Man's greatness consists in his ability to do and the proper application of his powers to things needed to be done....
Frederick Douglass (read all quotes)


By PSAL Staff Reporter




It is the policy of the Department of Education that no school through any of its officers or by any other means shall directly or indirectly induce any student to sever connections with his/her school or to transfer schools for athletic purposes.

1. The Eligibility Rules and Regulations shall apply uniformly to all high school students in the New York City Public Schools.

2. The Principal and the Athletic Director shall be responsible for the examination of records to determine a student’s eligibility in all sports. These records shall be subject to an audit by the PSAL.

3. A student is eligible to participate in the PSAL interscholastic sports program immediately upon lawful registration and entry into a New York City Public High School that offers such a program, provided the student meets the standards as set forth by the Eligibility Rules and Regulations, with the following exceptions:

3.1 Any transferring student who was on an active roster at a public high school at any time during the year prior to the date of transfer, shall be ineligible to represent the school transferred to, in that sport, for a period of one year from the date of transfer, unless the student can demonstrate that the transfer is the result of an official change of residence by his/her parents or legal guardians or the result of a legal change in guardians.

3.2 If a student was on a team’s active roster in a sport in any high school (public, parochial or private), that student may not participate in the same sport during the same season, for any other team.

4. A student may participate on one or more teams but only for the school in which he/she is a full-time student.

5. An athlete may only participate on one team per sports’ season (Fall, Winter and Spring). This rule shall not prevent a student from giving up one sport and competing in another sport in the same season. However, the athlete must drop off the team prior to the second scheduled PSAL contest in order to be allowed to transfer teams. If he/she does so, he/she may not return to compete in the first sport during that school year. When two sports are overlapping, a student may represent his/her school in only one of the sports. If a season is lengthened due to post-season play, a student-athlete may receive credit for 25% of the practice requirements needed to compete in the second sport (as specified in the PSAL Sports Standards for Interscholastic Competition).

6. Eligibility of any student to compete in a postponed game shall be determined as of the date on which the game is actually played.

7. A student must comply with the City-wide Standards of Disciplinary and Intervention Measures.

8. A student who is enrolled in the PSAL sports program must comply with each of the PSAL athletic eligibility requirements with respect to the timely submission of completed medicals and parental consent forms, academics, age, attendance, and good citizenship.

9. Scholastic Eligibility:

9.1. The 4+1 Rule-A student must pass four credit bearing subjects (not four credits) and physical education, if taken, in the most recent final marking period (January or June). An eligible student-athlete must pass four credit bearing subjects and physical education the marking period closest to December 1st or April 15th to continue his/her eligibility. Schools on cycle marking systems shall use the final grade of the cycle closest to January 31st and June 30th for determining final grades at the end of the term. Schools on cycle marking systems shall use the grades of the cycle closest to December 1st in the fall term and April 15th in the spring term for gaining or maintaining eligibility.
Entering freshmen (first year in grade 9) are academically eligible until the 2nd report card is issued.

9.2. If two Physical Education classes are taken, at least one must be passed.

9.3. The date all report cards are issued in a school at the end of a marking period shall be the official date for determining eligibility.

9.4. At least two of the four subjects passed must be major subjects (English, Mathematics, Social Studies, Foreign Language or Science).

9.5. A student may substitute one non-credit remedial class for which a passing grade has been given for one of the minor subjects in the 4+1 rule

9.6. The 8 Credit Rule-A student must accumulate a minimum of eight credits (not including physical education) for the two semesters prior to the eligibility period. Night School, Summer School and P.M. School is included in this calculation. This rule will be in effect beginning with a student’s third semester in high school.

9.7 When evaluating athletic eligibility for 9th or 10th grade students programmed for 90-minute double periods in Literacy and Mathematics, Athletic Directors can count each passing double period as 2 subjects toward the 4+1 rule and 2 credits toward the 8 credit rule.

9.8. When a student has completed the requirements for graduation, the student may substitute any credit-bearing course offered by the school in place of the subjects listed in 9.4.

9.9. A student in his/her final year may take fewer than four classes and physical education provided that the classes taken are the only ones needed to fulfill graduation requirements.

9.10. Requirements for credit-bearing coursework are waived for special education students participating in alternate assessments. All other eligibility requirements apply.

