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NHCS - Athletics Department


The purpose of this proposed change is to increase academic expectations for athletic eligibility by requiring a “C” average, while at the same time providing the opportunity for students to improve their substandard grades through required tutoring. 

State policy requires athletes and cheerleaders are required to pass five out of six classes the previous semester to maintain eligibility. This proposal will raise the expectation by requiring athletes to maintain a “C” average in all core academic subjects (English, Social Studies, Math, Science) taken during the current marking period. Failure to do so will require attendance at daily tutoring and a good faith effort to improve. This requirement will hold the athlete accountable for both the grades earned in the previous semester and those they are currently earning. 

Any time an athlete’s average drops below a “C” in a core academic subject, the teacher will immediately notify the school Athletic Director. The student will be required to begin tutoring classes after school immediately, on the same day the notice is written. The athlete will be required to continue in tutoring until an average of “C” or higher is attained in the course. 

Tutoring classes will begin at 3:40pm and continue until 4:30pm on every school day. Athletes will be required to attend every day except for game days. Tutoring will be provided by the individual student’s teacher or by a designated teacher from each core academic department. A daily attendance log will be turned in to the school Athletic Director and school administration on a weekly basis. If at any time an athlete fails to attend required tutoring, or if the athlete attends tutoring but fails to demonstrate a good faith effort to improve as judged by the tutor of the academic teacher, the athlete will lose eligibility for the remainder of the nine week grading period. 

In summary, this proposal will hold athletes accountable for both past and current grades while providing a vehicle for improving those grades. It is designed to be motivational, not punitive. 

** Special needs students/Academic eligibility will be identified with IEP’s. 

Scholastic Requirements:

A student must have passed five classes with a 2.0 average (see NHCS Policy 8502 for athletic eligibility) during the preceding semester to be eligible during the present semester. However, if he/she meets the requirement for the year, his/her record during the spring semester shall be immaterial to athletic status during the following fall semester. Students must also meet local promotion standard set by the LEA. 

The Board further expects student athletes to adhere to existing county attendance policies which are stricter than those proposed by the North Carolina High School Athletic Association.

In all instances, student athletes will be required to be in attendance on the day of a contest in which school is in session, unless excused beforehand by the respective school principal for school or educational purposes.

The above standards will be applicable for grades 7-12.

A student, upon first entering grade nine, is eligible for competition on high school athletic teams. 

A student who is not academically eligible at the beginning of the semester is not eligible at any time during the semester. (Exception: A student who receives an incomplete in a subject which causes him not to meet minimum scholastic requirements is ineligible until the course is satisfactorily made up, and his eligibility is restored at that point.)

A student who is academically eligible at the beginning of the semester remains eligible academically throughout the semester. A minimum load is defined as five courses in the traditional school schedule. A course, according to the State Board of Education, must consist of 150 clock hours of instruction, follow guidelines in the North Carolina Standard Course of Study, and locally developed curriculum guides. Advances Placement syllabi, or approved classes in a community college/university when high school students are enrolled; and must be directed by a teacher. 

If the State Board of Education has granted a school or system a waiver for the 90 minute block scheduling format, then the NCHSAA will grant eligibility for athletics if a student passes three of four courses per semester. Other exceptions must be applied for to the NCHSAA with a copy of the waiver from the State Board attached. In any case, a school on the block scheduling format should have their State Board of Education waiver on file with the NHCSAA.

Credit may not be awarded for school bus driving, office assistance, teacher assistance or laboratory assistance. 

The principal and coach shall have the same authority in the selection of players and in applying team rules and regulations with optional school students as with those enrolled in the regular school program. 

Pupils enrolled in “exceptional students” classes shall be eligible for participation in interscholastic athletics provided the program of instruction is in accordance with the recommendations of the State Department of Public Instruction; and provided further that, in the opinion of the principal, teacher, and County Athletic Director such pupil is making “satisfactory progress.”

“Satisfactory progress” is interpreted to mean that the pupil passes at least five subjects on his level. All other regulations of this Association shall be met. 

No work previously passed by a student may be submitted as a part of a minimum load. (All courses must have been originally passed in the term of year indicated.) Summer school work used to make up part of the minimum load must be applied on the most recent semester, and credit for summer work is a determination of the local unit. 

At the end of each semester, a superintendent or principal has eight school days to check grades of students and a) report the name of any approved player who has failed to pass a minimum load of scholastic courses b) remove such player from competition immediately upon completion of the eight-day time period, which means it must be reported and action taken by the close of business at NCHSAA offices on the eighth day and c) restore to eligibility any debarred only after he has qualified at the close of a semester and after notifying NCHSAA office of such restoration. Any student who has his academic eligibility restored may participate the day following the completion of the semester during which he was ineligible. 


  1. A player must have been in attendance for at least 85 percent of the previous semester at an approved high school.

  2. A student must, at the time of any game in which he participated, be a regularly enrolled member of his school’s student body. It is further recommended that a student be in school the day of a game in order to play in that game.

  3. A student must be properly enrolled within the first 15 days and in regular attendance for the present semester to be eligible for athletics. (A student whose family has moved into a school district shall immediately assume the same status in the new district as that from which he moved.) Summer school attendance shall not be counted in determining percentage of attendance of a student for athletic eligibility, but approved and bona fide Homebound programs do fulfill the attendance requirement.

  4. At the end of each semester, a superintendent or principal will: 1) report to the NCHSAA the name of any approved player who has failed to attend school 85 percent of that semester and remove such player from competition immediately, and 2) restore to eligibility any debarred player only after he has qualified at the close of a semester and after notifying the NCHSAA office of such restoration. Any such student who has his attendance eligibility restored may participate the day following the semester during which he was ineligible.

Medical Examination

A player must receive a medical examination once every 365 days by a duly licensed physician, nurse practitioner, or physician’s assistant with no counter signature required. Athletes should use the recommended form adopted by New Hanover County Schools.