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Subchapter C: ATHLETICS (1200-1203)


NOTE: Rules that list the sport or sports to which they apply shall apply only to the sport(s) listed.

Subchapter C: ATHLETICS (1200-1203)


The purposes of the athletic program for the member schools are:

(a) to assist, advise and aid the member schools in organizing and conducting interschool athletics;

(b) to devise and prepare eligibility rules that will equalize and stimulate wholesome competition between schools of similar size, and reinforce the curriculum;

(c) to regulate competition so that students, schools and communities can secure the greatest educational, social, recreational and aesthetic benefits from the contests;

(d) to reinforce the concept to all member schools that athletics is an integral part of the educational program;

(e) to preserve the game for the overall benefit of the contestant and not sacrifice the contestant to the game;

(f) to promote the spirit of good sportsmanship and fair play in all contests;

(g) to promote among the players, schools and communities a spirit of friendly rivalry and a respect for the rules;

(h) to forward the concept of accepting decisions of sports officials without protest and treating officials as co-partners in the educational process of competition; and

(i) to provide rules and regulations designed to promote and ensure the health and safety of all participants.

Section 1201: ATHLETIC CODES

The Athletic Code and the Athletic Code for Coaches carry the force of rule. Member school districts, member schools and/or covered school district personnel who violate any of the provisions of these codes will be subject to penalty.

(a) THE ATHLETIC CODE. The general Athletic Code means to:

(1) Play the game in the spirit of fairness and sportsmanship, observing all rules, both in letter and intent.

(2) Coach and sponsor the teams and individuals without resorting to unethical tactics, trickery which attempts to skirt the rules, or any unfair tactic which detracts from sound educational principles.

(3) Accept decisions of sports and school officials without protest and without questioning their honesty or integrity, and extend protection and courtesy to sports officials from participants, school personnel and spectators remembering that officials are guests.

(4) Regard opponents as guests, putting clean play and good sportsmanship above victory at any cost. Win without boasting and lose without bitterness. Victory is important, but the most important thing in sports is striving to excel and the positive feelings it fosters between those who play fair and have no excuse when they lose. The development of positive human relations should be stressed in all competition.

(5) Remember that conduct that berates, intimidates, or threatens competitors has no place in interscholastic activities.

(6) Provide information or evidence as soon as possible regarding eligibility of any contestant or school to the local administration, then to the proper District Executive Committee. To withhold information is considered dishonorable and contrary to good sportsmanship. Schools guilty of violating this section may be subject to penalty as described in Sections 27 and 29, including disqualification from district honors in the germane activity. Covered school district personnel guilty of violating this section may be subject to the range of penalties as described in Sections 27 and 29.

(7) Not recruit or entice any student to attend and participate at your school. Any inquiries from students outside your school district or from another high school in a multiple-high school district should be directed to the school superintendent or high school principal.

(b) THE ATHLETIC CODE FOR COACHES. The code for athletic sponsors includes the principles described in Subsection (a) and the purposes listed in Section 1200. Further, the coach’s code includes:

(1) Being aware of, understanding and following all rules governing the competition for which the coach is responsible.

(2) Informing one’s immediate supervisor in writing the next school day after a contest if ejected from that contest for unsportsmanlike actions, or, in football, if given two 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalties during one contest, knowing that such conduct requires automatic penalty.

(3) Treating athletes based on what is best for the education, general welfare and health of the student.

(4) Professional loyalty to other coaches.

(5) Not removing a team from a contest as a protest.

(6) Adhering to in season and out of season practice regulations.

(7) Adhering to policies which do not force athletes to specialize or restrict them from participation in other sports.

(8) Allowing students to participate in one school sport without requiring, as a prerequisite, participation in another school sport.

(9) Abstaining from any practice which would bring financial gain to the coach by using a student’s participation in a camp, clinic, league or other non-school athletic event, such as a rebate for each player sent to a particular camp or from each player using a particular product.
Coaches shall not charge a fee for private instruction to student-athletes during the school year. The restriction on charging fees for private instruction applies only to those students who are:

(A) in grades 9-12;

(B) from the coach’s attendance zone; and

(C) participating in the sport for which the coach is responsible.

(10) Abstaining from any practice that makes a student feel pressured to participate in non-school activities.

(11) Avoiding any coaching practice which would endanger the welfare or safety of any player.

(12) Emphasizing the academic progress of all participants by a regular, documented check of their academic standing, both in season and out of season.

(13) Scheduling games and practices to avoid unnecessary loss of study or class time.

(14) Utilizing the best and most current teaching, coaching and training methods through affiliation with professional associations and publications.