9.11. Scholastic eligibility at the beginning of each term shall be determined by the final grades of the previous term. Grades that are earned in summer school, and accepted by the home school, shall be counted as grades for the previous June. If a student is registered in a PM school or evening school, only the final grade is used for eligibility.

9.12. A student who is ineligible may become scholastically eligible by passing four credit bearing subjects (not 4 credits) and physical education during the marking period closest to December 1st and April 15th, exclusive of the first marking period in the fall and spring terms when three marking periods are used per term, provided a student fulfills the 8 credit rule requirements listed in 9.6.

9.13. In non-traditional high schools, a student must pass subjects equated to Math, English, Social Studies, Science, Foreign Language and Physical Education (4 academic subjects plus 1 Physical Education). These requirements are needed in order to maintain and/or establish eligibility for participation on a PSAL interscholastic team. Evidence of meeting these requirements must be shown on the report cards issued closest to the following dates: December 1st, January 31st, April 15th and June 30th. The date the evaluations are issued in the schools shall be the official date for determining eligibility.

9.14. A scholastically ineligible student may practice with the team as an incentive for him/her to establish eligibility. Any student who is scholastically ineligible at the start of the season, or becomes scholastically ineligible, may practice with the team provided the student is on the roster as “Inactive”. If a student cannot reestablish eligibility by the end of the season, the student is not permitted to practice with the team. All athletes listed on the roster, as inactive, may not participate in scrimmages, non league games or regularly scheduled games.

10. Attendance Requirements:

10.1. At the end of each marking period a student must achieve, at a minimum, 80% attendance for that marking period in order to be considered for athletic eligibility. The 80% minimum attendance requirement refers to attendance in school and not to attendance in specific classes. The 80% attendance requirement is not cumulative.

10.2. A student must be present in school and must attend all assigned classes in order to participate in any team practice, scrimmage, league or non-league game, meet, contest or try-out on that day. Exceptions to this rule may be granted by the school Principal on a case by case basis. Bona fide medical absence documented by a physician’s statement is an exception. Absence due to the death of a father, mother, grandparent or sibling may be approved to a maximum of five school days based upon the submission of documentation to the school Principal. Absences due to court appearances may be approved upon submission of documentation to the school Principal.

10.3. A student with less than 80% attendance at the end of any marking period is ineligible, but can establish attendance eligibility when the next report card or evaluation is issued.

10.4. A student who has been declared ineligible for failure to meet the 80% minimum attendance requirement and who establishes eligibility when the next report card is issued must maintain a minimum of 80% attendance for every consecutive ten-day period of required school attendance following the issuance of said report card for the duration of the term. When a student fails to meet this requirement, he/she immediately becomes ineligible for the remainder of the term. Eligibility for the subsequent term is based on the 80% minimum attendance requirement set forth in section 10.1.

11. Suspended Students:

Suspended students are not eligible to participate in any team practice, scrimmage, league or non-league game, meet, contest or try-out during the period of their suspension.

12. Age/Grade Eligibility:

12.1. A student shall be eligible for high school athletic competition in a sport for up to four consecutive seasons beginning with his/her entry into the 9th grade.

12.2. A student shall be eligible for varsity competition in grades 9, 10, 11 and 12 until his/her 19th birthday. A student who attains the age of 19 on or after July 1 may continue to participate during that school year in all varsity sports.

12.3. A student shall only be eligible for junior varsity competition in grades 9 and 10 until his/her 17th birthday. A student who attains the age of 17 on or after July 1 may continue to participate during that school year in all sports.

12.4. A student may not represent a high school as a freshman in athletics later than one year from the date he/she enters high school; as a sophomore later than two years from the date he/she enters; and as a junior later than three years from the date he/she enters.

12.5. The date a student is enrolled in the ninth grade is used for the purpose of determining athletic eligibility. Enrollment for any part of a semester counts as a full semester of athletic eligibility.

12.6. If a student has graduated from any high school, or equivalent thereof, he/she may not represent any New York City Public School at any time.

13. Ineligible Student Penalties:

13.1 For team sports, if an ineligible student is listed on the roster as active, and/or participates in any interscholastic contest, the team with the ineligible player shall forfeit the contest with the following exceptions:

13.1.1 When an ineligible student is discovered after the terminal date of scheduled league competition (regular season), the student shall be removed from the team without forfeiture of the contest.

