AIA’s 25-mile transfer rule coming soonby Andy Morales on Feb. 17, 2013, under Sports
The Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) legislative council will most likely approve the 25-mile transfer rule at its March 1 meeting in Phoenix. The executive board has already approved the plan so it is pretty much a done-deal.
A previous suggestion of 50 miles would have taken care of the whole Tucson area and much of Maricopa County but it was decided to pull that limit down to only 25 miles.
When the rule goes in effect (July 1, 2013) student athletes ill no longer be able to physically move to another high school attendance area to avoid the transfer rule. They will be required to sit out a year regardless. They will have to prove hardship – such as the loss of a home from foreclosure or the loss of a job.
The AIA will ask the former school if the student and his/her family had previous athletic issues such as playing time before moving.
What does that mean for Southern Arizona?
Cienega and Ironwood Ridge are about 40 miles apart but Sahuaro is only about 15 miles away from Ironwood Ridge from east to west. Athletes from the east side would have to go all the way to Marana if they wanted to transfer and play right away.
Sunnyside and Sabino fall just within the 25-mile radius so no luck there. All athletes in the greater Tucson are pretty much sunk unless they move by July 1 – which I hear is already happening at some schools for football.
Athletes are already forbidden to follow their club coach so this will be an added blow to those who want to jump ship in order to play for a “better team.”
What would this have meant if the rule was in effect over the past decade?
Many of the dominate powers in softball, baseball, tennis, golf, swimming and, of course, football would not have existed. You all know who they are.
This rule would have made schools such as Mountain View a powerful contender in softball and football. I am sure the Marana School District is fully appreciates the new rule.
It was believed the Arizona legislature would have introduced legislation and intervened on behalf of powerful and wealthy families from Scottsdale but that has not happened. The only thing the legislature might be able to do is to forbid a public school from joining an athletic association that puts limits on transfer rules.
But, never fear, the transfer rule may not be allowed anyway due to Arizona’s open enrollment law and other very strong domicile laws. The AIA would surely lose if someone was wealthy enough to sue so their son or daughter can attend a “better” school for sports.
I’m not sure how I fall on this one but I think families should be allowed to move whenever and where ever they want and have it not hurt their children. But, by moving into another school area, you should not be able to hurt the kids who are already there.
If families were smart they would decide on a school before high school even starts. If they were really smart, they would “home school” after 8th grade, train for a year and then enroll as a freshman a year later, a year older and bigger.
But, this isn’t Texas…..or is it?