(15) Abstaining from any practice that solicits teachers to modify a participant student’s grade for eligibility purposes.

(16) Avoiding any actions that encourage, condone or tolerate the use of performance enhancing drugs by any student-athlete.

(17) Emphasizing a chemical awareness program that informs and educates students of the damaging effects of anabolic steroids and other illegal drugs.

(18) Disclosing to opposing schools any known conflict of interest with an assigned sports official prior to a contest.



(1) Full-Time Employees. A school is not eligible for UIL competition in an athletic activity unless the head coach and assistant high school coaches are full-time employees of the school board of the school which the team represents.

(2) Full-Time Defined. Full-time means that the person is under contract to the school board of the school which the athletic team represents for the whole scholastic or calendar year, and the person has enough contractual duties to be considered a full-time employee by the Teacher Retirement System and state law. Refer to Official Interpretation 05-08-03, Appendix I.

(3) Exceptions. A retired teacher/administrator who has 20 or more years of experience may serve as an assistant coach in all athletics and as a head coach for golf, tennis, team tennis, cross-country, track and field, swimming and wrestling. (This rule shall not affect the status of a coach on a leave of absence attending college.) Also, student teachers, while they are assigned to a member school district to fulfill their student teaching requirements, may volunteer to serve as an assistant coach in all athletics. Schools shall not pay student teachers for assisting athletic coaches. A full-time substitute who has coached during the school year may be permitted to continue coaching until the UIL competitive year has ended. Example: state baseball playoffs.

(b) SOURCE OF PAY. Schools shall not pay coaches out of gate receipts, or draw the contracts with coaches in such a way as to make it to the financial advantage of a coach to win games. Schools shall not pay to coaches, and coaches shall not accept, funds gathered by a high school booster club or other sources within the school district. Refer to Official Interpretation 09-03-04, Appendix I.

(c) SCHOOL AUTHORITY RESPONSIBLE. Responsibility for the proper administration, contracts, arrangements, control and scheduling of athletic contests in all school systems shall be under the supervision of the superintendent or a designated administrator.

(d) SALARY: NO BONUS. A coach’s salary shall be fixed at the beginning of the year, and shall include no provisions for bonus. It shall be a violation for a contract to be based upon a percentage of the gate receipts.

(e) REGULAR DISBURSEMENT. The salary of a coach shall be paid from funds under the complete control of the school board and disbursed to the coach in the regular way in which the other salaries are disbursed. A district may comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act by paying a non-exempt employee overtime, provided the rate of pay is set prior to the school year and remains at that same rate throughout the school year.

(f) NO FINANCIAL INTEREST IN GAME. Any contract which makes it to the financial interest of a coach to win a game will be in violation of the spirit of the rule.

(g) Gifts. If a coach accepts money, products or services in recognition of his/her coaching, other than the items stipulated within his/her 
employment contract, those items come under Section 481, gift awards rule.

(h) PREVIOUS SUSPENSION. The State Executive Committee shall forfeit any contest won by an individual or school if it finds a school district employee previously suspended under Section 27 participated on behalf of the individual or school in the contest plan while prohibited from doing so under order of the State Executive Committee.

(i) COACH OR ADULT SUPERVISOR. No student shall represent his or her school at any time in connection with interscholastic competition unless accompanied by a coach or another appointed member of the school faculty. Exception: A non-school employee may serve as the adult supervisor of students when appointed by the administrator in areas where no coaching/directing takes place. These individuals may provide the transportation to and from the activity and be responsible for the supervision of participants.

(j) PROFESSIONAL ACKNOWLEDGMENT FORM. All personnel coaching in grades 7-12 shall sign a Professional Acknowledgment Form prior to the beginning of their tenure at a member school. These forms shall be on file in the superintendent’s office.


(1) All coaches shall annually complete the UIL Coaches Certification Program prescribed by the UIL prior to their sport season or prior to the first day of school if their sport is not in season. A coach who is hired less than one week prior to the start of the sport season or after the first day of school (whichever is earlier) must complete the CCP within thirty (30)days of being hired.

(2) The names of coaches who complete the UIL Coaches Certification Program will be kept on file by the school.

(l) Coaches Education: All first-year coaches and any coach who is not a full-time employee of the school district Exception: Coaches who qualify for the exception under Section 1202 (a) (3) must complete a UIL approved fundamentals of coaching course prior to their participation as a coach for any UIL member school.


(a) DISTRICT ORGANIZATION. Refer to Section 28 for general responsibilities.

(b) PRINCIPLES. The District Executive Committee shall uphold the principle that high school athletics, when properly controlled, are worthwhile and educational.

