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Decision Number
Tim Ratino
Regina Ratino
Iowa High School Athletic Association
Full Text

Appellants' son, Tim Ratino, is a 15-year-old who attended Mt. Michael Benedictine High School, in Elk Horn, Nebraska. Mt. Michael does not offer a high school baseball program. Tim's only opportunity was to play baseball for West High School. The Board of Control denied Appellant's request on May 30, 1996.

Appellant argued before the Board of Control that her son's situation was unique and his eligibility should be granted under the provisions of the General Transfer Rule 36.15(3). Secondly, Appellant argues that her son's case should be covered by 36.15(3)(b)(8).

The real dispute in this case is the consequence that will follow from the application of the IHSAA's eligibility rules. Appellant argues persuasively that her son's case is so unique, that an exception should be made in his "best interest." She argues that they have lived in this school district in Sioux City for 21 years and have contributed substantially to that community. This is not a case of school district recruitment that is the reason these eligibility rules exist in the first place.

In contrast, Mr. Saggau argues that an exception in Tim's case will create a "slippery slope." It will be nearly impossible for the Association to control eligibility in cases in which "look like this one" but are not quite the same. Although Mr. Saggau admitted that in his 29 years as Executive Director he has never seen an appeal like this, he also stated that he believed appeals had not been made because the eligibility rules were well respected and understood. When that is the case, folks don't waste their time appealing issues that are clearly contrary to the rules.

The facts of Tim Ratino's case fit squarely within the conclusions and rationale of the two cases cited above. Both the evidence and the law support upholding the decision of the IHSAA Board of Control.

That the decision of the Board of Control of the Iowa High School Athletic Association, to deny eligibility for Tim Ratino to play baseball for his parents' resident district beginning in the summer of 1996, was affirmed.