BOYS ON GIRLS TEAMS
“Males shall be excluded from female athletic teams.” This action by the Iowa Girls’ High School Athletic Union Board of Directors, September 9, 1990.
“… because the purpose of Title IX is to provide females with more opportunities, because keeping males off female teams is a permissible means of achieving this purpose, and because the majority of courts have held that there is a reasonable distinction between females and males in the athletic context, … Directors re-affirm the policy of the IGHSAU to exclude males from high school and junior high female teams.” This action by the Iowa Girls’ High School Athletic Union Board of Directors, June 28, 2006. A legal opinion on this subject can be found in the policies and regulations section on the IGHSAU website.
EIGHTH GRADE ELIGIBILITY
Eighth grade students will be eligible to practice with the softball team on the first allowable practice date and be eligible to play with the high school team on the first allowable game date. This dispensation is provided for 8th graders in softball only since the bulk of the season runs into the summer months. Seventh grade and younger are not permitted to play with the high school team.
FOREIGN EXCHANGE STUDENTS
The Iowa Legislature amended Section 256.46 of the Iowa Code effective July 1, 2006 to now indicate foreign exchange students (J-1 visa students) are immediately eligible unless undue influence was exerted to place the child for primarily athletic purposes.
In response to this change, the Department of Education, the IGHSAU and the IHSAA have developed a form which MUST be filed with the appropriate organization for EACH foreign exchange student for which athletic eligibility is requested.
This form is also located on the IGHSAU web site (www.ighsau.org) where copies can be downloaded, completed, and filed with the Athletic Union.
This change should also serve as a reminder to all school administrators that for the purposes of athletic eligibility, foreign exchange students are those students with J-1 visas. CHECK THE VISA STATUS of any foreign student before participation is allowed. Students on an F-1 visa are not covered by the same exception to the transfer rules as those on a J-1 visa.
EXTRA PLAYING DATES
A school needing an extra playing in any sport must apply in writing, outlining the basis for the need. The request should include the name of each school participating in the extra game. The extra date is intended to help new programs and schools losing games due to conference realignments.
PLAYING UP A CLASS
The Iowa Girls’ High School Athletic Union allows a member school to request permission to participate in the next higher classification in any sport except cross country, bowling or track & field. Schools may petition management for permission, following the criteria outlined below:
- The petition must be for an uninterrupted two year period.
- The petition must be filed no later than 30 days prior to the first practice date.
- The petition must be signed by the Superintendent of Schools and Board of Education President.
Each petition will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. The petition must address the following:
- Purpose of the petition.
- Effect that grant of the petition will have on the applicant’s current class.
- Effect that grant of the petition will have on the applicant’s requested class.
- Analysis of regular season opponents and their current classification.
- Any other criteria relevant to the specific petition.
- Management denial of any petition is subject to appeal before the Athletic Union Board of Directors. Management acceptance of a petition will not result in any schools dropping down a class. For example, if a 2A school’s petition to participate in the 3A softball tournament is accepted, class 3A would have 65 schools, and class 2A would have 95 schools.
Contact the State Office should additional question exist regarding the procedure for a school wishing to “opt up” to the next larger classification.
WHO CAN COACH?
Any head, assistant or volunteer coach must hold a coaching authorization or a coaching endorsement from the Department of Education. Community members, alumni, etc. may not assist a team in practice or competition unless that individual has the appropriate coaching certification and approval of local board of education. Any waiver must come from the Department of Education.
A volunteer is an unpaid person who holds a coaching authorization or a coaching endorsement from the Department of Education and who is acting under the direction of an employed coach and with the knowledge and approval of the local board of education.
WHO CAN PRACTICE?
Students from the school and certified coaching personnel are the only individuals who may participate in a practice. Alumni, students from other schools, community members, etc. may not participate in a school sponsored practice.
Each local school shall determine the practice protocol and schedule for their 7-12 grade teams.
No member school of the Iowa Girls’ High School Athletic Union may participate from Christmas eve through January 1, inclusive.
In any IGHSAU-sanctioned tournament contest, six cheerleaders plus one mascot are allowed. All must be in uniform. The regular season limit is local prerogative.
POLICY ON STATISTICS REPORTING
Member schools must use the online QuikStats Iowa website (www.quikstatsiowa.com) to report statistics for volleyball, basketball, swimming & diving, soccer, track & field, bowling, and softball. There are multiple mandatory reporting dates for each sport. Failure to report statistics by the reporting dates specified below will result in the following penalties:
First Offense – Warning email sent to coach, athletic director, principal, and superintendent. Coach has until 4:30 p.m. two days after reporting date to comply. If statistics still are not updated by 4:30 two days after the reporting date, coach will be suspended for the next scheduled varsity playing date. Coach will also be suspended an additional varsity playing date for each additional day that statistics are not complete.
