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Chicago Public Schools Athletics Constitution and ByLaws

Section 601.8 | Board Report 16-1026-PO1 | Date Adopted October 26, 2016

Policy PDF  English

THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER RECOMMENDS

That the Board rescind Board Report 12-0822-PO1, Chicago Public High Schools Athletic Association Constitution and Bylaws, and adopt a new Chicago Public Schools Athletics Constitution and Bylaws.

Chicago Public Schools Athletics Constitution

Article I - Names

Chicago Public Schools Athletics encompasses the Chicago Public League and the Elementary School Sports Program.

Article II - Statement of Purpose

The fundamental purpose of Chicago Public Schools Athletics shall be to promote interscholastic athletics for students in Chicago public schools and participating Chicago charter schools so that participants will enjoy the benefits of physical fitness, teamwork and discipline that involvement in athletics can bring. Chicago Public Schools recognizes athletics as an extracurricular activity and asserts that participation in athletics is a privilege and not a right for those student-athletes who take part in the variety of sports offered by Chicago Public Schools.

Chicago Public Schools dedicates itself to establishing and maintaining the highest standards of good sportsmanship, fair play and citizenship so that students’ participation in athletics programs enriches their educational experience. Chicago Public Schools also commits itself to a principle of equal access to its interscholastic programs for all Chicago public school students that takes into consideration factors that affect the ability of students to safely participate in sponsored athletic events.

Chicago Public Schools shall fully execute the requirements of the Chicago Public Schools Athletics Constitution and Bylaws and promote compliance by all student-athletes, coaches, athletic directors, principals, other school officials and third-party partners. In addition, Chicago Public Schools may issue future regulations which further define and interpret provisions of the Chicago Public Schools Athletics Constitution and Bylaws.

Chicago Public Schools also commits to abide by the rules and regulations promulgated by the Illinois High School Association (“IHSA”). In those instances where the rules of Chicago Public Schools are stricter than those of the IHSA, the rules of Chicago Public Schools will govern.

Article III - Membership

Membership in the Chicago Public League or the Elementary School Sports Program shall be limited to high schools or elementary schools under the supervision of the Board of Education of the City of Chicago (“Board”) and any charter schools authorized by the Board which elect to become members of these organizations.

Article IV - Management

Section 1 - Chief Executive Officer

The Chief Executive Officer has final decision authority over all matters relating to the administration, organization, delivery and operation of Chicago Public Schools interscholastic athletics.

Section 2 - The Office of Sports Administration

The Office of Sports Administration shall be responsible for:

  • The administration, organization, delivery and operation of Chicago Public Schools Athletics and any underlying activities;
  • Providing oversight for and monitoring compliance with applicable rules and regulations;
  • The administration of all individual/team sports committees and the recommendation of membership;
  • The determination of all actions regarding rule interpretations, protests, violations and/or eligibility after full investigation;
  • Advising the Chief Executive Officer on all matters regarding interscholastic athletics; and
  • Communicating academic eligibility rules and requirements for student-athletes.

Section 3 - School Principals

School principals are ultimately accountable for the local administration of athletics programs and other related activities at their schools. Principals are responsible for ensuring compliance with athletics rules and regulations at their schools.

Principals may designate an official representative to be responsible for coordinating local athletics programs and to serve as the primary liaison between their school and the Office of Sports Administration. A school principal may serve as the official representative for his or her school or identify an appropriate representative, such as an assistant principal or athletic director. While a principal may delegate responsibilities to an official representative, principals remain ultimately accountable for ensuring compliance with all athletics rules and regulations at their schools.

Section 4 - Elementary and High School Athletics Advisory Councils

Two representative councils of school principals shall be established to advise the Office of Sports Administration on matters related to the administration and operation of interscholastic athletics at Chicago Public Schools and review appeals in a manner consistent with Article VII Section 2 of the Chicago Public Schools Athletics Bylaws. One council shall be comprised of elementary school principals who represent the interests of schools that participate in the Elementary Schools Sports Program and one council shall be comprised of high school principals who represent the interests of schools that participate in the Chicago Public League.

The Elementary and High School Athletics Advisory Councils shall be responsible for:

  • Advising the Office of Sports Administration on matters related to the administration, organization, delivery and operation of interscholastic athletics at Chicago Public Schools;
  • Reviewing appeals in a manner consistent with Article VII Section 2 of the Chicago Public Schools Athletics Bylaws; and
  • Issuing appeal recommendations in a manner consistent with Article VII Section 2 of the Chicago Public Schools Athletics Bylaws.

During the first meeting of each Athletics Advisory Council, members shall select an individual member who shall serve as the Chairperson for their respective council. Each Chairperson shall be responsible for administering council meetings and activities in a manner consistent with the responsibilities identified in the Chicago Public Schools Athletics Constitution and Bylaws and any direction received from the Chief Education Officer.

Section 5 - Chief Education Officer

The Chief Education Officer shall be responsible for:

  • Establishing the membership structure for the Athletics Advisory Councils in a manner that promotes equitable representation for participating schools;
  • Establishing procedures for the selection of Athletics Advisory Council members and for the replacement of members in the event of member vacancy or incapacitation; and
  • Establishing the membership duration for all members of the Athletics Advisory Councils.
  • Advising the Office of Sports Administration on matters regarding academic eligibility rules and requirements for student-athletes.

