Unattached Athletes at High School Meets?
04/09/2010 9:28:18 AM
Coach
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 61
While looking through the results for the Mooresville I noticed some athletes with Unattached beside there name. I believe this is against some kind of HS rule??? Does anyone know?
While looking through the results for the Mooresville I noticed some athletes with Unattached beside there name. I believe this is against some kind of HS rule??? Does anyone know?
04/09/2010 1:15:57 PM
Coach
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 21
It is not against the rule. Some athletes have to run attached when one, their school won't take them to Saturday meets, and two the school refuse to allow them to run under the school as if they are going against the team by trying to get better and compete against competition outside of the dual meets. Most coaches understand that a college scout is not going to be at a dual meet or see results from them most of the time. Basketball, baseball, and soccer, have tournaments on weekends. Track & Field have invitations where the best gather on Saturday's and everyone puts it on the line to throw and jump far and too run fast.
It is not against the rule. Some athletes have to run attached when one, their school won't take them to Saturday meets, and two the school refuse to allow them to run under the school as if they are going against the team by trying to get better and compete against competition outside of the dual meets. Most coaches understand that a college scout is not going to be at a dual meet or see results from them most of the time. Basketball, baseball, and soccer, have tournaments on weekends. Track & Field have invitations where the best gather on Saturday's and everyone puts it on the line to throw and jump far and too run fast.
04/09/2010 5:37:40 PM
Power User
SUBSCRIBER
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 118
That is not true. Unattached athletes are absolutely not permitted by NFHS rules. If they enter unattached, there is know way to certify age, eligibility, do they go to a HS, etc...
That is not true. Unattached athletes are absolutely not permitted by NFHS rules. If they enter unattached, there is know way to certify age, eligibility, do they go to a HS, etc...
04/09/2010 6:17:07 PM
Admin
SUBSCRIBER
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 2416
As of this year, the NCHSAA does not accept entries to the regional meet if they were achieved while competing as an unattached athletes or as part of a club. Only performances achieved while competing for an NCHSAA school will be accepted into the regional meets. This was announced near the end of last spring, I believe. Whether a meet accepts unattached athletes will depend on the sanctioning and competition level of the meet. An athlete listed as unattached may simply be running a meet on a day when his/her team has no competition. Parents can take athletes to any competition, but they may not represent their school in that situation; hence the unattached label. A meet director has the responsibility of verifying that the unattached athlete is appropriately eligible for that competition. There is a long-standing tradition in our sport of athletes competing unaattached in higher levels of competition. Three years ago, the NCAA put a stop to high school athletes competing unattached against collegians; however, that seems to have been relaxed, as there have been several NCAA meets with unattached high-schoolers in them this year.
As of this year, the NCHSAA does not accept entries to the regional meet if they were achieved while competing as an unattached athletes or as part of a club. Only performances achieved while competing for an NCHSAA school will be accepted into the regional meets. This was announced near the end of last spring, I believe.

Whether a meet accepts unattached athletes will depend on the sanctioning and competition level of the meet. An athlete listed as unattached may simply be running a meet on a day when his/her team has no competition. Parents can take athletes to any competition, but they may not represent their school in that situation; hence the unattached label. A meet director has the responsibility of verifying that the unattached athlete is appropriately eligible for that competition.

There is a long-standing tradition in our sport of athletes competing unaattached in higher levels of competition. Three years ago, the NCAA put a stop to high school athletes competing unattached against collegians; however, that seems to have been relaxed, as there have been several NCAA meets with unattached high-schoolers in them this year.
04/09/2010 6:39:26 PM
Coach
SUBSCRIBER
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 147
The HS athletes may only compete in college meets if they are competing in a HS only event. If they compete against college athletes their state federation may suspend them or remove their eligibility entirely.
The HS athletes may only compete in college meets if they are competing in a HS only event. If they compete against college athletes their state federation may suspend them or remove their eligibility entirely.
04/10/2010 8:26:59 AM
Coach
SUBSCRIBER
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 110
Where are you getting your information from?
Where are you getting your information from?
04/11/2010 12:57:29 PM
Power User
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 50
Yes "Where are the rules written for this?" I have always heard rumors about The NCAA proposing rules restricting hs athletes from competing in college meets, but I'm sure they never passed such a rule or there wouldn't be so many hs and even a middle school athlete competing with college athletes. I would think each state could make their own rules on the high school level.
Yes "Where are the rules written for this?" I have always heard rumors about The NCAA proposing rules restricting hs athletes from competing in college meets, but I'm sure they never passed such a rule or there wouldn't be so many hs and even a middle school athlete competing with college athletes. I would think each state could make their own rules on the high school level.