Second Offense – Suspension email sent to coach, athletic director, principal, and superintendent. Coach is suspended for two varsity playing dates. Coach has until 4:30 p.m. two days after reporting date to comply. Coach will also be suspended an additional varsity playing date for each additional day that statistics are not complete.
Third Offense – Suspension email sent to coach, athletic director, principal, and superintendent. Coach is suspended from coaching in the regional/state tournament. In addition, coach is suspended from coaching any remaining regular season games until statistics reporting is complete.
TOURNAMENT SERIES WEATHER-RELATED POSTPONEMENT POLICY
If weather conditions prohibit a school from safely traveling to and from an assigned site, or weather conditions at a site result in unsafe playing conditions, or an unsafe environment for participants and spectators, a delay or postponement of the contest is appropriate. Factors such as postponement or early dismissal from school shall not be the sole basis for postponement of any contest.
No contest shall be delayed or postponed without prior consultation with the State Office. Rescheduling of postponed contests shall occur at the earliest possible date, and shall be determined by the State Office. The previously assigned site of any rescheduled game is subject to change.
TOURNAMENT SERIES NON-WEATHER RELATED POSTPONEMENT POLICY
Extreme circumstances outside of anyone’s control may arise which do not necessarily prohibit a school from playing a tournament contest, but result in a school preferring not to play a tournament contest as scheduled. These circumstances are considered by the State Office on a case-by-case basis. The following criteria will be considered. 1) Any contest postponed will be rescheduled within 24 hours, excluding Sundays or holidays; 2) Any postponement which forces rescheduling of subsequent round tournament games will not be considered; 3) Other logistical factors which may impact an on-going tournament series (i.e. officials or site availability, other scheduled events, etc.)
PETS PROHIBITED AT IGHSAU-SANCTIONED EVENTS
Except as otherwise stated herein, no pets are permitted at events sanctioned by the Union. Any persons found with a pet at an event will be removed from the premises. However, this policy shall comply with the provisions of Iowa Code §216C.
1. For purposes of this section, “service dog” means a dog specially trained to assist a person with a disability, whether described as a service dog, a support dog, an independence dog, or otherwise. “Assistive animal” means a simian or other animal specially trained or in the process of being trained to assist a person with a disability. 2. A person with a disability, a person assisting a person with a disability by controlling the service dog or an assistive animal, or a person training a service dog or an assistive animal has the right to be accompanied by a service dog or an assistive animal, under control, in any of the places listed in sections 216C.3 and 216C.4 without being required to make additional payment for the service dog or assistive animal. The person is liable for damage done to any premises or facility by a service dog or assistive animal.
ALCOHOL, TOBACCO POLICY
No alcohol or tobacco is to be sold or consumed on the grounds of any state tournament venue leased or provided to the Athletic Union for the purpose of conducting a State Championship.
Section 123.46 of the Iowa Code States: A person shall not possess or consume alcoholic liquors, wine or beer on public school property or while attending a public or private school-related function. A person shall not be intoxicated or simulate intoxication in a public place. A person violating this subsection is guilty of a simple misdemeanor.
MASCOTS & NICKNAMES
Some individual teams within a school program have adopted a nickname for a particular team only, regardless of a school’s nickname. Some schools involved in co-operative sharing programs have created a hybrid nickname. The problems in these cases relate to uniform requirements for nicknames and mascots, and their placement. When one school has various nicknames from sport to sport, confusion exists for other schools and officials when a supposed “nickname” appears on a uniform. Further, some of these adopted nicknames and mascots (such as a banana, etc.) do nothing to identify a school. Rather, they attempt to make a “statement” about the team or program.
Thus, schools may utilize only one official mascot / nickname. For example, if the school nickname is “Lions”, it may not be “Sea Lions” in swimming or “Tigers” in cross country.
Competition involving high school students in volleyball, basketball, soccer and softball must have at least two registered officials. Track, cross country and swimming competitions require one registered official. (EXCEPTION – non varsity volleyball may use one registered official per court. When only one registered official is used, that official must be registered and shall be the first referee).
It is recommended that competition involving junior high students in volleyball, basketball, soccer and softball have at least two registered officials. Track, cross country and swimming competitions require one registered official. Any competition involving junior high students must have at least one registered official. High school students are permitted to officiate junior high contests if they are registered with the IGHSAU or if the other official is registered.
In soccer, high school students may officiate sub varsity level matches. Students must be a registered interscholastic soccer official and may NOT officiate matches involving the school they attend.
POLICIES REGARDING OFFICIALS
Game officials shall be agreed upon by both schools.
High school officials must be registered and approved by the IGHSAU. In the event any of the officials are not present, the game may be played with one registered official by mutual agreement. (EXCEPTION non varsity volleyball may use one registered official per court. When only one official is used, that official must be registered and shall be the referee.) Any competition involving junior high students must have at least one registered official.
The Executive Director shall be allowed to temporarily suspend officials, pending a hearing by the Board of Directors, who are guilty of unsportsmanlike conduct at athletic contests: or who fail to observe professional officiating ethics, or who fail to file requested reports with the general office.
