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Amateur Bylaw Resource Center

Bylaw 4-10-1

4-10-1 A student who represents a school in an interscholastic sport shall be an amateur in that sport. An amateur athlete is one who participates in the activities of his/her sport for the purpose of deriving the physical, mental and social benefits of organized sports competition with no expetation of compensation for his/her participation. Since the student is considered an integral member of the student body, a clear line of  distinction between educationally based athletics and professional sports must exist and be maintained at all times. It shall be the shared responsibility of school personnel, the athletes and their parents to maintain this clear line of distinction.
An athlete is permitted to be a professional in one sport (in which they do not participate interscholastically) but still retain their amateur status in another interscholastic sport.

Bylaw 4-10-2

4-10-2 An athlete forfeits amateur status, and thus interscholastic athletic eligibility, if any of the following standards of amateurism are violated:
a) Competing in athletic competition(s) for money/cash or other remuneration. Allowable travel, meals and lodging expenses may be accepted provided that these expenses are not conditioned on the individual’s or team’s place finish or performance or given on an incentive basis and such expenses are provided to all participants in the competition.
EXCEPTION: If a student competes, in a competition where travel, meals and lodging expenses are being reimbursed, or where prize money is available, the student shall complete prior to the competition a Request for Retention of Amateur Status written declaration prior to the competition in which the student agrees that he or she:
a) will not accept any prize money/cash and;
b) will only accept awards/gifts/prizes which do not exceed the awards amounth authorized by the Association (see Bylaw 5) and;
c) will only accept allowable travel, meals and lodging expenses provided that these expenses are not contingent upon the student’s individual or a team’s finish or performance or given as an incentive to achieve a specific goal or performance. Receipt of expenses received by the athlete shall be reported to the OHSAA via the approved form so as to determine whether or not the expenses are in excess of those reasonable amounts for travel, meals and lodging.
b) Capitalizing on the athlete’s fame by receiving money, merchandise or services of value. An athlete “capitalizes” on his/her “athletic fame” by accepting money, merchandise or services of value based in whole or in part upon the notoriety the athlete received through his/her athletic skills and achievements. This includes using the athlete’s skill, directly or indirectly, for pay in any form in that sport. “Pay” includes, but is not limited to, any direct or indirect remuneration, gratuity or other economic benefit in either the present or future, or any division or split of surplus (bonuses, games’ receipts, etc.). Scholarships to institutions of higher education are specifically exempted;
c) Signing a contract or making a commitment of any kind to play professional athletics, regardless of its legal enforceability or any payment received. This prohibits signing a contract during the interscholastic athletics season that is dated after the completion of the athlete’s interscholastic athletic eligibility;
d) Receiving, directly or indirectly, a salary, reimbursement of expenses, merchandise or services or any other form of financial assistance or benefits from a professional sports organization based upon athletics skills or participation. 
EXCEPTION: An athlete may receive reimbursement of expenses as per item (a) for a professional tryout;
e) Competing with any professional athletics team, even if no pay or remuneration for expenses was received; or
f) Entering into an agreement with a sports or marketing agent (O.R.C. §§4771.01 et seq.).

Bylaw 4-10-3

4-10-3 The following activities do not jeopardize amateur status:
a) Accepting a fee for instructing, supervising or officiating in an organized youth sports program or recreation, playground or camp activities;
b) Receiving school-sponsored membership or participation fees in youth serving agencies, athletic clubs, community recreation centers, instructional programs or camps, etc. provided such fees are paid directly to the agency;
c) Receiving an award, playing equipment or prize of monetary value which does not exceed the awards amount authorized by the Association;
d) Receiving all non-monetary benefits and awards provided to members of an Olympic team beyond actual and necessary expenses, including entertainment, equipment, clothing, long distance telephone service, Internet access, and any other item or service for which it can be demonstrated that the same benefit is available to all members of the nation’s Olympic team or the specific sport Olympic team in question;
e) Accepting funds that are administered by the United States Olympic Committee pursuant to its Operation Gold Program; or
f) Participating in member school, charitable or educational promotions or fund-raising activities that involve the use of athletic ability by student-athletes to obtain funds (e.g., swimathons, lift-a-thons, shoot-a-thons) from donors, provided the student-athletes receive no compensation or prizes for their participation.
g) Accepting scholarship funds that are administered by a national governing body, e.g. the United States Bowling Congress’ Scholarship Program, provided such funds are paid directly to a postsecondary institution and the funds are not available until after the student has graduated from high school.

Bylaw 4-10-4

4-10-4 A high school student who loses amateur status/athletic eligibility may apply to the Association for reinstatement in the interscholastic program. Such appeals shall be handled by the Executive Director in accordance with the bylaws. If a student-athlete in one sport violates a provision of the amateur bylaw as detailed above, the student-athlete may represent the member school in a different sport.