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Wednesday, February 15, 2006 - Page updated at 12:24 AM


Sections from WIAA handbook that cover recruiting, transfers

Editor's note: The following are excerpts from the 2005-2006 Handbook of the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association. They are the sections of the handbook that are most important in evaluating any inappropriate conduct by Chief Sealth coaches. The entire handbook can be found at

PHILOSOPHY OF RECRUITING: Students who demonstrate special skills and talent in any of the activities under the jurisdiction of the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association should not be subjected to pressures to enroll in a member school outside of their normal enrollment area. The rules do not prohibit legitimate school public relations, promotion or marketing. Rather, these rules prohibit capitalization upon a school's athletic program and/or a student's athletic interest, potential or proficiency as a factor in determining school attendance.

17.24.0 RECRUITING — Efforts to induce students to enroll in a member school because of the students' special talent or skill is considered recruiting. Recruiting of students or attempted recruiting of students for athletic purposes is prohibited, regardless of their residence.

17.24.1 No student athlete may receive, or be offered, any remuneration's of any kind, or to receive or be offered any special inducement of any kind which is not made available to all applicants who enroll in the school or apply to the school.

A. Special inducement shall include, but not be limited to the offer or acceptance of:

(1) Money or other valuable consideration such as free or reduced tuition during the regular year or summer school by anyone connected with the school.

(2) Room, board or clothing or financial allotment for clothing.

(3) Pay for work that is not performed or that is in excess of the amount regularly paid for such service.

(4) Free transportation by any school connected person.

(5) Residence with any school connected person.

(6) Any privilege not afforded to non-athletes.

(7) Free or reduced rent for parents.

(8) Payment of moving expenses of parents or assistance with the moving of parents.

(9) Employment of family unit in order to entice the family to move to a certain community if someone connected with the school makes the offer.

(10) Help in securing a college athletic scholarship.

B. Inducing or attempting to induce or encourage any prospective student to attend any member school for the purpose of participating in athletics, even when special remuneration or inducement is not given is a violation.

No member school and no one acting on behalf of any member school shall give any speech or give any slide, film or tape presentation or distribute any written material which states or implies that a member school's athletic program is better than the athletic program any other member school or that it would be more advantageous for any prospective student-athlete to participate in athletics at that member school as opposed to any other school.

C. Member schools shall be responsible for any violation committed by any person associated with the school, including principals, assistant principals, coaches, teachers, any other staff members or students, or any organization having any connection to the school. The member schools shall be responsible for any violation committed by any person acting at the direction of the school.

This rule is not intended to prevent a member school from conducting academic recruitment programs or recruitment programs designed to attract students based upon the school's overall educational and extracurricular programs of the school and not be used as a subterfuge for recruiting students for athletic purposes.

PHILOSOPHY OF RESIDENCE RULE: The WIAA residence rule is intended to create an equitable environment in which its member schools can compete, and at the same time prevent those abuses that taint the goals of interscholastic athletics. Primarily, the residence rule is intended to prevent athletic recruiting, prevent students from choosing schools for athletic reasons, and to promote the varied family units as the best environment for students to live in while attending school. Deterring students from running away from or avoiding imposed discipline, protecting school programs by discouraging athletic transfers and protecting the opportunities for bona fide resident students to participate are also viable reasons for the residence rule.

PHILOSOPHY OF TRANSFER — The Transfer Rule is preventative in nature and is devised to eliminate the incentive to transfer schools when the motivation is for athletic purposes and after a student has initially chosen the school of his/her choice while he/she has been living with the family unit. The Transfer Rule protects students who have previously participated in athletic competition at a member school from being replaced by students who transfer for athletic purposes and further protects students at other member schools from the effects of "school shopping" by students and "recruiting" by member schools and their agents. The Transfer Rule encourages fair play, discourages the excesses and abuses of promotion, and protects the integrity of interscholastic athletic programs for the member schools and their students. While recognizing the educational experiences that each member school provides, the WIAA member schools support the right of parents and students to attend a school of their choice. The WIAA member schools believe that once an educational choice has been made there must be a special set of circumstances as covered in the "hardship rule" to warrant athletic eligibility when a student transfer occurs without a commensurate move on the part of the family unit.


PHILOSOPHY OF RULE VIOLATIONS AND PENALTIES: The strength of the WIAA lies in the willingness and ability of the membership to support the rules and regulations adopted and, if necessary, to support the penalties placed upon members, if it is determined that those same rules and regulations have been violated.

27.1.0 SELF REPORTING RULE VIOLATIONS BY MEMBER SCHOOLS — When a school becomes aware that a rule has been violated, the offending school principal (or designee) must report the infraction and any action taken by the school in writing within five (5) school business days to: 1) the superintendent of the offending school, 2) the league of school membership for review and action, and 3) the appropriate WIAA District.

27.1.1 The offending school may appeal any league actions, first to the appropriate WIAA District for review and action and, following WIAA District action, to the WIAA for review and action in accordance with Article 26.0.0.

