Article 6: PENALTIES


  1. No member school shall be relieved of its obligations to adhere to the Rules and Regulations of the RIIL except by a formal vote of the Committee. The decision of the Committee shall be final and in case a school refuses to abide by such a decision or withdraws from the jurisdiction of the Committee before a decision has been reached, all other member schools shall sever athletic relations with such a school, canceling all contests already scheduled and refusing to schedule others. Competition with the offending school may be resumed only when the Committee has again admitted the school to its jurisdiction.
  2. This rule shall not be interpreted to mean that isolated cases of infractions of the RIIL Rules and Regulations shall be made a reason for canceling games or severing athletic relations. Such cases of infraction shall be reported to the Committee. Cancellation or severance of relations shall take place under this rule only when a school through its Principal has definitely declared that it is no longer its purpose or policy to abide by the Rules and Regulations or when the Committee has formally voted that the school in question is no longer adhering to the Rules and Regulations and that severance of athletic relations is therefore required.
  3. If in the judgment of the Committee a school is in serious violation of a Rule as published in this manual, such school may be placed on probation for a period of one to three years. If at the end of the probationary period, the infraction has not been rectified, the school may be excluded from participation in the RIIL at the discretion of the Committee whose decision in all these cases shall be final.


  1. The Executive Committees of the RIIL for each sport shall have the authority to suspend players in the respective sport or to impose any of the penalties provided in Article 6, Section 3.


  1. Penalties will be determined and imposed by the Committee or Executive Committee upon member schools, players, officials, or coaches for violations of the Rules and Regulations. Notice of the penalty will be given in writing by the Executive Director to the Principal or his/her nominee of the school involved, who in turn will forward copies of such notice of penalty to the individual(s) involved. At that time, the Principal or his nominee will explain the penalty to the individual(s) along with their rights pursuant to the Rules and Regulations. The type and duration of penalties will be determined in accordance with the nature and extent of the offense. They may include the following: Reprimand, Fine, Probation, or Suspension.
  2. REPRIMAND: An official letter of censure in regard to an inexcusable, unethical, or unsportsmanlike action together with a warning against an occurrence of such acts in the future.
  3. FINE: A monetary payment for violations of the Rules and Regulations.
  4. PROBATION: Permits regular season activity but may prohibit tournament play. Such regular season activity may be subject to the imposition of such safeguards or conditions as are found necessary.
    1. A school may be placed on PROBATION for any of the reasons listed as causes for the more severe penalty of SUSPENSION.
    1. The effect of suspension is to prohibit the taking part in one sport or all interscholastic sports under the jurisdiction of the Committee for the time of the suspension. The Committee shall determine the extent of the suspension after a hearing. Suspension may be for one or more of the following reasons:
      1. violation of the Rules
      2. refusal to abide by the decision or decisions of the Committee.
      3. violating the Rule that requires that all financial aid given to students be reported to the RIIL Office upon request.
      4. athletic recruiting
      5. removing a team from field or court because of dissatisfaction with the official.
      6. failure to control the spectators or the players' bench.
      7. failure to adequately protect the official and or the visiting team.
      8. violations of the practice and playing seasons limitations
      9. flagrant unsportsmanlike conduct
      10. failure to pay assessed dues and fees by December 1st. of the billing year. This also carries a $100.00 fine.
      11. cancellation of RIIL contest without the required consent.
      12. forfeiting a RIIL contest (league or non-league).
      13. non-school competition
      14. non-certified coaches
      15. failure to report league contests scores


  1. Any school or schools failing to file the Eligibility Lists online on or before the designated date shall be subject to a two hundred-dollar ($200.00) fine for each missing list.


  1. All coaches (paid or volunteer) must meet all RIIL certification requirements (Article 13 Section 1) and must be listed along with contact information on the RIIL website (
  2. Coaches not listed on the RIIL website along with contact information or do not meet the certification requirements will not be eligible to coach in any RIIL contest.
  3. The penalty for the use of an ineligible coach in any RIIL approved competition, game (league or non-league) event/championship tournament play will result in a fine of $100 per ineligible coach. The ineligible coach cannot coach until s/he is certified and fine is paid.


