Question regarding state policies regarding "playing up"

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Joshua Rutsky
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Question regarding state policies regarding "playing up"

Post by Joshua Rutsky » Thu Jun 13, 2019 7:55 pm

Coaches/Players:

Right now, the Alabama Scholastic Competition Association is discussing our current policies regarding players competing in our state tournaments. As of now, our rules specifically state
Players must be enrolled at the represented school or, if their school has no program for their grade level, must play for a direct feeder school which does compete, and must be in one of the grades specified for their level of competition (5,6,7, or 8 for middle school, 9 or 10 for Junior Varsity, and 9,10,11, and 12 for high school).

No school may enter more than one team for each level of play.
A number of coaches have asked us to consider amending this rule to allow students who are in middle school to "play up" at the JV or Varsity levels for the school their MS feeds into should the coach desire them to do so. Others disagree, and think that there are plenty of opportunities for students to play up at invitationals and national events. I'm interested in hearing from the community at large what the policies are in other states regarding this issue. Do other states have age limits on team members at these levels? If you are a Middle School player, would you be allowed to play for your middle school at MS State, then for your future high school in the same year at JV (and potentially Varsity) State? Are there caps on the number of years a player is eligible at any given level?

Thanks in advance for sharing your state's policies!
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Re: Question regarding state policies regarding "playing up"

Post by jonah » Thu Jun 13, 2019 9:36 pm

NAQT requires that (absent special approval to the contrary) players only play for the school(s) they actually attend. So middle schoolers cannot play for a high school (unless they also take classes there or have special approval), but a player in grade 8 at a K–12 school could play with high schoolers.

Local tournaments do not have to use NAQT's eligibility rules, but they should tell us if and how they deviate, because qualification to national championships is viewed through the lens of our eligibility rules. So, for example, if ASCA decided to let middle schoolers "play up," then any high school team that contained a middle schooler (other than the K–12 case I mentioned or similar) would be ineligible to qualify for any NAQT national championship, and we would expect ASCA to tell us what was going on so that we can make sure not to issue erroneous invitations.
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Re: Question regarding state policies regarding "playing up"

Post by alexdz » Thu Jun 13, 2019 11:48 pm

IIRC, Missouri explicitly prohibits such a thing for any MSHSAA member school, with some minor exceptions for overage students at the 8th grade level. (All multi-subject team-based quizbowl events are subject to MSHSAA's jurisdiction, even beyond the state series.)
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Re: Question regarding state policies regarding "playing up"

Post by Atlashill » Fri Jun 14, 2019 12:57 am

alexdz wrote:
Thu Jun 13, 2019 11:48 pm
IIRC, Missouri explicitly prohibits such a thing for any MSHSAA member school, with some minor exceptions for overage students at the 8th grade level. (All multi-subject team-based quizbowl events are subject to MSHSAA's jurisdiction, even beyond the state series.)
Correct. This is consistent with all activities that MSHSAA oversees (by-laws 3.5 and 4.1.5b). In the instance of the latter, exceptions are in place for middle school students to perform as part of a high school's "large choral and instrumental ensembles" or spirit squads. A violation of 4.1.5b results in an underage student being deemed a freshman and having their eight semesters of eligibility begin at that moment.

Another interesting nugget from Missouri is that, given how many of our very small rural schools are structured (in that grades seven & eight are considered part of a district's high school), we still allow freshmen to compete as part of a junior high squad. However, this may be changing within the next two years, where sixth graders will be able to compete for middle school/JH teams, but freshmen will be expected to compete at the high school level.
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Re: Question regarding state policies regarding "playing up"

Post by CPiGuy » Fri Jun 14, 2019 1:14 am

jonah wrote:
Thu Jun 13, 2019 9:36 pm
NAQT requires that (absent special approval to the contrary) players only play for the school(s) they actually attend. So middle schoolers cannot play for a high school (unless they also take classes there or have special approval), but a player in grade 8 at a K–12 school could play with high schoolers.
How likely, in practice, does NAQT grant such approval? There seem to be a few cases, but I'm curious as to what fraction of requests they comprise.
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Re: Question regarding state policies regarding "playing up"

Post by No1AtBeingMediocore » Fri Jun 14, 2019 9:01 am

Our own Matt Failor was allowed to compete (including in HSNCT) at grade 8, so i'm assuming it is allowed in Michigan.

Edit: I've been informed that this isn't exactly the full story, given
A: Quiz Central (the annual iteration that got TC Central the HSNCT 2015 Berth) doesn't post individual stats.
B: There was likely a "play up" permitted.
Last edited by No1AtBeingMediocore on Fri Jun 14, 2019 6:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Question regarding state policies regarding "playing up"

Post by CPiGuy » Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:20 am

No1AtBeingMediocore wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 9:01 am
Our own Matt Failor was allowed to compete (including in HSNCT) at grade 8, so i'm assuming it is allowed in Michigan.
Speaking as the TD of several recent U-M tournaments: Michigan doesn't have a state organization overseeing quizbowl (with the possible exception of local leagues? I'm out of state so I'm not familiar with how those are run) as far as I know, so eligibility at Saturday tournaments tends to be up to the hosts. We usually just use NAQT's eligibility rules. In the event that a middle schooler was denied NAQT permission to "play up" but they still wanted to play a tournament we ran on a non-NAQT set, I'd definitely consider allowing it.
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Re: Question regarding state policies regarding "playing up"

Post by Cody » Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:37 am

The eligibility rules for VHSL Scholastic Bowl are defined in Section 28A of the VHSL Handbook (see attached) and are the same for other atheltic and nonathletic events sponsored by VHSL. (There are more restrictions in 28B for athletic activities.) Since it's the Virginia High School League, it might be more restrictive than other states.