Section 6 - Individual/Team Sports Administration

The Office of Sports Administration shall be responsible for the administration and operation of all approved sports offered through the Chicago Public League and the Elementary School Sports Program. The Office of Sports Administration may identify individuals from its staff to be responsible for planning and coordinating the activities of specific sports, including the establishment of contest schedules.

The Office of Sports Administration may establish a representative committee of coaches to assist with the operation of activities pertaining to each sport. Coach committees shall be responsible for:

  • Supporting the Office of Sports Administration with the administration and operations of their sport;
  • Making recommendations to the Office of Sports Administration regarding the administration and operation of their sport;
  • Serving as the collective voice for the broader coaching community for their sport; and
  • Promoting the professional development of other coaches within their sport.

Chicago Public Schools Athletics Bylaws

Article I - Chicago Public Schools Athletics Bylaws and IHSA

Chicago Public Schools commits to abide by the rules and regulations promulgated by the Illinois High School Association (“IHSA”). In those instances where the rules of Chicago Public Schools are stricter than those of the IHSA, the rules of Chicago Public Schools will govern.

Article II - Specific Responsibilities of School Principals

Section 1 - Constitution and Bylaws Distribution

Principals shall issue an electronic or hard copy of the Chicago Public Schools Athletics Constitution and Bylaws and any regulations promulgated in conjunction therewith to all coaches, student-athletes and other school representatives participating in Chicago Public Schools Athletics.

Section 2 -Coach Oversight

Principals shall ensure that all paid and volunteer coaches are properly staffed and certified prior to working with any students. Principals are responsible for maintaining an accurate roster of all paid and volunteer coaches and reporting this information to the Office of Sports Administration. The Office of Sports Administration shall issue requirements and procedures for maintaining coaching records. Principals shall be responsible for ensuring that their school complies with the record keeping and reporting requirements established by the Office of Sports Administration.


Section 3 - Safety and Security

Principals shall assign a Concussion Oversight Supervisor (COS) to monitor and enforce the Concussion Management Policy of the Board of Education of the City of Chicago.

Principals shall submit to the Office of Safety and Security a crowd control/security plan and an emergency action plan for the scheduled competitions of each sport prior to the commencement of the season.

Principals shall see that there is sufficient faculty and/or police supervision at all contests and activities to properly handle the spectators.


Section 4 - Student-Athlete Eligibility

Principals are ultimately responsible for ensuring that all students from their school who participate in athletic activities satisfy all eligibility rules and requirements

Article III - Specific Responsibilities of Coaches

Section 1 - High School Coach Staffing and Professional Credentials

In order to serve as a paid or volunteer high school athletic coach, an individual must:

  • Satisfy all CPS staffing requirements, which include but are not limited to an online application, background check and drug test;
  • Complete an IHSA-approved Coaches Certification program;
  • Complete the concussion management training specified by the Office of Sports Administration;
  • Satisfy annual professional development and training requirements specified by the Office of Sports Administration; and
  • Be well versed in the latest edition of the National Federation of High Schools (NFHS) rules and regulations for the sport that they are coaching, the IHSA Constitution and Bylaws, and the Chicago Public Schools Athletics Constitution and Bylaws.

Section 2 - Coaches as Role Models

Coaches are role models to players, students, staff and the general public and shall conduct themselves accordingly at all times. Coaches shall be attentive to the academic progress of their students and display good sportsmanship and respect for institutions, school officials, spectators, fans, opposing teams and students at all times. Coaches shall not engage in any acts that violate these Bylaws or any other Board rule or policy.

Section 3 - Behavior

Coaches shall not engage in unsportsmanlike conduct, including but not limited to:

  • Use of profane or abusive language directed at players, officials, coaches or spectators.
  • Disrespect of officials.
  • Taunting of opposing players, officials, coaches or spectators.
  • Throwing objects.
  • Any actions before, during or after an athletic contest that are intended to provoke hostility towards an opposing team’s players, coaches, school officials or students.
  • Other conduct that a reasonable person would consider unprofessional.

Section 4 - Behavior with Officials

Coaches shall not visibly, audibly or in any other manner display disrespect for the decisions of officials during the contest or in any place where a crowd or player might see and/or hear a coach.

Section 5 - Attire

Coaches shall inspire respect by wearing appropriate attire. Therefore, professional or team-related attire should be worn by coaches during contests.

Section 6 - Smoking and Drinking

Coaches shall not smoke or drink alcoholic beverages or be under the influence of alcoholic beverages or any illegal substance at any time while performing their coaching duties.

Section 7 - Student-Athlete Eligibility

Coaches are responsible for maintaining awareness of the individual eligibility status of student athletes on their team. Coaches are responsible for assisting school administrators, including principals and athletic directors, with monitoring student-athlete compliance with eligibility rules and requirements.

Coaches shall not permit any student to participate in any practices or contests if:

  • The student does not have medical clearance from a healthcare professional.
  • The student is serving a suspension under the Student Code of Conduct.