A school may drop an official from a game after he/she has been engaged. If a school decides that it is necessary to break its agreement with an official, it may be done by paying the official the regular fee for the game. Cancelled and postponed games do not come under the above provision, provided the official is duly notified. In the case of postponed games, the officials that were originally employed must be given the opportunity to work on the new date.
A school associated with breaking a contract with an official is relieved of responsibility for paying the normal fee to the official in the event the official contracts for a game on the same date with any other member school.
POLICY CONCERNING RECOMMENDATION OF OFFICIALS BY IGHSAU MEMBER SCHOOLS
The head varsity coach of each school in the sports of basketball, soccer, softball, swimming and volleyball is required to submit officials’ recommendations in the “Personnel Entry Forms” section of the IGHSAU website no later than 4:30 p.m. on the 30th day following completion of the state tournament in each respective sport. Five days following the end of the state tournament in each sport, a reminder email will be sent to the athletic director of those schools who have yet to submit the recommendations. After 25 days, a final reminder will be emailed to the athletic director, principal and superintendent. Failure of the head coach to submit the recommendations by 4:30 p.m. on the 30th day following the completion of the state tournament will result in suspension of the head coach for the first two varsity playing dates of the season the following school year. If the coach leaves the school and is head coach at another Iowa school the next school year, the suspension will apply to the coach at the new school.
Questions concerning this policy should be directed to Joel Oswald (email@example.com). Questions concerning procedures for completing the recommendation form should be directed to Jason Eslinger (firstname.lastname@example.org).
IHSAA and IGHSAU OFFICIALS’ CODE OF ETHICS
The Iowa High School Athletic Association’s Board of Control and the Iowa Girls’ High School Athletic Union’s Board of Directors has officially adopted the following Code of Ethics for high school athletic officials.
Officials at an interscholastic athletic event are participants in the educational development of high school students. As such, they must exercise a high level of self-discipline, independence, and responsibility. The purpose of this Code is to establish guidelines for ethical standards of conduct for all interscholastic officials.
Officials shall master both the rules of the game and the mechanics necessary to enforce the rules, and shall exercise authority in an impartial, consistent, and controlled manner.
Officials shall work with each other and their state associations in a constructive and cooperative manner.
Officials shall uphold the honor and dignity of the profession in all interaction with student-athletes, coaches, athletic directors, school administrators, colleagues, and the public.
Officials shall prepare themselves both physically and mentally, shall dress neatly and appropriately, and shall conduct themselves in a manner consistent with the standards of the profession.
Officials shall be punctual and professional in the fulfillment of all contractual obligations.
Officials shall remain mindful that their conduct influences the respect that student-athletes, coaches, and the public hold for the profession.
Officials shall, while enforcing the rules of play, remain aware of the inherent risk of injury that competition poses to student-athletes and themselves and shall notify the event manager of any condition that might not be conducive regarding participation.
Officials shall be cognizant of adverse conditions (including weather) that might arise during the competition and react appropriately to ensure the safety and welfare of all participants.
Officials shall not be party to actions designed to unfairly limit or restrain access to officiating, officiating assignments, or to local association membership. This includes selection for positions of leadership based upon economic factors, race, creed, color, age, sex, physical handicap, country or national origin.
The IHSAA and IGHSAU serves as a licensing agency for Iowa Junior and Senior High School athletic officials. Officials are registered as independent contractors with both entities. This Code of Ethics relates to the license status of each official registered with the IHSAA and/or the IGHSAU.
Failure to comply with any of the above items may result in probation, suspension, or loss of license for the official. Any sanction issued by the Iowa High School Athletic Association or the Iowa Girls’ High School Athletic Union as a result of a violation to this Code of Ethics, shall apply equally to each organization the official is registered with.
If a coach/player is ejected from a game/match, he/she does not coach/play for the remainder of that game/match. He/She may coach/play in other competition later on that same day. Any sanction issued by the school or State Office will be served on a subsequent date after review of the filed reports. A sportsmanship video must also be viewed before returning to play or coach.
When a coach is serving a suspension, he/she may not coach and must be out of sight and sound of the contest venue. He/She is not permitted to watch the contest(s) as a spectator unless he/she has a daughter playing in the contest(s). If a player is serving a suspension, she may not be in uniform or participate in the contest(s) or pre-game warm-up, but may be in street clothes on the bench, dugout, etc.
Should a coach or player be ejected from a contest in any sport, the following procedure is in effect:
FIRST OFFENSE: The school administration and game officials shall notify the State Office the following business day. The school administration must meet with the offender and file the Ejection Report form (found online at the IGHSAU website) with the State Office. The Offender must write a written summary of the events which led to the ejection with the State Office. The normal penalty for a first offense is a one-date suspension. However, a lesser or more severe penalty may apply upon review of the incident.
