a quick question concerning rules, regulations and policies of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association

Q:      Can a student “reclassify” to gain an additional year of eligibility at an NCHSAA member school?

A:       The answer is “no,” even though the NCHSAA rules don’t have the word "reclassification" actually in them.

            But the question comes up like this: a student-athlete has completed grades nine and 10 at an NCHSAA school, and then transfers to a non-member school and “reclassifies” as a 10th grader once again.  Those two semesters as a 10th grader (for the second time) still count toward the NCHSAA eight-semester rule, so let’s say the student does the grade 10 and 11 at the private school and then wants to transfer back for a senior year at the NCHSAA member school.

          The eligibility clock starts running when the student enters the ninth grade, wherever that occurs, whether or not the student plays or is even eligible, and then a student has eight consecutive semesters in which to compete. Therefore the student has already had eight semesters of opportunity before the senior year and would have exhausted eligibility: 9th and 10th grade years at NCHSAA school, another 10th and then 11th at the non-member school.

         Obviously different organizations have different rules, so some private schools not under NCHSAA jurisdiction may have “fifth-year seniors,” but not in the NCHSAA.