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Decision Number
Grant D.
William and Krista D.
Iowa High School Athletic Association
Full Text

The District sought reversal of a decision that the IHSAA Board of Control ["Board"] made on September 16, 2015, finding that Grand View Christian High School student Grant D. is ineligible to compete in varsity interscholastic athletics for 90 consecutive school days under the provisions of the general transfer rule, 281?IAC 36.15(3).

It is undisputed that the Appellants and their family moved from Pella to Altoona prior to the start of the 2015-16 school year for family reasons. That is not the transfer in question. The transfer at the heart of this matter is that of the Appellant's son, Grant, now a high school sophomore at Grand View Christian High School ["GVC"], from Pella High School to GVC.

The Board concluded that no exceptions applied under which Grant could qualify for immediate eligibility to participate in varsity athletics. The Director of the Department of Education examined the IHSAA Board of Control's application of the transfer rule to Evan to see whether the Board abused its discretion. "Abuse of discretion is synonymous with unreasonableness, and a decision is unreasonable when it is based on an erroneous application of law or not based on substantial evidence." City of Dubuque v. Iowa Utilities Bd., 2013 WL 85807, 4 (Iowa App. 2013), citing Sioux City Cmty. Sch. Dist. v. Iowa Dep't of Educ., 659 N.W.2d 563, 566 (Iowa 2003) (holding that the Iowa Department of Education erred when it did not apply the abuse of discretion standard). See also Indiana High School Athletic Ass'n, Inc. V. Carlberg by Carlberg, 694 N.E.2d 222 (Ind. 1997), in which the Indiana Supreme Court determined that decisions of the Indiana High School Athletic Association based on its transfer rule (very similar to the transfer rule of the IHSAA) are reviewed for arbitrary and capriciousness. 694 N.E.2d at 233.

The Board properly concluded that no exception should be made for Grant. The Board did consider the motivating factors for the transfer, but the Appellants misstate the transfer as being from their residence in Pella to their residence in Altoona. The transfer at issue is Grant's transfer from Pella High School to Grand View Christian High School. By his own statements to the Board, that transfer was very much motivated by Grant's "passion" for basketball.

The Board in no way abused its discretion when it refused to grant an exception to Grant under either 281?IAC 36.15(3)"a"(1) or (8).

The September 16, 2015 decision of the Board of Control of the Iowa High School Athletic Association that Grant D. is ineligible to compete in varsity interscholastic athletics at Grand View Christian High School for a period of 90 consecutive school days is AFFIRMED.