SECOND OFFENSE: The school administration and game officials shall notify the State Office the following business day. Written report is mandated, as required procedurally with a first offense. The standard penalty for a second offense within one year of the initial offense, is school membership sanction and the violator is subject to a multi-date suspension. However, more severe penalties may apply if warranted.
THIRD OFFENSE: The school administration and game officials shall notify the State Office the following business day. Written report is mandated, as required procedurally with a first and second offense. The penalty for a third offense will be determined after a formal hearing by the Board of Directors.
The Board of Directors has the authority to issue the following sanctions to member schools and individuals:
PROBATION: The Board of Directors shall have power to place any member school on probation for violation of any of the rules of the Union or for other just cause. Where the penalty is not fixed, the probationary period shall be left to the discretion of the Board of Directors.
Upon successful completion of an established probationary period, a school will automatically return to the status of a member in good standing.
Should a school wish to be removed from probation before the automatic reinstatement date, that school may be reinstated by the Board of Directors upon application made in writing to the Executive Director by the Administrator 20 days in advance of the time it desires to be reinstated. The Executive Director shall present the application of the school on probation to the Board of Directors for its consideration. The Administrator shall agree in writing that the school will abide by all the rules of the Union in the future. The Administrator shall sign the statement on behalf of the school.
Violation of any of the rules of the Union or other form of misconduct by a member school during that school’s probationary period may result in said school’s suspension.
Probation will allow a school to continue interscholastic competition, conditional to the school’s adherence to all rules of the Union.
SUSPENSION: The Board of Directors shall have power to suspend or otherwise penalize any member school for the violation of any of the rules of the Union or for other just cause. The period of suspension or other penalty shall be left to the discretion of the Board of Directors where the penalty is not fixed.
Any school under suspension, if it has restricted its athletic program to intramural athletics for the period of suspension may be reinstated by the Board of Directors upon application made in writing, 20 days in advance of the time it desires to be reinstated, to the Executive Director by the Administrator. The Executive Director shall present the application of the suspended school to the Board of Directors for its consideration. The Administrator shall agree in writing that the school will abide by all the rules of the Union in the future. The Administrator shall sign the statement on behalf of the school.
Suspension nullifies all existing contracts between the suspended school and other member schools.
It is the clear obligation of contestants and coaches in all interscholastic competitions to practice the highest principles of sportsmanship and ethics of competition. The IGHSAU shall have authority to penalize any contestant or coach in violation of this obligation.
POLICY ON BANNED SPECTATORS
The Iowa Girls’ High School Athletic Union honors the suspension and/or banning of attendance of spectators by member schools.
Any individual suspended or banned from attendance at interscholastic contests by a member school shall be similarly suspended or banned from attendance at any IGHSAU sponsored district, regional or state tournament competition.
The Board of Directors directs member schools who suspend or ban a spectator from attendance to notify the State Office in writing of the suspension in order the Athletic Union may formally implement this policy. Assistance from the local school administrator will be needed in order to identify the banned spectator.
GENERAL TRANSFER RULE & ELIGIBILITY
Iowa Administrative Code (“IAC” or “Code”) Section 281-36.15(3), the general transfer rule (the “General Transfer Rule” or “Rule”) provides that a student who transfers is ineligible for a period of 90 school days unless one of the listed exceptions applies. Subsection a (1) of this Code section provides for an exception to the General Transfer Rule in cases of contemporaneous change in parental residence. If this occurs, the student is immediately eligible.
The General Transfer Rule itself is concerned not just with the residence of the student, but a “change” in the residence. This contemplates that the residency will change from one to another district. The Iowa Code defines a “resident” for purposes of determining when a child is “physically present in a district, whose residence has not been established in another district.” Again, this clearly implies that there can be only one residence. Interpreting the term “residence” to allow for multiple residences would render the General Transfer Rule meaningless and this is not permitted as a tenant of statutory construction. One cannot interpret a part of a statute in such a manner so as to render another part, and certainly the statute as a whole, meaningless.
Even with these seemingly clear requirements, proving residency for purposes of eligibility is not so clear-cut. Because there can only be one residence, the IGHSAU must determine that the family in fact has only one residence. Inquiry must be made as to what was the disposition or impending disposition of the former residence. Next, the Rule requires that the student be in the district for the purpose of “making a home.” Again, this specific language should not be disregarded. The Code did not simply require the student to be living in the district. As such, the IGHSAU must consider the various indicia of a residence being a home. These indicia should include, but not necessarily be limited to: 1) voter registration; 2) driver’s licenses; 3) homestead tax credit election; 4) nature of property rights in the district, lease versus ownership, long term lease or month to month; 5) removal of personal property to the new residence. Is the student physically present in the district for the purpose of making a home?
The General Transfer Rule also provides that in order to prove residency, the student must show that he or she is “physically present in the district for the purpose of making a home and not solely for school or athletic purposes.” Again, under basic tenants of statutory construction, one must give meaning to all of the provisions, terms and words. Clearly, the phrase “not solely” indicates that school and athletics can be a factor in making the home within the district. However, “not solely” does require that there be another reason for changing the residence and becoming immediately eligible for athletics.
