Interscholastic Eligibility Requirements

Academic Requirements: 

To be eligible for athletic competition during the first semester, a student must have passed 30 credits during the immediately preceding academic year. This rule is applied to all Fall and Winter Sports.

To be eligible for athletic competition during the second semester, a student must have passed 15 credits at the close of the preceding semester. Full-year courses shall be equated as one-half of the total credits to be gained for the full year to determine credits passed during the immediately preceding semester. This rule is applied to all Spring Sports.

Seniors may be eligible in the second semester of their senior year even when they carry less than 15 credits during the first semester provided they are meeting their school district’s graduation requirements and are passing or have withdrew-passing in all courses in which they are enrolled at the start of the first semester. Students should be cautioned not to register for the minimum credits (15) in the first semester of their senior year, since a failure of just one course will result in ineligibility in the second semester.  

Age Requirement:

An athlete cannot participate in interscholastic athletics if he or she has reached the age of nineteen (19) prior to September 1 of any year.

Semester Requirement:

No student shall be eligible for high school athletics after the expiration of eight consecutive semesters following his/her entrance into the 9th grade. A student becomes ineligible for high school athletics when the class in which he/she was originally enrolled has graduated.

If a student’s pre-high school participation in high school sports occurred in a state other than New Jersey, the student’s eight consecutive semesters of eligibility shall begin when the student enters high school, provided that (a) the student has transferred into New Jersey with a bona fide change of residence; (b) a Transfer Form has been completed; and (c) the student meets all other eligibility requirements, including academic requirements.

Transfer Eligibility:

A student-athlete who transfers from one secondary school to another because of a bona fide change of residence by his/her parents or guardians, or through assignment by the Board of Education, becomes eligible to represent his/her new school immediately upon entrance unless recruitment or transfer for athletic advantage is alleged and provided all other eligibility regulations are satisfied.

A student-athlete transferring from one secondary school to another, without a bona fide change of residence by that student’s parent or guardian, shall be ineligible to participate for a period of thirty (30) calendar days or one half of the maximum number of games allowed in the sport by NJSIAA rules (the ineligibility period) from the beginning of the regular schedule, whichever is less, in any sport in which the student has previously participated at the varsity level. 

Participation in a sport is defined as playing any interscholastic contest at any level. Playing in practices or pre-season scrimmages does not constitute participation. 

A bona fide change of residence takes place when:

The parent/guardian moves with the student from one public high school district to another public high school district;

The parent/guardian completes an affidavit or certification with proof of the new residence;

The change of residence must have occurred on or before the following dates: August 1 to be immediately eligible to participate during the Fall sports season; November 1, to be immediately eligible to participate in the Winter sports season; and March 1, to be immediately eligible to participate in the Spring sports season; and

The new residence may not be associated with, leased, or provided by anyone associated with the school or acting at the direction of the school, including but not limited to administration, staff, coaches, students, parents, booster clubs, or any organization having a connection with the school. 

Six-Days of Practice Rule

A student shall not be permitted to participate in a scrimmage or a game (interschool) in any strenuous sport until he/she has completed six days of practice in that sport (days of 24 hours, not sessions) and one day of rest.

Students that are involved in overlapping sports are not subject to the six-day practice rule if they start the next sport within three days of the completion of the first sport. If a student is inactive for more than three days involving overlapping sports, then the six-day practice rule will be in effect.

A practice is defined as a session where a team is assembled and involved in physical activity to enhance the participant’s physical condition. Practices of any kind for individuals, partial or entire teams, on days when the team is involved in interscholastic scrimmages or games-meets will not count toward satisfying the six (6) day rule

NJSIAA Constitution 2022-2023

NJSIAA Policies and Procedures 2022-2023

NJSIAA Bylaws - Eligibility of Student-Athletes