Section 1. NAME
For the purpose of competition, the schools under the jurisdiction of the Principals’ Committee on Athletics shall be known as the RHODE ISLAND INTERSCHOLASTIC LEAGUE; a voluntary association of Principals who pledge their schools and participants to follow the Rules and Regulations of the Rhode Island Interscholastic League as enacted by the Principals’ Committee on Athletics.
Section 2. PURPOSE AND FUNDAMENTAL PHILOSOPHY
The RHODE ISLAND INTERSCHOLASTIC LEAGUE d/b/a the Principals’ Committee on Athletics will within its jurisdiction supervise and control the athletic programs, contests, and schedules and matters relating thereto, in participating secondary schools (grades 9-12) of the State of Rhode Island, whose principals are members of the Rhode Island Association of School Principals, to maintain, improve and raise the athletic standards in the participating schools of the State of Rhode Island, and in general carry on any other lawful activity which is calculated, directly or indirectly to promote and enhance the goals of the Rhode Island Interscholastic League.
- The RHODE ISLAND INTERSCHOLASTIC LEAGUE is a voluntary, incorporated, non‑profit association of Principals organized to coordinate the efforts of its members toward the ultimate objectives of interscholastic activities. The purposes of this Association are to:
- emphasize varied seasonal activities with broad participation under the direction and supervision of the school;
- maintain interscholastic activities in proper perspective and not to overemphasize them to the detriment of the academic program of the schools;
- formulate minimum uniform and equitable standards of eligibility that must be met by students to attain the privilege of representing their schools in interscholastic activities;
- provide a fundamentally fair and equitable framework in which interscholastic athletic competition in an educational setting can take place;
- promote an interscholastic athletics program providing educational experiences not otherwise provided in the curriculum, which will develop areas of knowledge, skills and emotional patterns and will contribute to the development of well-rounded individuals and better citizens;
- create and maintain a harmonious relationship between all schools within the RIIL, public, private and parochial;
- foster a cooperative spirit, good sportsmanship, and school spirit on the part of school representatives, school patrons, and students;
- prevent professionalism and undue pressure on students from parents, coaches and peers;
- promote even competition and maximum participation in RIIL activities by minimizing the impact of individual wealth upon equal athletic opportunity; and
- be sure that non-school activities do not interfere with the academic and interscholastic programs, are sponsored primarily for the benefit of the participants and do not result in exploitation of high school youth.
Section 3. DEFINITION OF TERMS
- Board ‑ the Rhode Island Board of Officials for the respective sports
- Chair ‑ unless otherwise defined, shall refer to the Chairperson of the Principals’ Committee on Athletics.
- Committee ‑ unless otherwise defined, shall refer to the Principals’ Committee on Athletics.
- Director(s) ‑ unless otherwise defined, shall refer to the director of the particular sport(s) in question.
- Executive Committee ‑ unless otherwise defined, shall refer to the Chair, the Executive Director, and the President of the Rhode Island Association of School Principals or his/her designee.
- Executive Director ‑ the Executive Director of the Rhode Island Interscholastic League
- Assistant Director ‑ the Assistant Director of the Rhode Island Interscholastic League
- Field ‑ unless otherwise defined, shall refer to the area upon which a game is played.
- Game ‑ to be regarded as interchangeable with the terms meet, match, or contest. The sports involved are Baseball, Basketball, Cheerleading, Cross Country, Field Hockey, Football, Golf, Gymnastics, Hockey, Lacrosse, Soccer, Softball, Swimming, Tennis, Winter and Spring Track, Volleyball and Wrestling. (See Article 7, Section 2.)
- IEP ‑ Individual Educational Plan
- Non‑League Games ‑ any game which falls within the maximum number of games outlined in Article 7 and which is not part of the adopted RIIL schedule, playoffs or Round Robin games.
- Principal ‑ the chief operating officer of the member school who is eligible for membership
- RIASP ‑ the Rhode Island Association of School Principals
- RIIL ‑ the Rhode Island Interscholastic League d/b/a the Committee
- Round Robin ‑ a sanctioned athletic contest played for the Rhode Island Interscholastic Injury Fund - also known as the Injury Fund Game.
- Rules ‑ the Rules and Regulations of the Rhode Island Interscholastic League or other rules as referred to herein
- School ‑ unless otherwise defined, shall refer to a member school whose grade levels are certified by the Rhode Island Department of Education. Competition on behalf of the school shall be limited to students enrolled in Grades 9-12 in those schools certified as four-year high schools and Grades 10-12 in certified three-year high schools. All grade levels in the school shall be under the academic control and supervision of the Principal.