04/12/2010 10:54:14 AM
Coach
SUBSCRIBER
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 8
If what everyone is saying is true, then Wake Forest is in trouble for letting Alana Hadley run the 5K. She's a middle schooler running against collegians. HOWEVER, I'm sure Wake Forest did their homework before allowing her to run. Can anyone cite the rule and page or point us to the exact rule that everyone keeps talking about? I've seen several local college meets with high schoolers in them this season and, with all the attention Hadley received for running in the Wake Forest meet (in The Charlotte Observer, on ncrunners.com and ncpreptrack.com), I would be amazed that Wake Forest did something against the rules. I've been amazed before, though.
If what everyone is saying is true, then Wake Forest is in trouble for letting Alana Hadley run the 5K. She's a middle schooler running against collegians. HOWEVER, I'm sure Wake Forest did their homework before allowing her to run. Can anyone cite the rule and page or point us to the exact rule that everyone keeps talking about? I've seen several local college meets with high schoolers in them this season and, with all the attention Hadley received for running in the Wake Forest meet (in The Charlotte Observer, on ncrunners.com and ncpreptrack.com), I would be amazed that Wake Forest did something against the rules. I've been amazed before, though.
04/12/2010 10:57:17 PM
Coach
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 33
Athletes may enter meets as "unattached", but these marks are not valid for qualifying for regional championships. Many meets avoid the hassle by not allowing unattached athletes to compete. The main problem that was encountered in the past had been club teams entering hs athletes in open meets. In several cases the school had meets on the same day. The rule that applies to this problem is the split squad rule. A team cannot be broken up and compete in two different meets on the same day. No rule was violated by the athlete running unattached.
Athletes may enter meets as "unattached", but these marks are not valid for qualifying for regional championships. Many meets avoid the hassle by not allowing unattached athletes to compete. The main problem that was encountered in the past had been club teams entering hs athletes in open meets. In several cases the school had meets on the same day. The rule that applies to this problem is the split squad rule. A team cannot be broken up and compete in two different meets on the same day. No rule was violated by the athlete running unattached.
04/13/2010 12:55:41 AM
Coach
SUBSCRIBER
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 8
MarkAnthony, thanks. Seems another coach disagrees with you, though (see post by another coach that said NFHS rules absolutely deny unattached athletes the right to run)....Which is why I was asking someone to prove their point (where is this NFHS rule) and not make some off the cuff comment by saying it does or doesn't exist (where is the rule that says it IS OK?). My point was that I wanted someone to provide this rule or prove that there wasn't a rule. Everyone seems to be saying either that a) "there is a rule" or b) "there isn't a rule" without actually proving that there is or there isn't a rule. No one seems to have evidence of either. Seems we have opinions and not real facts (yet). I would hope everyone here would want to know the truth and not just someone's opinion. Otherwise this thread is really only opinions, which don't really mean much when it gets down to it ... because we're trying to uncover the rule (either saying it is ok or saying it isn't ok isn't enough). Anyone can say that. So, the questions still remains: WHERE CAN THE RULE BE FOUND (either saying it is ok or it isn't ok)?
MarkAnthony, thanks. Seems another coach disagrees with you, though (see post by another coach that said NFHS rules absolutely deny unattached athletes the right to run)....Which is why I was asking someone to prove their point (where is this NFHS rule) and not make some off the cuff comment by saying it does or doesn't exist (where is the rule that says it IS OK?). My point was that I wanted someone to provide this rule or prove that there wasn't a rule. Everyone seems to be saying either that a) "there is a rule" or b) "there isn't a rule" without actually proving that there is or there isn't a rule. No one seems to have evidence of either. Seems we have opinions and not real facts (yet). I would hope everyone here would want to know the truth and not just someone's opinion. Otherwise this thread is really only opinions, which don't really mean much when it gets down to it ... because we're trying to uncover the rule (either saying it is ok or saying it isn't ok isn't enough). Anyone can say that. So, the questions still remains: WHERE CAN THE RULE BE FOUND (either saying it is ok or it isn't ok)?
04/13/2010 6:42:07 AM
Admin
SUBSCRIBER
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 2416
I don't have either an NCAA or NFHS rulebook at hand right now, but let's make sure everyone understands that two different situations have been discussed on this board. Can HS athletes enter a HS meet unattached? In my understanding, the answer is yes. The NCHSAA can only regulate what its member teams do, and what athletes do when representing those schools. However, when athletes run unattached, they have to pay their own way, they have to provide their own transportation, and they are not covered by NCHSAA catastrophic injury insurance. Also, they are technically not allowed to wear school uniforms, but I know straight from two NCHSAA directors that just wearing a uniform does not mean you are officially representing a school. For example, HS baseball teams can wear school uniforms in summer competition, even though they are not technically representing their school (since it is after the official school season is over). Can HS athletes enter a college meet unattached? This seems murkier. I know that in 2007 we were told the NCAA had instituted a rule that HS athletes could not compete in the same section as college athletes, and we were therefore turned away from a college meet. However, that seems to have changed, and I would love to hear from someone more expert in NCAA rules on this subject.
