At the April 25th MPSSAA Board of Control meeting, the Board voted 27 to 21 to further refine the definition of an out-of-season team in which members of the high school coaching staff may serve as coaches.
The enhanced interpretation applies only to outside school teams and becomes effective as of the last State Championship game this May. The action does not change any of the current regulations regarding the high school sport season, out-of-season practice, summer camps or any other regulation. It only defines the number of returning athletes that may be members of an outside team that is coached by a member of the school coaching staff.
The wording of the interpretation is as follows:
.04G(1) ""Member schools and coaches of member schools shall confine all organized or formal practice for a contestant or a team to the seasonal limitations as defined in Regulation .03.""
Interpretation: Any individual, group, or team gathering that has assembled for the purpose of instruction and is under the direction of any member of the school coaching staff would constitute a violation.
.04G(2) ""A coach may not coach a team representing his school beyond the sports season as defined in Regulation .03.""
Interpretation: Any paid or volunteer coach at a member school may coach a non-school team provided the following criteria are observed:
A. The team may not use a name connected with the school.
B. The team may not use school uniforms or equipment.
C. The team is participating in a league or similar activity sponsored by an educational or non-profit organization outside of the school system. (Individual teams may be supported by businesses, individuals, or other entities as long as the student's amateur standing is not compromised.)
1. From the start of the fall sports season as defined in Regulation .03, to the last state championship game of the spring season, the outside teams roster does not exceed 80% of the returning players of what would constitute a starting lineup in that sport OR a modified version thereof. i.e., 7-on-7 football, 3-on-3 basketball, indoor soccer, indoor lacrosse, etc.
STARTING SPORT LINE UP LIMIT
Baseball 9 7
Basketball 5 4
Cross Country 7 5
Field Hockey 11   8
Football 11   8
Golf   4 State members 3
Gymnastics—Boys 6 events 4
Gymnastics—Girls 4 events 3
Lacrosse 10   8
Soccer 11 8
Softball 9   7
Swimming 12 events 9
Tennis 8 State events 6
Track & Field 18 events 14
Volleyball   6 4
Wrestling 14   11
2. From the last state championship game of the spring season to the first day of fall practice, the outside team roster is unrestricted on the number of returning players.
To avoid any confusion, misapplications, or violations of State Board of Education Regulations, coaches, athletic directors, and principals are strongly urged to check with Local Supervisors with any questions, doubts or confusion about this revised policy.
In addition the MPSSAA has supplied some answers to some frequently asked questions.
Frequently Asked Questions
In response to questions concerning the revised interpretation regarding what constitutes an out-of-school team the following points of emphasis are offered:
· This more inclusive interpretation of the rule only applies to outside teams that are competing in a bonafide league that is organized by a recognized not for profit organization.
· Teams are non school in nature and by interpretation. Thus, use of school name, uniforms, equipment and finances are prohibited.
· Current regulations regarding summer camps and team camps are unaffected by this action and remain in force. If it looks like a camp, sounds like a camp, structured like a camp and conducted like a camp…….It's a Camp.
· Practice for non school teams coached by members of a school coaching staff:
- may not begin until after the last championship contest of the school year
- must end at the conclusion of that team's summer league schedule
- may number no more than the number of days scheduled for competition during the summer league team
· Participation on an out of school team may not be a prerequisite either direct or implied for inclusion on the school team.