PIAA Eligibility Rules
Know your Eligibility Rules
A student who participates in interscholastic athletics at a school which is a member of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association, Inc. (P.I.A.A.) must adhere to the P.I.A.A. eligibility rules for student athletes. If you fail to comply with the P.I.A.A. rules, you will lose your eligibility to represent your school in interscholastic athletics. If you participate while ineligible, your school or team will be penalized. It is therefore important for you to be aware of the requirements to which you are subject.
The Information contained here highlights and summarizes the major eligibility requirements you must meet in order to participate in interscholastic athletics. It does not list every rule or every detail. Unless otherwise indicated, each requirement applies to grades 7 through 12.
The principal of your school is responsible for certifying the eligibility of all students representing your school in interscholastic athletics. If you have any questions concerning your athletic eligibility, either present or future, you should see your school principal, who has available a complete copy of all the P.I.A.A. eligibility rules. Your principal may also obtain from the appropriate P.I.A.A. District Committee a formal ruling to your athletic eligibility.
You may not have reached your 19th birthday by June 30 immediately preceding the school year. (15th birthday where interscholastic competition limited to grades 7 and 8; 16th birthday where limited to grades 7 through 9).
Amateur Status and Awards
To be eligible to participate in a sport, you must be an amateur in the sport. You will lose your amateur status in a sport for at least a year if:
You, or your school, or an organization which you represent, or your parent or guardian, receives money or property for or related to your athletic ability, performance, participation, or services.
You accept compensation for teaching, training, or coaching in a sport. You may receive normal and customary compensation for acting as an instructor in or officiating recreational activities, or for serving as a lifeguard at swimming class.
You may receive awards only from your school, the sponsor of an athletic event, the news media, or a nonprofit organization approved by your school principal. Permissible awards are a sweater, jacket, blazer, blanket, shirt, shorts, jersey, cap,watch, ring, scroll, photograph, medal,plaque, or similar trophy, which must bear appropriate organizational insignia or comparable identification.
You must be regularly enrolled in your school and in full-time attendance there.
You are eligible only at the school at which you are enrolled.
If you are absent from school during a semester for a total of 20 or more school days, you will lose your eligibility until you have been in attendance for a total of 60 days following your 20th day of absence.
Consent of Parent or Guardian
You are eligible only if there is on file in your school, an Extracurricular/Athletic Code of Conduct signed by your parent or guardian consenting to your participation in the particular sport involved during the first week of practice.
Pre-participation Physical Evaluation
You are eligible only if you have participated in a pre-participation physical evaluation performed by a licensed physician of medicine or osteopathic medicine, a certified registered nurse practitioner, or a certified physician assistant before your first sports season's first practice day of that school year. Before each subsequent sports season's first practice day of that same school year, you must be reevaluated or certified that your condition is satisfactory before you commence to practice for the sport.
In all cases, the medical professional must have signed the P.I.A.A. Physician's Certificate
You are treated as having transferred whenever you change schools, even if you are out of school for a period of time before entering the new school.
Except as provided below, if you transfer from one school district to another you are eligible immediately at the new school:
When you live with your natural or adoptive parents in the new school district.
When you live with a court-appointed legal guardian in the new school district, upon approval by the P.I.A.A. District Committee.
If you transfer between schools, you will be eligible immediately provided you are transferring for the first time between schools, and, as to fall sports, the first transfer is made between completion of the previous school year at your school and the first practice day for fall sports at your next school, and, as to winter and spring sports, the first transfer is made between completion of the previous school year at your school and the beginning of the next school year at your next school.
If you transfer from one school to another in whole or in part for any athletic purpose, or if you were recruited, you will lose your athletic eligibility in all sports for one year. This requirement applies even if you would otherwise be eligible at the school to which you transferred.
Most students who are not eligible immediately will be ineligible for one year from the date of the transfer in each sport in which they participated within one year preceding the date of transfer.
Period of Time After Eighth Grade, Participation, and Grade Repetition
You will lose your eligibility when you have reached the end of your fourth consecutive year beyond the eighth grade. If you repeat a grade after eighth, you will be ineligible as a senior.
You may participate a maximum of six seasons in each sport during grades seven through twelve, a maximum of four seasons in each sport during grades nine through twelve, and a maximum of three seasons in each sport during grades seven through nine.
You may participate only one season in each sport during each school year.
All-Star Contests and National High School/Interscholastic Championships
You will lose your eligibility in a sport for one year if you participate in an all-star contest in that sport or if you participate in a contest to qualify for and/or determine a single national high school/interscholastic individual champion or championship team in that sport.