Given these provisions and the language used, in order for a transfer to fall within the exception and become immediately eligible, the following must be determined:
- Is the student physically present in the district for the purpose of making it her home? Is there evidence the student and her family are indeed physically present (e.g. rental agreement, purchase agreement, etc.)
- Is this home a change in the parents’ residence? (e.g., see above. Is there evidence the family has only one residence?)
- Was the change in the residence for some purpose other than school or athletic purposes? (e.g. is there evidence indicating a reason for the change in residence other than school or athletic reasons?)
Bottom line…don’t let a student participate solely because she lists an address in your district. Verify the information indicated above to ensure the student and her parents (or custodial parent in the case of a split family) have indeed completed a bona fide change in residence into your district before she is allowed to participate at the varsity level.
If any question arises when determining athletic eligibility, contact the State Office at once. Penalties for use of an ineligible athlete include forfeiture of games.
INELIGIBLE PLAYER PARTICIPATION
Member or associate member schools that permit or allow participation in any event by a person in violation of the eligibility rules shall be subject to sanctions the executive board may, in the interests of interscholastic competition, impose. The sanctions shall include, but are not limited to, the following: forfeiture of contests or events or both, involving any ineligible student(s); adjustment or relinquishment of conference/district/tournament standings; and return of team awards or individual awards or both.
If a student who has been declared ineligible is permitted to participate in an interscholastic competition because of a current restraining order or injunction against the school, registered organization, or Department of Education, and if such restraining order or injunction subsequently is voluntarily vacated, stayed, reversed, or finally determined by the courts not to justify injunctive relief, the sanctions listed above may be imposed.
POLICIES REGARDING ATHLETIC COMPETITION
All games shall be properly supervised to insure sportsmanlike conduct. Member schools are responsible for the conduct of their own fans and students at every athletic contest regardless of where it may be held.
A member of associate member may participate against:
- Other member schools of the Athletic Union
- The member school alumni team (following completion of the regular season.)
No school which is a member of the IGHSAU shall participate in any of the following contests unless such contest has been sanctioned by the Board of Directors.
- Any interstate two-school contest which is sponsored by an individual organization other than a member school.
- Any meet, tournament, or other athletic contest for determining a national high school championship.
There can be only one varsity team in any sport.
A member school shall furnish to the Executive Director such information as may be desired concerning eligibility of contestants, participation, and reports of officials. Failure to comply within the stipulated time or reasonable time shall subject the school to suspension, or other penalty.
Scrimmages between member schools shall be permitted between the date of first legal practice and the final day of State Tournament play. Teams may travel up to and including 100 miles from the home high school base for scrimmages, providing such is effected without loss of school time. On a non-school day, a team may exceed this 100 mile limit with local school administration approval. Teams may scrimmage a high school team from another contiguous state (plus Kansas), provided that the school is a member institution of that state’s activity association and that it falls within the 100-mile scrimmage radius. If a school is scrimmaging at an out-of-state school, the scrimmage rules of that state shall apply. Iowa scrimmage rules will apply for scrimmages held in Iowa. A scrimmage shall be defined as that which takes place between member schools at one site on one calendar day, as well as established definition relating to the mandatory absence of scorekeeping and spectator charge. In order for a player to be charged with a scrimmage, she must have participated in the scrimmage.
It is the expectation of the Board of Directors that each school, coach, and participant fully complete any contest, match, or game sanctioned by the Iowa Girls’ High School Athletic Union.
Any school, coach, or participant who compromises this expectation by failing to complete play, withdrawing, or otherwise forfeiting prior to the completion of a competition shall be subject to sanction including suspension for up to one calendar year.
Filming and/or videotaping of IGHSAU tournament games is permitted. Paying spectators are not restricted as long as the video equipment is hand-held or using a monopod and done from the purchased seat. No supplemental lighting or tripods are allowed, and no special provisions shall be made for spectator filming. Regular season restrictions are local prerogative. Please consult each sport manual for school videotaping.
USE OF SCHOOL EQUIPMENT, TRANSPORTATION
School owned equipment may not be used in non-school competition involving junior high or high school students unless properly leased or rented from the local school district. School transportation may be leased or rented from the school for use in non-school competition involving junior high or high school students as per the guidelines listed below:
Iowa Code 285.10 (9) and (10) permits a school to lease buses for the purpose of transporting students in such situations. When school transportation is used for camps, clinics or non-school games, the local board shall charge and collect an amount sufficient to reimburse all costs of furnishing the bus and driver. In addition, if a school district leases a bus for this purpose, section 43.10(10)5 of the School Rules of Iowa must be complied with. This reads as follows:
43.10(5) School buses may be used by an organization of, or sponsoring activities for, senior citizens, children, handicapped, and other persons and groups, and for transportation of persons other than pupils to activities in which the pupils from the school are participants of or are attending the activity for which the school is a sponsor under the follow conditions:
a. The “school bus” signs shall be covered and the flashing warning lamps and stop arm are made inoperable
when the bus is being used in a non-school sponsored activity.
b. Transportation outside the state of Iowa shall not be provided without approval of the Interstate Commerce Commission.
c. For adult groups, no more than two persons shall occupy a thirty-nine inch seat. Standees shall not be permitted.
d. A chaperone shall accompany each bus to assist the passengers in the boarding and disembarking from the bus
and to aid them in case of injury or illness.
e. The driver of the bus shall be approved by the local board of education and must possess a chauffeur’s license
and a school bus driver’s permit.
f. The driver of the bus shall observe the maxim speed limits for school buses at all times.
