WEST VIRGINIA SECONDARY SCHOOL
ATHLETICS, PROVISIONS GOVERNING
1.1. Scope. -
These rules establish the provisions governing student
eligibility to participate in interscholastic
1.2. Authority. -
W.Va. Constitution, Article XII, §2 and W.Va. Code
1.3. Filing Date. -
July 13, 2006.
1.4. Effective Date.
September 11, 2006.
2.1. The Board of Directors is
authorized to grant a waiver to a rule when it
determines the rule fails to accomplish the purpose
for which it is intended or when the rule works
extreme and undue hardship upon the student.
2.2. Speculative loss of college
scholarship is not considered a basis for granting a
waiver to these rules.
§127-2-3. Enrollment and Team
3.1. To be eligible for
participation in interscholastic athletics, a student
must be enrolled full-time in a member school as
described in Rule 127-2-6 on or before the eleventh
instructional day of the school year. Enrollment must
be continuous after the student has officially
enrolled in the school.
3.2. Students can participate only
in schools in which they are enrolled; however, an
exception may be granted by the Board of Directors as
3.2.1. if a feeder school does not
afford students the opportunity to participate and
they are otherwise eligible.
3.2.2. for students from the WV
Schools for the Deaf and the Blind (WVSD&B) to
participate at Hampshire High School or Romney Middle
School (only in sports not available at WVSD&B).
3.2.3. if member schools containing
grades 6 and/or 7 and/or 8 and/or 9 may combine
students from two or more schools within the county to
form one interscholastic team in a sport. Requests for
permission to combine students from two or more
schools in the same non-public or public school system
must be submitted annually to the West Virginia
Secondary School Activities Commission (WVSSAC) in
writing by the superintendent of the non-public or
public school system. Schools which are combining to
form one team must be feeder schools for the same high
school and at least one school does not have
sufficient numbers for a team. If more than two
schools are involved, principals are to evaluate the
number of available participants in each school and
shall combine schools to provide as many teams that
sufficient numbers will allow. Sufficient numbers will
be defined as the number of a starting line-up plus
50% (for odd number line-ups, round up).
3.2.4. Students enrolled in the
ninth grade of a four, five or six year high school
may participate on the high school team. Also, ninth
graders of a feeder school may participate on their
high school team and sixth grade students of a K-6
elementary feeder school may participate on their
junior high team if granted permission by the county
board of education or governing body of a
private/parochial school and the school principals
involved. Once a ninth grade student becomes a member
of the high school team said student will be
ineligible for the junior high team in that sport.
3.2.5. Students at a junior high or
middle feeder school who are not provided the
opportunity to participate because of age may move up
to their high school if granted permission by the
county board of education or governing body of a
private/parochial school and the school principals
3.3. A student academically
ineligible by rule may begin practicing 15 school days
immediately prior to the dates of regaining full
eligibility provided all other eligibility
requirements are met.
3.4. Students enrolled in the
following grades in member schools will be eligible
for junior high participation:
Junior High Schools
Grades 7 and 8 7, 8
and 9 (six year school) 6, 7, 8
(3-year or 4-year school)
Grades 7, 8, and 9
8 and 9 (five year school)
Grades 8 and 9 9
(four year school)
3.5. Sixth grade students may be
eligible to participate in interscholastic sport teams
except football in the middle school in which they are
3.6. Students who are enrolled in a
grade below the ninth are not eligible for a high
school team, and students enrolled in a grade below
the seventh will not be eligible for a junior high
team. Students enrolled in a grade below the sixth
will not be eligible for a middle school team.
3.7. Senior students will be
eligible for spring sports until the close of the
3.8. Schools may sponsor separate
teams for members of each sex where selection for such
teams is based upon competitive skill. If a school
sponsors a team in a particular sport for members of
one sex but sponsors no such team for members of the
other sex, and athletic opportunities for members of
that sex previously have been limited, members of the
excluded sex must be allowed to try out for the team
offered. For example, because overall athletic
opportunities for females have previously been
limited, females will be allowed to try out for
baseball, but males will not be allowed to try out for
volleyball or softball.
3.9. Students enrolled at WV School
for the Deaf will be allowed to participate in sports
at the WV School for the Blind. Students from the WV
School for the Blind will be allowed to participate in
sports at the WV School for the Deaf.
