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Transfer Eligibility Review
General Information for Students and Parents

The MSHSL understands that varsity eligibility is important to you. Below are some frequently asked questions regarding transfer eligibility. The information contained herein is not a bylaw or policy and is intended only to provide an overview of the transfer eligibility process. For the most current version of Bylaw 111 and MSHSL policies, please visit www.mshsl.org. Before transferring schools, please review the following so that you will understand the transfer’s impact on your varsity eligibility.

1.What is a transfer?

A transfer student is a student who discontinues enrollment and attendance in any high school, public or non-public, and enrolls in any other high school in Minnesota, or outside of Minnesota. Essentially, a transfer occurs anytime a student’s school of record changes. A transfer is considered complete when the student attends class or participates with an athletic program at the new school. This includes home schools, charter schools, and online schools.
2.If I transfer to a new high school, will I be eligible for varsity competition?

If you transfer to a new high school, you will be eligible for varsity athletic competition if:
1.You are enrolling in 9th grade for the first time;
2.Your entire family moves to a new residence in a different attendance area;
3.Your residence is changed pursuant to a court order;
4.Your parents are divorced and you move from one parent to another.
(This option may be used just one time after you enroll in 9th grade); or
5.You and your family have moved to Minnesota from another state or country.
If none of the above apply, you will be ineligible (for one calendar year from the date of the transfer) from participating in interscholastic varsity athletic competition. You will, however, be eligible to participate in varsity tryouts, practices, scrimmages, jamborees, etc., and non-varsity (JV, B-squad, etc.) competitions. You will not be eligible for varsity competition.
3.What happens if none of the five provisions above apply and I am determined ineligible?

If none of the five provisions set forth above apply and you are determined ineligible, you can request that the MSHSL review the determination of ineligibility. There are seven circumstances with which you can request a review:
1.You are transferred to a new high school within the same school district;
2.A change in family circumstances such as adoption, abandonment, or death of a parent.
3.A substantial negative change in your family’s economic status. For example, if one or both parent(s) loses their job or other means of income.
4.School student Bullying or Harassment as identified in Minnesota State Statutes 121A.03 and 121A.031.
5.Administrative error. For example, the receiving school misapplied MSHSL bylaws or policies.
6.You have completed a licensed program for chemical dependency or mental illness (provided all other eligibility rules are followed) and the receiving school will better serve the student’s needs.
The principals and activities directors from both the sending and receiving school agree that varsity competition eligibility should be considered.
4.How do I request a Transfer Eligibility Review?

When you enrolled at your new school [receiving school] and indicated an interest in participating in athletics, the school compiled information and submitted a student transfer report to the MSHSL. The transfer report contains general information on your previous school(s) and the reason for your transfer. Based on this information, the receiving school makes aninitial eligibility determination. That determination is sent to the MSHSL for review to ensure compliance with MSHSL bylaws and policies.

If you are determined ineligible, you can request further review by the MSHSL. Visit with the athletic director at the Receiving School and request a Transfer Eligibility Review. The athletic director will submit the request and supporting documentation to the League for review.

All denied Transfer Eligibility Review requests for varsity competition eligibility will be reviewed by the MSHSL Board of Directors Eligibility Committee for further review or referral to an Independent Reviewer. Ultimately, the final decisions on eligibility will be made by the MSHSL Board of Directors.
5.What types of information and documentation should I provide in support of my request for a Transfer Eligibility Review?

You should provide a written explanation and documentation supporting your request for review. This is your opportunity to support your request for eligibility so please submit whatever relevant documentation/information you have. Below are common types of documentation the MSHSL looks for under each of the seven review options:
1. Internal district policies (for transfers in districts with multiple high schools)
  • The district policy or policies that precipitated the transfer
  • Correspondence from the school district describing the circumstances of the transfer
    2. Adoption, abandonment, or death of a parent
  • Adoption Decree, death certifi cate, CHIPS order
    3. Substantial negative change in the economic status
  • The MSHSL typically considers three years of tax returns showing a negative change in the Adjusted Gross Income.
  • You are encouraged to submit any other documentation showing a negative change in economic status. For example, employer notification indicating the recent loss of income or loss of employment, disability determinations from a medical professional or government agency that indicate a reduction in the ability to be employed.
  • NOTE: Discretionary spending decisions will generally not be considered to be a negative change in economic status.
    4. School Bullying/Harassment
  • Documentation that a complaint was made under the district policy prior to the transfer
  • A report from the sending school that it has investigated and determined a case of bullying or harassment pursuant to Minnesota Statute 121A.03 and 121A.031.
  • Any other documentation of bullying or harassment at the sending school
    5. Administrative Error
  • Documentation from a school administrator explaining the error or errors made in the initial eligibility determination.
    6. Completion of a licensed program for treatment of alcohol or substance abuse, mental illness or emotional disturbance provided all other eligibility rules are followed.
  • Documentation from the director of the treatment facility/provider showing completion of a licensed program by the student
  • Documentation to show the receiving school provides specific aftercare for the student.
    7. School Administrators request for review
  • The administrators from both schools agree varsity competition eligibility should be considered for the student. This Transfer Eligibility Review provision is applicable only for students who transfer from one MSHSL member school to another MSHSL member school.
  • The written request from the administrators at both the receiving school and sending school should include all documents they believe support eligibility.
  • This provision requires certifi cation from both schools confirming no recruitment or inappropriate contact has occured.
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    No. 3 from 2017-18: Female Football Official Kelly Banyai
    Posted by John Millea(jmillea@mshsl.org)- Updated 7/15/2018 7:26:19 PM

