Provincial competition for student athletes is administered by the MHSAA. The athletes participating represent the highest competitive level of school competition in their sport. It is to be considered an honour and a privilege to participate in MHSAA events.
The MHSAA reserves the right to govern its competition, and in doing so, to demand prerequisites from the athletes, school and zone. The MHSAA attempts to provide a reasonable level of fairness of competition within the framework of MHSAA Championships.
The MHSAA conducts provincial competitions and events for its members. The MHSAA will not be accountable for extraordinary requirements, beyond those identified as MHSAA prerequisites, which are imposed by an association.
An athlete is responsible for making an honest, full, and continuing disclosure to his or her school of all matters which affect his or her eligibility. Schools must submit eligibility sheets on-line by the posted deadline to be eligible for provincial activities. The school is responsible for placing only MHSAA eligible athletes into competition.
To be eligible for Association competition, schools must meet the following eligibility requirements:
- Participating students must be under the age of 19 as of midnight of the current school year, August 31.
- Students are eligible to participate for four years. In determining the four year clause, member schools must count grade 9 as the first year. The athlete’s eligibility begins upon enrolment in grade 9 and is allowed four consecutive years of competition from time of enrolment in grade 9.
- For sports utilizing the Junior Varsity Category, participating athletes must be under the age of 17 as of midnight of the current school year, Aug.31. Students are eligible to participate in junior varsity for two years. In determining the two-year clause, member schools must count grade 9 as the first year. The athlete's eligibility begins upon enrolment in grade 9 and is allowed two consecutive years of competition from time of enrolment in grade 9.
- A student can only play for one school. Should there be a question in regards to what school a student is eligible to play for, it is the school the student is registered in at Sept. 30 will be the one.
- No school shall include in its athletic line-up, or eligibility sheet, any student who has transferred from another school within the previous twelve (12) months. The MHSAA Transfer Policy applies to all students transferring into Manitoba high schools. This applies once a student has enrolled in grade 10. This does not affect students currently enrolled in grade 9.
- Participating students must be certified by their principal, as bona fide students and as meeting all eligibility requirements. They must be enrolled in and attending a minimum of two full time credits during the season/semester they are competing in.
- Be a member school in good standing with the Association, and abide by all MHSAA regulations.
- Be properly certified school teams under the applicable zone requirements.
- MHSAA Member Schools may only compete against other MHSAA Member schools.
- In determining the size of a school for classification purposes, a school which is made up of only one gender (all males, all females) will have its student enrollment doubled to determine the class of competition in which it will compete.
- All teams must be made up of bona fide students of that school unless provided by exception of this regulation.
- A school, for Association purpose, is defined as grade 9 to 12. Grade 9 classes that occur in the same building as grade 10 to12 are eligible for competition. Grade 9 classes that are held in a separate building are not eligible for competition.
- Teams must meet sanction requirements as stated in the regulations.
- Schools in exceptional circumstances may apply to the Board of Directors for special eligibility consideration for any student/athlete.
- Any school that uses professional athletes, those being remunerated for their participation (i.e. cash tournaments) will be ineligible for Association competition.
- Any student who has completed his/her school requirements for graduation would not be eligible for further athletic competition. (A student who completes his/her requirements midyear, but is still enrolled and taking courses, is eligible to compete).
- The MHSAA endeavors to provide equal opportunities for students. Girls may try out for and play on a boys team. They may not play on both the boys and girls team for the same sport in the same season. Once they have declared a team they cannot switch to the other gendered team during the season. If a school has both a boys and a girls team, they are encouraged to play for their respective gender.
- Correspondence, home school, and on-line students are ineligible to compete in Association activities.
- While grade 8 students are ineligible for Association competition (see point b in exceptions to eligibility), if it is discovered that a grade 8 student has participated, then that would count as a year of eligibility.
- Schools fielding two or more teams in a single gender sport, (i.e.; two varsity girls volleyball teams) are required to submit separate eligibility forms, for each team. Students are only eligible for one team and cannot compete on both teams. (Students cannot move up and down between teams). In MHSAA sports where there is not a designated junior varsity championship, all junior varsity teams registered would be considered a second team and students would not be able to move between teams.
- Any transgender student may participate fully and safely in sex separated sports activities in accordance with his or her gender identity.
Para-Intellectual Athlete Eligibility:
- Para-Athletes with an Intellectual Disability are eligible to participate until the last school day of June in the calendar year of which they turn 21 years of age. They will be eligible to compete for 7 years. The athlete’s eligibility begins upon enrollment in grade 9 and they are allowed seven (7) consecutive years of competition from time of enrollment in grade 9.
- They may only participate for one school, the school they are registered for at the beginning of the school year. If the athlete transfers schools, they would be subject to the transfer policy.
- They must be certified by the principal as a bona fide student and as meeting all para-intellectual eligibility requirements.
- Athlete with an Intellectual Disability are defined as any student that participates in a school program involving courses with a Modified (M) Course Designation.
Exceptions to Eligibility:
- Grade nine students are eligible for competition, provided the Grade nine classes are included under the administration of the high school. Grade 7 and 8 students who are at least 15 years of age, as of August 31 of the current school year, and who are ineligible for junior high competition, will be eligible for competition provided that they are included under the administration of the high school. If a student begins play in grade 8, then their four years of eligibility would begin at that time.
- Students attending Rural Regional Schools (and who are living 25 or more kilometers from the regional school) are to be given the right to choose the regional school or their home school as the school they wish to play for in interscholastic sports. (pending approval from schools involved and MHSAA). They would be committed to that one school for that entire school year.
- Overage appeals may be considered.
There is an avenue to appeal a student who may not meet all eligibility requirements, including overage.
The appeal must include all of the following:
- Letter from the principal endorsing the appeal
- Letter from the zone or league president endorsing the appeal
- Letter explaining the student’s extenuating circumstances and why an appeal should be granted (medical certificates, relevant documents must be included)
- When a student is transferring schools, a letter must be forwarded from the Principal of the former school endorsing the appeal ( or explaining the student’s circumstances at the former school)
- A copy of the students academic transcript
- A copy of the student’s attendance transcript for the current school year, or previous year
All of the above must be included in the appeal. Failure to include the above will result in the application not being considered.
If a school is unsatisfied with the results of an appeal, a final appeal could be submitted. This would be considered by a committee made up of individuals that were not on the original committee. There is a $200.00 non-refundable fee to have a final appeal considered.
For further information on eligibility appeals please contact the MHSAA Executive Director.