New MHSAA Transfer Rule Ahead

Student transfers between high schools has been a growing concern with the MHSAA and its member schools across the state.  With school of choice, private, charter, early college and online options for high school, students who transfer are one of the most talked about issues considering fair competition for interscholastic athletics.  Although the MHSAA has athletic “related” and “motivated” regulations that come with consequences, member schools generally believe students were still transferring for athletic reasons.  The MHSAA desires to have student-athletes start AND complete their coursework and participation in athletics at the same high school.  Students entering 9th grade at Holland Christian are basically allowed immediate eligibility no matter which school they attend for 8th grade.  Currently (ending in 2018-19), if a student transfers after starting the 9th grade and they do not meet any of the eligibility exceptions (like moving), they sit for about a semester from all sports before regaining eligibility.  The new sport-specific transfer rule will be implemented during the 2019-20 school year and not allow transfers eligibility for the upcoming sport for that year if they played the previous year in at least a scrimmage or contest in the same sport… again, if they do not meet one of the eligibility exceptions.  The sports a student plays during the 2018-19 school year will determine eligibility for 2019-20 should the student transfer schools this coming summer.  The new rule is more restrictive for transfers wishing to play the same sport at a new school, but also more lenient because a student can play any of the other sports offered at their new school immediately.  The MHSAA regulations can be complicated with exceptions and waivers for unique situations, but a basic understanding of the new transfer rule will help our community respect fair competition and seek development of students who are already attending Holland Christian.  A more detailed summary with examples of the sport specific transfer rule is linked below.  Please contact Dave Engbers, Athletic Director, with further questions.