  1. If a player’s name is omitted from an eligibility list because of an error by a school official, the following penalties shall be imposed:
    1. The Principal shall submit a letter to the RIIL stating the reason(s) why the player’s name was omitted from the eligibility list. (It is important to emphasize that all schools continue the required practice of self-reporting infractions).
    2. A one hundred ($100.00) dollar fine will be assessed to the school.
    3. If the player’s (name) omission from the Eligibility List was caused by a coach; the coach is ineligible to coach in the next scheduled RIIL League contest.
    4. There will be no penalty imposed on the player or the team assuming the player is eligible by all the other Rules and Regulations of the RIIL.
    5. Schools that are repeat offenders of Article 3, Section 1, paragraph A3 and Article 6, Section 5 may be subject to further penalties as outlined in Article 6.
    6. Ineligible players who participate for reasons other than being omitted from the Eligibility List will be subject to the present eligibility Rules and Regulations of the RIIL.
    7. Note* Principals may, at their discretion, impose additional sanctions on staff members whose errors result in a student-athlete being rendered ineligible.
  2. A student who is ineligible according to RIIL Rules and Regulations, but who is permitted to participate representing his/her school contrary to such RIIL Rules but in accordance with the terms of a court restraining order or injunction against his/her school and/or the RIIL; and said injunction or restraining order is subsequently voluntarily vacated, stayed, reversed, or it is finally determined by the courts that injunctive relief is not or was not justified, both the athlete and the school shall be subject to all the penalties listed in this section for using an ineligible player.
  3. A school which plays a student who is later found to be ineligible (whether because of the student's own misstatement or an error on the part of school authorities), should by written notice to the schools affected immediately forfeit every game in which the ineligible player participated. In the sports of Cross Country, tennis, gymnastics, indoor and outdoor track, swimming, golf, and wrestling, all points earned by the ineligible student-athlete will be deducted (from the team’s total score) and subsequent results of all regular season, playoff and championship events in which the student-athlete participated which may cause a forfeit of these events. Additional penalties may also be imposed on the member school. The Executive Director should also be notified, and if trophies and plaques are involved, they must be returned to the RIIL. The failure of a Principal/school to promptly and automatically implement the forfeiture provisions of this section shall subject a member Principal/school to additional penalties pursuant to Article 6, Section 3.


  1. Athlete Ejections:
    1. Any athlete who is ejected from any contest (non-league and/or league game) at any level (freshman, junior varsity, and varsity) shall be ineligible to participate until he/she sits out the next League game including all games in between. If the infraction is judged most severe, the player may incur the additional penalty of ineligibility for a year from the date of the infraction or the remainder of his/her stay in school. (Refer to Article 6, Section 3). In addition, the athlete must fill out the Unsportsmanlike Conduct Questionnaire and complete the NFHS free online course “Sportsmanship” at before re-establishing eligibility. A player put out of the last contest of that sport season shall be ineligible for the first two (2) RIIL League contests of the same sport in the following year. If the player has senior eligibility, he/she shall be ineligible for the first two (2) RIIL League contests of the next sport in which the player participates. In addition, any player put out of the last contest of a sport season must show cause why he/she should not be put on probation in the same sport the following year, or such a player has senior eligibility, why he/she should not be put on probation for the next sport season in which such player participates.
      1. Note 1: Football ejection: A player shall be ineligible for the first two (2) RIIL scheduled games.
      2. Note 2: Examples of Infraction of Probationary Status- A player on probation who is reported by an official or game supervisor for such behavior as unsportsmanlike conduct, game disqualification or other offenses that may be deemed contrary to the rules of the game and safety of others, will be declared ineligible for the remainder of that sport season as a minimum. If the infraction is judged most severe, the player may incur the additional penalty of ineligibility for a year from the date of the infraction or the remainder of his/her stay in school.
    2. Ice Hockey ejection: A player ejected from an ice hockey game must leave the ice and bench area immediately. The ejected player must go to the locker room in the accompany of an adult school official/school supervisor/coach for the remainder of the game.
    3. The second time an athlete is ejected in the same sport season, that athlete shall be suspended for the rest of that sport season.
    4. The third time the athlete is ejected in the same school year, that athlete must show cause why that athlete should not be suspended from participation in the RIIL for one year from the date of the last ejection. Pending appeal that athlete shall remain suspended.
    5. Any athlete ejected from a contest for fighting, spitting, taunting, or similar behavior may be subject to additional consequences.
  2. Coaches Ejected from Games/Matches/Meets:
    1. Prior to the start of any RIIL authorized contest at the pre-game conference, the Head Coach shall notify the official (Head Official/Chief Umpire) that s/he is the only coach or s/he shall identify additional certified assistant coaches of the team authorized by the school.
      1. In the event a coach is ejected from a contest and there is no certified assistant coach who had been identified to the officials prior to the start of the game, the game will end and the opposing team shall be awarded a victory by forfeit.
      2. A coach who is ejected shall leave the vicinity [out of sight and sound] of the playing area immediately and shall not return to the playing area during the remainder of the contest. Further, said coach is prohibited from any further contact (direct and/or indirect) with the team or any team member for the remainder of the contest and not until both teams have left the playing area.
      3. Any coach determined to be in violation of this provision may be subject to an additional period of disqualification.
    2. Coaches ejected from any athletic contest except for a technical violation of the rules shall:
      1. First Ejection
        1. The coach is ineligible to participate (coach) a minimum of the next two (2) RIIL League contests of that sport/season. A coach in football will be ineligible to coach in the first two (2) RIIL scheduled contests of that sport/season
        2. The school shall be assessed a $50.00 fine payable to the RIIL. The coach continues to be disqualified from coaching after the imposed suspension until the fine is paid. In addition, the coach must fill out the Unsportsmanlike Conduct Questionnaire and complete the NFHS “Sportsmanship” and “Teaching and Modeling Behavior” online courses at before re-establishing eligibility, which must be faxed/and mailed to the RIIL office prior to his/her reinstatement.
      2. Second Ejection
        1. If a coach, who has had two (2) ejections within the same year, s/he is ineligible to coach in any sport in the
        2. Rhode Island Interscholastic League for one (1) year from the date of the last ejection.
    3. Any coach/school official who is uncooperative or exhibits unsportsmanlike behavior to the Official Representative of the RIIL during any RIIL Playoff Contest may be ejected from said contest.
  3. The Committee reserves the right to review any and all penalties and to impose such appropriate penalties as the individual situation requires.
  4. Clarification: Ejection Rule
    1. The Cardinal Rule is:
      1. Officials officiate the game.
      2. Coaches coach the game.
      3. Players play the game.
      4. Concentrate on your area of the game.
    2. Once a coach/player has been ejected NO appeals will be honored from the player, coach, official or other party. Disqualification is a judgment call and officials must be certain the act warrants disqualification.
    3. Whenever a coach/player is ejected from an athletic contest, and must remain out of (be disqualified from) the next RIIL League contest(s) of that sport; such ejection prevents a coach/player from being present at the site of said contest(s).
    4. In addition, the athlete must fill out the Unsportsmanlike Conduct Questionnaire and complete the NFHS free online course “Sportsmanship” at before re-establishing eligibility, which must be faxed/and mailed to the RIIL office prior to his/her reinstatement.
    5. Being present at the site means the disqualified player or coach is not to be present in the locker room, on the bus, on the sidelines, as a spectator in the stands or anywhere in the site area during or after the contest. Any player or coach determined to be in violation of this provision will cause his/her team to forfeit the game(s) during the period of disqualification. An additional period of disqualification may also be imposed.
  5. Junior Varsity Ejections
    1. If a student-athlete is ejected from a game, the ejection should stand, regardless of the level of participation. If a student-athlete is ejected from a junior varsity contest and usually dresses for a varsity contest as well; s/he is not permitted to dress for a varsity contest and play in the next junior varsity game. If s/he participates in junior varsity only and is ejected from a game, s/he cannot participate in the next junior varsity game.

