PEACE REPORT: Transfer Pandemic: COVID Allows MIAA Athletes to Move In Conference
There has been a ton of attention in the news lately on the state of college athletics and whether or not there will be a season during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Several major conferences (see the Big Ten and the PAC-12) have already announced cancellations and postponements for the Fall season. So naturally, the speculation is now whether student athletes will ask to transfer to a school within a conference that still intends to play sports this Fall. And what the conference rules and regulations are for those student athletes to transfer.
This news got us thinking about how the pandemic is affecting the local Maryland high school lacrosse conferences going forward. And what the rules and regulations state within each conference about transferring to other schools within the conferences.
Now granted, their has been no official announcement from the Maryland Private School Athletic Associations and the Maryland Public Secondary School Athletic Association, on if their will be a spring season in 2021.
PeaceLacrosse.com did some research and read over the rules and regulations on both the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland (IAAM), the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) and the MPSSAA websites.
For the IAAM, “a transfer student is one who changes enrollment from one school to another after high school matriculation.”
So the season being cut short last spring will not hinder any student athlete from transferring to another conference school as long as its not within the same academic year.
Although, the IAAM does have restrictions on moving from one school to another conference school in the same academic year.
As reflected on page 23 of the IAAM Handbook (Here’s the outlined IAAM Rules and Regulations), the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland will not allow a student-athlete to represent two schools, in athletics, in the same academic year. Open enrollment for students may take place in the summer, without penalty, but the key element is “may not represent two schools in athletics in the same academic year”.
On the MIAA website, it states that a player who was on the varsity this past spring can transfer to another conference school this year and not have to sit out a year because there was no league games. And since their were no conference games that the varsity player participated in, they will be granted the transfer without penalty of sitting out the following season.
A non-member school varsity athlete is defined as a student who has competed in any way in a varsity interscholastic competition.’
- An MIAA varsity athlete is defined as a student who has competed in any way in a varsity interscholastic conference competition. Participation in any non-conference scrimmages or games at the varsity level, throughout the season, does not have an impact upon the transferring student’s status.
It will be interesting to see if their is any movement of players going from one program and going to a conference rival. This will be something to monitor for sure.
We talked with a head coach within the MIAA that is a bit concerned about this rule. They added, “that there is a proper way to transfer in the MIAA and all members should respect the rules that are in place.”
*PeaceLacrosse spoke to officials from both associations and they confirmed their rules.
As for the MPSSAA, it states in their Handbook and Bylaws that: Students legally transferred to another school may participate. “Legally transferred” means a change of residence or a transfer from one school to another by action approved by the local superintendent of schools.