Skip to main content
University of Texas at Austin
University Interscholastic League Logo
University Interscholastic League Logo

Subchapter H


Subchapter H


The Constitution and Contest Rules facilitates the self-governance of the UIL and is used so that the UIL can act in a characteristic and customary manner that is timely, orderly, reasonable, deliberate, fair and equitable.

(a) PRIOR NOTICE. Subject to the provisions of this section, prior to the regular adoption of a rule, the UIL shall give at least 30 days’ notice of its intended action.

(b) NOTICE IN EMERGENCY. The UIL may adopt rules under emergency circumstances after two hours’ prior written notice filed with the Commissioner of Education.

(c) PUBLICATION OF PROPOSED RULE. Notice of the proposed rule shall be filed with the Commissioner of Education and posted on the UIL website. Failure to provide notice of a proposed rule shall not invalidate any action taken or rule adopted.

(d) CONTENTS OF NOTICE. The notice shall include:

(1) a brief explanation of the proposed rule, including the factual and policy justifications and/or implications;

(2) the text of the proposed rule, prepared in a manner to indicate the words to be added or deleted from the current text, if any; and

(3) an indication of the potential fiscal impact of the proposed rule to member schools as outlined in TEC 33.0831.

(e) DATE OF NOTICE. Each notice of a proposed rule shall become effective as of the date it is posted.


(a) PUBLIC COMMENT. Prior to the adoption of any rule, the UIL shall afford all interested persons, including representatives of the State Board of Education, a reasonable opportunity to submit data, comments or arguments, orally or in writing.

(b) NOTICE. Notice of the public hearing shall be filed with the Commissioner of Education and shall be published in the Leaguer or other UIL bulletin not later than the 20th day before the scheduled date of the hearing.

(c) CONSIDERATION OF COMMENTS. The UIL shall consider fully all written and oral comments concerning the proposed rule prior to taking binding action on it.


(a) FILING, RULE SUBMISSION, PUBLICATION. The UIL shall submit all rules approved by the Legislative Council to the Commissioner of Education for approval. Once approved, the rule shall be published on the UIL website in the online version of the UIL Constitution and Contest Rules as well as in the next available Leaguer or other UIL bulletin. The official edition of the UIL Constitution and Contest Rules shall be the version published on the UIL website no later than August 10th of each year.

(b) CONTENTS OF PUBLICATION. The publication of the rule shall include:

(1) a reasoned justification of the rule; and
(2) an indication of any change between the text of the proposed rule as noticed previously and that adopted, with reasons for the change.

(c) RECORD OF RULE-MAKING PROCESS. The Executive Director of the UIL shall maintain an accurate and up-to-date edition of the Constitution and Contest Rules on the UIL website and a record of rules adopted. When errors of grammar, spelling or similar mistakes are noted in the Constitution and Contest Rules, the Executive Director may approve non-substantive edits to the Constitution and Contest Rules.



(a) APPLICATION TO STATE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE. Anyone may request the State Executive Committee to issue an Official Interpretation of a UIL rule.

(b) BINDING EFFECT OF OFFICIAL INTERPRETATION. The Official Interpretation of any of these rules by the State Executive Committee shall be the final, authoritative explanation of the rules so interpreted; no other interpretation by any person is binding on the UIL.

(c) RELIANCE ON OTHER INTERPRETATIONS. Anyone relying on an interpretation other than the State Executive Committee’s, except as provided for under Section 305, below, regarding official UIL staff interpretations, risks the consequences, including the imposition of penalties.

(d) CONTENTS. The State Executive Committee in determining its Official Interpretations of the rules of the UIL shall state clearly and concisely:

(1) the language of the interpretation; and

(2) any consequent instructions to the Executive Director for subsequent execution or administration of actions on the Committee’s behalf including the publication of brief summaries of the Official Interpretations in the Leaguer and in the UIL Constitution and Contest Rules.