The Department of Education states, “Certainly we would agree that a district increases its liability exposure when it leases its buses for the purpose of transporting students to summer camps or for nonschool competition, but the law quite clearly gives them the authority to do so. We would certainly agree that the district should contact their insurance company before entering into any type of agreement to lease a bus.”
SUMMER CAMPS AND CLINICS, COACHING CONTACT OUT OF SEASON AND NON-SCHOOL TEAM PARTICIPATION
- Who is a “volunteer” as used in 36.15(6)?
A volunteer is an unpaid person who holds a coaching authorization or a coaching endorsement and who is acting under the direction of an employed coach and with the knowledge and approval of the school administration.
- Who is a “coach” as used in 36.15(6)?
“Coach” means an individual, with coaching endorsement or authorization as required by Iowa law, employed by a school district under the provisions of an extracurricular athletic contract or employed by a nonpublic school in a position responsible for an extracurricular athletic activity. “Coach” also includes an individual who instructs, diagnoses, prescribes, evaluates, assists, or directs student learning of an interscholastic athletic endeavor on a voluntary basis on behalf of a school or school district.
- What is covered by the term “coaching”?
Can a school’s coach have his/her spouse or friend serve as the “declared coach” of a non-school team while the school’s coach is providing instruction in the background?
A coach diagnoses, prescribes, evaluates and directs student learning and supervises assistant coaches and volunteers in the performance of coaching objectives. If a coach is “directing” student-athlete learning through another person, “prescribing” who should play, at what position, “evaluating” skills and determining who needs to work on certain skills, then the coach is coaching.
- What does “conflict with sports in season” mean?
If a student-athlete has to make a choice between participating in a practice, game or other team activity for a sport in season or participating in an activity for a sport that is not in-season held at a member or associate member school facility, or supervised or sponsored by an out-of-season school coach, a conflict exists. The sport in season takes precedence. In cases of emergency or rescheduling, the priority is with the sport in season.
- What is “summertime” as defined in 36.15(6)?
Summertime is defined as June 1 until the first day of fall sports practices.
- What is “participating” as defined in 36.15(7)?
If a student is a member of the school team, she is “participating” in that sport. A student is “participating” on a non-school team when the team is involved in a competition. Practice with a non-school team does not constitute participation.
- What is covered by the term “school facility”?
Any facility on campus or off-campus that represents a practice or competition site that is directly affiliated with a school-based activity.
Can a school impose stricter guidelines on its coaches and/or students than those imposed by these rules? Yes. Stricter policies than outlined by these rules are the prerogative of the local district.
Who is covered by these rules? Students in grades 9-12 and personnel under contract to coach or who serve as volunteer coaches of a school team involving students in grades 9-12. Students and coaches in seventh and eighth grade are NOT covered by the provisions of these rules. However, local school districts may choose to extend non-school participation rules to junior high school students.
9-12 COACHING CONTACT INTERPRETATIONS
- Is a team meeting during the school year, outside the season legal?
Each coaching staff is allowed one preseason team meeting during the school year, outside the season.
- If a player works as an instructor at a grade school camp run by their coach during the school year, outside the season, is the coach violating the coaching contact?
During the school year, outside the sport season, each student may work at a one-time, one-day clinic for elementary/middle school students run by their coach without their coach violating the coaching contact rule.
- Can coaches officiate their athletes outside the sport season, during the school year or during the summer?
Yes. Officiating does not constitute coaching contact.
- During the school year, outside the sport season, can a coach practice or compete with or against his/her students in the sport(s) he/she coaches?
No. Practicing or competing with or against students on a coach’s team constitutes coaching.
- During the softball season and after May 31, a softball player has enrolled in an off-campus basketball camp in which her basketball coach is a member of the camp staff. Can the softball player still attend the camp?
Yes. The student can participate in any camp, clinic, etc. s/he chooses. However, the student’s basketball coach shall not require his/her students to participate in the camp.
- Does transportation during the school year, outside the season count as contact?
No. The act of transporting students to non-school competitions, camps, clinics, etc. is permissible during the school year, outside the season as long as no coaching occurs. If school transportation is used it must be used subject to Iowa Code 285.10 (9) and (10).
- Softball practice is scheduled from 1-3 p.m. A student is attending an on-campus camp that causes her to miss softball practice.