Section 8. ASSAULTS

  1. Any coach or player who assaults (lays hands, physically molests or spits on) a referee or other official in connection with an RIIL activity shall immediately become ineligible for further RIIL competition for one year from the date of the offense.


  1. Any home schedule submitted online and not adhered to, (except as noted on the bottom of said schedule), will carry a penalty of one half the contest fee to be paid to the officials assigned unless the Director of the Sport deems otherwise.


  1. All RIIL Scheduled League contests are to be played. In the event a school cancels or forfeits RIIL scheduled League contest without the required consent, the following penalty will be imposed:
  2. The school team will immediately be placed on probation for one (1) calendar year from the date of the unauthorized forfeiture/cancellation.
  3. If another unauthorized forfeiture/cancellation occurs in the same season, the team will not be allowed to participate in any post-season play. In addition, the probation will be extended for one (1) calendar year from the date of the unauthorized forfeiture/cancellation – or- the school team will be subject to any other penalties by the Principals’ Committee on Athletics as outlined in Article 6 by the Principals’ Committee on Athletics.


  1. In the event that a school withdraws from any sport the Committee may exclude said school for a period of two years or multiple thereof from that sport. Upon return to the RIIL in that sport, the team will be ineligible for post season play in the first season that they return.
  2. In the event that a school withdraws from the RIIL in any sport to participate in another league, the Committee shall exclude said school from participation in all RIIL sports. An appeal of this suspension shall be governed by Article 1, Section 16.


  1. Any school(s) failing to have their coach or the representative of the coach at the Interpretation Meetings or any other meeting called by the Chair or the Director of a particular sport shall be fined the sum of fifty dollars ($50.00) for each meeting missed. Until arrangements are made with the RIIL Office for this sum to be paid into the RIIL Treasury, all RIIL contests will be forfeited.
  2. Payment of all fines must be received by the RIIL Office prior to the start of the next sports season.