Coaches shall not permit any high school student to participate in contests if:

  • The student is academically ineligible as defined by Board rules and policies, or other requirements communicated by the Office of Sports Administration.
  • The student has not received approval from the Office of Sports Administration following a school transfer as defined in Article VI Section 3

Section 8 - Computer-Generated Eligibility Sheets

High school coaches are responsible for assisting school administrators, including principals and athletic directors, with preparing student-athlete records and official computer-generated eligibility sheets to establish that participants are eligible to compete.

Section 9 - Participant Safety

Coaches are responsible for ensuring that participants wear proper safety equipment, where applicable, and for requiring players to remove any items that have been flagged as potentially dangerous by the contest’s officials.

Section 10 - Concussion Management

Coaches shall comply with the Board’s Concussions Management Policy, including but not limited to, the removal from participation, students’ return to play, and all reporting and documentation requirements.

Section 11 - Respect for Colors

Coaches shall instruct their players to be available and to cease pre-contest team activities (e.g., warm-up activity) when the colors are presented at the opening of a contest.

Section 12 - Lockers & Security

The coach of the home team shall ensure the visiting team has access to lockers and/or other secure accommodations.

Section 13 - Entering the Playing Field

Coaches shall not go onto the field or playing area during a contest except with the permission of an official.

Section 14 - Timeliness & Forfeitures

Coaches shall make every effort to be on time to a scheduled contest. If a coach or team is knowingly unable to arrive on time or be ready to play within 30 minutes of a scheduled contest, the coach shall notify the coach of the opposing team and the Office of Sports Administration. In the event either team is unable to play after 30 minutes of a scheduled contest, both coaches are responsible for contacting the Office of Sports Administration. The Office of Sports Administration shall be the sole arbiter of disagreements arising in these cases and shall be the sole entity responsible for declaring a forfeiture.

Section 15 - Assistance for Officials

The coach of the home team shall assign a school representative to meet officials before a contest. The school representative shall be responsible for arranging for the privacy of the officials before, during and after the contest. The school representative shall provide for any concerns of the officials related to the contest.

Section 16 - Recruiting

Coaches, as well as other individuals formally or informally affiliated with the school, are strictly prohibited from recruiting or exerting undue influence, or attempting to do so, on any person, including student-athletes and their parents or legal guardians, to secure or retain the attendance of a student for purposes of athletic participation at the coach’s school. This prohibition pertains to activities undertaken by or on behalf of a coach throughout the year and not just the school year.

Section 17 - Corporal Punishment Prohibited

The use of corporal punishment on students is strictly prohibited. Corporal punishment is the deliberate use of physical force on a student (e.g., slapping, hitting, pushing, shaking, twisting, pinching, choking, swatting, head banging, paddling or use of any type of object or instrument that has contact with a student) or requiring a student to take an action solely for the purpose of causing the student physical pain (e.g., forcing a student to stand or kneel for an inordinate period of time, forcing a student into a physical position that causes pain). Coaches, assistant coaches and athletic directors, whether they are employees or volunteers, are strictly prohibited from inflicting corporal punishment of any kind upon students. This rule shall not be construed to prohibit the use of drills, conditioning and other acceptable coaching methods designed to develop athletic skills, teamwork, physical endurance and strength.

Section 18 - Reporting of Infractions

Coaches who know of any rule infractions or violations of the Chicago Public Schools Athletics Constitution or these Bylaws must report the alleged infraction or violation to the Office of Sports Administration as soon as they learn of the alleged infraction or violation. Coaches who delay the reporting of alleged infractions or violations may cause their teams to forfeit at least one contest, and their school may be fined at the discretion of the Office of Sports Administration.

Section 19 - Compliance with Board Rules and Policies

Coaches shall comply with all Board rules and policies, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Chicago Public Schools Athletics Constitution and Bylaws.
  • No-Pass, No-Play Policy
  • Board Rule 6-21 which prohibits, inter alia, the deliberate use of force, in particular, the use of any type of object or instrument to paddle a student and/or slapping, hitting, pushing, shaking, twisting, pinching, choking, or swatting a student, including a student-athlete.
  • Employee Discipline and Due Process Policy.
  • Student Code of Conduct.
  • Policy on Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect.
  • Student Travel Policy.
  • Policy on Momentary Student Interventions.
  • Policy on Student Searches and Seizures.
  • Concussion Management Policy.

Article IV - Approved Sports and Their Management

Section 1 - Approved Sports

The Office of Sports Administration is responsible for communicating the approved list of sports or activities offered through the Chicago Public League and the Elementary School Sports Program. Schools may submit a formal written request to expand the list of approved sports or activities. The Office of Sports Administration reserves the authority to adjust the list of approved sports offered through the Chicago Public League and the Elementary School Sports Program.

Section 2 - High School Sports Seasons

The formal seasons for high school sports are determined according to the IHSA calendar and will conclude with the Chicago Public League Championship contest or meet, with the exception of those teams involved with IHSA tournaments or other authorized contests.