27.2.0 RULE VIOLATIONS INVOLVING SCHOOLS OR STUDENTS — Reports of students or schools in alleged violation of WIAA Rules and Regulations shall be handled as follows:

School League WIAA District Board WIAA Ex. Board
Fines X X X X
Forfeit game X X X X
Forfeit season X X X
Forfeit revenue shares X X X X
Withhold Allocation X X
Play-off entry denial X X X

27.2.1 Schools have the responsibility to report possible eligibility infractions or school violations of WIAA rules and regulations in writing to the principal of the school involved, with copies sent to the involved school's superintendent, the appropriate league and WIAA District Secretaries at the earliest possible date for the principal's investigation and response to the notifying school.

27.2.2 The principal of the school involved in the alleged violation shall reply to the notifying school principal within five (5) school business days the results of the investigation.

27.2.3 Copies of the investigation report, including action taken, shall be sent to the involved school's superintendent, appropriate league, WIAA District Secretary and the notifying school's principal.

27.2.4 After five (5) school business days of receipt of notice of an alleged violation, upon receipt or absence of the investigation report, the league shall hear the allegations and determine the penalty, if any, in accordance with the WIAA School District Due Process Procedures.

27.3.0 USE OF INELIGIBLE PARTICIPANT — The use of a participant who is ineligible by WIAA or local school district rules shall result in forfeiture of contests in which that participant took part, except in situations in which it is determined that the participant/parent/guardian provided the school with false information which caused the school to declare the participant eligible. In such cases, the participant will be declared ineligible for interscholastic competition for a period of one (1) year.

Should a member school determine that a participant is ineligible after that student has participated in one or more interscholastic competitions, that student may apply for eligibility through the process outlined in WIAA Rule 19. Should the participant be declared eligible during this process, the forfeiture(s) due to this participation shall be voided.

27.4.0 PENALTY FOR USE OF INELIGIBLE PARTICIPANT — The penalty for use of an ineligible participant is as follows:

27.4.1 In the team sports of baseball (including the pitching limitation rule), basketball (including violations of the quarter rule), football, soccer, softball and volleyball, the school must:

A. Forfeit all contests involved, unless the participant is found to be eligible by the District Eligibility Committee after the contests have been played.

B. Adjust its place in league standings and/or relinquish its place in tournament standings.

C. Return team and individual awards.

27.4.2 In the individual sports of cross country, golf, gymnastics, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, and wrestling, the school must:

A. Eliminate all matches, places, points, scores, etc., of involved student as an individual, and eliminate all contributions made by involved student toward team score.

B. Reduce team points (score) and adjust league standings and/or tournament places.

C. Return awards of individual(s) and, if appropriate, after adjusting standings, team awards.

27.5.0 PENALTIES FOR VIOLATION — Violations of the rules of this Association shall render the offending school liable to a penalty by the action of the school, league, WIAA District or the WIAA Executive Board.

27.5.1 Probation — The school is placed on probation for a specified time by the league, WIAA District or WIAA Executive Board. An official letter shall be sent to the concerned school warning against further actions that are contrary to the aims and philosophy of the league, WIAA District or WIAA. During the probationary period, a school may participate in all interscholastic activities unless stipulated otherwise by the league or WIAA.

27.5.2 Restriction — As a condition of probationary status, the league, WIAA District, or WIAA Executive Board may take action that would restrict participation in league, WIAA District or state level activities. The restriction may be applied to an individual, team, group or school. Authority to impose one or more of the following restrictions is vested in the entity indicated as follows:

27.5.3 Suspension — All rights and privileges of member schools of the WIAA are withheld for a specified period determined by the WIAA Executive Board. The WIAA Executive Board may suspend a school in a particular sport or activity or in all sports and activities for a sports season or school year.

27.5.4 Expulsion — The school's membership in the WIAA is terminated.

27.5.5 Member schools violating the regular season games, meets or match limitation shall be ineligible for any postseason participation in that sport.

27.5.6 Other Penalties — A major penalty may be invoked as deemed appropriate by the WIAA Executive Board (i.e., a fine, loss of games, loss of tournament participation.)

A. If a student who has been declared ineligible is permitted to participate in interscholastic competition because of a court restraining order and/or injunction against the school or WIAA, and if such restraining order and/or injunction subsequently is dismissed, stayed, reversed or the school or WIAA prevails at trial, one (1) or more of the penalties outlined above may be taken in the interest of restitution and fairness to other member schools.

B. If a student participates under a court order and then the Association prevails at trial, or the participant dismisses his/her action/lawsuit, or the injunction, restraining order, action/lawsuit is subsequently overturned or dismissed, the participant shall become immediately ineligible and shall remain ineligible for the period of time equal to that for which the student was allowed to participate under the restraining order or injunction.

C. When the WIAA is involved in legal cases, the Executive Board may seek to recover attorney costs when found to be the prevailing party.

27.6.0 SUMMARY OF RULINGS — At the conclusion of each school year a summary of rule violations and actions taken by schools, leagues and WIAA Districts shall be forwarded to the WIAA Office by each WIAA District Executive Board.

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