  1. Principals and Athletic Directors are reminded that school equipment may not be loaned out for use during the summer months to students in your schools. The loaning of equipment is not only a violation of the policy of the Rhode Island Interscholastic League, but opens the schools and their administrators and coaches to serious liability risks in the event that the student borrowing the equipment or others who might use it are injured while using the equipment. Violations are not only subject to penalties listed in Article 6 of the Rules and Regulations but also to potential suits. The fact that the equipment was borrowed in violation of the League policy may be the very reason a court could find a school negligent and award substantial damages in a negligent liability suit. The insurance policies of most schools do not provide coverage for the use of equipment during the summer months. Such use could well weaken the equipment and, when used for school activities in the fall, the weakened state could result in serious injuries to players and be the subject of a suit. In addition, the League’s legal counsel maintains that the loaning of equipment that is owned by a member school without permission of the school’s governing body could well be a violation of several criminal statutes that restrict use of publicly-owned equipment for private use. Administrators should make certain that no school equipment is loaned out for summer use. The above applies to private, parochial, and public schools.


  1. Game Score Reports: All RIIL league contest scores are to be reported on-line on the RIIL Website. Coaches obtain access to the system through their Athletic Director.
    1. The home team (coach/athletic director) is responsible for reporting league contest scores within forty-eight (48) hours of the end of the contest
    2. During Playoffs: The winning coach/athletic director is responsible for reporting the playoff game score within three (3) hours of the end of the contest
    3. Penalty: Failure to report scores will result in a twenty-dollar ($20.00) fine for each contest not reported. Schools will be billed at the end of the season
  2. Coaches Registry: All RIIL Member Schools are to register all certified coaches who represent their schools in all sports and levels (Varsity, Junior Varsity, Freshman, Volunteers) online through the RIIL Website.
    1. All coaches must be certified as coaches per Rhode Island State law and the RIIL.


  1. Any coach who criticizes a game official(s) in a public forum over the course of his/her career will be subject to the following:
    1. First Offense – One game disqualification and the school be fined $100.
    2. Second Offense – Two ( game disqualifications and the school be fined $150.
    3. Third Offense – Disqualification for the remainder of the season * and the school be fined $250.
      1. * The coach will be disqualified for a minimum of five (5) games. If the season ends prior to completing the five (5) game disqualification the remaining days will carry over to the next season.
    4. Each confirmed incident will be evaluated on a case by case basis by RIIL staff and appropriate action invoked. Additionally, the school administration will be required to file a report with the RIIL delineating the steps the schools and athletic administration have taken to address this issue to assure no reoccurrence.
  2. When a coach is disqualified for such actions the following disqualification rules shall apply:
    1. The coach will be disqualified from the next league contest and any non-league games in between.
    2. Coaches cannot be in attendance at the game(s) for which they are serving their suspension and may not participate in any pre-game warm-up activities at the site.
    3. Disqualifications from the last contest of one season carry over to the next season in that sport for coaches.
    4. The school’s first incident of non-compliance, for reasons other than defiance of the disqualification rules, will result in forfeiture, a $250 fine and the coach must serve the disqualification penalty; a school’s second incident of non-compliance will prohibit the school from entry in the next RIIL tournament for that sport, or from the remainder of the current tournament if the disqualification occurs during an RIIL tournament or during the last regular season contest / day of competition. However, when a school willfully defies this regulation the school and/or coach will be subject to further action by the RIIL Principals’ Committee on Athletics.
  3. Those found in violation of this rule will not have the opportunity to an appeal.
  4. Coaches have an opportunity to raise officiating concerns through the proper school channels (Athletic Director and Principal).


  1. If a school violates an RIIL rule while on probation, they will be required to complete a formal review of its athletic program. This review will be measured against a set of defined standards of an exemplary interscholastic athletic program along with indicators for each of the defined standards. The findings of this review will be required to be presented to the RIIL along with recommendations for the school’s improvement and compliance.
  2. A copy of the defined standards can be found in the Online Document section of the website.

Section 17: Non- school athletic programs

  1. Member schools cannot contribute financially to a non-school athletic program.
  2. Member schools cannot be part of the governance of any non-school athletic program.
  3. Member schools cannot collect and or combine school tuition with non-school athletic fees.
  4. Member schools are not permitted to market or promote a non-school athletic program.
  5. Member schools must publicly renounce to all members of the school community their affiliation with any non-school athletic program
  6. Member schools may not mandate that their students participate for a specific non-school athletic program
  7. Member schools who identify a non-school athletic program as part of their school athletic program will be asked to withdraw from the RIIL in all sports
  8. In matters relating to Non-school Athletic Programs the RIIL has the authority to request from member schools documentation to assure compliance with all RIIL Rules.