13.1.2 If the offending team has gone on to compete in the playoffs they will forfeit their last playoff contest (including the championship).

13.2 For individual sports (Swimming, Track & Field, Gymnastics, Wrestling and Fencing), if an ineligible student is listed on the roster as active, and/or participates in any interscholastic contest, only the score(s) of the ineligible student will be disallowed.


A student who represents a school in an interscholastic sport shall be an amateur in that sport. An amateur is one who engages in athletic competition solely for the physical, mental and social benefits. A student shall forfeit amateur status by:

1. i) Competing for money or other compensation. Allowable travel, meals and lodging expenses may be approved.

2. ii) Receiving an award or prize of monetary value as a result of participation in an event that has not been sanctioned by the New York State Public High Schools Athletic Association.

3. iii) Capitalizing on athletic fame by receiving gifts of monetary value. Scholarships to institutes of higher learning are specifically exempted.

4. iv) Signing a professional playing contract in a sport.

14. Eligibility Review Committee:

14.1. The Eligibility Review Committee (The Committee) is empowered to act on questions regarding eligibility except where a PSAL sport specific rule may apply. The Committee shall be made up of The PSAL Director, the PSAL Eligibility advisor, and a Senior PSAL Coordinator.

14.2. Any coach, athletic director, or parent, with the consent of the Principal, may appeal an eligibility decision in writing by submitting a Request For An Eligibility Review of a Student Athlete along with supporting documentation to the Committee. Parents/Guardians are encouraged to request the assistance of the school’s Principal and athletic director when requesting an eligibility review from the Committee.

Click here for: Request For an Eligibility Review of a Student-Athlete, form “A”

14.3. When a student’s eligibility is questioned, the school’s Principal shall be requested to verify the student’s record. All evidence prepared by the Principal in regard to the student shall be submitted to the Committee, which shall have full power to make a decision in regard to the student’s eligibility for participation in the New York City Public Schools Athletic League program.

14.4. If sufficient evidence is presented by a school Principal to the Committee to show that a student’s failure to enter competition in a sport during one or more seasons due to illness, accident, or other such circumstance beyond the control of the student, the student’s eligibility may be considered for extension provided that the student meets the age and academic requirements for participation. Academic failures that result in a student’s need for a 5th year in school may not be beyond the student’s control and therefore may not be grounds for eligibility.

14.5. The Committee’s decision may be appealed. (See Procedures for Requesting an Appeal of the Eligibility Review of a Student-Athlete.)


All appeals and requests for information should be sent to:

Arnold H. Nager, Hearing Officer,

44-36 Vernon Boulevard, 4th Floor,

Long Island City, NY 11101.

Applications may be sent by fax, 718-729-1106.

A. Those appealing the Committee’s decision must submit a Request for an Appeal of the Eligibility Review of a Student-Athlete form. Applications for an appeal must include all pertinent documentation.

Click here for: Request For an Appeal of the Eligibility Review of a Student-Athlete, form “B”

B. The Hearing Officer will inform the parties if testimony will be necessary, or whether he will make his decision based on the record alone.

C. If the Hearing Officer requires testimony, a hearing shall be convened within seven days from receipt of the written application unless the Hearing Officer determines that extenuating circumstances exist and the appeal will be heard on more than seven days notice.

D. If a hearing is required, each party shall be accorded an opportunity to make written and/or oral presentations on all appropriate issues, to present relevant documents and to call and question witnesses. A list of witnesses shall be supplied to the Hearing Officer at least two days prior to the hearing in order to arrange for their appearance.

E. At the request of one of the parties, a witness may be sworn in or asked to affirm that he/she will testify truthfully before presenting information to the Hearing Officer.

F. The Hearing Officer may utilize electronic or other recording procedures for the preservation of oral testimony.

G. The parties to an appeal shall be forwarded a copy of the initial determination rendered by the Hearing Officer within five school days of the submission of the appeal if there is no hearing, or within two school days of the hearing. Thereafter, a formal decision letter shall be issued within five school days of the issuance of the decision. Complete case reports will only be issued in the event that the appellant informs the Hearing Officer, within fifteen calendar days from the date of the decision letter that it wishes to pursue litigation.

H. The decision of the Hearing Officer is final and constitutes the administrative action of the Chancellor.

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