3.10. Boarding students at
exception of students at the WV Schools for the Deaf
and Blind, schools are not eligible. (Definition: A
boarding student is one who receives room and board
that is provided by said school or anyone other than
the parent(s) of said student.)
4.1. A student in high school who
becomes 19 and a student in junior high school who
becomes 16 before August 1 shall be ineligible for
4.2. A student in high school who
becomes 19 and a student in junior high school who
becomes 16 on or after August 1 shall remain eligible
for the entire year.
4.3. A student in a middle school
(eighth grade being the highest grade) who becomes 15
before August 1 shall be ineligible for
interscholastic competition at that level.
4.4. A student in a middle school
(eighth grade being the highest grade) who becomes 15
on or after August 1 shall remain eligible for the
entire school year at that level.
§127-2-5. Semester and Season.
5.1. A student may have the
privilege to participate in the interscholastic
program for four consecutive years (eight consecutive
semesters or equivalent) after entering the ninth
grade of a four-year high school or the ninth grade in
a 7-9 junior high school.
5.2. A student shall not
participate for more than two seasons while in grades
7-8 of a junior high/high school or no more than three
seasons while in grades 6-7-8 of a middle school in
any interscholastic activity.
5.3. Students retained without
5.3.1. Loss of eligibility.
A student held back in the sixth, seventh or eighth
grade without failing shall lose one of the four years
of high school eligibility for each year
the student is held back.
5.3.2. Loss of fourth year.
A student held back one year in the seventh or eighth
grade without failing shall lose the fourth year of
eligibility after entering the ninth grade.
5.3.3. Loss of third and fourth
years. A student held back for two years in the
seventh or eighth grade without failing shall lose
both the third and fourth years of eligibility after
entering the ninth grade.
5.4. Ten days of attendance or
enrollment shall constitute a semester. Said ten days
includes the day of enrollment, the last day of
attendance and the elapsed time between, provided that
they are days when school was actually in session.
5.5. The number of semesters of
athletic eligibility of a student is determined by
semesters of enrollment and attendance and not by
semesters of participation. (This applies for students
in grades 9-12 only).
5.6. A student whose eligibility
expires with the end of a semester shall not become
ineligible until report cards are issued or five
school days into the next semester, whichever is less.
The student will be considered eligible any days
between the two semesters.
5.7. Any part of a contest or
interscholastic event in which a student competes
shall be counted as a season for that sport in grades
6-12 and a semester of participation in grades 9-12.
5.8. The Board of Directors is
authorized to grant a wavier to the Semester and
Season Rule when it feels the rule fails to accomplish
the purpose for which it is intended and when the rule
works extreme and undue hardship upon the student.
Waivers may be granted in the following circumstances:
5.8.1. The Board is authorized to
consider cases in which a student entering high school
(explained in Rule 5.1) did not stay in continuous
enrollment because of personal illness, or no school
was available, or because of other undue hardship
reasons ascertained through investigation.
5.8.2. The Board may provide
release from the continuous enrollment restriction
provided no participation had occurred during the
semester(s) in question.
5.8.3. In no event may a student be
allowed to participate in more than four (4) seasons
in any one sport in grades 9-12.
5.9. The Board may also assess
appropriate penalties to the student or to the school
if said Board determines through its investigation
that said student or said school did try to evade the
rule by subterfuge.
6.1. A student is required to do
passing work in the equivalent of at least 20 periods
(four subjects with full credit toward graduation) per
week. Failure to earn passing marks in four full
credit subjects during a semester shall render a
student ineligible for the following semester.
6.1.1. A semester course that
constitutes 8100 minutes of instruction (block
schedule) will count as two subjects.
6.1.2. The student may select four
full credits from any area of the curriculum offered
by the school.
6.1.3. If a student is taking a
multiple period subject, such as block or vocational
courses for a full morning or afternoon, it may be
counted as more than one subject. The number of
subjects counted will be equal to the units of full
6.1.4. If a student has been
declared ineligible according to the standards
outlined above, the student may attend summer school
and have eligibility reinstated if the student meets
the standards at the conclusion of summer school.
6.1.5. If a student has been
declared ineligible according to the standards
outlined above, the student may have eligibility
reinstated at midsemester if the student is meeting
the standards at that time.
6.2. Note: Full credit is
defined as one-half credit for a semester or 4050
minutes as provided by West
Virginia Board of Education §126-42-1 et seq.,
"Assuring the Quality of Education: Regulations for
Education Programs" (Policy 2510).
