Sit-out period for high school transfers could change

Dr. Dan Ross.
Dr. Dan Ross.

The mandatory sit-out period for high school student transfers will change if an amendment is approved by a majority of the Ohio High School Athletic Association members in a vote this spring.

If approved, transfers would sit out the second half of the regular season and all of the postseason in all sports the student participated in the previous 12 months. However, a transfer would be eligible in the preseason and the first half of the regular season.

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Currently, transfers are required to sit out all the preseason and the first half of the regular season, then become eligible for the second half of the regular season and the postseason.

“Much of the feedback we have received from the membership indicates that the current consequence – sitting out the first half of the regular-season – is not a significant deterrent,” said OHSAA commissioner Dr. Dan Ross said in a statement. “If a student knows that the end of the regular-season and the tournament will still be available, they are more likely to transfer. We don’t believe that a high number of transfers is good for education-based athletics.”

There are 11 exceptions to the OHSAA’s transfer bylaw. There is no sit-out period should a student change residency to a new school district.

The proposed transfer bylaw change will be one of seven items that will be voted on by the 819 member schools from May 1-15. Results will be announced on May 16 and if approved, the new transfer bylaw would be effective immediately and apply to students who transfer after May 16.

The current transfer bylaw was approved in 2013 and applies only to those sports a student participated in the previous year. Prior to that, transfers were required to sit out an entire school year.