Some relevant excerpts:

28A-3-1 ENROLLMENT RULE-The student shall have been regularly enrolled in the school which he/she represents not later than the fifteenth school day of the semester.
(4) Eighth or ninth grade students otherwise eligible but enrolled in a member school’s feeder school.

28A-4-1 GRADE RULE-The student shall be enrolled in the last four years of high school.
28A-4-2 Exceptions:
(1) Students may compete on the sub-varsity level while in the eighth grade; however, no student below the eighth grade level is eligible to participate in any VHSL interscholastic contest.
(2) Eighth-grade students who passed five 8th grade subjects the past school year (see Note following 28A-5-1 (6)) and reached the age of fifteen on or before the first day of August may compete on the varsity level.
(3) Eighth-grade students may participate in nonathletic events for one year only while in the eighth grade. Such participation does not affect the subsequent eligibility of the student under the Semester Rule.
(4) A student may participate in VHSL sub-varsity sports for one year only prior to entering the ninth grade.

28A-6-1 SEMESTER RULE-The student shall not have been enrolled in the last four years of high school for a period of more than eight consecutive semesters, beginning with the semester in which he/she was enrolled for the first time in the ninth grade. The eight consecutive semesters shall be counted continuously from that point, regardless of whether or not he/she remains continuously enrolled in school.
PM 28A-6-1 (1) SEMESTER RULE/8th to 10th Grade (9-91)-An eighth grade student who is placed in the tenth grade is immediately eligible and has eight semesters of eligibility remaining.
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Re: Question regarding state policies regarding "playing up"

Post by meebles127 » Sat Jun 15, 2019 3:02 pm

When discussing the VHSL the transfer rule is another one worth highlighting. I was forced to move between two schools in a very short period of time last year (I'm now back at my original affiliation) and my high school career was almost ended because of said rule.
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Re: Question regarding state policies regarding "playing up"

Post by the return of AHAN » Fri Jul 12, 2019 9:38 pm

I just saw this and thought I'd weigh in on the situation in Illinois. The IHSA administers scholastic bowl (main differences from quizbowl is 5 vs 5, no powers/negs, and bonuses bounce back), and AFAIK every school that fields a quizbowl team is an IHSA member. They adhere to IHSA by-laws regarding participation, which is that students must be enrolled at the school in question. A school district that has 7th, 8th, and 9th graders in a junior high school (uncommon), can use those 9th graders on their high school's teams, provided those students do not participate on the junior high team.

At the middle school level, a plurality of schools in Illinois are members of the IESA for scholastic bowl, which uses rules somewhat similar to quizbowl. IESA rules specifically prohibit member schools from allowing their players to practice with, or compete against, high school teams.
IESA bylaws wrote:2.082 Member schools may not permit students to participate as school representatives in interscholastic activities with high
school or non-school groups.
2.083 Member schools are not allowed to practice against or with other schools, including high schools, or allow students
from their own school to practice with a different school.
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Re: Question regarding state policies regarding "playing up"

Post by tiwonge » Sun Jul 14, 2019 4:35 am

In Idaho, several high schools are 10-12 with feeder junior high schools that are 7-9. Other high schools are 9-12 with feeder middle schools that serve 6-8. I believe that the Idaho athletic association allows 9th graders in a jr. high to play for their feeder high school, to parallel what happens in a 9-12 high school.

I asked NAQT last year if we could do that in quiz bowl with respect to NAQT eligibility (obviously, as Jonah says, we can make our own rules however we want, but that doesn't confer NAQT eligibility), and I never heard back definitively from them. It would be nice if we could, but I guess we could always try to apply for an exemption if it were ever to come up. (It hasn't yet, but I'd like to be able to set a state policy about this, which is why I asked NAQT. The only school where younger students play for high school teams is TVMSC, which serves 6-12, so it's permitted.)
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Re: Question regarding state policies regarding "playing up"

Post by jonah » Sun Jul 14, 2019 10:11 am

tiwonge wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 4:35 am
I asked NAQT last year if we could do that in quiz bowl with respect to NAQT eligibility…and I never heard back definitively from them.
You're referring to an email conversation from late February 2018, right? I thought I answered it, but I can see how you might not have considered it an answer.

NAQT eligibility rules do not permit a blanket policy of the sort you describe, but we will consider individual cases that are brought to eligibility@naqt.com at least 14 days before the first tournament they want to play for a school at which they do not take classes.
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Re: Question regarding state policies regarding "playing up"

Post by Hypersmart » Wed Jul 31, 2019 1:19 pm

Cody wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:37 am
PM 28A-6-1 (1) SEMESTER RULE/8th to 10th Grade (9-91)-An eighth grade student who is placed in the tenth grade is immediately eligible and has eight semesters of eligibility remaining.
Tfw you're a college sophomore competing against high schoolers.
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Re: Question regarding state policies regarding "playing up"

Post by the return of AHAN » Wed Jul 31, 2019 8:24 pm

That's never going to be a problem. Do you see why?
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Re: Question regarding state policies regarding "playing up"

Post by meebles127 » Wed Jul 31, 2019 8:35 pm

Hypersmart wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 1:19 pm
Cody wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:37 am
PM 28A-6-1 (1) SEMESTER RULE/8th to 10th Grade (9-91)-An eighth grade student who is placed in the tenth grade is immediately eligible and has eight semesters of eligibility remaining.
Tfw you're a college sophomore competing against high schoolers.
If you look at another section of the rules you will see what defines a "bona fide student." Being a college Sophomore would not make you eligible. Heck, in most situations a Super Super Senior wouldn't even be eligible because of "Take 5, Pass 5".
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