FHSAA Notice on Eligibility of Students Displaced as a Result of Hurricane Maria

The emergency provisions for displaced students impacted by Hurricane Maria for the 2017-2018 school year are as follows:

“Students”, as referenced in the information found below, applies specifically to students displaced from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, who have moved to various parts of Florida as a direct result of Hurricane Maria.

FHSAA Bylaw 9.2 – Attendance Requirements and FHSAA Bylaw 9.3 – Transfer Regulations

1.      FHSAA Bylaws rendering students ineligible as a result of residence and transfer are waived for the first semester of the 2017-2018 school year. This attendance/transfer eligibility exception will expire at the end of the first semester. However, this does not allow waivers, for students participating in interscholastic competition, to reside with representatives of the school’s athletic interests as defined in FHSAA Bylaw 1.4.18 (reference FHSAA Policy 37.2.2.7); such instances will require approval through the FHSAA Due Process procedures.

FHSAA Bylaw 9.4 – Academic Requirements

1.      Students who are displaced as a result of the hurricane, will be declared academically eligible for the first semester of the 2017-2018 school year, if an official transcript cannot be obtained. This academic eligibility exception will expire at the end of the first semester. Grades earned by the student during the first semester shall be used to determine academic eligibility for the second semester of the 2017-2018 school year, unless semester courses cannot be completed (see below). FHSAA member schools that are successful in obtaining transcripts for the impacted students, must incorporate previously earned grades when determining the student’s academic eligibility.

2.      Students who enroll in FHSAA member schools prior to the conclusion of the first semester of the 2017-2018 school year and are unable to complete semester courses before the end of the first semester, will be academically eligible to participate in interscholastic athletic contests during the third 9-week grading period of the 2017-2018 school year. Once the student has completed the third 9-week grading period, he/she must possess a minimum 2.0 GPA to continue participating during the fourth 9-week grading period. If the student does not possess the minimum GPA, he/she will be ineligible during the fourth 9-week grading period.

3.      Students who enroll after the first semester of the 2017-2018 school year has concluded, must provide an official transcript.  In accordance with FHSAA Bylaw 9.4.1.9, a student who is unable to obtain an official transcript from his/her previous school will be ineligible until he/she has been in attendance for one full semester, establishing a cumulative GPA.

FHSAA Bylaw 9.6 – Age

1.      The provisional eligibility granted for attendance, transfer and academic requirements, is not extended to FHSAA Bylaw 9.6 – Age. The Association acknowledges the challenges that FHSAA member schools will encounter due to the lack of available, official records. FHSAA member schools are expected to administer due diligence in confirming the age of the student(s) enrolling in their schools prior to allowing the student(s) to participate. In the absence of documentation verifying the student’s age, member schools shall adhere to the following:

a.      An affidavit of age sworn by the parent and/or legal guardian, accompanied by a certificate of age signed by a public health officer or by a public school physician, or if these are not available in the county or to the member school, by a licensed physician designated by the school district board or the schools governing body (in the case of non-public schools), which states that the health officer or licensed physician has examined the student and believes that the age, as stated on the affidavit, is substantially correct. Impacted students arriving at FHSAA member schools shall be permitted to use this form of age verification for a period of thirty (30) days.

2.      FHSAA member schools are expected to confirm, or reconfirm as necessary, the student’s age and appropriate grade level prior to the student’s participation in interscholastic athletics.

FHSAA Bylaw 9.7 – Physical Evaluation (FHSAA Form EL2 – Pre-participation Physical Evaluation) and FHSAA Bylaw 9.8 – Consent and Release (FHSAA Form EL3 – Consent and Release from Liability Certificate)

1.      Impacted students must complete a Pre-Participation Evaluation and a Consent and Release from Liability Certificate, as stated in FHSAA Bylaw 9.7.1 and FHSAA Bylaw 9.8.1, prior to participating in athletic activities with the school. Person(s) acting as guardian(s) may sign the forms in the appropriate areas.

FHSAA Policy 36.4.2 – Affidavit of Compliance

1.      FHSAA member school representatives must require the impacted student to complete an Affidavit of Compliance with the Policies on Athletic Recruiting & Non-Traditional Student Participation (FHSAA Form GA4). For questions pertaining to the student’s previous school, please write “displaced” followed by the school(s) the student has recently attended. Person(s) acting as guardian(s) may sign the forms in the appropriate areas.