I don't have either an NCAA or NFHS rulebook at hand right now, but let's make sure everyone understands that two different situations have been discussed on this board.

Can HS athletes enter a HS meet unattached? In my understanding, the answer is yes. The NCHSAA can only regulate what its member teams do, and what athletes do when representing those schools. However, when athletes run unattached, they have to pay their own way, they have to provide their own transportation, and they are not covered by NCHSAA catastrophic injury insurance. Also, they are technically not allowed to wear school uniforms, but I know straight from two NCHSAA directors that just wearing a uniform does not mean you are officially representing a school. For example, HS baseball teams can wear school uniforms in summer competition, even though they are not technically representing their school (since it is after the official school season is over).

Can HS athletes enter a college meet unattached? This seems murkier. I know that in 2007 we were told the NCAA had instituted a rule that HS athletes could not compete in the same section as college athletes, and we were therefore turned away from a college meet. However, that seems to have changed, and I would love to hear from someone more expert in NCAA rules on this subject.
04/13/2010 12:47:00 PM
Coach
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 33
An unattached athlete cannot enter into a confernce, dual, tri or quad collegiate meet. They can enter any "open" meet. Many colleges have turned invitationals to open meets to secure the revenue generated and to avoid barring athletes from meets and dimminshing quality of performances. Open meets allow Olympic, Masters or unattached athletes of all ages to compete. Most collegiate meets carry dual sanctioning. Unattached athletes "should" have membership to one of the sactioning bodies for the meet. Collegiate meets are sanctioned by the NCAA and USTAF, to allow for open competition. This also applies to any USTAF cardholder. Any athlete can compete up, under USTAF guidelines, so there is no distinction between high school or college aged athletes.
An unattached athlete cannot enter into a confernce, dual, tri or quad collegiate meet. They can enter any "open" meet. Many colleges have turned invitationals to open meets to secure the revenue generated and to avoid barring athletes from meets and dimminshing quality of performances. Open meets allow Olympic, Masters or unattached athletes of all ages to compete. Most collegiate meets carry dual sanctioning. Unattached athletes "should" have membership to one of the sactioning bodies for the meet. Collegiate meets are sanctioned by the NCAA and USTAF, to allow for open competition. This also applies to any USTAF cardholder. Any athlete can compete up, under USTAF guidelines, so there is no distinction between high school or college aged athletes.
04/13/2010 7:02:26 PM
Power User
SUBSCRIBER
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 118
In personal conversations I have had with staff at the NFHS and one HS association, I was told that unattached athletes cannot compete against HS athletes in HS competitions. As I stated earlier, there is no accountability with unattached athletes. As a member of a HS association, each high school has a basic understanding that all athletes at all schools are being held to the same minimum set of standards. An unattached athlete would not be held to these standards. If a HS athlete gets in a fight at a meet as an unattached athlete, who is going to hold them accountable? Many state associations are more restrictive of their member schools than NC. Some state associations will not let them compete against private schools that are not members of the states public schools athletic association. One state close to us that does this is GA. GHSAA does this because it knows that many private schools play by a different set of standards than it's public school members.
In personal conversations I have had with staff at the NFHS and one HS association, I was told that unattached athletes cannot compete against HS athletes in HS competitions. As I stated earlier, there is no accountability with unattached athletes. As a member of a HS association, each high school has a basic understanding that all athletes at all schools are being held to the same minimum set of standards. An unattached athlete would not be held to these standards. If a HS athlete gets in a fight at a meet as an unattached athlete, who is going to hold them accountable?

Many state associations are more restrictive of their member schools than NC. Some state associations will not let them compete against private schools that are not members of the states public schools athletic association. One state close to us that does this is GA. GHSAA does this because it knows that many private schools play by a different set of standards than it's public school members.
04/13/2010 9:18:43 PM
Coach
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 33
If he/she gets into a fight, the law holds them accountable. Technically, there is no real authority over athletes competing in the Nike Nationals, as this meet occurs after the State meet. These athletes are competing in indoor track during outdoor track season. The meet has multiple sanctions, as does the jr nationals, and Olympic trials. High School athletes are allowed to compete in the Olympic trials and national championships, as long as they have membership with USTAF. The Sanctioning wars were waged and "supposedly" clafigied in 1977. The NCAA, USOC, TAC/USTAF and NFHS all came to the table to and decided to do what was in the best interest of the athlete. I have several documents that were published, jointly, by the US Olympic Committee and these other organizations. I also have a published document listing the numerous lawsuits against "governing bodies" that tried to restrict the "freedom" of an athlete. A class is offered on Sports Law and Ethics at UNC Pembroke and Dr. Tommy Thompson has compiled over 600 cases involving the law and athletics. I will make an effort in the next couple of days to go thru my notes and provide specifics for you coach.