    We have reached No. 3 on the list of my Top 10 favorite John's Journal stories from 2017-18. This one is pretty special because it's about a pretty special person. Kelly Banyai is a rarity: a female football official. She's also dedicated, committed and talented. In fact, she's an inspiration. This story was originally posted on Sept. 21.

    Football Official Kelly Banyai: ‘I Like Being Part Of A Team Again’

    A few high school football players in Minnesota have been a little surprised in recent weeks after addressing an official as “sir” and then quickly realizing their mistake. Kelly Banyai has heard that honorific several times on the field, but it doesn’t bother her one little bit.

    “They’ll call me ‘sir’ and then they apologize and I’m like, ‘That’s OK. No big deal.’ It doesn’t matter to me,” said Banyai, who is one of a small number of females among 1,433 football officials registered with the MSHSL and is believed to be the only woman working varsity games in 2017.

    Banyai, 39, is the mother of two children ages 10 and nine; her husband Matt is a St. Paul firefighter. They live in Prior Lake, where Kelly played high school basketball before continuing her basketball career at St. Mary’s University in Winona. She is in her second year as an MSHSL football official and her first year working varsity games. She is a back judge, positioned behind the defense.

    “You learn from everybody,” she said. ‘I like being part of a team again. It’s really fun, it’s a good hobby. I can’t scrapbook, I’m not artsy, I hate shopping. I wish I would have done it when I was in my 20s and got an earlier start. I’m telling my kids, ‘You’re going to be a referee.’ It teaches you so much about handling situations.”

    She began thinking about officiating when her son began playing youth football. She was explaining some of the rules to him when she realized, “I always watch and love football but never played or coached. I had a desire to be somewhat involved.”

    She went to the MSHSL website and filled out a form for people interested in officiating. She soon received a phone call from Tom Wollan, an experienced official with the Suburban Officials Association. Young MSHSL officials are paired with veterans, and Wollan became Banyai’s mentor.

    “Tom called me and he was so welcoming,” she said. “I didn’t want to do any other sports. The plays are really quick, you keep moving, the parents aren’t right on top of you. I’ve enjoyed it so much. Everyone in the Suburban Association has been so helpful.”

    Wollan was the referee (informally known as the white cap) and Banyai was the back judge for last Friday’s Chaska-Chanhassen game. She was filling in for Gordy Hanson, a regular member of Wollan’s crew who was off to officiate a college game. Banyai is not part of a regular officiating crew but fills in for absent officials this season.

    “Gordy is about as good an official as there is in the state of Minnesota,” said Wollan, a 16-year official who has worked in three state tournaments and one Prep Bowl. “We wanted to get the best possible sub we could for our crew. It became an opportunity for someone who was not as experienced. Kelly took to it pretty nicely. This year we said, ‘Why don’t we have her on our games when Gordy is gone.’ Will she be on a full-time crew next year? Probably.

    “I think she’s got good aptitude, and she certainly has a good attitude for it. You like people around you who say, ‘Tell me what to do to be better.’ I’ve known her since before the 2016 season and I would have no hesitation in taking her on our crew full-time if for some reason there was on opening.”

    Like a football player, Banyai has tried to gain as much experience as possible in order to improve her skills. She began her career last season by working lower-level games and flag football.

    “I’ve tried to get as many snaps as I could,” she said. “I tell the crews, ‘There are so many things I’m horrible at.’ ”

    She works in medical sales for Integra LifeSciences. She laughed when talking about officiating and sales: “In reffing you need a thick skin, and being in sales it has to be the thickest.”

    Banyai has worked some big rivalry games this season. A week before the Chaska-Chanhassen game she was on the field when Mankato East and Mankato West squared off. She said she’s so focused on her job that she rarely notices the fans.

    “I don’t hear the crowd until I try to hear the crowd,” she said.

    Banyai spends time each week watching video of the teams she will see on Friday night. “That’s a good way to train, especially for the back judge,” she said. “ ‘Where are my keys, what am I looking for?’ ”

    She’s thrilled that she became an official and encourages others to do the same.

    “More people need to sign up to be refs,” she said. “It’s a needed position. We have so much sports for youth in Minnesota and we need to be supportive of all parts of it.”

    Follow John on Twitter: @MSHSLjohn





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