Athletic Placement Process

The Athletic Placement Process (APP) is a program for evaluating students who want to participate in sports at higher or lower levels, as approved by the Board of Regents as a part of the school eligibility rules in 1980, and is aligned with Learning Standards 1 and 2. Commissioner’s Regulation Section 135.4(c)(7)(ii)(a)(4)states:

A Board of Education may permit pupils in grades no lower than seventh to compete on any senior high school team, or permit senior high pupils to compete on any teams in grades no lower than seventh, provided the pupils are placed at levels of competition appropriate to their physiological maturity, physical fitness, and skills in relationship to other pupils on those teams in accordance with standards established by the Commissioner.

These standards state that students will have the necessary knowledge and skills to establish and maintain physical fitness, participate in physical activity, maintain personal health, and acquire both the knowledge and ability to create and maintain a safe and healthy environment.

The New York State Education Department (NYSED) has collaborated with the New York State Athletic Administrators Association (NYSAAA), the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA), the Statewide School Health Services Center (SSHSC), district directors of school health services (commonly referred to as medical directors and previously known as school medical officers), and directors of physical education/athletics to promote physical education and interschool athletic competition statewide.

This document represents the shared belief of the NYSAAA, the NYSPHSAA, medical directors, directors of physical education/athletics, and the NYSED that physical education and interscholastic athletic competition are important to the development of the whole child, and that students benefit when they can participate in such activities at a pace that is consistent with their physical and emotional maturity, size, fitness level, and athletic skill.

Schools, both public and private, competing in interscholastic sports under the jurisdiction of the Commissioner’s Regulations may choose whether or not to adopt a policy that permits students in the 7th and 8th grades to try out for a high school team, or that permits high school students to play at the modified level. If schools choose to have such a policy, the process outlined in this document is to be followed.

Normally, a student is eligible for senior high athletic competition in a sport during each of four consecutive seasons, beginning with entry into the ninth grade. However, by satisfying the requirements of the APP, a student may receive extended eligibility that permits:

  1. participation during five consecutive seasons in the approved sport, after entry into the eighth grade; or
  2. participation during six consecutive seasons in the approved sport, after entry into the seventh grade.

THE INTENT OF THE APP IS TO PROVIDE A PROTOCOL FOR THOSE DISTRICTS THAT CHOOSE TO ALLOW STUDENTS IN GRADES 7 AND 8 TO MOVE UP; OR FOR STUDENTS IN GRADES 9-12 TO MOVE DOWN, ALLOWING THEM TO PARTICIPATE SAFELY AT AN APPROPRIATE LEVEL OF COMPETITION BASED UPON PHYSICAL AND EMOTIONAL READINESS AND ATHLETIC ABILITY RATHER THAN AGE AND GRADE ALONE.

Students do not mature at the same rate, and there can be tremendous developmental differences between students of the same age. The APP is not to be used to fill positions on teams, provide additional experience, provide an opportunity for middle school or junior high students when no modified program is offered, or to reward a student. Instead, it is aimed at the few, select students who can benefit from such placement because of their level of readiness.

 

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