(c) RECRUITING. The District Executive Committee shall investigate efforts on the part of any school official or local fan to recruit players. Recruiting is a violation and may subject the school at fault to disqualification. Disqualification may be made by the committee after the school has been given an opportunity to be heard. A school in violation shall remain disqualified for the period of time specified.

(d) SCHEDULING. The District Executive Committee shall arrange a schedule to determine district representatives prior to the deadline specified in the Official Calendar. Non-district games shall not count on a team’s district win/loss percentage.

(e) CERTIFICATION OF DISTRICT REPRESENTATIVES. The District Executive Committee shall certify in writing, eligible district representatives in all athletic activities. The committee shall certify eligible representatives without any conditions attached to this certification. In case of dispute, certification to the UIL office shall be in the form of a written notice naming the eligible schools and shall be signed by the majority of the District Executive Committee members present.

(f) DISTRICT DISQUALIFICATION. All teams in a UIL district shall be disqualified in the playoffs if the District Executive Committee knowingly certifies a team which has used an ineligible player in any district game unless appropriate action has been taken. Disqualification shall be by the State Executive Committee only upon presentation of sufficient evidence.

(g) ZONES. Districts which subdivide into zones for team sports shall determine in writing prior to the season the procedure by which they will determine district representatives.

(h) TIES. The District Executive Committee shall determine in writing prior to the season the method to determine the district representatives in the event two or more schools are tied in win/loss percentages. If the District Executive Committee has not provided a procedure prior to the season, the following tie-breaker procedures shall apply:


(1) For Team Sports Playing A Single Round-Robin Format.

(A) Two Teams Tied In Percentage. The team that defeated the other in head-to-head competition will be the highest available seed. The other team will be the lower available seed.

(B) Three Teams Tied In Percentage.
Step 1: If one of the teams defeated the other two, that team is the highest available seed. The other teams flip to determine the other available seeds.
Step 2: If none of the three defeated the other two, flip (odd coin is the highest available seed, the other two flip again to determine the other available seeds).

(C) Four Teams Tied In Percentage.
 Step 1: If one of the teams has defeated the other three, that team is the highest available seed. The other three teams then flip (odd coin wins the highest available seed; second flip determines the other available seeds).
 Step 2: If none of the four has defeated the other three, the four teams have a blind draw for the available seeds.

(D) For football, if the tie involves teams that will advance into different playoff brackets (i.e., Division I, Division II), the teams shall be separated by division prior to implementing tie-breaking procedures.

(2) For Team Sports Playing A Double Round-Robin Format.

(A) Two Teams Tied In Percentage. If one team defeated the other team both times in head to head district competition, that team will be the highest available seed. If the two teams split their head to head district games, the two teams shall play one game or match (if rules permit).

(B) Three Teams Tied In Percentage. Teams play a district tournament. A draws bye; B plays C and C wins; C plays A. If A wins, A is the highest available seed, C is the next available seed and B is the lowest available seed. If C wins, C is the highest available seed, A plays B to determine the other available seeds.

(C) Four Teams Tied In Percentage. Teams play a district tournament. Draw for spots. A plays C; B plays D. Winners of the first games play for the highest available seed; losers of the first games play for the other available seeds.

(D) More Than Four Teams Tied In Percentage. Teams play a district tournament.

(3) Tournaments consisting of more than one day shall be on consecutive days at one site. The District Executive Committee may authorize preliminary round games to be played at additional sites, either within the independent school district where the championship game is to be held or at sites located in an independent school district which adjoins the championship site.

(4) Any situation not covered in the above tie- breaker criteria shall be determined by lot. Unless the District Executive Committee specifies otherwise prior to the season, tie games shall count as one-half game won and one-half game lost.

(i) EXPENSES OF DISTRICT EXECUTIVE COMMITTEES IN ALL ATHLETIC ACTIVITIES. The District Executive Committee has authority to finance its expenses. It is recommended that the district activity assessment for a sport for a school shall not exceed one-half of its regular UIL membership fee.

(1) Delinquent Assessments. The failure of a school to pay its assessment promptly after having been notified is a violation.

(2) Disqualification. If a school refuses or fails to pay its assessment, it may be disqualified from participation the current and following year until the amount is paid.

(3) Statement. At the close of the season, the District Executive Committee shall furnish each participating school in the district a financial statement showing all receipts and disbursements for the season. Refer to Section 28 (n).

(j) EDUCATION REQUIREMENT. Annually each UIL District Executive Committee member, as assigned for basketball alignment, shall complete training designed by the UIL on the policies and procedures outlined in the District Executive Committee Handbook.