KSHSAA approves rule change for transfer students

Thursday Sept. 19, KSHSAA approved a rule change in regards to how transfers are dealt with. Transfers without a bona fide move will now have to sit out a full year of varsity competition. The rule will be implemented in the 2020-21 school year.

Senior+move+in+Markell+Hood+dribbles+the+ball+in+the+game+against+Blue+Valley+on+senior+night+on+Feb.+14+at+BVNW.+The+win+improved+the+Huskies+record+to+17-2.
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KSHSAA approves rule change for transfer students

Senior move in Markell Hood dribbles the ball in the game against Blue Valley on senior night on Feb. 14 at BVNW. The win improved the Huskies record to 17-2.

Senior move in Markell Hood dribbles the ball in the game against Blue Valley on senior night on Feb. 14 at BVNW. The win improved the Huskies record to 17-2.

Megan Lu

Senior move in Markell Hood dribbles the ball in the game against Blue Valley on senior night on Feb. 14 at BVNW. The win improved the Huskies record to 17-2.

Megan Lu

Megan Lu

Senior move in Markell Hood dribbles the ball in the game against Blue Valley on senior night on Feb. 14 at BVNW. The win improved the Huskies record to 17-2.

Jonny Isaacson, Sports Editor

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CLARIFICATION:  Our original story was factually correct,  but our wording didn’t correspond with the KSHSAA transfer rules wording, we are sorry if this caused any false interpretations of the story.

Set to be implemented in the 2020-21 school year, transfer students will have to adjust to new rules regarding competing at the varsity level. The rule will force athletes to sit out a year, compared to the previous 18 week-long suspension. Athletic Director Kevin Gerke said the schools themselves desired the change to the rule.

“It was a grassroots thing. It came from the schools,” Gerke said. “The process that KSHSAA has for adopting these kinds of things, more often than not, starts with the public schools within the state. This is one of those things where there was a lot of conversation among schools and it went through the process and it ended up where we are today.”

The rule, which excludes students whose parents make a bona fide move completely out of one school zone into another, will make families think twice before transferring their students, Gerke said.

“I heard someone say they thought it would keep parents or athletes from school-hopping or school-shopping,” Gerke said. “So I certainly think it will make families think twice before they pull their students from one school and send them to another.”

Starting two players who had a bona-fide move in to the BVNW attendance area prior to competing, according to KSHSAA rules during the varsity basketball team’s 2019 6A state championship run, head coach Ed Fritz said he doesn’t expect this new rule to affect the team’s success.

“The transfers we’ve had have been eligible immediately, meaning they haven’t sat out,” Fritz said. “So I see it having absolutely no impact on our program.”

After moving to Northwest following his sophomore season, senior Markell Hood was one of the starting move ins on the Huskies’ championship team. Hood didn’t need to sit out, as he switched schools through a bona-fide move.

For many players including Hood, moving or transferring to other schools is meant to put a player into a better situation.

“[Moving here] has definitely made me a better player, playing with all the good guys on the team last year,” Hood said. “Playing on the state championship team it’s definitely made me a better player. Playing for coach Fritz, he’s developed me into a better player.”

The rule change not only affects the athletics throughout the school but also includes activities, such as debate and forensics, spirit programs like dance team and cheer, and to an extent, music groups. Activities Director Andrew Addington mentioned transfers wouldn’t be allowed to compete in tournaments for most activities.

“What makes our side of it different is that some of the activities operate as classes too,” Addington said. “So a student might be able to be enrolled in a certain course, but not be able to compete in certain tournaments.”

Despite having occasional transfers or players who’ve moved into the Blue Valley District in the programs at Northwest, Gerke said the rule change isn’t expected to have much effect on any of Northwests’ programs.

“I don’t see it impacting any of our programs any differently than it does every program in the state of Kansas,” Gerke said.