Section 3 - Elementary School Sports Program

The Elementary School Sports Program shall provide elementary students with the opportunity to participate in organized interscholastic league play. The Office of Sports Administration shall be responsible for establishing and promulgating rules and regulations for the administration, organization, delivery and operation of the Elementary School Sports Program.

The Office of Sports Administration’s powers include:

  • Selecting which approved sports shall be part of the program;
  • Creating elementary sports leagues, teams, schedules and seasons;
  • Designing and facilitating the implementation of a coaching staffing model;
  • Selecting facilities for practices and contests; and
  • Such other actions that are consistent with the Chicago Public Schools Athletics Constitution, these Bylaws and which are necessary for the administration, organization, delivery and operation of the Elementary School Sports Program.

Section 4 - Non-League Contests

For all contests hosted by or involving Chicago Public Schools, all participating teams must be either members of the Chicago Public League, the Elementary School Sports Program, the IHSA, or an equivalent association from their home state.

Non-league high school contests shall not be allowed to conflict with the Chicago Public League schedule. All non-league contests shall be submitted to the Office of Sports Administration prior to the contest for informational purposes. The Office of Sports Administration reserves the right to prohibit the participation of member schools in non-league contests.

On the day of the Chicago Public League Championship game or contest in any one sport, no other high school game or contest in that sport shall be conducted unless approved by the Office of Sports Administration.

Non-league high school contests or any other activities (e.g., practices, scrimmages) are prohibited with any team which is under the ban of Chicago Public Schools and/or the IHSA.

Section 5 - School Representative

Any contest in which two schools are participating shall not begin until the coach or a school representative from each of the contesting schools is present. In contests where more than two schools are participating, each school shall have a coach or school representative.

In the event of a non-appearance of the coach or school representative within the forfeit time limit of that sport, the offending school shall forfeit the contest.

In the event the coach or school representative fails to remain through the contest, the offending school shall forfeit the contest.

Section 6 - Exchange of Official Computer-Generated Eligibility Sheets

The following requirements pertain to high school contests:

  • Official computer-generated eligibility sheets serve as the documents listing information regarding the students that are eligible for interscholastic participation as indicated by a computer review of eligibility criteria;
  • Only official computer-generated eligibility sheets will be accepted for purposes of defining eligibility for participants in interscholastic contests involving Chicago Public Schools;
  • Official computer-generated eligibility sheets may not be altered with additional names that weren’t originally printed. Official computer-generated eligibility sheets may be duplicated, but signatures must be original. Prior to the commencement of a contest, teams shall exchange eligibility sheets, which identify all the players that are eligible to participate in the contest;
  • The participation of a player whose name does not appear on an official computer-generated eligibility sheet may be cause for the forfeiture of the contest;
  • The participation of an ineligible player, even if his or her name appears on the computer-generated eligibility sheet, may be cause for forfeiture of the contest. In the instance where his or her name is on the official computer-generated eligibility sheet, the name should be flagged or crossed out and the change initialed by a school representative. Under no circumstances should an ineligible student participate in any athletics contest; and
  • Any clerical or system error, as determined by the Office of Sports Administration, may result in a determination to waive the designated penalty.

Section 7 - Report of Chicago Public League Contests

The following requirements pertain to high school contests:

  • A school representative shall keep all completed official computer-generated eligibility sheets on file at the school and shall produce them to the Office of Sports Administration upon request;
  • A school representative must communicate the results of all contests to the Office of Sports Administration as soon as practicable according to the procedures established by the Office of Sports Administration; and
  • In individual sports, where a number of schools are competing, the host school of that event shall send the official computer-generated eligibility sheets and a report of the contest to the Office of Sports Administration.

Section 8 - Alumni Contests and Games

Alumni contests and games are prohibited in all sports.

Section 9 - Ticket Practices and Post-Season Seating Arrangements

  • The Office of Sports Administration is responsible for establishing ticket practices and prices for all athletics contests between schools of the Chicago Public League and schools of the Elementary School Sports Program.
  • The Office of Sports Administration is responsible for determining seating arrangements for all post-season contests that occur at neutral locations.
  • For any Chicago Public League semi-final or championship game, the schools of participating teams are entitled to an equal proportion of tickets available for purchase.

Article V - Records of High School Eligibility

Section 1 - Central Office Record Sheet

The Central Office Record Sheet is an electronic roster of the players who participate on a team. Each school that participates in the Chicago Public League is required to populate a Central Office Record Sheet for each participating team prior to the first contest of the season. Schools are required to maintain the accuracy of the information contained on the Central Office Record Sheet during the season. The Central Office Record Sheet shall include the following information for each player:

  • Player’s full name.
  • Identification number.
  • Date of birth.
  • Home address, including zip code.
  • Number of semesters of high school attendance.

Participation of a player whose name does not appear on the Central Office Record Sheet at the time of participation may result in the forfeit of the game or contest in which the player participated. Upon conclusion of each season, schools must provide a signed copy of the final Central Office Record Sheet to the Office of Sports Administration. The final copy of each Central Office Record Sheet must be signed by the principal, athletic director and coach of the associated school. Upon request, the Office of Sports Administration shall make available the Central Office Record Sheets provided by schools.