- Scrimmage ‑ shall be defined as a controlled practice supervised by coaches which does not meet any of the requirements for a game. (See Article 7, Section 2.)
- Semester(s) ‑ said period(s) shall be computed without reference to the athlete's physical presence in the school, all semesters being consecutive school calendar semesters and not individual athlete attendance semesters.
Section 4. GOVERNING AND OPERATIONS
The RHODE ISLAND INTERSCHOLASTIC LEAGUE governing body shall consist of the same individuals who are members of the Standing Committee on Senior High Athletics of the Rhode Island Association of School Principals.
- The Committee shall consist of seventeen (17) members.
- Principals and/or Assistant Principals of certified four-year or three-year high schools are eligible to serve on the Committee. In addition, one (1) member of the RI Interscholastic Athletic Administration Association and one (1) member of the RI School Superintendents’ Association are approved to serve.
- Members of the Committee will be assigned as Directors or Co-directors of the various sports or be assigned to chair a Standing Committee.
- The Committee shall supervise and control athletic programs, contests, schedules, and matters relating thereto.
- The Committee shall have special charge of any contest deemed by the Committee necessary to be held in any sport beyond the fixed schedule of that sport to determine a State Championship.
- Financial Administration:
In accordance with Article I, Section 4 of the RIIL Rules and Regulations, the administration of the finances of the RIIL is vested in the RIIL Principal’s Committee on Athletics. Every three years, the RIIL Principal’s Committee on Athletics shall select a sub-committee of their members, to serve as the RIIL Finance Committee.
- Additional powers, duties and responsibilities:
- The Committee shall have power to initiate investigations, (take testimony, and demand affidavits), relative to the violations of the Rules and Regulations. If charges are brought against (or are discovered involving) any school (or individual) for violation of the Rules, or violation of the spirit of fair play and good sportsmanship, the Committee shall consider such charges and determine and assess penalties as may be necessary.
- Any school or individual that is charged with the violation of the Rules and Regulations may appeal as herein set forth within 14 days of notice of such violation or decision.
- The Committee is empowered to require any school to provide administrative staff members to supervise any scheduled athletic activity, both home and away, if conditions in the judgment of the Committee require such administrative supervision.
- The Committee shall determine the number of divisions/classes into which a RIIL sport shall be divided and shall be empowered to assign schools to those divisions/classes on whatever basis it sees fit. It shall supervise the schedule, assign officials, and award championships in the following sports: Baseball, Basketball, Cheerleading, Cross Country, Field Hockey, Football, Golf, Gymnastics, Hockey, Lacrosse, and Fast Pitch Softball, Soccer, Swimming, Tennis, Winter and Spring Track, Volleyball, Wrestling, and such other sports as shall from time to time be added. All Rules of the Committee shall apply equally to games participated in by varsity and junior varsity teams in all sports unless a specific exception is made.
- Enrollment figures, on which classification of schools is based, will be as of October 1st of each year.
- Schools shall annually declare their intent to compete for the succeeding school year by April 1st.
- Where possible, all schedules will be released as early as possible after the completion of the previous year's season.
- Duties also include but are not limited to:
- having control of interscholastic athletic policies.
- making rules of eligibility for players.
- making regulations for the administration of interscholastic contests.
- disciplining members and athletes for violation of Rules and Regulations.
- delegating to the Executive Director such powers as it may deem advisable to act for the full Committee between meetings or in such other capacity delegated by the Committee.
- providing for the hearing of appeals from decisions of the Executive Director and Assistant Director and all Standing Committees of the Rhode Island Interscholastic League.
- responsibility for election, appointment, and determination of salaries of all employees of the Rhode Island Interscholastic League.
- acting on behalf of the members of all matters pertaining to sports officials.
- exercising all other functions necessary to carrying out the spirit and purpose of the bylaws.
- determining membership dues.
- making such bylaws and amendments to bylaws at any time as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of the organization.
- Members of the Committee are allowed reasonable expenses to and from all meetings, and any other reasonable expenses incurred as members of the Committee while representing the RIIL or the RIASP, as determined by the Chair.
- Any member of the Committee may resign at any time by giving written notice of such resignation to the Committee.
- Any vacancy in the Committee occurring during the year may be filled for the unexpired portion of the term by a majority vote of the Committee. Any Committee member so appointed shall hold membership until the next annual meeting of the RIASP.
- Procedure for Filling Vacancies
- Once the vacancy has been confirmed the Executive Director will announce the vacancy (Board Member or Sport Director) and request applicants (interested parties).
- The applicants will be screened by the Executive Director and Chair of the PCOA.
- Names of applicants will be forwarded to members of the PCOA for discussion and selection. Applicants may also be interviewed by the Committee.
