The following is the decision of the DIAA Rules and Regulations Committee regarding International Students and sports.
After considering all the information, the Board decided to grant a general eligibility waiver for this school year (2014-2015) and next school year (2015-2016) for limited participation with the conditions discussed including the requirements suggested by the DIAA Rules and Regulation Committee explained by the Executive Director. The wavier is conditioned on the school having a bona fide educational program for International Students on F-1 visas and incorporating the specified provision into their programs and submitting specifically documented programs in writing to the Executive Director. The member school must specifically incorporate the following into their international student educational programs and must notify all applicants of the limitations:
- A student may not be accepted in the program for athletic purposes, including recruiting by an outside party. The school must include a statement in their application and program material advising of this prohibition and advising that based on their program requirements and DIAA regulations that recruitment based on athletics by anyone including an outside source would result in the student being permanently ineligible in interscholastic athletics at any DIAA member school. The school, student, and parent must all sign a statement verifying that the student was not athletically recruited in any way and attesting that the student did not enroll for athletic purposes and has enrolled in the school for educational purposes.
- With the exception of the requirement in 1009.2.2 that a student must be living with their custodial parent, legal guardian, or relative caregiver in the attendance zone of the school, the program must require that students meet all other eligibility requirements including a pre-participation evaluation or physical including the parent signature.
- Student participation is limited to the sub-varsity level for the first two years of attendance at the school and students will be ineligible for state tournament competition during the initial 2 year attendance. If a school does not have a sub-varsity team, a student may practice at the varsity level during their initial two years of attendance.
- All of the specific requirements must be part of the school’s international education program and must be communicated to the students in advance of registration.
- An international student enrolled in an approved international education program that has attended the school for two years would then become eligible for varsity and state tournament competition.
The schools must also provide a copy of their policies and enrollment applications and agreements to the DIAA Executive Director. Additionally prior to athletic participation, the school must provide to the DIAA Executive Director a list of the international students enrolled in their programs and include a signed copy of the required forms.