(a) AUTHORIZED INTERPRETATIONS. Those staff members of the UIL who are authorized by the Executive Director may issue written staff interpretations of general applicability that constitute binding actions of the UIL so long as the conditions set out below have been fulfilled in advance.

(b) CONDITIONS FOR ISSUANCE. If but only if a person requests a staff interpretation in writing, and accompanies the request with an application for an Official Interpretation by the State Executive Committee, then the staff member may issue a written statement of general applicability that implements, interprets or prescribes UIL policy or procedure or practice requirements. This statement shall be referred to as a staff interpretation.

(c) EFFECT OF STAFF INTERPRETATION. The statement issued to the applicant may be relied upon until the State Executive Committee issues its order on the application.

(d) NO ORAL REQUESTS ACCEPTED. No oral requests for staff interpretation will be accepted.

(e) NO ORAL OR WRITTEN OPINIONS BINDING. No oral or written opinions inconsistent with this section will be considered staff interpretations and they will not be considered binding on the UIL. Persons relying upon such oral or written opinions do so at their own risk.


(a) GENERAL CONSTRUCTION. Generally, the rules of the UIL shall be broadly construed to give reasonable effect to the intentions, purposes and objectives of the UIL. However, rules involving eligibility, rules involving violations and rules involving penalties shall be strictly construed.

(b) MANDATORY, DIRECTORY, PERMISSIVE, FACTUAL. Rules are mandatory if the word “shall” is written, directive if the word “should” is written and permissive if the word “may” is written. Factual or expected events of the past, present or future times are written either in the present tense or in tenses of the verb “to be”.

(c) UIL CONSTITUTION PREVAILS OVER CONTEST RULES. Where any term or section of the Contest Rules is found to be inconsistent with the Constitution, the Constitution shall prevail and apply and the remaining terms and sections of the Contest Rules shall continue in effect.

(d) STATE LAW PREVAILS OVER UIL CONSTITUTION AND CONTEST RULES. Where any term or section of the Constitution and Contest Rules is found to be inconsistent with the laws of the State of Texas, the laws shall prevail and the remaining terms and sections of the Constitution and Contest Rules shall continue in effect.

(e) EFFECT OF TITLES. The titles appearing throughout the Constitution and Contest Rules are for descriptive purposes only.


(a) UIL PROPOSALS. The State Executive Committee, a committee of the Legislative Council or a member of the Legislative Council may propose an amendment of the Constitution.

(b) INTERESTED PARTIES. Any individual or organization may suggest a revision of the Constitution and/or Contest Rules by submitting the proposal in writing to the chair of the Legislative Council with an explanation of the proposal.

(c) REFERRAL. The chair of the Legislative Council shall refer suggestions for revision of the Constitution and/or Contest Rules to an appropriate standing or special committee.


(a) ELIGIBILITY and MAJOR CHANGES. If the proposed amendment involves change in an eligibility rule or if the Legislative Council determines that an amendment involves a major change in UIL policy and it approves the proposed amendment by majority vote, it shall submit the proposed amendment to the member school districts for approval. However, it shall not submit the same item on a referendum ballot more than once in any given three-year period unless the Council, by majority vote, deems it to be an emergency.

(b) SCHOOL DISTRICT VOTES. A member school district is entitled to cast one vote for each of its member high schools. The Executive Director shall send the appropriate number of ballots to the superintendent of each member school district. To be counted a ballot must be received by the Executive Director by the reasonable date specified by the Legislative Council and must be signed by the superintendent. An affirmative vote by a majority of the ballots cast is required to amend the Constitution. The Executive Director shall take custody of the ballots and retain them. (According to Section 26 the State Executive Committee is responsible for conducting any necessary recount of a referendum vote.)

(c) OTHER CHANGES. If it determines that the change does not involve a major change in UIL policy, the Legislative Council may by majority vote, amend the Constitution without submitting the amendment to the member school districts.

(d) POLICIES OF THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN. Neither the member school districts nor the Legislative Council may amend the Constitution if the proposed amendment is inconsistent with policies of The University of Texas at Austin.