Section 2 - Player’s Record Packet

Before eligibility is established and before participation in any practice or contest, each participant in the Chicago Public League shall submit a completed player record packet. A school representative (e.g., athletic director, coach) is responsible for securing the packet from the participant and the high school athletic director is responsible for recording the information in the IMPACT sports module and filing these packets at their school. The principal is ultimately responsible for ensuring all participating student-athletes have a completed player record packet on file at their school.

A complete player record packet shall include:

  • Date and evidence of birth.
  • Athletic participation history.
  • Certificate of physical fitness dated within 395 calendar days, including a physician’s permission to participate, as attested to by signature.
  • Written consent of a parent or guardian for athletic participation and acknowledgement of risk.
  • IHSA Concussion Awareness Form.
  • Acknowledgement of receipt of the Chicago Public Schools Athletics Constitution and Bylaws.
  • Signature of student.

Article VI - Eligibility

Section 1 - Academic Eligibility Rules and Requirements

The Board of Education of the City of Chicago has established academic eligibility rules and requirements for student-athletes who wish to participate in school-sponsored athletics or related extracurricular activities. The Office of Sports Administration shall communicate academic eligibility rules and requirements to member schools of the Chicago Public League and the Elementary School Sports Program. Coaches are responsible for maintaining awareness of the individual eligibility status of student athletes on their team. Coaches are responsible for assisting school administrators, including principals and athletic directors, with monitoring student-athlete compliance with eligibility rules and requirements. Principals are ultimately responsible for ensuring that all students from their school who participate in athletic activities satisfy all eligibility rules and requirements.

Section 2 - Age

For varsity competition, a student shall be eligible through age nineteen (19) unless the student shall become twenty (20) during the sport season in which event eligibility shall terminate on the first day of such season, as the season is defined in the IHSA Bylaws.

For sophomore competition, the student shall be eligible in the first or second year in attendance and shall not have reached the seventeenth (17th) birthday prior to September 1 of the current school year.

For freshmen competition, the student shall be eligible in the first year in attendance and shall not have reached the sixteenth (16th) birthday prior to September 1 of the current school year.

The Office of Sports Administration shall establish the age eligibility requirements for elementary school sports.

Foreign exchange students must abide by all student requirements contained in these Bylaws, including the age requirements.

Section 3 - Transfers

All students who transfer to a Chicago Public Schools high school will be ineligible to compete in athletics for a period of one calendar year from the date of enrollment in the new school or until they have received approval for athletic eligibility from the Office of Sports Administration, as described below.

Transfer students, working with the administrators at their school, may file a request for eligibility with the Office of Sports Administration by submitting a completed transfer packet. The Office of Sports Administration shall communicate the requirements of the transfer packet. The Office of Sports Administration shall communicate the deadlines for submitting transfer packets in order to receive a ruling prior to a season. It is the responsibility of the school on behalf of the student to submit all required documentation to the Office of Sports Administration. Any insufficient or incomplete documentation may delay the eligibility decision made by the Office of Sports Administration.

The Office of Sports Administration’s decision will be based on the following criteria:

  • Chicago Public Schools adheres to IHSA rules regarding the eligibility of transfer students.
  • In all cases, the Office of Sports Administration’s decision shall be given consistent with Article VI and academic eligibility standards established by the Board.
  • In determining whether a student will be deemed eligible for participation, the Office of Sports Administration will consider whether:
    • There is evidence that the transfer was for primarily athletic reasons; or
    • There is evidence that the transfer was the result of undue influence.
  • The decision will indicate whether a student will be deemed:
    • Immediately eligible to participate in athletics; or
    • Ineligible to participate in athletics for a period not to exceed one calendar year from the date of enrollment; or
    • Ineligible to participate in a specific sport (e.g., basketball) for a period not to exceed one calendar year from the date of enrollment.

Section 4 - Amateur Standing

Once enrolled, all students, including foreign exchange students, are designated as amateurs and must maintain their amateur status.