6.3. Schools providing for planned
programs of independent learning during the regular
school term may wish not to require all students to
attend classes for 4050 minutes during a semester. In
such instances, full credit may be awarded for
satisfactory performance provided that it meets
standards established by the county and West Virginia
Department of Education.
6.4. Full credit may be awarded for
subjects in addition to those offered by the school as
well as experimental programs developed by the school
itself provided that it meets standards established by
the county and West Virginia Department of Education.
6.5. A student not attempting four
(4) full credit subjects during a semester must
complete one semester of school work to regain
6.6. Any student who withdraws from
school and does not re-enroll within 10 school days of
that withdrawal date will lose eligibility for the
remainder of that semester.
6.7. Credit deficiencies cannot be
made up after the last day of the semester, except in
a case where a student whose final examinations and
course credit are delayed due to illness which can be
verified by a physician.
6.8. The official school transcript
will be used to determine a student’s eligibility and
will be regarded as final.
6.9. In accordance with West
Virginia Board of Education §126-26-1 et seq., "Participation in Extracurricular
Activities" (Policy 2436.10, C-Rule), students
must maintain a 2.0 average to participate in
interscholastic athletics. (See Appendix.)
7.1. Part A - Residence -
This residence rule applies to all students enrolled
in grades 6-12 in both public and non-public member
7.1.1. A student shall be
eligible in the zone in which the student’s parents
reside. Public secondary school attendance zones shall
be established by official action by each county Board
of Education. Zones of nonpublic member schools shall
be established by their governing board and subject to
approval by Board of Directors. Said non-public member
schools attendance zones shall not exceed the
boundaries of the county in which they are located.
7.1.2. A student shall be
eligible when enrolling to attend a member secondary
school for the first time in the zone in which the
parents reside, unless the student has established
eligibility under Rule 127-2-7.2.3 in another
7.1.3. When a town or city is
located in two counties and only one public secondary
school is located in the town or city, students living
in the town or city may attend this secondary school
if mutually agreed upon by the two county boards of
education and approved by the Board of Directors.
7.1.4. A student who is in
the care of the West Virginia Department of Health and
Human Resources shall be eligible to participate in
interscholastic athletics as a member of the athletic
teams of the secondary school in the zone in which
said West Virginia Department of Health and Human
Resources places the student in a home, provided the
student is otherwise eligible.
7.1.5. A student may be
eligible outside the specified zone of attendance if
the student has been in attendance in that zone the
immediate preceding year (365 days). There can be no change of
residence involving change of attendance zone during
the immediate preceding year (365 days).
a. Should the parents make
a bona fide change of residence to a new school zone
during the school term, a student may remain in the
school zone from which the parents moved and retain
b. A student whose parents
have resided in the school zone for a minimum of one
academic year at which the student has been in
attendance for a minimum of one academic year and
whose parents move out of the school zone may:
A. Retain eligibility as
long as said student retains continuous enrollment
and attendance or:
B. Transfer at time of
change of residence to the school in the
attendance zone in which the parents are now
residing and be eligible in that school or:
C. Transfer at any time
prior to the start of the next school year to the
school in the attendance zone in which his parents
are residing and be eligible for interscholastic
activities at the receiving school.
7.1.6. Foreign exchange
students, attending a member school under the auspices
of a Council on Standards for International
Educational Travel (CSIET) student exchange program,
shall be considered eligible regarding residence for a
maximum period of one calendar year. Said foreign
exchange student may not be a graduate of the
secondary school of the home country and must maintain
eligibility in a member school. A foreign exchange
program must assign students to schools by a method
which insures that no student, school, or other
interested party may influence the assignment for
7.1.7. A student returning
from an approved foreign exchange program may resume
interscholastic competition in a member school at the
point of interruption provided the student does not
fulfill graduation requirements while participating in
the exchange program and provided the student meets
all requirements relative to age and semesters of
7.2. Part B - Transfer.
7.2.1. A student becomes
immediately eligible, providing all other eligibility
requirements are met, when parents make a bona fide
change of residence to a new school zone.
Determination of a bona fide change of residence
depends upon the facts of each case.
7.2.2. If a student transfers
during the school year from a secondary school in one
zone to a secondary school in another zone, said
student shall be ineligible for 365 days from date of
enrollment unless the parents become residents of the
zone to which the student transfers. Students
transferring out of attendance zone shall immediately
forfeit eligibility in the attendance zone unless
exempted by Rule 127-2-7.2.8 and 127-2-7.2.9.
