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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.
    Read More
    2017 MSHSL Hall of Fame Class Announced
    Home Page Photo Thompson, Wendell-Pohl, Van Norman among 12 individuals selected to MSHSL's Hall of Fame

    Induction ceremony set for Oct. 22 at the InterContinental Saint Paul Riverfront Hotel

    Two former University of Minnesota standouts headline the Minnesota State High School League's 2017 Hall of Fame class. But before Darrell Thompson and Krissy Wendell-Pohl achieved success at the collegiate levels, they left their marks in Minnesota State High School League athletic programs.
    Thompson was a three-sport star at Rochester John Marshall before performing heroic feats on the football field at the collegiate level and being drafted by the Green Bay Packers. Wendell-Pohl was the most prolific girls' hockey scorer in the country while playing two seasons at Park Center High School. She went on to lead the Gophers to two national titles and then played with Team USA in two Olympic Games.

    The others selected for induction are: Minnesota prep track legend Heather Van Norman, who led Windom to two state titles; high school officiating pioneers Larry Gallagher of Crystal, Richard Eldridge of St. Paul and Harry Kitts of Bloomington; Becker football coach Dwight Lundeen, former Wayzata cross country and track coach Bill Miles; administrators Marv Peters of Rochester and Kevin Merkle of Mahtomedi; Eastview speech and debate coach Todd Hering and choral music icon Bruce Phelps of Shoreview.

    The Hall of Fame induction ceremony for this outstanding group is scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 22 at 1 p.m. at the InterContinental Saint Paul Riverfront Hotel. The event is open to the public. For event tickets, contact the League office at 763-560-2262 or click on the 2017 Hall of Fame Invitation .
    The League's Hall of Fame, sponsored by Wells Fargo, started in 1991. The 2017 class is the 22nd group to be inducted. With this class, there now are 220 individuals in the hall.

    Full News Release with Bios

    Campaign Recognizes Contributions of Sports Officials
    Home Page Photo All Minnesota State High School League member schools are encouraged to participate in the League’s “Thank A Ref” campaign. A kind word of thanks or an act of appreciation toward officials for all they do is the sole purpose of this endeavor.

    The more than 500 member schools of the MSHSL extend their appreciation and thanks to all game officials. Without them, the games are just recess. Coaches, participants and fans are encouraged to show their appreciation by demonstrating respect for them and the difficult job they do.

    Promotional materials to support this campaign and ways to celebrate the efforts of our officials were sent to member schools on Sept. 11.

    “This campaign is a great way to accentuate the outstanding benefits and joy that we get out of officiating at the high school level,” said Jason Nickleby, the MSHSL’s Coordinator of Officials. “Our member schools are very appreciative of the 6,300 contest officials and judges that work tirelessly on behalf of kids. We look forward to seeing the creative and exciting things that our schools and teams are doing for MSHSL officials.’’

    Without officials, our games and contests cannot be held. Officials play an integral part in the events enjoyed by high school students, parents and the entire community. While officials are paid for their service, they put in a lot of time in preparation, travel and expenses. They perform an important job for minimal pay.

    Officiating at the high school level is an avocation, not a vocation. Thousands of individuals have chosen to serve as MSHSL registered officials, including many that are registered in more than one sport. Officials work hard to be registered, educated and prepared for the season. Officials often travel to work the contests, and spend time away from their families.

    Officials enjoy continuing their involvement in the sports they love. Many enjoy the opportunity to give back as a way of showing their appreciation for the positive experiences they had as a student-athlete.
    Officials truly receive great satisfaction from a job well done. Managing a game effectively and making sure the contests are fair, safe and fun for players, coaches and fans is a great reward.

    Go ahead: Get off the bench, get back in the game and give back by becoming a high school official


    Football Official Kelly Banyai: ‘I Like Being Part Of A Team Again’
    Posted by John Millea(jmillea@mshsl.org)- Updated 9/21/2017 10:53:38 AM

    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

    More of John's Journal
    Why We Play
    Home Page Photo Winning Beyond the Scoreboard
    Matt Percival - Eastview High School Athletic Administrator

    Winning is the goal in every athletic contest. Even at the youngest of ages, kids look at the scoreboard to see who won the game. Newspapers, websites and television stations report the scores and standings so often that many can recite the record of the local NFL team much easier than they could remember their own relative's birthdays!

