SENATE, No. 3221

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

216th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED OCTOBER 22, 2015

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  RICHARD J. CODEY

District 27 (Essex and Morris)

Senator  PETER J. BARNES, III

District 18 (Middlesex)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Prohibits school districts from joining associations which oversee Statewide interscholastic sports unless association limits certain student-athletes who repeat middle school grade to only six consecutive semesters of interscholastic eligibility after entering ninth grade.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning school district participation in certain voluntary associations and supplementing chapter 11 of Title 18A of the New Jersey Statutes.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

1.         a.  As used in this section;

     “Hold-back repeat student” means a student who has successfully completed the academic requirements that have been established for the sixth, seventh, or eighth grades and who repeats one or more of these grades prior to entering the ninth grade for purposes of gaining athletic advantage.

     b.    A school district shall not join pursuant to section 1 of P.L.1979, c.172 (C.18A:11-3), any voluntary association which oversees activities associated with Statewide interscholastic sports programs unless the association requires that when a hold-back repeat student enters the ninth grade for the first time, the student shall be eligible to participate in interscholastic athletics for only the next ensuing six consecutive semesters.

 

     2.    This act shall take effect in the first full school year following the date of enactment.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill prohibits school districts from joining voluntary associations which oversee Statewide interscholastic sports programs under certain circumstances.  Under the bill, school districts are prohibited from joining any such association unless the association requires that when a “hold-back repeat student” enters the ninth grade for the first time, the student will be eligible to participate in interscholastic athletics for only the next ensuing six consecutive semesters.  The bill defines a “hold-back repeat student” as a student who has successfully completed the academic requirements that have been established for the sixth, seventh, or eighth grades and who repeats one or more of these grades prior to entering the ninth grade for purposes of gaining athletic advantage.

     Under the current rules of the association which oversees interscholastic sports programs in the State, the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, a student-athlete is eligible to compete as a high school senior provided that he does not turn 19 prior to September 1 of that school year.  These rules also provide that an athlete may only play interscholastic high school sports for eight consecutive semesters.  This bill is designed to help curtail the practice whereby student-athletes seek to gain athletic advantage at the high school level by repeating sixth, seventh, or eighth grade despite having met the academic requirements for those grades.