- Superintendent Vacancy on the Committee
- The RI School Superintendent’s Association (RISSA) will submit names and backgrounds of those interested individuals to the Executive Director of the RIIL.
- Must be an active member of the RISSA
- Must have experience as a secondary administrator
- Experience as a former member of the PCOA is preferred
- The RISSA representative may serve a two (2) year term with the opportunity to reapply at the conclusion of the term
- Athletic Director vacancy on the Committee
- The RI Interscholastic Athletic Administers Association (RIIAAA) will submit names and backgrounds of those interested individuals to the Executive Director of the RIIL.
- Must be an active member of the RIIAAA
- Must have experience as a secondary interscholastic athletic administrator
- Past service on RIIL committees is preferred
- The RIIAAA representative may serve a two (2) year term
Each PCOA member casts a vote for a candidate. If there are more than two (2) candidates, the candidate who received more than 50% will be selected. If no candidate receives the necessary 50% the two (2) with the most votes will be selected, and a run-off election will be held to select the candidate.
- All members of the Committee must sign a pledge, in writing, that they accept the Rules and Regulations of the RIIL and pledge to abide by said Rules and Regulations and RIIL policies and procedures.
Section 5. STANDING COMMITTEES
- All committees, whether standing or special, shall be appointed by the chairperson of the Principals’ Committee on Athletics with the approval of the Principals’ Committee on Athletics.
- Directors of Sports shall be chairperson or co-chairperson of the sport’s committees.
- Other Standing Committees may be chaired by a principal/assistant principal from the Committee on Athletics or by professionals from outside the Principals’ Committee on Athletics.
- Standing Committees will be established for each sport. In addition, other Standing Committees may be established. It is important to emphasize the following:
- The Standing Committee responsible for a particular sport or any other Standing Committee will make recommendations to the Principals’ Committee on Athletics. Standing Committees do not have the authority to change the Rules and Regulations of the Rhode Island Interscholastic League. Standing Committees include, but are not limited to, those listed in Paragraph “9” below.
- Recommendations shall reflect the majority vote of the Standing Committee. All recommendations will be presented to the Principals’ Committee on Athletics by the chairperson or co-chairpersons of the Standing Committee.
- The Chairperson(s) should manage the Committee within the framework of the RIIL Rules and Regulations.
- The Chairperson(s) of a Standing Committee should understand the role of the Principals’ Committee on Athletics; establish a liaison with the Executive Director/Assistant Director and staff of the RIIL; and keep a written record (minutes) of the Committee meeting.
- The Chairperson(s) should report to the RIIL Principals’ Committee on Athletics at its meetings regarding business of the committee, work within the budgetary limitations as established by the RIIL, and develop a knowledge of due process and appeals procedures.
- The Chairperson(s) should work through the Executive Director and the RIIL office for distribution of all communications to member schools and news media.
- Tournament sites will be secured by the Executive Director and subsequently reported to the Principals’ Committee on Athletics.
- If a sports committee adopts a bylaw change or any decision that has a financial implication, that change/proposal must be brought before the Principals’ Committee on Athletics for adoption.
- All sports Standing Committees shall be made up of an equal number of representatives of girls’ and boys’ sports in those committees that include both girls’ and boys’ teams. The Standing Committees are as follows:
Track (Winter and Spring) Finance
Cheerleading Sports Officiating
Cross Country Athletic Hall of Fame
Soccer Sports Medicine
Hockey Coaches Education
Fast Pitch Softball Girls and Women in Sports
Baseball RIIL Foundation
Field Hockey Swimming
Section 6. ELECTION OF OFFICERS – RIIL
The officers shall be a Chairperson, Assistant Chairperson, Executive Director/Secretary, Treasurer, and such other officers, as the Committee shall deem necessary.
- The officers shall be elected for a term of five years. This election is to be accomplished at the first meeting following the annual meeting of the RIASP and the term of service is to commence at the time of election.
- Any elected officer(s) may succeed themselves in office after being nominated for and elected to that office.
- Any officer may resign at any time by giving written notice of such resignation to the Committee.
- Any vacancy in an office of the Committee that occurs during the year may be filled for the unexpired portion of the term by affirmative vote of the majority of the Committee present at a meeting as long as not less than eight (8) members are present. Any officer so elected by the Committee shall hold office until the next succeeding election of officers.
Section 7. DUTIES OF ELECTED OFFICERS
- The Executive Director shall:
- be the executive officer of the Committee/RIIL and shall have power to act for the Committee/RIIL between meetings.
- be authorized to sign contracts on behalf of the Committee/RIIL
- be appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the Committee subject to such appropriate
contractual arrangements as may be made from time to time.