  • Definitions
    • Amateur. An amateur is an individual who has never used his or her knowledge of athletics or athletic skill for pay in any form, and has never played on any team on which there are paid players.
    • Athletic award, gift, amenity, gratuity or benefit. An athletic award, gift, amenity, gratuity, or benefit includes, but is not limited to: money, extension of credit, meals, trips, free summer or off-season training or instructional camps for which other participants pay a fee, use of vehicles, promise of athletic scholarships, promise or receipt of anything of value in excess of $75.00.
    • Media. Media includes but is not limited to programs, commercials, promotions, or messages, whether broadcast by radio, television, videos, telephone, Internet, cable, or satellite, or published in newspapers, magazines, posters, newsletters, or books. Media does not include news coverage of any kind.
    • Pay. Pay is the receipt of any athletic award, gift, amenity, gratuity, or benefit, for the student’s participation in athletics not expressly permitted by these bylaws. Pay does not include an athletic scholarship or a promise of an athletic scholarship to a college or university, provided, that the scholarship is offered through a duly recognized representative of the college or university the student-athlete will attend.
    • Student-athlete. For purposes of this section, a student-athlete is a student who is eligible to and participates in a particular sport at Chicago Public Schools.
    • Amateur Status. All student-athletes must be amateurs.
  • Prohibited Compensation. A student shall not be eligible for competition in a particular sport if the individual:
    • Uses his or her athletic skill, whether directly or indirectly, for pay in any form in that sport;
    • Accepts a promise to pay even if such pay is to be received following completion of high school athletics participation;
    • Signs a contract or commitment of any kind to play professional athletics, regardless of its legal enforceability or any consideration received;
    • Competes on any professional athletics team and knows (or had reason to know) that the team is a professional athletics team, even if no pay or remuneration for expenses was received.
  • Investigation. An investigation will be conducted by Chicago Public Schools for any impropriety related amateur status. Violation of this section will result in the immediate revocation of a student’s eligibility status.
  • Athletic Awards. These rules shall not be interpreted to prohibit the acceptance of letters, medals, cups, or trophies by participants for winning or placing in athletic meets or tournaments in which three or more high schools participate and which are limited to high school students or to participants in non-interscholastic contests on equal terms, provided that in either case the awards must be made by either the Office of Sports Administration, the school, or the organization fostering the contest or meet.
  • Prohibited Acts.
    • No personnel may provide, directly or indirectly, or solicit others to provide, to any student-athlete any athletic award, gift, amenity, gratuity, free summer or off-season training or instructional camps for which other participants pay a fee, or benefit having a value of more than seventy-five dollars ($75.00) as a reward for or as an encouragement to engage in athletic participation at any high school of the Chicago Public Schools.
    • Chicago Public Schools employees determined to have violated this section will be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with Chicago Board of Education Employee Discipline and Due Process Policy as it exists now or as it may hereafter be amended.
  • Promotional Activities. After becoming a student-athlete, a student-athlete shall not be eligible for competition in a particular sport if the student-athlete:
    • Accepts any remuneration for or permits the use of his or her name or picture to advertise, recommend, or promote directly the sale or use of a commercial product or service of any kind;
    • Received remuneration for endorsing a commercial product or service through the individual’s use of such product or service;
    • Appears or permits the use of his or her name, picture, or likeness in any media, the purpose of which is to advance a commercial interest without the prior written authorization of the Board; or
    • If a student-athlete’s name or picture appears on commercial items or is used to promote a commercial product sold by an individual or agency without the student-athlete’s knowledge or permission, the student-athlete (or the school acting on behalf of the student-athlete) is required to take steps to stop such an activity in order to retain his or her eligibility for competition in a particular sport.

Section 5 - Falsifying Statements

Any individual who knowingly and intentionally has made a false statement in answering any verbal or written questions or requests for information of any authorities of the Chicago Public Schools shall be declared ineligible to represent the school or any other Chicago public school in all sports for a period of time not to exceed one calendar year from the date the Office of Sports Administration issues its determination. In addition, interscholastic team contests in which student is engaged may be forfeited or individual team meets placement may be forfeited and awards returned.

Section 6 -Other Affiliations

While a member of a school team, an athlete shall not represent any out-of-school organizations in the sport during that sport’s season.

Section 7 - Student Disciplinary Suspensions

A student-athlete serving an out-of-school suspension for an act of misconduct may not attend school-sponsored events, including athletic competitions, and may not attend activities on school grounds, including team practices, during the term of the suspension.

Article VII - Investigations, Hearings and Appeals

Section 1 - Investigations

Investigations by the Office of Sports Administration of any action regarding rule interpretations, eligibility, fines, terms, conditions or other matters affecting Chicago Public Schools interscholastic athletics shall be commenced as follows:

  • All requests for an investigation or a determination must be made in writing and directed to the attention of the Office of Sports Administration. The Office of Sports Administration may also initiate or direct the initiation of an investigation if it observes potential misconduct or any violation of athletics rules and regulations.
  • If the Office of Sports Administration receives a proper written request for a determination or investigation of an alleged impropriety that may give rise to a violation of the Constitution or Bylaws, the Office of Sports Administration shall decide if the request reasonably warrants a determination or an investigation. If an investigation or determination is warranted, the Office of Sports Administration shall conduct an investigation or, if no investigation is required, make a determination on the issue.
  • If deemed necessary, a hearing may be conducted by the Office of Sports Administration for the sole purpose of gathering relevant and material information concerning the issue under consideration. The Office of Sports Administration is responsible for determining appropriate attendees for the hearing given the nature of each investigation and submitting a written request to attendees, which includes the hearing procedures.
  • The Office of Sports Administration will issue written findings from the investigation and/or hearing to the requesting party and to other persons affected by the findings as soon as practicably possible. The Office of Sports Administration retains the right to amend its written findings should further evidence arise after an investigation.

Section 2 - Appeal Hearings

Anyone affected by the Office of Sports Administration’s written findings may appeal the decision. All requests for appeal must be made in writing to the Chairperson of the respective Elementary or High School Athletics Advisory Council within five school days from the date of the decision. The appellant’s request must include the full factual basis and supporting evidence for the appeal. The Chairperson shall forward copies of the appeal and supporting evidence to the Athletic Advisory Council, the principals of the affected schools, the Office of Sports Administration and any other affected parties in a timely manner. Affected parties have five days to submit a written response to the appeal.

