Fundamental to the privilege of participation in interscholastic athletics is the notion that students are to be scholars first and athletes second. Thus, the members have adopted a series of bylaws that reinforce a minimum level of scholastic achievement that is required in order for a student to be eligible to participate in “contests,” which are defined as any game, meet, competition, preview or scrimmage. Practices and training are exempt from this prohibition, and schools may choose at their discretion to allow students who are academically ineligible to continue to practice with their teams.
This section of the student eligibility bylaw represents the only required OHSAA academic standard. Under Ohio law, school districts are also required to adopt policies establishing minimum grade point averages and pass/fail policies for participation in any extra-curricular activity. The Pass/Fail/G.P.A. policies established by the local Board of Education or governing board in a non-public school pursuant to the Ohio Revised Code are overseen exclusively by the member school. In addition, member schools may adopt more stringent standards and may review them more frequently; however, a student who is not compliant with the OHSAA scholarship bylaw for high school or grades 7-8, may not have his or her eligibility restored except at the beginning of the next grading period as stipulated in Bylaw 4-4-3.
Please note that students who are not enrolled in the member school are still required to fulfill these scholarship requirements. That includes students who are home educated. Despite what some may contend, interscholastic athletics is a privilege to be accorded to those who meet the eligibility standards. Refusal to comply with this scholarship standard shall render the student ineligible.
The purpose of this series on the Scholarship Bylaw is to provide guidance as to the purpose behind each bylaw and any action required in support of adopted exceptions.
There are four notes which precede this scholarship section.
Note 1: The OHSAA will accept scholarship eligibility for students enrolling from outside Ohio if those students had met the eligibility standards of the state (or the high school if there are no state standards) from which they transferred or the standards found in 4-4.
Note 2: For students who attend community/vocational/non-traditional schools sponsored by a school district, students who are involved with STEM, College Credit Plus and other educational options and students who are home educated, the immediately preceding grading period determination shall be the grading period of the school for which the student wishes to compete.
Note 3: Scholarship Eligibility for the home educated student who was not home educated for an entire year, leaves a school for home education during a school year or who commences home education during the school year after being declared ineligible, shall be evaluated for eligibility based on ORC§3313.5312.
Note 4: No student who has failed a course or was not enrolled in a course during the grading period shall be able to use that course to fulfill the scholarship requirement if the course was not a course that the student was enrolled in and passing at the conclusion of the grading period.