- the Executive Director must sign a pledge, in writing, that s/he accepts the Rules and Regulations of the RIIL and pledges to abide by said Rules and Regulations and RIIL policies and procedures.
- The Assistant Executive Director/Assistant Director shall:
- assist the Executive Director in the day-to-day operations of the League.
- be authorized to sign contracts on behalf of the Committee/RIIL, with the approval of the Executive Director
- upon recommendation of the Executive Director, the Assistant Executive Director will be appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the Committee subject to such appropriate contractual arrangements as may be made from time to time.
- carry out the duties as assigned by the Executive Director.
- the Assistant Executive Director must sign a pledge that s/he accepts the Rules and Regulations of the RIIL and pledges to abide by said Rules and Regulations and RIIL policies and procedures.
- The Administrative Assistant shall:
- assist the Executive Director, Assistant Executive Director and Assistant Director in the day-to-day operations of the League
- carry out the duties as assigned by the Executive Director, Assistant Executive Director, and Assistant Director
- attend meetings and functions associated with their sport assignment and duties
- the Administrative Assistant must sign a pledge that s/he accepts the Rules and Regulations of the RIIL and pledges to abide by said Rules and Regulations and RIIL policies and procedures
- The Chair shall:
- preside at all meetings
- conduct such other business of the RIIL as provided for by the Committee
- appoint all Standing and Special committees of the RIIL subject to the approval of the Committee.
- fill vacancies occurring on the Standing and Special committees of the RIIL subject to the approval of the Committee
- sign all authorized contracts along with the Executive Director
- in conjunction with the other elected officers, prepare agendas for all meetings and perform all the duties commonly associated with the office
- serve ex-officio on all Standing and Special Committees of the RIIL
- The Secretary shall:
- maintain an accurate account of the proceedings of all meetings
- attach to the current minute book a copy of the bylaws and other rules, procedures, and policies as may be formulated
- affix a list of officers and Standing and Special Committee Chairs to the current minute book.
- be custodian of all papers and records of the RIIL not specifically assigned to others.
- authenticate official documents by his/her signature
- submit to his/her successor all books, records, and files in good condition.
- assist the Chair with the correspondence of his/her office; conduct the routine correspondence of the RIIL as instructed by the Committee
- maintain a correspondence file
- The Business Manager/Treasurer shall:
- sign a pledge, in writing, that s/he accepts the Rules and Regulations of the RIIL and pledges to abide by said rules and regulations and RIIL policies, and procedures
- authenticate official documents by his/her signature
- submit to his/her successor all books, records, and files in good condition
- be custodian of all funds belonging to the RIIL depositing them properly in the bank or trust company designated by the Committee
- be bonded for an appropriate sum as decided by the Committee
- Pay all authorized bills by check:
- all checks issued by the RIIL shall require two (2) authorized signatures.
- the signatures of the Treasurer, with the Chair or duly authorized member of the Committee, shall constitute valid signatures
- in an emergency situation, approved by an affirmative recorded majority vote of the Committee, the signature of the Chair and the Executive Director may be used jointly.
- keep an accurate and up-to-date account of all financial transactions and submit a monthly financial report to the Committee
- submit the books, records and accounts for an audit at the close of the fiscal year, and at other times as requested by the Committee
- The Sport Director(s) shall:
- attend scheduled meetings of the Committee
- confer with the Executive Director or Assistant Director prior to the start of the season of the particular sport in question for planning purposes
- conduct a compulsory interpretation meeting for coaches prior to the start of each sport’s season.
- establish a schedule of activities and submit same to the Committee for approval.
- establish a plan for playoffs subject to the approval of the Committee
- supervise and/or make arrangements for the supervision of all RIIL sponsored playoffs under the control of the Committee
- evaluate the program at the end of the season and make recommendations for Rule and Regulation changes to the Committee
- render to the Committee a written report upon request of their activities at the conclusion of the sport season
Section 8. MEETINGS
- The Principals’ Committee on Athletics (Committee) shall meet on the third Monday of the following months during the school year: August, November, January, March and June, except when such Monday shall occur on a school holiday. The hour and place, either within or without of this state, shall be fixed and determined by the Executive Committee. But in case of failure by the Executive Committee to make such a determination, such hour and place, either within or without this state, may be determined by the Chair.
- Special meetings of the Committee shall be called by the Chair whenever s/he shall deem special meetings necessary or desirable and whenever s/he is requested to do so by the Executive Committee.
- Two (2) day notice of a special meeting shall be given by phone to all members, or written notice in the form of a published agenda at least seven (7) days prior to the date of the meeting shall be utilized.
- At any meeting of the Committee, the presence of eight (8) members shall be necessary to constitute a quorum, but any less number may adjourn to a day specified.