If he/she gets into a fight, the law holds them accountable. Technically, there is no real authority over athletes competing in the Nike Nationals, as this meet occurs after the State meet. These athletes are competing in indoor track during outdoor track season. The meet has multiple sanctions, as does the jr nationals, and Olympic trials. High School athletes are allowed to compete in the Olympic trials and national championships, as long as they have membership with USTAF.
The Sanctioning wars were waged and "supposedly" clafigied in 1977. The NCAA, USOC, TAC/USTAF and NFHS all came to the table to and decided to do what was in the best interest of the athlete. I have several documents that were published, jointly, by the US Olympic Committee and these other organizations. I also have a published document listing the numerous lawsuits against "governing bodies" that tried to restrict the "freedom" of an athlete. A class is offered on Sports Law and Ethics at UNC Pembroke and Dr. Tommy Thompson has compiled over 600 cases involving the law and athletics. I will make an effort in the next couple of days to go thru my notes and provide specifics for you coach.
04/13/2010 10:04:25 PM
Power User
SUBSCRIBER
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 118
I understand all of your points about NIN, NON, Jr. Nationals, etc... There are very few issues when it comes to a HS athlete competing for a club or unattached at one of those meets. The issue here is that the Mooresville meet was sanctioned for HS athletes, which would exclude unattached athletes. I would definitely be interested in reading information about sanctioning if you have some. I am involved with a multi state meet and sanctioning issues are always coming up.
I understand all of your points about NIN, NON, Jr. Nationals, etc... There are very few issues when it comes to a HS athlete competing for a club or unattached at one of those meets. The issue here is that the Mooresville meet was sanctioned for HS athletes, which would exclude unattached athletes.

I would definitely be interested in reading information about sanctioning if you have some. I am involved with a multi state meet and sanctioning issues are always coming up.
04/14/2010 7:13:41 AM
Admin
SUBSCRIBER
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 2416
Bear in mind that "unattached" does not mean "unaffiliated." For example, at our Frosh/Soph meet, we usually get 3-5 kids whose teams are not competing that weekend, and their parent wants to bring them to our meet, with the blessing of the coach. The kids belong to and compete for NCHSAA schools, so they are elilgible for HS competition (which I can verify through posted meet results). It's just that the school is not officially competing, so the athlete is unattached that weekend. I think it is incumbent upon the meet director to verify the eligibility of any unattached athlete, or to decide not to accept any.
Bear in mind that "unattached" does not mean "unaffiliated." For example, at our Frosh/Soph meet, we usually get 3-5 kids whose teams are not competing that weekend, and their parent wants to bring them to our meet, with the blessing of the coach. The kids belong to and compete for NCHSAA schools, so they are elilgible for HS competition (which I can verify through posted meet results). It's just that the school is not officially competing, so the athlete is unattached that weekend. I think it is incumbent upon the meet director to verify the eligibility of any unattached athlete, or to decide not to accept any.
04/14/2010 7:27:06 AM
Coach
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 33
Although vauge, and it's for a good reason, the rule book stipulates that the meet director determines "who may represent a team, the number of entries...". Essentially, it is up to the meet director, as long as there is no conflict with the state. On the NCHSAA forms, the meet director is asked who will be competing. Under rule 4 (Competitors and Competition), Art. 1 states "a contestant is any athlete entered in the meet. The contestant becomes an entry at the time the games committee has established as the deadline for accepting entries." Art 2. contestants officially become competitors when they report to the clerk of course or field-event judge in the event in which they are entered." The word competitor is used to provide the meet director/games committee with wiggle room to allow unattached athletes. Some schools and counties do not allow private schools to enter into meets. This is a meet director/games committee decision before the meet starts. There is no rule to prevent entries, but it is at the discretion of the meet director.
Although vauge, and it's for a good reason, the rule book stipulates that the meet director determines "who may represent a team, the number of entries...". Essentially, it is up to the meet director, as long as there is no conflict with the state. On the NCHSAA forms, the meet director is asked who will be competing. Under rule 4 (Competitors and Competition), Art. 1 states "a contestant is any athlete entered in the meet. The contestant becomes an entry at the time the games committee has established as the deadline for accepting entries."
