a quick question concerning rules, regulations and policies of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association
Q: I am a student-athlete who participated in a road race and won my age division. I received a trophy and a $200 gift certificate to a local store. Could this create any problems for my eligibility?
A: The answer is yes. Rule 1.1.13 in the current edition of the Handbook is the amateur rule, which begins “money or awards having utilitarian value (example, golf balls, club, tennis balls, racket, etc.) may not be given to students for participation in athletics except as noted in the following paragraphs.”
The first rule under that 1.1.13, which is (a), says that “a student may receive merchandise, etc., if it does not exceed $20 value per season.” The trophy is always permissible, but the $200 gift card would be a violation of the amateur rule. If the gift card were $20 or less, that would permissible but you couldn’t win multiple of those in a single sports season since $20 is the season limit.