- The responsibilities of Committee members serving on the Executive Committee:
- Attend a MINIMUM of FOUR out of FIVE monthly meetings held each year. A calendar of meetings for the year will be made available to all members. Members must call the League Office when unable to make a monthly meeting with as much advance notice as possible.
- Absence from MORE THAN TWO CONSECUTIVE meetings is not permitted. More than this will not allow members to remain updated on League activities. Absences should be discussed with the Executive Director.
- Sport Directors/Co Directors or Committee Chairpersons: Directorship includes attendance at all meetings necessitated by the requirements of the given sport, including interpretation meetings and issues such as realignment, etc.
- Sit on ONE of the three seasonal Waiver Request Hearing Committees that have been established to help alleviate the number of appeals heard at the monthly meetings. The number of hearings may vary by season, but should never be an overwhelming number. If unable to attend, members must call the league office and give proper notification of absence in a timely fashion so a replacement can be made.
Section 9. AWARDS
The official trophy of the Rhode Island Interscholastic League shall be a plaque bearing the official adopted seal of the Rhode Island Interscholastic League.
- The Committee shall award plaques to League, Class, Division and State Champions. The RIIL recognizes one (1) state champion and division champions. Plaques awarded at RIIL State Championships will be inscribed “RI State Champions” for the winner and “Second Place” for the runner-up team. If teams are tied for first place at the end of the RIIL League season, co-champions shall be awarded in all sports.
- Team sports: Baseball, Basketball (boys & girls), Field Hockey, Cheerleading, Football, Hockey, Lacrosse, Fast Pitch Softball (girls), Soccer (boys & girls), Tennis, Volleyball (boys & girls) will be awarded medals inscribed “Champions” for the winning team and “Finalist” for the runner-up team.
- In all sports, the number of medals awarded will be determined by the individual sport committee with the approval of the Principals’ Committee on Athletics.
Section 10. AMENDMENTS OF BYLAWS AND RULES
All bylaws and rules may be amended by a vote of the majority plus one of the members at any meeting of the Committee.
Section 11. FISCAL YEAR
The fiscal year of the Committee/RIIL will be from August 1 through July 31.
Section 12. ANNUAL AUDIT
In accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the USA (GAAP), an annual audit will be performed by an independent certified public accounting firm. The audit will include a general review of the operations of the RIIL and provide a Management Letter upon delivery of the annual audit. A full and complete copy of the audited financial statements are distributed to the RIIL Principal’s Committee on Athletics and member schools upon request.
Section 13. RIIL DUES AND FEES
The annual dues of each member school of the RIIL shall be a basic membership charge of $500.00 plus a $100.00 sport fee for each sport for which a Declaration of Intent to Compete is submitted. In addition to the above fees, multiple sports will be subject to additional fees to be listed on subsequent invoices.
- September dues and fees must be paid by December 1st of the billing year. Failure to pay by December 1st will result in a late payment fee of $100.00 and will result in a “show cause” hearing at the December meeting of the Principals’ Committee on Athletics as to why the school failing to pay its dues and fees should not be suspended from further competition in the RIIL in accordance with Article 6, Section 3.
- All subsequent invoices must be paid within 30 days of the invoice date. Failure to pay within 30 days will result in a late fee of $100 and/or a “show cause” hearing before the Principals’ Committee on Athletics as to why the school failing to pay should not be suspended from further competition in the RIIL in accordance with Article 6, Section 3.
- Once the Declaration of Intent to Compete is submitted and RIIL dues and fees are assessed, no refunds can be requested or made.
Section 14. RIIL OFFICE
- There shall be such professional, clerical and other employees, as the Committee shall determine from time to time. All such employees of the RIIL shall be subject to the direction of the Executive Director.
- The Executive Director and the staff shall be responsible for and perform such duties as shall be assigned to them from time to time by the Committee/RIIL.
Section 15. COMMUNICATIONS
All communications regarding school athletics must be addressed to the Executive Director/Assistant Director at the RIIL office.
- Any communications drawn by the Sport(s) Directors shall be sent out by the RIIL office and addressed to the Principal of the school involved. Copies of such information shall also be mailed to members of the Sports Standing Committee. Special permission must be received to send communications directly to coaches.
Section 16. WAIVER OF RULES FOR STUDENT ELIGIBILITY
- All requests for waivers shall (a) be submitted to the Executive Director, and (b) be in writing. For waivers of student eligibility, the waiver must be submitted on a “Waiver Request Form” supplied by the RIIL, signed by the Principal of the school requesting the waiver and notarized.
