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If a 8th grader was to play Varsity Private School 6 man, then transfer out to public school 11 man, would he lose eligibility?


High Plains Drifter wrote:
> Normally a student has 5 years of eligibility after the date he or she
> enters the 8th grade. Hope that helps.

TAPPS does not allow 8th graders to compete on ANY high school teams (either athletic or academic/music/arts). I believe that T-CAL has, if not currently then in the past, allowed 8th graders to compete on varsity teams. Until a couple years ago, 8th graders could compete on TAPPS sub-varsity teams, but that went away a year or two ago.

Not sure where the TCAF rule is on this, and of course, we have some unaffiliated schools/teams that play. Those schools could realistically set their own eligibility rules -- playing 5th or 6th graders on varsity or playing 21 year old "students" on their high school teams; I remember a few years back getting a note from a coach who played an unaffiliated charter school and learned some of his opponents players were in 5th and 6th grade. (Which leads me to a "buyer beware": if your opponent doesn't belong to a league such as UIL, TAPPS, TCAF, T-CAL, it is a legitimate question to ask them to share their eligibility rules with you before scheduling a game.)

In the past TAPPS counted that as the start of the clock of eligibility (four consecutive years), but in recent years I believe the rules have been changed to not count that year as the child was playing under the rules of that league.

If you are involved in the school getting the transferred kid, the best advice is to sit down with the parents and get the FULL story on the child's athletic history ... teams played with, levels played, etc. -- and you may have to contact those schools/home school teams and verify everything. And if you're the parent, don't try to hide anything, even if you think it's insignificant -- because it could come back to haunt everyone later that season.

I remember a volleyball team we had about 10 years ago or so. Young girl transfered over from a nearby public high school as a sophomore. I asked her and her parents if she had competed in any sport at any level at her old high school. Answer was no, so no transfer form was required (at that time; TAPPS now requires that you identify the kid as a transfer but no form needed). Anyway, we're over at Bracken Christian, playing our fifth or so non-district game. I show up for the game and as I'm talking to the coach, the girl comes up and says something about the ref not allowing her to wear some piece of jewelry and that this was not a problem when she played softball at her old school...I said STOP RIGHT THERE! Did you say you played softball at your old school? Yes, sir. Well, coach, you need to sit her down for tonight's game and we'll have to do the transfer form (she was not one of our starters and saw limited action throughout that season). Ended up we forfeited the five games.

The story does have a happy ending. We actually got above .500 for the season, finishing third in district -- winning our last game to make the playoffs. We broke .500 by winning the state championship!