Art 2. contestants officially become competitors when they report to the clerk of course or field-event judge in the event in which they are entered."
The word competitor is used to provide the meet director/games committee with wiggle room to allow unattached athletes. Some schools and counties do not allow private schools to enter into meets. This is a meet director/games committee decision before the meet starts. There is no rule to prevent entries, but it is at the discretion of the meet director.
04/14/2010 7:31:02 AM
Coach
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 33
In terms of sanctioning, the NCHSAA, stipulates what must be done, and there is fee, to invite out of state schools. There is no fee for instate schools, if you want to host a meet. The viisting out of state schools, must get the approval and blessing of their association to participate. I have several case studies, the most recently involving NY schools and the Penn Relays. I'll try to pull them up during my planning period.
In terms of sanctioning, the NCHSAA, stipulates what must be done, and there is fee, to invite out of state schools. There is no fee for instate schools, if you want to host a meet. The viisting out of state schools, must get the approval and blessing of their association to participate. I have several case studies, the most recently involving NY schools and the Penn Relays. I'll try to pull them up during my planning period.
04/14/2010 10:34:56 AM
Coach
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 33
The issue is sanctioning. Read this article. Of cource it opens the door to more questions, but it gives a hint to why most schools don't want to get involved in this mess. In NC many areas do not allow private schools to participate in meets or even use their tracks when no school activity is scheduled and school is out of session. Many of these athletes have to compete unattached, in order to get good competition. I had a conversation with a coach in Gastonia who is dealing with this situation and she has to travel 2 hours away to find meets. Several associations consider an athlete unaffiliated if they are not a member of the parent organization, such as private school runners not enrolled in a school-member of NCHSAA. This is just an example, not to be used as a fact in regards to NC practice. Sanctioning Crisis: one thing is consistent - the inconsistencies by Don Rich, DyeStat correspondent [Third in a series on sanctioning and its impact on the high school athletes the rules are intended to help. See Sanctioning Crisis series index.] In the unfolding sanctioning crisis, one thing is consistent. The inconsistencies. The growing sanctioning crisis that has threatened the seasons and possible scholarship offers for talented high school athletes who happen to compete for schools not sanctioned by official state associations, is expanding once again. Virtually everywhere you look, there's a story of a denial, a threat, and most importantly, a lost opportunity for competition. From New York to South Carolina, and in many states in between, there is growing evidence that the reasons and reasoning for enforcing sanctioning rules are not only inconsistent from state to state, but flexible - sometimes for the benefit of athletes and other times to their detriment. Here is where we have been. Pennsylvania and Maryland athletes who registered for the Bishop Loughlin Games in December were forced to run in separate heats so as not to compete against sanctioned schools of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA). The results were even reported as a separate invitational. Then Ed Grant of New Jersey reported that clerical errors cost another team a chance to compete... plus exposed a Catch-22 for one state's private schools because they have not been allowed to join their state association, even if they wanted to. Is it about power or the kids? It's beginning to look a lot like a classic political - or should we say - power struggle. It's adults with the power vs. the kids with the talent (and fleeting opportunities). Former William Penn coach, and current West Catholic assistant Tim Hickey sees the problem clearly. Hickey's team took the brunt of the Loughlin Games debacle, and faces similar challenges at the upcoming Hispanic Games and any other meet that welcomes New York teams. "If it's a bureaucratic thing, it's not about fairness. This is patently unfair. But if it's a level playing field they want, we agree. We abide by PIAA (PA Interscholastic Athletic Association) rules." Not surprisingly, it turns out West Catholic and the other Philadelphia Catholic League (PCL) teams do comply with the rules. (More on that in a minute.) This level playing field sentiment is echoed by parents and other coaches for other affected athletes and schools inside and outside of Pennsylvania. To review, the NYSPHSAA says they get their rules from the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS). So does the PIAA in Pennsylvania. But their interpretation of these rules seems to be at odds. New York says no New York school (and affiliated New York association) can compete against a school or athlete from a school in a meet that has four or more schools - if that school or athlete is not a member of their National Federation association, or has their state association's sign-off that they meet or exceed their eligibility standards. To see the new procedure that reawakened the issue in 2003, see the NYSPHSAA web site. Oddly, at the top of the web page, it states that the New York association and National federation adopted the new procedures and forms. Nowhere does it mention that any of the other member states in the federation have signed on to the new procedures. Pennsylvania association has no problems The PIAA works within NFHS rules and has virtually no problems. The PIAA found a way to help their member schools compete against non-member schools, ensuring those schools meet PIAA eligibility requirements. Jodi Good has been an assistant executive director of the PIAA since July of 2004. Sanctioning is her responsibility. Jodi sees the system as developed in Pennsylvania as a solution that works. And here's the phrase that captures the essence of the problem: "Ideally, we'd like all schools to be our members, but we don't have a problem as long as they adhere to our rules." Bottom