7.2.3. Students who transfer
during the school year to or from a member or
non-member school shall be ineligible for 365 days
from date of enrollment unless the parents move from
one member school zone to another member school zone
in conjunction with transfer of schools.
7.2.4. If the transfer is
from a non-member school to a member school in the
zone where the student’s parents reside, a student is
eligible providing; (1) the student is enrolling in a
member school for the first time and (2) the
principals of both non-member and member schools
involved concur that undue influence is not involved
with the transfer.
7.2.5. A student may be
transferred from one
to another zone within the same county by a county
board of education and maintain eligibility. The
transfer must be initiated by county board of
education personnel to fulfill certain special
education programs(s) not available in the attendance
zone from which the student is transferred. Upon the
completion of the special program, the student must
return to the attendance zone of the student’s
7.2.6. For the purpose of
athletic eligibility, the Commission does not
recognize emancipated status as relates to transfer
except as might occur in marriage and relocation to
another school zone.
7.2.7 Notwithstanding any
other provisions of WVSSAC rules and regulations, if a
student transfers for athletic reasons, the student
will be ineligible for 365 days from the date of
7.2.8. If a student is
released and accepted by formal actions of county
boards of education or similar governing bodies of a
non-public school which have verified that such
transfer is not for athletic purposes, said student
will be granted immediate eligibility provided all
other rules are met. The transfer must occur at the
beginning of the 9th grade school year with
the student enrolled on or before the eleventh
instructional day of the beginning of the school year
and provided that said student is residing with the
parents. Once a student has been a member of a team
that has participated in a scrimmage or contest, the
student has established eligibility at that school.
7.2.9. During the 9th,
10th, 11th, 12th
grades, a student shall be entitled to one transfer
back into the public member school located within the
attendance zone where the student’s parents residence
is located regardless of from where the student is
transferring. A student shall be entitled to transfer
back to a non-public member school if said student had
been enrolled in said non-public member school or
non-public member feeder school the 365 days prior to
enrollment in the 9th grade. Any student
transferring under the provisions of this rule will
not become eligible until the completion of the school
year in which said transfer occurs. Eligibility will
begin with the succeeding fall sports season. Transfer
must be completed prior to the first day of school.
7.2.10. The eligibility of a
student whose parents are divorced or legally
separated is determined by the following:
a. court decree establishing
residency with one parent.
7.2.11. After establishing
initial residency with one parent, all subsequent
transfers will require a period of ineligibility for
365 days from date of enrollment unless a change of
residency is decreed by the court.
8.1. A student shall be eligible to
participate in interscholastic athletics only if (1)
residing with one or both of the parents; (2) residing
with a testamentary guardian following the death of
the parents; or (3) residing in a location where the
student was placed by the West Virginia Department of
Health and Human Resources pursuant to WVSSAC Rule
8.2. The residence of a
testamentary guardian shall constitute the residence
of the ward when, and only when, (1) such testamentary
guardian has been duly appointed by the last will and
testament of the student’s last surviving parent; (2)
said testamentary guardian has duly qualified as such
before the proper tribunal in West Virginia; and (3)
the student is actually residing in the household of
the testamentary guardian at the time of the student’s
8.3. Notwithstanding any other
provision of the WVSSAC rules and regulations, any
student residing with a guardian/custodian other than
a testamentary guardian may not compete for a school
in any sport on the varsity level but may compete at
the junior varsity level.
8.4. Notwithstanding any other
provisions of WVSSAC rules and regulations, legal
guardian/custodian may not be changed for athletic
reasons. A transfer for athletic reasons is defined
as, but not limited to:
8.4.1. Seeking a superior athletic
8.4.2. Seeking a team consistent
with the student’s ability;
8.4.3. Seeking relief from conflict
with the philosophy or action of an administrator,
teacher or coach relating to athletics;
8.4.4. Seeking a means to nullify
punitive action by the previous school.
§127-2-9. Undue Influence -
9.1. The use of influence by a
person or group connected or not connected with the
school to secure or retain a student for athletic
participation is not permitted and may cause the
student to be ineligible and may cause certain
sanctions to be placed against the member school.
9.2. An employee of the school
system shall not initiate any communication regarding
athletic participation or enrollment with a student,
parent of a student, guardian or family member, in
person or through a third party prior to enrollment.
This does not include the introduction of athletic
programs to students at feeder schools during a
school’s scheduling process.