In the event that an appeal involves the Chairperson’s school or a student or a coach at the school of another Athletic Advisory Council member, the Chairperson, or other Athletic Advisory Council member shall excuse him/herself from the proceedings and another Athletic Advisory Council member shall be appointed by the Chief Education Officer to preside over or participate during the appeal.

The Athletic Advisory Council shall vote on whether to grant the appellant a hearing or base its decision on the written appeal and supporting evidence. The Athletic Advisory Council will grant an appeal hearing unless a majority of all of the Council members vote against granting a hearing. The Chairperson, or presiding Athletic Advisory Council member, is responsible for communicating the council’s decision on whether to conduct a hearing within five school days of receiving the written appeal. If the council decides to hear the appeal, the Chairperson, or presiding Athletic Advisory Council member, is responsible for notifying affected parties and scheduling the appeal to be conducted before a majority of the council within 10 school days.

The Chairperson, or presiding Athletic Advisory Council member, shall conduct the appeal hearing. The purpose of the appeal hearing is for the Athletic Advisory Council to gather information that will allow it to make informed, reasoned recommendations on the appeal. The student-athlete, his or her parents or guardians, or an appropriate representative of the student-athlete, or in the case of a coach who is appealing a decision to impose a penalty, the coach, must have an opportunity to present information that is relevant and material to the issue under consideration.

The Chairperson, or presiding Athletic Advisory Council member, shall arrange to have the hearing proceedings documented and made available upon request to the parties involved in the hearing.

The Chairperson shall issue the Athletic Advisory Council’s written recommendations to the Office of Sports Administration. The Office of Sports Administration may choose to amend its original ruling based on the recommendation of the Athletic Advisory Council or provide the original ruling with the council’s recommendation to the Chief Executive Officer or their designee within 24-hours of the appeal hearing. No later than two school days after receiving the recommendation, the Chief Executive Officer or their designee shall issue a final decision on the appeal, and notify the parties to the appeal of the decision, and also provide the parties with a written copy of the determination.

Article VIII - Return of Athletic Equipment

Section 1 - Return of Athletic Equipment

At the request of school officials, student-athletes must return all athletic equipment in their possession that is school property or they must compensate or replace the equipment with equipment of commensurate kind and quality if lost, stolen or damaged.

Section 2 -Failure to Return Athletic Equipment

Failure to comply with Article VIII Section 1 shall result in a student being barred from interscholastic sports and in a withholding of athletic honors until compliance is met.

Article IX - Individual Athletic Awards

Section 1 - Determination of Individual Athletics Awards

Each school shall determine appropriate types of school athletics awards.

Each school shall determine the standards on which school athletics awards are based.

Individual awards may be given to Chicago Public League and Elementary School Sports Program championship teams as determined by the Office of Sports Administration.

Article X - Cancellations and Forfeitures of Contests

Section 1 -Inclement Weather Cancellations

Cancellation decisions based on inclement weather should be made two hours before the scheduled start time of a contest between all involved parties in conjunction with the Office of Sports Administration. Contests that are cancelled in this manner do not result in a forfeiture.

Section 2 - Failure to Arrive for Scheduled Contests

A school that does not arrive for a league or non-league contest is subject to forfeit that game or contest and can be liable for all expenses incurred in providing for that contest, if notice of intention not to participate was not given in time to cancel arrangements. The Office of Sports Administration will make the final determination of the status of forfeitures and expense liability.

Section 3 - Forfeitures

A school forfeiting two or more league contests in any sport may stand suspended for the succeeding season in that sport. The Office of Sports Administration will notify the school of the impending suspension with by letter to the principal. Upon completing the suspension period, the school must apply for readmission to the Elementary Sports Program or the Chicago Public League. Teams forfeiting IHSA tournament contests will be fined by the IHSA, will reimburse the host for non-cancelable costs and expenses and may also be subject to additional sanctions at the discretion of the Office of Sports Administration. The suspension may be contested in accordance with the appeal provisions contained in Article VII Section 2.

Article XI - Infractions or Protests

This section shall govern all protests by and/or between schools regarding an irregularity or infraction occurring during a particular game or contest.

Section 1 - Protests

A protest is a report referred to the Office of Sports Administration regarding some irregularity or infraction occurring during a particular contest.

Section 2 - Protest Procedures

This procedure should be used in situations that arise during regular season or post-season play. If the protest involves a clear violation of Chicago Public Schools Athletics Bylaws or IHSA rules and regulations and supporting evidence exists, the principal or another official representative of the protesting school may contact the Office of Sports Administration to determine if the protest procedure steps need to be followed.