line, that's what the Philadelphia Catholic League has been saying all along. Here's how it works in Pennsylvania Good says that the schools that compete against a PIAA member must sign a 'Supplement to Contract' that they will abide by the PIAA rules. The host school that puts on a meet/game, etc. is required to maintain the contract and to ensure that it is signed. The PIAA does not actively monitor the paperwork, but should a problem arise, they know it's there. Good believes that another nearby state has also adopted a similar procedure. What this means is that no matter what New York or other associations believe, when the Philadelphia Catholic League, or the Inter-Academic League, or any other non-member PIAA league says they comply with PIAA rules, they actually mean it. "We abide by the PIAA rules," Hickey asserts. "We submit our eligibility forms for every season." So while the PA teams are facing another possible challenge in New York this weekend, where the New York Federation may not even welcome them in separate heats, there are much bigger stakes at play in the future. What meets are next on the sanctioning chopping block? Following the Hispanic Games, next on the indoor list as far as West Catholic is concerned is the New Balance Games on January 22nd. But of course, any meet that seeks sanctioning from the national federation will have the same issue. One of particular note is the prestigious Millrose Games, slated for Madison Square Garden in New York on February 4th. Jim Spier, one of the founders of the National Scholastic Sports Foundation (NSSF), produces four major high school meets each year, the Great American XC Festival in the fall, the Nike Team Nationals in December, the Nike Indoor Classic in March, and the Nike Outdoor Championships in June. And while there have been sanctioning issues raised at these meets, the one that most concerns Spier is the one where he is Girls Invitations Director for the Millrose Mile. In the past, Spier says he also sought and received sanctioning for the eastern seaboard states and other states where good milers may be interested in running in the race. And because most of the runners they invited came from states that had indoor seasons, "we didn't give it a second thought." Several runners in last year's Millrose Miles would have been ineligible under the current enforcement challenge, including Cardinal O'Hara's Steve Hallinan and St. Hubert's Amy Kelly, both members of the Philadelphia Catholic League. With the current climate, this year Spier is leaving it up to the athlete and their coaches to make sure they have sanctioning from their state federation. And he isn't optimistic it will be fixed. "Actually, I don't anticipate this getting any better very soon." The sanctioning issue hit his Great American meet in October when New York challenged the eligibility of non-member schools. Several, including the PCL's LaSalle, were forced from the Race of Champions because of it. "For 2005" says Spier, "we'll have a separate race for non-sanctioned schools." Looking ahead to outdoor. Move ahead to outdoor and you have a myriad of meets, highlighted by the Taco Bell Classic in South Carolina in early April, the Penn Relays in late April, and the Loucks Games in White Plains NY in May. There are others, for sure. But these three carry a lot of prestige and foster great interstate competition. In 2004, the Penn Relays was forced to reseed several events after New York and Connecticut challenged the non-member schools under the new procedures. New York Assistant Executive Director Lloyd Mott, whose area of responsibility is sanctioning, gave some leeway to the meet participants in 2004 because of the short timeframe. In an email to the parent of an affected athlete, Mott said "Due to the fact that many schools had already registered and made travel plans, commitments, etc, and we were made aware of this situation a few days before the meet, we decided to allow our schools to participate without penalty this year." He went on to promise to work out the situation with the PIAA, something the PIAA's Good says hasn't yet happened. But just this past December, it's now apparent that Mott no longer has the flexibility to make such a concession in future meets. In a December 17, 2004 article in New York Newsday on a sanctioning challenge that cost a New York girls' basketball team a trip to an important tournament, Mott is quoted as saying "Believe me, we want all our schools to play, but we can't control the rules in other states, and I can't change our rules either... I have no authority to waive a rule." And then there is the two-day, widely heralded Loucks Games in White Plains, New York. The meet is a staple of the PCL spring athletic diet. Teams like West Catholic, Archbishop Ryan, Bishop McDevitt, and others have enjoyed the change of scenery, but especially the level of competition, for years. That may have ended. The runaround is also alive and well in North Carolina, South Carolina and Maryland. In coming days, we'll have more stories of frustrated parents, athletes and meet directors who want nothing more than the opportunity to have non-member schools compete freely against their peers from the public schools. There are also rumblings of lawsuits as the challenges and denials mount... all while important opportunities are lost forever. Stay tuned. Will the dream matchups happen at the Hispanic Games January 8th? Or will the kids we do all this for be denied once again? DyeStat US News index ________________________________________
The issue is sanctioning. Read this article. Of cource it opens the door to more questions, but it gives a hint to why most schools don't want to get involved in this mess. In NC many areas do not allow private schools to participate in meets or even use their tracks when no school activity is scheduled and school is out of session. Many of these athletes have to compete unattached, in order to get good competition. I had a conversation with a coach in Gastonia who is dealing with this situation and she has to travel 2 hours away to find meets. Several associations consider an athlete unaffiliated if they are not a member of the parent organization, such as private school runners not enrolled in a school-member of NCHSAA. This is just an example, not to be used as a fact in regards to NC practice.