9.3. A student, parent of a
student, or guardian shall not be offered for the
purpose of encouraging enrollment in a school or
participation in an athletic program any inducement,
such as free tuition, jobs, supplies, uniforms, other
than that which is provided for all students.
the school year and while a member of a school team, a
student shall neither participate on any formally
organized non-school team in the same sport, nor shall
the student compete as an individual unattached in
non-school formally organized competition in the same
sport. The following sports are exempted from the
provisions of this rule: cross country,
golf, swimming, tennis, track, and wrestling,
10.1.1. participation is approved
by the student’s principal.
10.1.2. the student misses no
school-sponsored athletic contest involving a team in
10.2. A student may participate as
a member of a national team (and the actual, direct
tryouts thereof) which is defined as:
10.2.1. one selected by the
national governing body of the sport,
10.2.2. while representing the
National Federation in an International Schoolsport
10.2.3. as a representative of the
United States in recognized national or international
10.2.4. a qualifier for the West
Virginia Golf Association’s Amateur Championship or
the United States Golf Association’s United States
10.3. A student who has
participated on a non-school team or as an individual
unattached in non-school formally organized
competition after the beginning practice date of that
sport will be ineligible for participation on that
school team for that season in that particular sport
except as provided by Rules §127-2-10.1 and 10.2.
11.1. A student who represents a
school in an interscholastic sport shall be an amateur
in that sport. An amateur athlete is one who engages
in athletic competition solely for the physical,
mental, social, and pleasure benefits derived
therefrom. An athlete forfeits amateur status in a
11.1.1. competing for money or
other monetary compensation (allowable travel, meals
and lodging expenses may be accepted);
11.1.2. receiving any award or
prize of monetary value which has not been approved by
11.1.3. capitalizing on athletic
fame by receiving money or gifts of monetary value
(scholarships to institutions of higher learning are
11.1.4. signing a professional
playing contract in that sport.
11.2. Accepting a nominal, standard
fee or salary for instructing, supervising or
officiating in organized youth sports program or
recreation, playground or camp activities shall not
jeopardize amateur status. "Organized youth sports
program" includes both school and non-school programs.
Compensation for giving private lessons is permissible
if approved by the WVSSAC.
11.3. A student who loses amateur
status may apply to the WVSSAC for reinstatement in
the interscholastic program after a waiting period of
one complete high school season (starting practice
to through state tournament or
end of season) for that sport.
11.4. A senior student may
participate in a professional tryout either during or
after the season of that sport provided
11.4.1. that it does not occur on
the day of a school contest of that sport, or
11.4.2. that it meets with the
§127-2-12. Participation as an
12.1. Any student who participates
in an interscholastic athletic contest as an
ineligible, either knowingly or inadvertently, shall
be ineligible for a period not to exceed 365 days as
determined by the Executive Director.
13.1. Only students enrolled in the
specific member school are allowed to participate in
that school’s practices. Exceptions - Rules
127-2-3.2 and 127-2-3.5.
13.2. The frequency and length of
practice is at the discretion of each member school.
13.3. Member schools of the WVSSAC
may practice on any day of the year with the exception
of Sunday practice. Rule 127-3-14.2 further clarifies
13.4. Individual players of a team
must have practiced
13.4.1. on 7 SEPARATE days before
participating in an interscholastic scrimmage.
13.4.2. on 14 SEPARATE days,
exclusive of the day of a contest, before
participating in an interscholastic contest. The
following sport(s) is exempted from the provisions of
this rule: golf.
13.5. A student shall not be
permitted to engage in interscholastic practice until
that student has filed with the principal a completed
Athletic Participation/Parental Consent/Physician’s
Certificate Form. Rule 127-3-3 further explains this
13.6. A student academically
ineligible may begin practicing 15 school days
immediately prior to the date of regaining full
13.7. If a student has established
eligibility in a sport requiring 14 separate days of
practice and is continuing to participate in that
sport or no school days have lapsed from one sport to
another sport in a same season, the student may
participate in another sport of the season after
completing seven separate days of sport specific
practice in the second sport.
13.8. Students participating in a
sport(s) in one season must have practiced 14 separate
days, exclusive of the day of a contest, to be
eligible to participate in a sport in the next season
with the following exception: the student has
continued to practice or participate in tournament
play without an interruption of school days. The
student must complete seven separate days of sport
specific practice in the second sport.