Subchapter D: 2nd-8th Grades (1400)
Section 1400: JUNIOR HIGH (SEVENTH AND EIGHTH GRADES)
(a) ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS FOR SEVENTH AND EIGHTH GRADE PARTICIPANTS.
(1) Student’s Eligibility. An individual may participate in UIL competition or contests as a representative of the participant school he/she attends if that student has been in attendance and has passed the number of courses required by state law and by rules of the State Board of Education, and is passing the number of courses required by state law and by rules of the State Board of Education.
(2) Junior high students are not prohibited from competing at a grade level higher than the one in which they are enrolled. Refer to Subchapter M for high school eligibility standards.
(3) To participate in athletic competition, a student who initially entered the seventh or eighth grade during the current school year and has a special needs condition which delayed his or her education by at least one year, and students who are overage due to limited English proficiency, and who have substantiation from a language proficiency assessment committee, may petition the UIL to participate at grade level. The following must be submitted to the UIL for eligibility determination (not required for non-athletic competition).
(A) A special education student must provide documentation of a special education status and documentation that a disability delayed his or her education by at least one year.
(B) A student with a history of a disability must provide documentation from a 504 committee or an ARD committee proving the existence and length of time of the disability that caused the delay of at least one year in his or her education.
(C) A student with limited English proficiency must provide documentation of the recommendation of the LPAC.
(D) Students must provide documentation of date of birth and a copy of a current physical, including height and weight.
(E) The district executive committee may appeal the decision of the UIL to the State Executive Committee.
(b) ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS FOR ELEMENTARY SCHOOL PARTICIPANTS.
An individual may participate in UIL competition or contests as a representative of the participant school he/she attends if that student:
(1) Has been in attendance and has passed the number of courses required by state law and by rules of the State Board of Education and is passing the courses required by state law and by rules of the State Board of Education.
(2) Is a sixth grade student who will be too old to participate the following year as a seventh grader and who has a special needs condition which delayed his or her education by at least one year. (Applies to athletic competition only – see Section 446).
(3) No Interscholastic Athletic Competition Below Seventh Grade. No interscholastic athletic competition is allowed in any conference for teams in the sixth grade and below. This does not apply to annual inter-school elementary field days, assuming there is no awarding of place ribbons or determination of team champions. EXCEPTIONS: Certain athletic exceptions allow sixth grade students to participate. See (2) above and Section 1478.
(c) RULES JURISDICTION.
All public schools that participate in seventh and eighth grade UIL activities must abide by public school laws, TEA regulations and UIL regulations. See Section 11.
(1) District Academic Contests. Schools may use no more than one school day or two half-school days per school year to hold the district academic contests.
(2) District Music Contests. Schools may use no more than one school day per school year to hold the concert and sightreading contests. Students in seventh and eighth grade may participate in composite groups prior to the end of the academic school day. Refer to Section 1102 for definition of composite groups.
(3) Other Competitions. No other game, contest or tournament shall begin prior to the end of the academic school day.
(e) SUNDAY PARTICIPATION.
No UIL participant school shall sponsor individuals or teams in any contest or school competition on a Sunday in a UIL contest or a contest similar to one offered by the UIL. Schools shall not conduct practices or teach any plays, formations or skills on Sunday.
(f) NON-TRADITIONAL SCHOOL YEAR. (See Section 383).
(g) LIMITATION OF AWARDS.
(1) Awards To Individuals. A participant school may not give and a student may not accept awards for participation in interschool competition in excess of $10 per year (total for all UIL school activities). Certificates awarded by the school, school district or district executive committee to recognize participating students do not count against the $10 limit. A student may accept a symbolic award in recognition of his/her achievement in an interschool contest if it is given by the organization conducting the contest (e.g., all tournament awards, ribbons, plaques and medals).
(2) Awards To Schools. A district championship trophy or award may be awarded by the district executive committee.
(h) AMATEUR RULE.
There is no amateur rule for junior high school students competing in junior high competitions. Section 441, Amateur Athletic Status, does not apply to students until the first class day of their ninth grade year.
(1) School District. Junior high/middle schools receive membership in the UIL through the paid memberships of their parent high schools.
(2) K-8 Independent School Districts. For school systems with no high schools, refer to the membership fee structure in Sections 10 through 14.
(3) Superintendent’s Responsibility. The superintendent shall have final responsibility for membership. When a school board elects to pay membership fees to join the UIL, it agrees to accept and observe the terms of participation in the contests as set forth in the Constitution and Contest Rules. This is a voluntary organization. All conditions surrounding participation are freely accepted and both the letter and spirit of the rules are to be observed. Thus, when disputes arise, they shall be settled by the committees in the prescribed manner.
(1) No District Assignments. Junior high schools will not be assigned to junior high districts or conferences by the UIL office. Schools may follow the high school academic and/or athletic district assignments or form their own district. Students will represent their campus in the junior high academic and athletic district meets.
(2) Required Assignments. The UIL office reserves the right to assign contestants or teams to districts.
(3) Composite or Combined Teams. Students will represent their campus. Combined or composite teams are not allowed in UIL district academic or athletic competitions.
(1) Persons Responsible. In junior high schools that do not form a district, the district executive committee of the high school which the students will attend shall decide protests for the junior high school that has been protested. In junior highs that do form districts, the junior high school administrators from their schools shall consider all protests and eligibility of the students. In disputes between junior high schools from different junior high districts, neutral representatives from the executive committees of both districts will settle the dispute.
(2) Time For Protest. The superintendent or a designated administrator must file the protest in writing with the district executive committee. The protest must be filed within a reasonable time, but not exceeding four days after the contest, unless it involves eligibility or a rule imposing mandatory penalties.
(3) Appropriate Committees. All disputes among participant schools shall be settled by the appropriate executive committee.
(4) Jurisdiction Within District. The district executive committee shall have jurisdiction over all eligibility cases, disputes and protests within the district. The representative of a protesting school or the school protested is disqualified from the adjudication of the dispute.
(5) Jurisdiction Outside Of District. All disputes and protests arising between schools belonging to different districts shall be resolved through a meeting with equal representation from each district including the two teams involved. The disputing school and the school charged with violation shall not be allowed to vote.
(l) VIOLATIONS AND PENALTIES.
(1) Penalties. Penalties are applicable to the appropriate violator as stated in Sections 27 and 29.
(2) May Not Play Suspended Schools. No school in the UIL shall engage in any contest, game or scrimmage with a suspended school, and any school violating this rule may be suspended. This prohibition applies only to the contest in which the school is suspended.
(3) Minimum Penalty. Forfeiture of the contest is the minimum penalty for using an ineligible contestant.
(4) Receiving High School. The receiving high school will be notified of any violations. The associated high school may be suspended by the State Executive Committee in the activity in which the junior high violates rules if the junior high does not abide by the ruling of the district executive committee.
(m) INDIVIDUAL PLANS.
Specific requirements and regulations may be found in the individual contest plans.
(1) Academic. Sections 1410-1474.
(2) Athletics. Section 1478.