Sanctioning Crisis:
one thing is consistent -
the inconsistencies

by Don Rich, DyeStat correspondent
[Third in a series on sanctioning and its impact on the high school athletes
the rules are intended to help. See Sanctioning Crisis series index.]
In the unfolding sanctioning crisis, one thing is consistent. The inconsistencies.
The growing sanctioning crisis that has threatened the seasons and possible scholarship offers for talented high school athletes who happen to compete for schools not sanctioned by official state associations, is expanding once again. Virtually everywhere you look, there's a story of a denial, a threat, and most importantly, a lost opportunity for competition.
From New York to South Carolina, and in many states in between, there is growing evidence that the reasons and reasoning for enforcing sanctioning rules are not only inconsistent from state to state, but flexible - sometimes for the benefit of athletes and other times to their detriment.
Here is where we have been.
Pennsylvania and Maryland athletes who registered for the Bishop Loughlin Games in December were forced to run in separate heats so as not to compete against sanctioned schools of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA). The results were even reported as a separate invitational.
Then Ed Grant of New Jersey reported that clerical errors cost another team a chance to compete... plus exposed a Catch-22 for one state's private schools because they have not been allowed to join their state association, even if they wanted to.
Is it about power or the kids?
It's beginning to look a lot like a classic political - or should we say - power struggle. It's adults with the power vs. the kids with the talent (and fleeting opportunities).
Former William Penn coach, and current West Catholic assistant Tim Hickey sees the problem clearly. Hickey's team took the brunt of the Loughlin Games debacle, and faces similar challenges at the upcoming Hispanic Games and any other meet that welcomes New York teams. "If it's a bureaucratic thing, it's not about fairness. This is patently unfair. But if it's a level playing field they want, we agree. We abide by PIAA (PA Interscholastic Athletic Association) rules."
Not surprisingly, it turns out West Catholic and the other Philadelphia Catholic League (PCL) teams do comply with the rules. (More on that in a minute.)
This level playing field sentiment is echoed by parents and other coaches for other affected athletes and schools inside and outside of Pennsylvania.
To review, the NYSPHSAA says they get their rules from the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS). So does the PIAA in Pennsylvania. But their interpretation of these rules seems to be at odds. New York says no New York school (and affiliated New York association) can compete against a school or athlete from a school in a meet that has four or more schools - if that school or athlete is not a member of their National Federation association, or has their state association's sign-off that they meet or exceed their eligibility standards.
To see the new procedure that reawakened the issue in 2003, see the NYSPHSAA web site.
Oddly, at the top of the web page, it states that the New York association and National federation adopted the new procedures and forms. Nowhere does it mention that any of the other member states in the federation have signed on to the new procedures.
Pennsylvania association has no problems
The PIAA works within NFHS rules and has virtually no problems.
The PIAA found a way to help their member schools compete against non-member schools, ensuring those schools meet PIAA eligibility requirements.
Jodi Good has been an assistant executive director of the PIAA since July of 2004. Sanctioning is her responsibility. Jodi sees the system as developed in Pennsylvania as a solution that works.
And here's the phrase that captures the essence of the problem: "Ideally, we'd like all schools to be our members, but we don't have a problem as long as they adhere to our rules." Bottom line, that's what the Philadelphia Catholic League has been saying all along.
Here's how it works in Pennsylvania
Good says that the schools that compete against a PIAA member must sign a 'Supplement to Contract' that they will abide by the PIAA rules. The host school that puts on a meet/game, etc. is required to maintain the contract and to ensure that it is signed. The PIAA does not actively monitor the paperwork, but should a problem arise, they know it's there. Good believes that another nearby state has also adopted a similar procedure.
What this means is that no matter what New York or other associations believe, when the Philadelphia Catholic League, or the Inter-Academic League, or any other non-member PIAA league says they comply with PIAA rules, they actually mean it.
"We abide by the PIAA rules," Hickey asserts. "We submit our eligibility forms for every season."
So while the PA teams are facing another possible challenge in New York this weekend, where the New York Federation may not even welcome them in separate heats, there are much bigger stakes at play in the future.
What meets are next on the sanctioning chopping block?
