With spring post-season tournaments under way I thought it might be a good time to review Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) summer eligibility rules. I would like to highlight three areas where the MSHSL rules may impact our athletes over the summer months.
I. Summer participation
Summer is defined by the MSHSL as June 1 through July 31. There is a one-week break over the Fourth of July where coaches cannot have contact with athletes. This summer that is June 29-July 5. Baseball and softball are exceptions to this rule.
During the summer, coaches must request and be granted a waiver in order to work with any athletes who were on the JV or varsity teams the prior season. Once the waiver is granted, coaches can work with the athletes in any capacity that they would during the regular high school season as long as the athlete’s participation in the activity is voluntary.
Athletes can participate in an unlimited number of games and tournaments during the summer period. They can be involved in an unlimited number of camps, clinics and leagues.
The restrictions for summer activities are:
• The use of school uniforms is not allowed.
• School equipment may be used by the athlete but must be leased.
• All fees and expenses required for participation must be paid for by the athlete or parents.
• Booster clubs may not provide financial assistance to athletes.
The transfer rule has remained steady over the past few years. The short version of the rule is that if you transfer without a corresponding change of residence you are ineligible for varsity competition for one calendar year.
There are several other parts to this rule so it is always good to get advice before making a decision.
III. Chemical use
“During the calendar year a student shall not use, consume or have in possession ... alcohol, tobacco or controlled substances ...” Years ago the rule read, “During the school year ...”
Although this is not a new rule, it is one that is commonly overlooked. Violations occurring during the summer carry the same penalty they would while school is in session.
If you have questions about summer eligibility or any other MSHSL rules, please contact me and I would be happy to visit with you. Enjoy the rest of the spring sports season.
See you at the games!
(Marc Helmrichs is activities director for Pequot Lakes Schools.)