In seeking a waiver of rules for student eligibility, please include (in addition to the Waiver Request Form) the student-athlete’s:
- official transcript
- supporting letters
- medical documentation (if applicable)
- IEP (if applicable)
- any documentation/evidence to substantiate a hardship or extenuating circumstance exists
- The RIIL Executive Director (or designee) shall upon the basis of the completion of the waiver request and documentation provided determines whether the eligibility waiver and/or violation of the by-laws of the Rhode Island Interscholastic League shall be granted or not granted.
Whenever a request of a wavier is acted upon by the Executive Director (or designee), a copy of the decision will be forwarded to the Principal of the sending school.
A negative decision may be appealed before the Waiver Request Hearing Committee.
- Waiver Request Hearing Committee
- Eligibility waiver requests and violations of the by-laws of the Rhode Island Interscholastic League are addressed by the five (5) member Waiver Request Hearing Committee. This committee consists of four members (high school administrators) selected by the Principals’ committee on Athletics and the Chairperson of the Principals’ Committee on Athletics. A majority vote of the members present is required for a decision. Hearings are held in August, October, and February, or at special meetings called in order to accommodate all waiver requests.
- Appeals of decisions made by the Waiver Request Hearing Committee will be heard by the Principals’ Committee on Athletics. Principals Committee on Athletics meetings are scheduled for August, September (if needed), November, January, March and June. In extenuating circumstances, which would cause undue hardship, these Rules may be waived by 60% of the members of the Principal’s Committee on Athletics present and voting. See Article 8, Section 4, paragraph B.
Waivers are exceptional and extraordinary relief from the Rules and Regulations of the RIIL. The applicant must convince sixty percent (60%) of the Committee present and voting of the extenuating circumstances constituting undue hardship. Undue hardship means a hardship peculiar to the student-athlete or individual caused by unforeseen events beyond the election, control or creation of the student-athlete or individual, his/her family, or school. The Committee interprets undue hardship particular to the situation of the individual which is so severe that normal application of the Rule(s) is not, in the opinion of the sixty percent (60%) of the members voting, necessary to carry out the spirit or the orderly enforcement of the Rule.
- All requests for a waiver of Rules, with all documentation complete, must be received in the RIIL office by noon on the first Friday of the month in which a hearing is sought. A waiver request that is submitted to the RIIL in accordance with this paragraph shall be placed on the agenda for the next meeting of the Waiver Request Hearing Committee or the next full Committee meeting and shall be heard at that meeting. If the waiver request is resolved to the requesting party’s satisfaction prior to the full Committee meeting by the Waiver Request Hearing Committee; (Which shall be designated by the Chair pursuant to paragraph ‘E’ of this section.) it shall not be heard at the full Committee meeting. In emergencies, the Chair can add a waiver request to the agenda, notwithstanding the above requirement.
- In cases where a waiver of any rule is sought on the basis of disability, a waiver may be granted, as set forth above; if the student-athlete is able to show that his/her inability to meet the RIIL rule(s) is the result of a disability, and that s/he otherwise meets all of the essential requirements of participation in RIIL competition with or without a reasonable modification. The party making a waiver request shall state on the request form that a disability is claimed and specifically identify the disability and hardship. The party making the request shall also provide the Committee with all appropriate evidence documenting his/her disability and hardship, including medical evidence and any applicable IEP.
- No retroactive waiver may be granted.
- No waivers will be considered of the requirement that the student-athlete must not have completed a course of study at a high school or the equivalent.
- Financial waivers may be considered if the financial hardship involves bankruptcy, receivership, death of a parent, or other extenuating circumstances.
- Age waivers will be considered only if extraordinary circumstances are supported by a valid, in place and complied with IEP addressing the disability, which resulted in the grade placement. No waivers will be granted to permit a student-athlete to exceed the maximum number of seasons set forth in Article 3. The student-athlete must at all times be in compliance with the IEP and the RIIL's academic rules. If the IEP ceases or compliance ceases, then the waiver ceases.
- Waivers of Article 3, Section 4C, may be granted only when the repeating of the school year is caused by an illness that is medically documented and results in significant loss of school time. In no case shall a waiver be granted if the waiver results in the student-athlete having more than four (4) seasons of competition in a given sport or three (3) seasons of competition in a three-year high school.
H. The Chair or the Executive Director shall review all waiver requests as filed and shall dismiss any request found to be procedurally or substantively without merit or on its face ineligible for consideration by the Committee. No such request shall be placed on the agenda unless a written demand by two Committee members is presented.
I. Hearings before the Waiver Request Hearing Committee or the full Committee are conducted in an informal manner that affords all parties an opportunity to present all information and all relevant arguments. A party requesting a waiver may be represented before the Committee or Waiver Request Hearing Committee by an attorney or other designated representative at their expense. Unduly repetitious evidence may be excluded. All evidence offered by a party will be included in the file of the proceedings. The evidence will be available for inspection by the party requesting a waiver or his/her designee.