Following the Hispanic Games, next on the indoor list as far as West Catholic is concerned is the New Balance Games on January 22nd. But of course, any meet that seeks sanctioning from the national federation will have the same issue.
One of particular note is the prestigious Millrose Games, slated for Madison Square Garden in New York on February 4th. Jim Spier, one of the founders of the National Scholastic Sports Foundation (NSSF), produces four major high school meets each year, the Great American XC Festival in the fall, the Nike Team Nationals in December, the Nike Indoor Classic in March, and the Nike Outdoor Championships in June. And while there have been sanctioning issues raised at these meets, the one that most concerns Spier is the one where he is Girls Invitations Director for the Millrose Mile.
In the past, Spier says he also sought and received sanctioning for the eastern seaboard states and other states where good milers may be interested in running in the race. And because most of the runners they invited came from states that had indoor seasons, "we didn't give it a second thought."
Several runners in last year's Millrose Miles would have been ineligible under the current enforcement challenge, including Cardinal O'Hara's Steve Hallinan and St. Hubert's Amy Kelly, both members of the Philadelphia Catholic League.
With the current climate, this year Spier is leaving it up to the athlete and their coaches to make sure they have sanctioning from their state federation. And he isn't optimistic it will be fixed. "Actually, I don't anticipate this getting any better very soon."
The sanctioning issue hit his Great American meet in October when New York challenged the eligibility of non-member schools. Several, including the PCL's LaSalle, were forced from the Race of Champions because of it. "For 2005" says Spier, "we'll have a separate race for non-sanctioned schools."
Looking ahead to outdoor.
Move ahead to outdoor and you have a myriad of meets, highlighted by the Taco Bell Classic in South Carolina in early April, the Penn Relays in late April, and the Loucks Games in White Plains NY in May. There are others, for sure. But these three carry a lot of prestige and foster great interstate competition.
In 2004, the Penn Relays was forced to reseed several events after New York and Connecticut challenged the non-member schools under the new procedures.
New York Assistant Executive Director Lloyd Mott, whose area of responsibility is sanctioning, gave some leeway to the meet participants in 2004 because of the short timeframe. In an email to the parent of an affected athlete, Mott said "Due to the fact that many schools had already registered and made travel plans, commitments, etc, and we were made aware of this situation a few days before the meet, we decided to allow our schools to participate without penalty this year." He went on to promise to work out the situation with the PIAA, something the PIAA's Good says hasn't yet happened.
But just this past December, it's now apparent that Mott no longer has the flexibility to make such a concession in future meets. In a December 17, 2004 article in New York Newsday on a sanctioning challenge that cost a New York girls' basketball team a trip to an important tournament, Mott is quoted as saying "Believe me, we want all our schools to play, but we can't control the rules in other states, and I can't change our rules either... I have no authority to waive a rule."
And then there is the two-day, widely heralded Loucks Games in White Plains, New York. The meet is a staple of the PCL spring athletic diet. Teams like West Catholic, Archbishop Ryan, Bishop McDevitt, and others have enjoyed the change of scenery, but especially the level of competition, for years. That may have ended.
The runaround is also alive and well in North Carolina, South Carolina and Maryland.
In coming days, we'll have more stories of frustrated parents, athletes and meet directors who want nothing more than the opportunity to have non-member schools compete freely against their peers from the public schools.
There are also rumblings of lawsuits as the challenges and denials mount... all while important opportunities are lost forever.
Stay tuned. Will the dream matchups happen at the Hispanic Games January 8th? Or will the kids we do all this for be denied once again?
DyeStat US News index

________________________________________
04/17/2010 8:15:40 PM
User
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 13
All this brings up an interesting question. Would Alana Hadley be able to run unattached in something like the Wendy's Cross Country Invitational. She will be in the 8th grade this fall so not elibable for competing for a high school team, but would be very comeptitive in the race. If not why? What harm would it do anyone? On college meets - many of the college coaches I have talked with are fine with letting a unattached runner (whatever the age) in their open meets just as long as they are able to be competitive. Such was the case in point at Wake Forest with Alana Hadley and Jordan Hasay at Stanford when she was in high school.
All this brings up an interesting question. Would Alana Hadley be able to run unattached in something like the Wendy's Cross Country Invitational. She will be in the 8th grade this fall so not elibable for competing for a high school team, but would be very comeptitive in the race.

If not why? What harm would it do anyone?

On college meets - many of the college coaches I have talked with are fine with letting a unattached runner (whatever the age) in their open meets just as long as they are able to be competitive. Such was the case in point at Wake Forest with Alana Hadley and Jordan Hasay at Stanford when she was in high school.

You must be logged in to comment.

Click Here to Log In.