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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


    The Language Of Soccer Is Big In St. Paul
    Posted by John Millea(jmillea@mshsl.org)- Updated 9/19/2017 4:14:30 PM

    During the second half of a boys soccer game between St. Paul City Conference rivals on Monday evening, Washington Technology coach Jason Hamilton yelled encouragement to one of his players. “Nice work, Ku Thaw!”

    The game ended with Como Park winning 2-0 on goals by Abdulaziz Ahmed and Kher Lin Kyaw. If those names don’t sound to you like “typical” Minnesota names, you haven’t seen these teams – or many other St. Paul and Minneapolis public school teams – compete.

    The Como Park and Washington boys soccer teams are filled with sons of immigrant families. Como Park coach Jonah Fields said his team consists of 13 players whose background is Karen (a state in Myanmar), four Somali, one from Ghana, one American-born Latino and an exchange student from Spain.

    “It’s a lot of fun,” said Fields, who is in his fourth year as head coach and 11th year with the Cougars soccer program. “In this community, the Karen have brought a ton of energy, not just to soccer but to our school district and throughout this part of St. Paul and these neighborhoods. We’re lucky to have those hard-working people, like so many other immigrant groups who come here and bring their food and their music and their culture and their passion.”

    Many of Washington’s players are also Karen, said coach Jason Hamilton. Others have Nepali, Hmong and Latino backgrounds.

    With such diversity, language issues and other challenges are possible. But both coaches said their players deserve praise for working together.

    “I like to give these boys the credit,” Hamilton said. “It’s not challenging, because these guys are a phenomenal group to coach and work with. They’re respectful, they’re hard-working, they’re dedicated and they work together. It’s fun for me to be able to be a part of it.”

    Fields said, “You have to meet them on their language terms. What you count on is the leadership of your players, the one who have more language skills, to share it. You get extra-dependent on your captains to share the message. They get it and they spread the word.”

    Como Park has been a dominant team in recent years. The Cougars have gone to state every year since 2012 and won the Class 1A state title in 2013.

    Many of the Washington and Como Park players grew up together – the schools are only two miles apart -- and their soccer rivalry is healthy as well as competitive. Monday’s game was played with no yellow cards and no negative comments from players, coaches or fans. The game was scoreless at halftime.

    “Every time we play Washington, everybody’s excited,” said Como Park senior Law Htoo. “We know some of these guys; we grew up in the same neighborhood and we go to different high schools. It’s a pretty big thing for us to win this game. We stuck together even though it wasn’t going well in the first half. In the second half we made some changes and everybody started cooperating.”

    Soccer is a highly popular sport at both schools. Hamilton said 120 boys attended tryouts for spots on the varsity and three sub-level teams. The Eagles have a young varsity, with about half the players in ninth or 10th grade.

    “They’re growing up, getting better and competing,” Hamilton said. “And these guys (the team captains) are the leaders who are showing those young guys the way.”

    Fields said when he started coaching at Como Park 11 years ago, about half the players were not American-born.

    “It’s gone maybe from 50 percent to about 20 percent (American-born),” he said. “This is something they excel at, this is their sport of choice. So it’s a source of pride at Como that we can compete with anybody in the state of Minnesota at the game of soccer.”

    After Monday’s game had ended and handshakes and hugs had been exchanged between the teams, the players were greeted by families and friends on the sidelines. Everybody knows that the rivalry will continue on Oct. 4 at Como Park in the final game of the regular season.

    “We love to play this game,” said Washington’s Doh Han. “It’s very challenging.”

    --To see a photo gallery, go to the MSHSL Facebook page.

    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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