J. A party requesting a waiver in advance of the hearing may request that the hearing be transcribed at their cost and expense. If the request is granted, the Committee shall be provided a copy of such transcript at no cost to the Committee.
Section 17. HOST CONFIRMATION SCHEDULES
Completion of the Host Confirmation Schedules are the responsibility of the home school in accordance with the approved schedule in each sport. All home and away schedules for all sports are to be submitted on-line as required in the “Members Only “ link on the home page of the Rhode Island Interscholastic League website at http://www.riil.org
Section 18. VIOLATIONS OF RULES
Any violations of the Rules and Regulations may result in the enactment of any and/or all of the provisions of Article 6 by the Committee, and/or combinations of conditions or restrictions the Committee finds effective in enforcing these Rules and Regulations.
Section 19. AMATEURISM ‑ DEFINITIONS AND LOSS OF AMATEUR STANDINGS
- A student who represents a school in an interscholastic sport shall be an amateur in that sport. An amateur athlete is one who engages in athletic competition solely for the physical, mental, social and pleasurable benefits derived there from. An athlete forfeits amateur status in a sport by:
- competing for money or other monetary compensation (allowable travel, meals and lodging expenses may be accepted).
- receiving any award or prize of monetary value which has not been approved by the Rhode Island Interscholastic League.
- capitalizing on athletic fame by receiving money or gifts of monetary value (scholarships to institutions of higher learning are specifically exempted).
- signing a professional playing contract in that sport.
- Accepting a nominal standard fee or salary for instructing, supervising or officiating in an organized youth sports program or recreation, playground or camp activities shall not jeopardize amateur status. “Organized youth sports program” includes both school and non-school programs. Compensation for giving private lessons is permissible if approved by the state association. A high school student who loses amateur status may apply to the League for reinstatement in the interscholastic program after waiting a period of one (1) year.
- Only awards of no intrinsic value and approved by the Rhode Island Interscholastic League may be accepted by a high school student-athlete as a result of participation in school or non-school competition in a sport recognized by the League.
- Individual interscholastic athletic awards and similar mementos for athletes shall be limited to those approved and administered by the institutions, approved League sponsors, or the Rhode Island Interscholastic League in keeping with traditional school requirements as to what constitutes an acceptable award.
- Participation under an assumed name in any athletic contest shall make the student ineligible for one (1) year.
Section 20. CONFLICT OF INTEREST POLICY
The RIIL requires that each person serving as a committee member, agent or staff member perform his or her duties without influence or the appearance of influence by any other business or financial interest.
Potential conflicts of interest include, but are not limited to, a person's direct financial or close personal interest in a company or product which could be affected by a decision of a committee on which the person serves. An interest in a sport camp, sporting goods manufacturer or insurance company holds potential for a conflict.
The RIIL is not critical of such interests. It merely requests that persons disqualify themselves from service to the RIIL on matters relating to such interests.
If a committee member, agent or staff member should have or develop a conflict of interest, such person shall:
- Immediately identify the conflict in writing to the Executive Director; and
- Remove himself or herself from any discussion or decisions involving the matter in conflict. In case of doubt about the existence of a conflict, a member should submit the questions and the relevant facts to the Executive Director for a decision.
Section 21. AMENDMENTS OF BYLAWS AND RULES AND REGUALTIONS OF THE RHODE ISLAND INTERSCHOLASTIC LEAGUE
Amendments of Bylaws and Rules and Regulations of the Rhode Island Interscholastic League may be submitted by any member school. All such proposed amendments must be submitted in writing to the Executive Director and must be signed by the member school principal. The Executive Director shall place all such proposed amendments on the agenda of the next meeting of the Principal’s Committee on Athletics.
All requests must be submitted by January 1st.
Section 22. GENDER IDENTITY
For the purposes of this policy, the following definitions apply:
- Gender identity: A person’s deeply-felt internal sense of being male or female
- Gender Expression: A person’s external characteristics and behaviors that are socially defined as either masculine or feminine, such as dress, mannerisms, speech patterns and social interactions
- Transgender Person: A person whose gender identity does not match the sex assigned to him or her at birth. There is a spectrum in gender identity, gender expression, and in medical care for transgender persons. When an individual has negative feelings about their biologic gender and secondary gender characteristics that cause clinically significant distress or impairment, they may be described as gender dysphoric. Not all transgender persons are gender dysphoric or all the way towards the opposite cross gender spectrum. Typically, a transgender person who is born female bodied but identifies as male is referred to as a transgender man or (female to male) trans masculine person. A transgender person who is born male-bodies but identifies as female is referred to as a transgender woman or male-to-female transfeminine person. There is a wide range of gender identities and gender expressions that are best determined by the individual.
