on account of academic deficiencies at the end of a year ineligible for the entire following year?  Yes, unless deficiencies are made up in summer school. A maximum of two units may be earned in summer school for eligibility purposes. 

Is work that a student repeats and passes counted toward the required credit for eligibility?   Yes. Any new credit in a major subject is counted. The term “new units of work” has reference to work for which a student has not previously received credit. 

28. Will a student that is eligible a the beginning of a school year remain eligible all year long?  
Yes, a student declared eligible at the beginning of a school year is eligible for the entire school year. 

29. If a student is ineligible at the beginning of a school year, when can the student regain his/her eligibility?
  A student may regain his/her eligibility at the end of the first semester by passing six units, including four core courses, with a minimum composite numerical average of 70 in those six units during the last two semesters in attendance and summer school, if applicable. 

30. May a student change school zones to live with an appointed guardian and be eligible at the school serving the area where the guardian lives? 
No. The student’s parents would have to make a bona fide move into the new school zone in order for the student to be immediately eligible at the new school

31. In the above example, how long would a student have to attend the second school to become eligible? 
One year. 

May a student whose parents move to another school zone remain at the school and participate in athletics?    Yes. However, if the student stays longer than the end of the semester currently attending at the time the parents move, the student will not be eligible at the second school immediately. He/she may become eligible upon a transfer to the school where his/her parents reside at the beginning of the fall semester. If the transfer is made in the school year and during a new semester after the move, the student will not be eligible until the beginning of a new school year. 

May a student establish eligibility by attendance in a school where his parents do not reside?  Yes. After one year’s attendance the student may become eligible. 

Can a student participate on an outside team and be eligible to participate in the same sport on the school team during the same season?    No, except for the Independent Rule governing tennis, golf, swimming, track, wrestling and cross country. 

May a student be awarded golf or silver balls without breaking the amateur rule?  Yes. With the approval of the principal he may accept an award that costs $50.00 or less. 

... If a student attends a member school in a school district where his/her parents do not reside, may he/she return to the school serving the area where the parents reside and be immediately eligible ?  Yes, if the student returns at the beginning of a fall semester and all other requirements are met. 

... When is a student eligible after transferring from a non-member school to a member school?   The student becomes eligible at the member school at the beginning of the next semester (first or second) if all other requirements are met. 

38.  How much practice must a team have before playing a game?  
A  minimum of three weeks. 

39.  When may fall football practice (without pads) be started?
  August 2, 2010. A player may use personal uniform pads only after the three days of practice in shorts and helmets. Beginning with the first day of practice, teams may use all other equipment (blocking sleds, dummies, etc.)that is normally used during the season. A player reporting late for fall practice must practice three days in shorts and helmets before using personal uniform pads. 

When does football season officially end?   Except for schools in the playoffs, the season ends on the weekend preceding the first game of the playoffs.

41.Who determines if a move involving a transfer is bona fide?    The Executive Director.

42. Is a physical examination necessary before a student is allowed to participate?  Yes. The physician’s certificate must be on file in the principal’s or superintendent’s office for each participant. This is protection for the coach and principal as well as the participant.

43.   May a school hold a practice or scrimmage game with another school during spring training or at any other time?   No, in all sports except football. Any contest of this type would have to be counted in the number of scheduled contests permitted each school. In football, each school has the option of playing in one jamboree or regulation game during the legal spring training period of that school or in a jamboree or regulation game in the fall. 

. May a player participate in a “B” game and “A” game on the same day? No. 

. May a player be changed from the “A” to the “B” squad or vice-versa? Yes. However, the restriction in question 42 applies. 

... Do eligibility rules apply to B-teams?  Yes. 

What is the proper action to take when flagrant unsportsmanlike conduct occurs at or during a contest ?  The principal should report the incident to the Executive Director in writing. 

... How can unpleasantness be avoided at an athletic contest?  Set up a good sportsmanlike program in the school; employ competent officials approved by both principals; provide adequate police protection, taking all pre-game precautions possible. 

How can a principal, coach, or official get an official interpretation on an eligibility or sports rule?   Write the Executive Director. 

. What are the penalties that the AHSAA can impose? 
(a) Place a monetary fine or penalty on a school for violation of the rules and regulations of the Association. 
(b) Forfeit the game. 
(c) Suspend school from the Association. 
(d) Place school on probation. 
(e) Disqualify a coach for unsportsmanlike conduct or conduct unbecoming for a coach. (Only the Central 
     Board of Control can impose this penalty.) 
(f)  Cancel an official’s rating or registration with the Association. 
(g) Suspend players from athletics (permanently or temporarily) for unsportsmanlike conduct or conduct 
     unbecoming an athlete. 
(h) Prohibit contests of a school when the attendance of an individual or  fansis considered a threat to the 
     administration of the contest in a safe and sportsmanlike manner. 

May the rules of the Association be set aside by mutual agreement?

What is the purpose of the Fifty Percent Rule?
It was passed by the schools to prevent a team from participating together during the school year, outside the season of that sport, therefore gaining an advantage on other teams that do not play together during the off-season.

Game Officials 
53. Do all game officials have to be registered with the Association?  Yes. 

54. What is the penalty for using non-registered officials?  
A school may be fined and placed on probation. 

55. How can a principal or coach know whether an official is registered with the Association?  
Officials are issued registration cards signed by the Executive Director designating the sport and the classification of the official. Officials are required to wear the official AHSAA patch on their shirts. Officials whose names do not appear on the list sent out from the State Office should be required to show their registration card before being permitted to officiate.

56. Who is responsible for securing officials for a contest? 
The home school is responsible for securing the officials except in certain state championship contests. 

57. What is the usual procedure used in selecting officials?
   The home team principal or coach contracts with an Officials association to work its home games. 

58. Do school officials have a right to object to the game officials being used after a contest has started?  

59. How is a case presented for an official ruling? 
Present each case in writing to the Executive Director. 

Are schools governed by the same rules for interscholastic competition in non-sanctioned sports as they are in competition in sanctioned sports?  Yes, eligibility rules apply to all interscholastic contests for any member school. 

61. What is the penalty for an assault on an official?  
Each case is judged on its own merits, but the usual penalty is a monetary fine plus probation, restrictive probation or suspension for the school. The school may be prohibited from playing contests when the individual (or individuals) responsible for the assault is present.

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