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Decision Number
243
Book
29
Month
June
Year
2019
In RE
Athletic Eligibility
Appellant
S.H.
Appellee
IGHSAA
Summary

Ms. Hatcher seeks reversal of a decision that the IGHSAU Board of Directors made on May 20, 2019, finding that Ms. Hatcher was ineligible to participate in interscholastic athletics at the varsity level at St. Albert High School.

S.H. is 18 yrs. old and a senior in high school. She transferred from Lewis Central on January 3, 2019, at the beginning of the second semester of 2018-19. The scheduled school calendar for St. Albert consisted of 81 days for the first semester and 90 days for the second semester. Because of snow days, S.H. was only able to complete 86 consecutive school days at St. Albert in the second semester. Iowa law requires students who transfer schools to serve a 90 school-day suspension before participating in varsity interscholastic athletic activities. St. Albert found that S.H. was not eligible to participate in varsity sports because she did not attend St. Albert for 90 consecutive school days as required by law. This decision was appealed.

At hearing, S.H. argued that she should not be punished because her school chose to make up the missed school days by adding hours to already scheduled school days instead of adding additional days at the end of the calendar. S.H. argued exception number 9, that extenuating circumstances is applicable to her case. The Board found that the decision to transfer S.H. involved both athletic and non-athletic reasons. S.H. had every right to transfer to St. Albert, but the totality of the evidence does not support immediate eligibility for varsity sports.

There was no abuse of discretion; the decision must be affirmed.