MHSAA adopts new transfer rule

The MHSAA has voted to adopt major changes to the Michigan High School Athletic Association transfer regulation beginning with the 2019-20 season.  (Pioneer file photo)

LANSING — The landscape of Michigan high school athletics will be changing fast.

The 19-member legislative body of the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) adopted major changes to the transfer regulation during its annual Spring Meeting.

According to the MHSAA’s official press release, the revamped transfer regulation will go into effect for the 2019-20 school year and is based on a student-athlete’s sports participation during 2018-19. The new transfer rule will make transferring student-athletes ineligible for one year in any sport played during the previous year at the previous school — unless that student-athlete’s situation fits one of the current 15 exceptions that allow for immediate eligibility.

The ruling also allows the transferring student-athlete immediate eligibility in any other MHSAA-sponsored sport not participated in during that previous year at the previous school.

The additions to the transfer rule received support from many of the member schools in surveys leading up to the Council’s vote.

“We are hopeful this ‘sport-specific’ transfer rule will be easier to understand, and therefore, more consistently enforced,” MHSAA Executive Director John E. “Jack” Roberts said. “This rule better addresses the changing landscape of transfers, hopefully dissuading those considering moving for athletic reasons while still allowing a full range of sports for those who do switch. It may seem like a punishment to some, but the new rule is actually more permissive for many transfer students, and we saw growing support for these changes from our schools since we began discussing this proposal a year ago.”

In addition to the transfer rule, the council voted in favor of adding additional games to the skiing season, revamping baseball playoffs, introducing a 28-foot coaches’ box to the basketball court, allowing soccer teams to have more games per week, and much more.

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