The Ohio High School Athletic Association

Understanding the OHSAA Transfer Bylaw

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Updated May 30, 2014

Understanding the OHSAA Transfer Bylaws

The OHSAA receives more inquiries about eligibility in terms of the transfer bylaw than any other aspect of eligibility.


The basic transfer bylaw is quite simple. If a student transfers at any time after the fifth day of the studentís ninth grade year or after having established eligibility by playing in a contest (scrimmage, preview/jamboree, Foundation game or regular season/tournament contests) until the one year anniversary of the date or enrollment in the school to which the student transferred, the student shall be ineligible for all contests (including all scrimmages, preview/jamboree/Foundation game) until after the first 50% of the maximum allowable regular season contests in those sports in which the student participated during the twelve months immediately preceding the transfer have been competed.

Note #1 ĖFor the purposes of this bylaw, a student is considered to have participated in a sport if he/she has entered, if for only one play, a scrimmage or contests at any level of competition/contests (e.g. freshman, junior varsity and varsity).

Note #2 Ė If a student transfers during the season of a sport in which he or she has participated, and Bylaw 4-7-3 requires that the student is ineligible for participation in the remainder of the contests in that sports season, at the commencement of that sport during the next school year, the student remains ineligible for the pre-season contests (scrimmages, preview/jamboree, Foundation game) and up to 50% of the regular season contests in that sport. The total number of regular season contests for which the student will be ineligible is a function of the number of regular season contests in which he or she was ineligible in accordance with 4-7-3.

In the event of a student transfer, no ruling is required from the Commissionerís Office, and no paperwork is necessary if that studentís transfer does not meet an exception to the transfer bylaw or if the student did not participate in any OHSAA recognized sport in the previous 12 months. Understanding that basic rule is fundamental to dealing with transfer students.

Of course, in our society today, students do indeed change schools for various reasons. The member schools have identified a few transfer scenarios that they recognize should be exempted from the general transfer bylaw. To deal with those limited scenarios our member schools have adopted seven (7) exceptions, one of which MAY apply to a student who changes high schools. The use of the word MAY is instructive since not all transfer students can meet one of these exceptions and for each of these exceptions (unless no ruling is required as in exception 3), the transfer student is INELIGIBLE until ruled eligible by the Commissionerís Office. For a student to avail herself/himself of one of these exceptions, action on the part of the member school administrator as well as the OHSAA staff is required. The purpose of this series on the Transfer Bylaw is to provide guidance as to the required action on each of the exceptions, if applicable.



        Bylaw 4-7-2, Exception 1 - Parents' Bona Fide Move into a New Public School District

        Bylaw 4-7-2, Exception 2 - Change of Legal Custody

        Bylaw 4-7-2, Exception 3 - School Closes/Discontinues Program After Grade 9 or Annexation/Consolidation

        Bylaw 4-7-2, Exception 4 - Self-Supporting Student

        Bylaw 4-7-2, Exception 5 - A student transferred to the State School for the Blind or State School for the Deaf shall be eligible upon enrollment.

        Bylaw 4-7-2, Exception 6 - New Construction - Home Not Ready for Habitation

        Bylaw 4-7-2, Exception 7 - Anti-Intimidation, Anti-Harassment, Anti-Bullying



        Bylaw 4-7-4 - Intra-District/System Transfer

        Bylaw 4-7-6 - Intra-District Transfer

        Bylaw 4-7-7 - Intra-System Transfer

        List of Sample Situations - Change in Educational Programs


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