    When it comes to high school and youth sports we often talk about the phrase winning "beyond" the scoreboard. The typical first reaction to that statement is that it must be something only teams who lose a lot would use. In reality, this is what is at the core of education-based athletics and the teams who figure that out the best will actually win on the scoreboard more often too.

    As a high school AD I have the chance to watch many teams and programs from a different perspective than I had as a high school coach. The biggest difference is the appreciation and realization of how much greater the life lessons learned are in the long term compared with the euphoria or disappointment of the short term result. To illustrate the point you can ask almost any athlete at the highest levels of sport what they remember about their own high school or youth sports experiences. Of all the different athletes I have heard answer this question, I rarely if ever hear them recite their stats, exact scores from a game, or their team's record in a given season. Instead, they most often talk about the fun memories they had playing a game they love with friends, the fun times away from the competition or the important character traits that they first learned from an influential coach.

    In recent years I have had a chance to observe the youth sports culture through the eyes of a youth softball coach. After six years in a row of coaching 10-and-under softball between two daughters I have seen both extremes—coaches who coach for the scoreboard and coaches who coach "beyond it." In his book titled Inside Out Coaching, Joe Ehrmann describes those two different types of coaches as transactional (using athletes for their own identity and validation) and transformational (understand and intentionally teach to a greater purpose). Not surprisingly the experiences of those who play for a transformational coach and are surrounded by parents and other athletes who share those values is a much more positive experience than those with a transactional coach and parents.

    Here are just a couple of many examples from one recent 10-and-under weekend softball tournament:
    Overheard in one dugout, a young girl comes in from the field and asks her coach in an innocent, soft voice if they are winning. She was greeted with a harsh, "No, we are not winning! We are getting our butts kicked! Can't you read the scoreboard?!" She put her head down and joined her other teammates sitting in near silence. I happened to be walking by after the game when they were having a team meeting to discuss how early they needed to be back for their next game later that afternoon for some extra practice. Needless to say not a lot of smiles or fun and it looked like a group of kids who would have rather been anywhere else.

    Then, on an adjoining field, another team who was behind on the scoreboard was all smiles and appeared to really be enjoying a beautiful day and having a ton of fun together. Anytime there would be a lull in the excitement one of their coaches would yell out "I believe" and players would yell back "we believe!" Now part of me wondered if the coach understood mathematics because, with the five-run-per-inning maximum and just 10 minutes remaining until the game hit the time limit, it was impossible for them to come back and take the lead. Then when the game ended I saw that this coach and team clearly had a different culture. The comments centered around their never-give-up attitudes, their trust in one another and the fun they had as a team. The next plan was for the pool party between games and making sure they had enough time to get back before the next game started with at least 15 minutes to "warm-up." Then when that was over the coach ran over to personally congratulate one of the kids from the other team on their performance and hustle. Needless to say, the long-term lessons being intentionally taught and role-modeled, as well as the short-term results, were much more positive. What is not discernable, however, in contrasting situations like this is which one will have more lasting impact.

    In case you were wondering the first team actually went further in this particular tournament, but there was no doubt which team had a more valuable experience. Pick any weekend, any sport in our multi-billion dollar youth sports industry and you, too, will see incredibly positive examples as well as some jaw-dropping negative ones. The question for all of us as leaders is what are we doing to help all of our coaches become more intentionally transformational in every interaction they have with an athlete, an opponent, an official or a parent.

    At the end of the tournament medals were awarded to the top several teams and both teams referenced above were among them. Ask anyone who has been involved in youth sports and they will likely roll their eyes when the topic of medals/trophies/plaques comes up. If your kids have played for any length of time you likely have a collection box/shelf/wall hanging or for the real crazy ones a dedicated shrine of awards. What Why We Play and InsideOut has taught all of us is that at the end of our lives the only two things that will matter will be the relationships we have made with others and what impact we have made in this world. So what about all those trophies? Well, I know this for sure…each of them has a story and the score on the scoreboard or place on the medal is just one very small part of that story.

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