Since its inception in 1908, the member schools of the OHSAA have welcomed international students to our state and into the athletics programs sponsored by the member schools with certain restrictions. Unfortunately, the history of this Association and others like ours within the USA has demonstrated that students from outside the United States are very often targets for exploitation and recruitment for purely athletic reasons. In order to keep the playing field level for both the international student and for students who live in Ohio, to prevent displacement and to reduce the opportunity for recruiting, the membership has approved three ways by which an international student may participate in an Ohio member school. Those three ways are described below and include what a school administrator must do to secure an eligibility ruling.
The purpose of this section on the Bylaw 4-8-1 - International Students - is to provide guidance as to the action required to ensure eligibility for certain international students. Please note that for the 2020-21 school year, an international student residing in Ohio with his/her parents does not require a ruling under this bylaw.
Bylaw 4-8-1 reads as follows:
For the purpose of this bylaw, an international student is a student who is not a United States citizen and who is in Ohio receiving education in an Ohio school. An international student who does not have a parent (biological or adoptive) residing in Ohio is ineligible for interscholastic athletics in Ohio unless the student can meet one of the exceptions below.
EXCEPTION 2: A student from a country or province outside the United States may be declared eligible for interscholastic athletics upon the submission of a court-approved document certifying the student’s adoption by a legal resident of the school district in which the student is attending. The student is not eligible until declared eligible by the Executive Director upon submission of the appropriate court documents.