The steps of the protest procedures are as follows:

  1. Disagreements shall be taken up first by the school representatives, including administrators, of the involved schools. A special effort must be made not to delay the regular or post-season schedules.
  2. If the schools concerned are unable to reach an agreement by 12:00 p.m. on the first school day following the game or contest under protest, the protest then must be registered by phone or in person to the Office of Sports Administration by the principal or school representative in charge of the protesting school.
  3. A school representative of the protesting school will follow up Step 2 with written documentation outlining the facts of the protest. The principal or school representative of the protesting school will hand deliver a $50.00 school check to the Office of Sports Administration by 1:00 p.m. of the same day. The Office of Sports Administration will investigate the matter and will reach a decision before the next affected game or contest.
  4. If the protest is upheld, the school ruled against will forfeit the game or contest in question. In the case of a protest occurring during post-season, the school winning the protest will continue to compete in the post-season.
  5. If the school ruled against disagrees with the decision, the principal or school representative of that school may request an appeal hearing before the Athletic Advisory Council by following the procedure in Article VII Section 2. Post-season contests will not be delayed. The appropriate Athletics Advisory Council will make every attempt to expedite its recommendation in the event that the final decision affects post-season contest(s).

Section 3 - Protest Fee

The $50.00 fee will be returned to the protesting school if the protest is won. If the protest is denied, the check is deposited in the Office of Sports Administration’s general fund.

Section 4 - Protests Involving Eligibility

Protests involving eligibility may be made at any time.

Section 5 - Investigation Expense

The expense of the investigation shall be borne by the Office of Sports Administration.

Article XII - Special Rulings

Notwithstanding anything in the Bylaws to the contrary, the following special rules shall apply.

Section 1 - Athletic Tournaments Organized by Schools

  • Any athletic tournament organized by a school must be authorized by the school principal. The sponsoring principal or official representative should notify the Office of Sports Administration of the tournament.
  • The individual school responsible for the athletic tournament may appoint a faculty member other than the coach to take charge of all arrangements.
  • The tournament shall be composed entirely of schools who are members of the IHSA or an equivalent association from their home state.
  • All IHSA and Chicago Public Schools Athletics rules and regulations shall govern eligibility and play. For all games and contests between Chicago Public League schools, the exchange of official computer-generated eligibility sheets is required.
  • Principals are responsible for following Board rules and policy and CPS guidance regarding school facilities when organizing non-league athletic events.
  • Principals are responsible for following Board policy and CPS guidance regarding financial accounting and reporting for non-league athletic events.
  • Broadcasting or sponsorship or acceptance of funds from outside agencies must be in accordance with Illinois High School Association regulations and must also be authorized in accordance with Board rules and policies.

Section 2 - Football

  • No contests or scrimmages with other schools shall be permitted before the official IHSA opening of a season.
  • Football helmet equipment, including chin straps and face masks, must be examined every year prior to the beginning of the season for condition issues. At a minimum, football helmets must be reconditioned after every two seasons. The coach shall comply with all football helmet equipment inspection, reconditioning and documentation requirements established by the Office of Sports Administration.
  • The Office of Sports Administration is responsible for determining which teams within the Chicago Public League will be eligible to enter into the IHSA tournament.

Section 3 - Track

A citywide indoor track and field competition shall be held during the month of March.

Section 4 - Lacrosse

Lacrosse helmet equipment must be examined every year prior to the beginning of the season for condition issues. At a minimum, Lacrosse helmets must be reconditioned after every two seasons. The coach shall comply with all helmet equipment inspection, reconditioning and documentation requirements established by the Office of Sports Administration.

Article XIII - Penalty for Violating Bylaws and Rules

Any violation of the Chicago Public Schools Athletics Constitution and Bylaws or of any Board rule or policy by schools, administrators, coaches or students shall be reported to the Office of Sports Administration. The Office of Sports Administration shall conduct or initiate an investigation into all alleged violations of the Chicago Public Athletics Constitution and Bylaws or Board rules or policies and make appropriate findings pursuant to the procedures set forth in Article VII Section 1 of these Bylaws. The findings may include sanctions or penalties on schools, administrators, coaches or students of offending schools. Penalties may include written warnings, fines, suspensions, removal from duty, termination or a temporary or permanent ban from coaching depending on the severity and history of violations. Appeals of penalties may be taken in accordance with Article VII Section 2

No action taken pursuant to these Bylaws shall preclude or in any way limit the authority of the Board, the Chief Executive Officer or a principal from imposing additional discipline pursuant to the Employee Discipline and Due Process Policy or other applicable Board rules or policies which penalties may include a lifetime ban from coaching.

Article XIV - Charter School Participation and Compliance

Charter schools that elect to participate in Chicago Public Schools Athletics do so under the condition that the school abides by and complies with the Chicago Public Schools Athletics Constitution and Bylaws. This policy is intended to establish uniform eligibility requirements for participation in the Chicago Public League and to establish uniform standards of conduct for school administrators, students and coaches. It shall not be interpreted to require a charter school to adopt any Board policies it has not otherwise adopted. Nothing herein shall be construed to limit or prohibit the imposition of penalties or sanctions authorized under these Bylaws, such as fines, suspension from contests or temporary or permanent ban, against a charter school and their coaches and students for violation of the Bylaws and rules.

Amends/Rescinds Rescinds 12-0822-PO1
Cross References 11-0824-PO1; 09-0325-PO2
(96-0327-RS9; 98-0722-EX1; 01-0725-PO5 and 06-0222-PO3 – Rescinded by 06-0222-PO3)
Legal References 105 ILCS 5/24-24
Public Comment  

Policy and Procedures

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