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MIAA Bona Fide Team Member Rule
The MIAA has strict rules about a student having their high school sport being their number one priority:
MIAA rule 45 states:
A bona fide member of the school team is a student who is consistently present for, and actively participates in, all high school team sessions (e.g. practices, tryouts, competitions). Bona fide members of a school team are precluded from missing a high school practice or competition in order to participate in a non-school athletic activity/event in any sport recognized by the MIAA. Students cannot be given special treatment (late arrival, early dismissal, etc.) for non-school athletic programs.
First Offense: Student athlete is suspended for 25% of the season (see chart on Rule 62).
Second Offense: Student athlete is suspended for an additional 25% of the season, and is ineligible for
tournament play immediately upon confirmation of the violation.
See Rule 96 for additional tournament restriction and Rule 86 for waiver guidelines.
86. Bona Fide Team Member Waiver Guidelines
The Bona Fide rule requires that members of a school team actively participate in all team practices and competitions. Members of a school team are precluded from missing a high school practice or competition in order to participate in a non school event/activity in any sport recognized by the MIAA.
On occasion, a student might find himself/herself in potential conflict with this rule. This can happen when a student-athlete has an association with an out-of-school team or has an opportunity to participate in some special tournament or on a special team.
A waiver of the bona fide team rule excusing the student from the school activity that day and allowing the student to participate in such a non-school event is possible under the guidelines set forth below. Before a waiver request (See White Book for form) is submitted ALL of the following considerations must be present:
86.1 The non-school event must be a significant experience -- not one normally available to most anyone.
86.2 The invitation must have come from a personalized invitation -- not a form letter that went to a large number of students.
86.3 It must be clear that the student is not being exploited and that the student is truly being singled out to participate.
86.4 The amount of time being missed from school will definitely be considered.
86.5 The number of school team activities being missed will be a factor considered.
86.6 There is a limit to the number of times that a student could qualify for a waiver. It would be extremely rare that a student-athlete would be granted more than one waiver per year.
86.7 The request for a waiver must have the written support of the school principal, the athletic director, and the coach.
Waivers will be considered on an individual basis on the merits of each case.
Requests for a waiver should be addressed to the MIAA. The above points should be addressed in the waiver request.