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Decision Number
Christian R., athletic transfer
Tyler R., on behalf of Christian R.
Iowa High School Athletic Association
Full Text

Tyler, Christian's father, petitioned the IHSAA to allow Christian to play varsity football without having to sit out the 90-days. The petition was denied and Tyler then appealed that decision to the Board of Control. After reviewing the matter the Board of Control denied the appeal after the August 30, 2011 meeting.

The denial was based upon the fact that the Board found that the rule should not be waived for a non-resident student transferring into Iowa and that there was no compelling reason to grant an exception to the general transfer rule. Christian and his father filed a timely appeal of this decision. In the hearing Tyler outlined the chronology of Christian's problems at his former high school and how well he is doing after transferring to St. Albert's. Tyler believes that the 90-day rule should be waived due to the extenuating circumstances in this case considering the physical and psychological abuse Christian suffered while at his former school.

The Board ruled that neither Christian nor his parents are residents of the state of Iowa. "The Association has consistently required that non-resident students transferring to IHSAA member schools be subject to the 90 day ineligibility period." (emphasis in original) The exceptions Christian and Tyler are requesting to be applied are the "broken home" rule (281 IAC 36.15(3)(a)(4)(8) and the "catchall exception" rule (281 IAC 36.15(3)(a)(8) for what is "fair and reasonable."

The hearing officer and director agree with the determination made by the Board of Control. The motivating factor to Christian's transfer was for him to find a football team that accepted him. The "broken home" rule allows a student to be immediately eligible in the district (or nonpublic school in the district) in which the new custodial parent resides. Tyler does not reside in Council Bluffs.

The undersigned finds that the Appellants have not established a valid basis to waive the requirements of the General Transfer Rule. Issues regarding acceptance on a team do not constitute a valid reason to waive the requirements of the General Transfer Rule.

For the foregoing reasons, the September 6, 2011 decision of the Board of Control of the Iowa High School Athletic Association that Christian R. is ineligible to compete in varsity interscholastic athletics at St. Albert's Catholic High School for a period of 90 consecutive school days is AFFIRMED.