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Levels & Required Forms

     The following are questions and additional information to clarify the levels and forms used in the sanctioning process:

If I am a member school of the MPSSAA, who can I compete against?
     Member schools may only compete against other member schools of the MPSSAA, Maryland non-public schools verified to be in compliance with the "Standards of Competition" (the current list of schools can be found in the menu on the left hand side of this page), or schools that are members or approved by their particular state athletic association.  Member MPSSAA schools may host intercounty events involving only other member MPSSAA schools or schools approved through the "Standards of Competition" without sanctioning approval.
 
What are the "Standards Of Competition"?
     The Maryland State Superintendent of Schools seeks to maintain the integrity of Maryland Public Schools athletic programs when MPSSAA member public schools practice or play against non-member high school teams.  Accordingly, the Maryland State Superintendent of Schools has established Standards of Competition to achieve the following purposes: ensure athlete safety, minimize risks, deter exploitation of students, ensure that competing school teams are appropriately supervised by a responsible entity, maintain athletics as an integral part of the total educational program, promote competitive fairness, foster student leadership, encourage academic progress and minimize administrative burdens on member MPSSAA schools.
 
I am a non-member school of the MPSSAA located in the state of Maryland, how do I become approved to compete with member schools?
     The "Standards of Competition" (found in the menu on the left hand side of this page) has set standards that institutions must adhere to.  To verify compliance with the "Standards of Competition", the administrative head of the school, responsible for the daily operation of the total school, must sign and submit this verification application for annual approval.  This verification shall be submitted to the Maryland State Superintendent of Schools prior to the first practice or athletic competition against an MPSSAA member high school team. 
 
What is the deadline for submitting a sanctioning request for approval?
     The deadline for all sanction requests to be received by the MPSSAA Office is prior to the first play date for that particular season (fall, winter, spring) and at least 15 days prior to the event for events within the first two weeks of the season.  The only exception to this is a sanction request for the NFHS which must be completed online and submitted 90 days prior to the event.  This is necessary because of the different channels sanctions travel through (other state associations) and gives the MPSSAA Office, host school and invited schools ample time to work out any issues regarding the sanction application.  The most common reasons for sanction problems involves the use of the wrong form, missing information, no official list of participating teams, or missing signatures.  This deadline allows for these and other issues to be resolved in a timely manner in order for the event to be approved and to take place. The sanctioning process is not designed to hinder member schools from athletic competition but to assure that the event follows all state by-laws and gets sanctioned by all participating state associations and, if applicable, the National Federation Office. 
 
- The sanction deadline does not apply to events outside Maryland.
- The sanction deadline does not apply to non-member sanction requests.
- Member MPSSAA schools may host intercounty events involving only other member
  MPSSAA schools or schools approved through the "Standards of Competition"
  without sanctioning approval.
 
How do I know what form to use?
     One of the most common problems in the sanctioning process is the use of the wrong form. The following is a set of sanctioning guidelines to follow to determine the correct form to use. If you are still unsure, contact the MPSSAA Office and we will help direct you to the proper form to fill out.

1. MPSSAA Intrastate Sanction Form (online process) - - Member MPSSAA schools may host intercounty events involving only other member MPSSAA schools or schools approved through the "Standards of Competition" without sanctioning approval.  This form should only be used for any intercounty contest where all participating teams are from Maryland, there are more than three teams involved, and the event is sponsored by a non-member educational institution.  Complete this online form prior to the first play date for that particular season (fall, winter, spring) and at least 15 days prior to the event for events within the first two weeks of the season.  An official list of participating teams must accompany the sanction request in order to be considered for approval.

2. MPSSAA Bordering State Sanction Form - - This form should be used for those events that involve participating teams from states that are immediately adjacent to the Maryland border (District of Columbia, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia) which are sponsored by a member high school or approved non-member high school (those who have signed  and submitted the Standards of Competition for the current school year).  Please note that the MPSSAA will communicate with the other State Associations regarding the sanction request and the status of their invited schools.  Complete this form prior to the first play date for that particular season (fall, winter, spring) and at least 15 days prior to the event for events within the first two weeks of the season.  An official list of participating teams must accompany the sanction request in order to be considered for approval.

3. MPSSAA Interstate Sanction Form - - This form should be used for high school sponsored events that involve four to eight teams from three or four states that are NOT adjacent to the Maryland border.  This form should also be used for any two-school interstate contest which:

(a.)  is not sponsored by a NFHS state association or state member school; or
(b.)  involves travel outside of the United States of America; or
(c.)  is sponsored by an individual or an organization other than a member MPSSAA

       high school, regardless of the distance to be traveled.

     Please note that the MPSSAA will communicate with the other State Associations regarding the sanction request and the status of their invited schools.  Complete this form prior to the first play date for that particular season (fall, winter, spring) and at least 15 days prior to the event for events within the first two weeks of the season.  An official list of participating teams must accompany the sanction request in order to be considered for approval.

4. NFHS Application for Sanction of International and Interstate Events - - Event sponsors must go online to www.nfhs.org to complete this application 60 days prior for:

(a.)  any interstate event involving two or more schools which is co-sponsored by or titled in
        the name of an organization outside of the high school community; or
(b.)  non-bordering state events where five or more states are involved; or
(c.)  non-bordering state events where more than eight schools are involved; or
(d.)  any event involving two or more schools that involves a team from a foreign country

       other than Canada or Mexico.

     After completing the online application, including an official list of participating schools, an email will be sent to the host state association requesting approval.  Once the host state association approves an event, an email will be generated and automatically sent to the event sponsor requiring that the payment of the application fee be made to the NFHS office 60 days or more prior to the scheduled event.  The application fee for high school sponsored events (this includes Booster Clubs) is $100 and the fee for non-high school sponsored events is $200.  The only methods of payment accepted are: VISA, Mastercard, American Express, or electronic check.

     Late submission of the application and/or the list of actual entries for an event will incur the following penalties to be paid in addition to the application fee:

  • application filed late, between 15-59 days prior to event - - add $100 penalty fee for high school sponsored    events or non-high school sponsored events.
  • application filed late, less than 15 days prior to event - - add $200 penalty fee for high school sponsored events or add a $300 penalty fee for non-high school sponsored events.
  • list of actual entries in event NOT submitted 20 days prior - - add $100 penalty fee for  high school sponsored events or non-high school sponsored events.

What can I do to assure I have done everything correctly?
     The Sanctioning Guidelines and Checklist are first steps in assisting our athletic directors and coaches with the sanctioning process. Having proactive communication with the MPSSAA office is key. Double check your sanction form with the Sanction checklist and submit the information to the appropriate office as directed. 
 
Sanction Checklist

Will a sanction request for MPSSAA arrive prior to the first play date for that particular season (fall, winter, spring) and at least 15 days prior to the event for events within the first two weeks of school, and for NFHS, 60 days before the event? 
Is the correct form being used?
Is all pertinent information given?
Does the form have the proper signatures?
Does the form have an official list of participating schools attached?
Has an electronic payment been submitted to NFHS as a followup to completing the NFHS Application for Sanction of International and Interstate Events online process?


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