- Intersex Person: “Intersex” is a general term used to indicate a person born with a reproductive or sexual anatomy and/or chromosome pattern that doesn’t seem to fit the typical definitions of female or male. This may be the result of several different medical conditions involving chromosomal variations, hormonal variations, ambiguous genitalia, and/or anatomy that includes both male and female characteristics. The medial term for this condition is a Disorder of Sexual Development of “DSD”. “Intersex” is not the same of “transgender,” although some people identity as both intersex and transgender. However, the two groups may face similar situations in needing to change gender designations for the purposes of participation in school activities.
The RI Interscholastic League Gender Identity policy has been developed based on the following core values:
- Recognizing the value of extra-curricular athletics for all students
- Emphasizing that participation in extra-curricular athletics is not just allowed, but encouraged for all students
- Adhering to Rhode Island state and federal law regarding gender equity and educational opportunity
- Operating from the presumption that all students will have access to programs and eligibility policies
- Enacting a policy that will maximize flexibility and privacy with minimal restrictions
- Creating a level playing field for all students
- Reducing economic barriers, especially for minority populations
- Addressing the concerns of parents, teachers and coaches through an educational component
- Acknowledging that the RIIL policy will likely need to be reviewed and revised to reflect increased medial understanding and evolving societal norms
- Grounding a policy in sound medical practice
- Preserving existing practices regarding girls’ participation on boys’ teams as per current RIIL policy
- Providing a space for intersex and transgender students to exist and thrive
- Reducing bullying and harassment of students
PHILOSOPHY OF GENDER IDENTITY PARTICIPATION
The RI Interscholastic League allows participation for all students regardless of their gender or expression. The purpose of this policy is to designate a set of criteria in which students-athletes are able to compete on a level playing field in a safe, competitive and friendly environment, free of discrimination. Fundamental fairness, we well as most local, state and federal rules and regulations, requires schools to provide transgender student-athletes with equal opportunities to participate in athletics. This policy creates a framework in which this participation may occur in a safe and healthy manner that is fair to all competitors.
GENDER IDENTITY PARTICIPATION
All students should have the opportunity to participate in RIIL activities in a manner that is consistent with their gender identity, irrespective of the gender listed on a student’s records. Once the student has been granted eligibility to participate in the sport consistent with his/her gender identity, the eligibility is granted for the duration of the student’s participation and does not need to be renewed every sports season or school year. All discussion and documentation will be kept confidential, and the proceedings will be sealed unless the student and family make a specific request.
NOTICE TO SCHOOLS
The student and/or parents shall contact the school administrator or athletic director indicating that the student has a consistent gender identity different than the gender listed on the student’s school registration records, and that the student desires to participate in activities in a manner consistent with his/her gender identity.
NOTICE TO THE RIIL
The school administrator shall contact the RIIL office, who will assist the school and student in preparation and completion of the RIIL Gender identity eligibility appeal process.
FIRST LEVEL OF APPEAL
The student will be scheduled for an appeal hearing before an eligibility committee specifically established to hear gender identity appeals. The RIIL shall schedule a hearing as expeditiously as possible.
The Gender Identity Eligibility Committee will be comprised of a minimum of three of the following persons one of whom must be from the physician or mental health profession category:
- Physician with experience in gender identity health care and the world Professional Association for Transgender health (WPATH) Standards of Care
- Psychiatrist, psychologist or licensed mental health professional familiar with the World Professional Association for Transgender health (WPATH) Standards of Care
- School administrator from a non-appealing school
- RIIL staff member
- Advocate familiar with Gender Identity and Expression issues
The appealing student should provide the Eligibility Committee with the following documentation and information:
- Current transcript and school registration information
- Documentation of student’s consistent gender identification (e.g., affirmed written statements from student and/or parent/guardian and/or health care provider)
- Any other pertinent documentation of information
SECOND LEVEL OF APPEAL
An aggrieved student wishing to appeal the Gender Identity Eligibility Committee decision shall file notice of appeal with the Executive Director of the RIIL on or before the tenth (10th) school business day following the date of receipt of the written decision of the Gender Identity Eligibility Committee denying the petition. appeal to the RIIL Executive Director shall require the Executive Director to schedule a hearing before the Principals Committee on Athletics.
When there is confirmation of a student’s consistent gender identity the eligibility committee/RIIL Executive Director will affirm the student’s eligibility to participate in RIIL athletics consistent with the student’s gender identification.