If a potential conflict exists when an on-campus summer camp, clinic, workout, or other team activity is scheduled at the same time as a baseball or softball practice or game, the student athlete shall go to the in-season sport activity, unless released by the in-season coach. The in-season sport has priority. Local school administration shall determine how to avoid conflicts.
- The high school football coach has a film session for a group of football players who also play baseball on a day during the summertime. Baseball practice is also scheduled at this time. Is this a violation?
Coaching activities between June 1 and the first day of fall sports practices shall not conflict with sports in season. If a potential conflict exists, the student athlete shall go to the in-season sport activity. The in-season sport always has priority. Local school administration shall determine guidelines on how to avoid conflicts.
- Can the coach of the high school basketball team coach a club or AAU volleyball team during the school year outside the volleyball season?
Yes, as long as the high school basketball coach is not also serving as a high school volleyball coach (paid or volunteer) for his/her school.
- Can the coach of the high school baseball team coach the high school softball players during the school year?
Yes, as long as the high school baseball coach is not also serving as a softball coach (paid or volunteer) for that school.
- Can the coach of a high school basketball team coach an all-star team that includes a player from his own team?
Yes, as long as that player is a senior whose interscholastic athletic season for that sport has concluded.
- Can the coach of a high school girls’ or boys’ team coach a junior high team or club team in that same sport during the school year, outside the season, if that team does not include any of his/her high school student-athletes?
Yes, the coaching contact rule is specific to 9-12 coaches and their 9-12 student-athletes.
- During the school year, outside the season, can the coach of the high school girls swim team coach the youth girls swim club program practice (all students under the 9th grade) at the same time the high school girls’ club program is practicing? The youth program practices in lanes 1-3 and the high school girls are practicing in lanes 4-6.
No. This is a violation of the coaching contact rule and would apply to all sports where the same facility is being used at the same time for students in grades below the 9th grade and 9th grade and above.
- During the summer can an out-of-season high school coach require attendance at any workouts, camps, clinics, or other activities?
No, attendance at any out-of-season activities must be totally voluntary and cannot be required. Coaches cannot punish or reward student-athletes based on attendance at any out-of-season activities.
- May a high school coach of an out-of-season sport require a player to attend an out-of-season camp in that sport during the school year?
No. A high school coach may not require his/her students to attend a camp outside the high school season at any time.
- During the school year outside the season, can a coach of a high school team coach his/her student athletes in a sport in which he/she is under contract (paid or volunteer) with the school district?
No, during the school year outside the sport season, coaching contact is illegal. However, a coach may supervise a workout or open facility with approval of the local school administration. This is for supervision purposes only and no coaching can occur.
- During the school year outside the baseball season, can the baseball coach supervise open facility with baseball players at the batting cage.
Yes, the coach may supervise but may not coach his/her student athletes.
- Can the high school basketball coach open and supervise the weight room for his/her basketball players for strength and conditioning during the school year?
Yes, but the basketball coach shall not coach sport specific drills or techniques.
- During the school year outside the season, can the coach of a high school team coach a non-school team if there are no members of his or her high school team on the non-school team, but they are competing against a non-school team comprised of members of the coach’s high school team?
Yes, because the coach is not coaching the student athletes from his/her high school team.
NON-SCHOOL PARTICIPATION INTERPRETATIONS
- What procedure must be followed if a student wishes to participate in a non-school event in the same sport during the school team season?
The local school board shall by policy determine whether or not participation in non-school athletic events during the same season is permitted and provide penalties for students who may be in violation of the board’s policy.
- May the high school coach of a summer sport give a player permission to miss a practice, contest or team activity:
To attend an out-of-season camp on his/her own in a different sport?
Yes. No violation occurs because permission was given.
3. To attend a camp in an out-of-season sport in which the student’s out-of-season sport will have contact?
Yes, the in-season coach may give permission, but does not have to give permission.
May a high school coach of a sport not in season require a player to attend an out-of-season camp in that sport?
No. A high school coach may not require his/her students to attend a camp outside the high school season.
- When does the school team season begin and end?
The first legal date of practice defines the start of the school team season, and the school season ends on the final day of the state tournament.
- Do the non-school participation rules prohibit any participation in sports that are not currently in season?
No. The only non-school sports prohibited by this rule are those that are concurrent with the school team season.
FAMILY – COACH CONTACT
- I’m a coach and my son or daughter plays basketball for me on the high school team. Is it permissible for me to have contact at any time of the school year or between June 1 and the first day of fall sports practices?
Yes. At no time is contact with a son or daughter a violation of any rule. However, during the school year outside the basketball season, if other members of the high school team are present, this becomes a violation.
- A team’s head coach and assistant coach each have a daughter playing for the school’s volleyball team. May the head coach and the assistant coach be in the gym giving instruction to their respective daughters at the same time?
Yes. Coaches may work with their family members at any time without being assessed contact. If other members of the team are in the gym, contact occurs.
