The appellant seeks a reversal of a decision by the IHSAA Board finding that a sixth-year student is ineligible to compete in interscholastic athletics. A.T. has been diagnosed with a rare form of epilepsy. He has cognitive and developmental impairments resulting from his condition. Despite these limitations, A.T. showed an aptitude for running.
A.T. is a special education student with an IEP. One of his IEP goals is that he will participate in extracurricular activities with non-disabled peers and have the same opportunity. A.T. turned 20 years old in May, 2019. His participation in cross county inspired many positive outcomes. The physical activity improved his health. He learned the value of competition and gained confidence that carried over into other areas of his life. A.T. brought acclaim to Iowa high school athletics.
After running for four years, A.T. requested an additional year of eligibility before the 2018 and 2019 seasons. The IHSAA Board of Control each time deemed him ineligible.
The IHSAA's interpretation of the maximum age rule and eight-semester rule to promote commonality among participants. The IHSAA's interpretation also ensures equality of opportunity: IEP students and non-IEP students alike must abide by the same rules and therefore share equal opportunity.
The decision by the Iowa High School Athletic Association that A.T. is ineligible to compete in interscholastic athletic contests and competitions is Affirmed.