Scholarship Rule 36.15(2) h prohibits high school students from participating and/or training with or against college athletes who are representing their collegiate institution or as part of an event sanctioned or sponsored by a collegiate institution. Nothing in the rules prohibits a high school student from participating in a one-time tryout with or against members of a college team with permission from the member school’s administration and the respective collegiate institution’s athletic administration.
IGHSAU Guidelines for Interstate Sanctions
The following guidelines will be adhered to by the Iowa Girls’ High School Athletic Union when considering sanctions for interstate contests.
- When competing against a school outside of Iowa, you must adhere to whichever state association rules are more restrictive.
- Interstate sanctions will be considered for travel in states contiguous to Iowa and including Kansas. Out of state schools wishing to participate in Iowa must be from contiguous states to Iowa including Kansas. Loss of school time allowances as a result of such competition shall be determined by the administration of each participating school.
- No sanctioned event on the date of state association sponsored events. The IGHSAU will not sanction any contest at a time when a state association sponsored contest is on the same day.
Q1: Our school attends a track meet held in a neighboring state. After being certain the meet has been sanctioned, we are notified individuals can compete in six events. Iowa’s event limit is four. What limitations apply? Your athletes must adhere to the Iowa limitation. Even though the host school state limitation is more liberal than Iowa, you are restricted by the Iowa limitation.
Q2: Our school desires to attend a basketball tournament held at a Nebraska school located within 50 miles. Is it necessary that we secure permission before attending this meet? Yes, you must be certain the meet has been sanctioned by the IGHSAU. The sanction process begins with the host school and is initiated through the host state association office.
Q3: An Arizona school wishes to participate in a sanctioned event in Iowa. Is this legal? No, only schools from states contiguous to Iowa and Kansas can participate in Iowa sanctioned events.
Multiple meets involving only Iowa schools do not require a sanction unless the event is not sponsored organized or managed by a member school. The administration of the member school hosting the multiple meet shall be responsible for participating schools adhering to the rules and regulations of the IGHSAU. Whenever a school desires to sponsor an interstate multiple meet, contact the Association Office for the appropriate interstate sanction blanks. The National Federation has regulations relative to sanctioning.
SANCTIONING POLICY FOR IN-STATE COMPETITION HOSTED BY NON-MEMBER SCHOOLS/ORGANIZATION
- Any event in which more than two member schools participate and is not sponsored, organized or managed by a member school shall require an intrastate sanction.
- No same sport events will be sanctioned on the date of state governing organizations sponsored events.
- All rules, regulations and playing rules of the IGHSAU shall apply.
Schools choosing to participate in intrastate events not sponsored, organized or managed by a member school are responsible for making certain the event is properly sanctioned by the IGHSAU. Sanctioning forms are available for intrastate events not sponsored, organized or managed by a member school by contacting either the IGHSAU.
Q1: The McLeod Center at the University of Northern Iowa holds an eight-team basketball event. All participating schools are from Iowa. Each school only plays one game. Does this event require an intrastate sanction? Yes. The event is not organized by a member school.
Q2: Two member schools choose to play a regular season volleyball match at the US Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids. Does this require an intrastate sanction? No. The event does not involve more than two member schools.
Q3: A local civic organization sponsors an eight-team soccer tournament. The tournament is organized and managed by a member school. Does the tournament require an intrastate sanction? No. The event has a sponsor, however, the organization and management of the event is the responsibility of a member school.
Q4: A professional group put together an eight-team softball event. Member schools are invited to move one of their regular season games to the event venue and be played as part of the event. Does this event require an intrastate sanction? Yes. The event is not organized and managed by a member school.
RULE MEETING ATTENDANCE
Rule meeting attendance viewing for head coaches is mandatory. A head coach who does not attend/view a rule meeting will be prohibited from coaching his/her team during the tournament series.
REGIONAL GATE RECEIPTS POLICY
The unused tickets, reporting form and check from all games hosted during the Regional tournament shall be returned to the IGHSAU office no later than 30 calendar days following the date of the last regional final tournament game. If not received by that date, an email reminder will be sent to the Superintendent, Principal and Athletic Director of that school issuing a reminder. If not received within 10 days following the reminder, the following penalty will be assessed:
1st Offense—The IGHSAU will withhold the 20% host allowance for all games hosted.
2nd Offense within a calendar year—The IGHSAU will withhold the 20% host allowance for all games hosted and the school will not be allowed to host any regional tournament contests in any sport for one calendar year.
POLICY REGARDING ANONYMOUS COMMUNICATION
Anonymous communication received by the IGHSAU shall be forwarded to the school administrator of the school in question by the IGHSAU staff with no further action taken unless a violation is reported by the member school. Anonymous callers shall be informed that the IGHSAU staff has no authority to act upon anonymous calls, emails or letters.
All 7-12 coaches must view the NFHS Concussion video prior to the first practice day of their season (effective with 2015-16 school year)