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Waiver Review Board Precedent Manual

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Part One. Organization and Rules

The University Interscholastic League (UIL) is the state-wide organization that oversees academic, athletic and music competitions between the students of its member public and private schools. The UIL Constitution and Contest Rules (C&CR) provide that under certain circumstances, some of the UIL’s rules that impact student participation in UIL events may be waived. See Subchapter N, Waiver of Eligibility Rules, Sections 463-470, UIL Constitution and Contest Rules. All wavier requests are reviewed by the Waiver Officer who issues a decision in each case. Except for appeals under the age rule, Section 465 (b)(4), a student who applies for a waiver, the student’s parents or guardian or any superintendent may request the Wavier Review Board review the decision by the Waiver Officer. See Section 466, Review of Waiver Officer’s Decision, UIL C & CR.

The Waiver Review Board, composed of ten persons, four appointed and six elected members from each of the six UIL conferences, is the UIL board that considers appeals to overturn decisions of the UIL Waiver Officer. Typically, appeals are heard by the Waiver Review Board monthly. Appeals may be heard by the full Waiver Review Board (WRB), a hearing panel made up of three WRB members or the UIL hearing officer. When hearing an appeal, the WRB may consider the written materials submitted to the Wavier Review Officer as well as additional written information or testimony. The decision of the WRB or hearing officer shall be announced within 15 days after the hearing. Cases deemed to have precedential value, will be published in the Waiver Review Board Precedent Manual.

In accord with Section 466, the Waiver Review Board Precedent Manual will be composed of written decisions that contain a synopsis of the facts along with the panel’s decision and a brief explanation of the basis for the decision in each case that a hearing panel deems to have precedential value.

For cases to be designated as having precedential value, a written decision must be approved by, as applicable, a majority of the WRB or the panel that heard the case or the UIL hearing officer before it may be published in the Precedent Manual. The Precedent Manual shall serve as a guide for future hearings and interested parties when considering the possible outcome of a case.
Applicable UIL Constitution and Contest Rules
The following sections of the UIL Constitution and Contest Rules cover the Waiver Officer, the Waiver Review Board and related processes:

Subchapter N, Waiver of Eligibility Rules

Section 463, Application for a Waiver
Section 464, Submission to Waiver Officer
Section 465, Decision by Waiver Officer
Section 466, Review of Waiver Officer’s Decision
Section 468, Review Decision Process
Section 469, Retroactive Waiver

See Full UIL Constitution and Contest Rules

Rules of the UIL Waiver Review Board
The Waiver Review Board is authorized by Section 446 (b) to adopt and publish rules of procedure regarding its review of the Waiver Officer’s decision. The following is a summary of the WRB hearing process:

1. All board or panel members hearing an appeal shall be provided with all of the written evidence submitted by the appellants to the UIL, along with the Waiver Officer’s response and correspondence to the appellant.

2. Members of the WRB are not UIL employees. Each member of the WRB is a volunteer who has been either appointed or elected to serve on the Board. Subject to the UIL’s Constitution and Contest Rules, the Board’s only authority is to hear and render decisions on appeals regarding a decision of the Waiver Officer.

3. Any person hearing a case while on the WRB or as part of a WRB hearing panel or as a UIL hearing officer shall serve impartially and without bias; making his or her decision based solely upon the evidence presented. Any person who cannot perform their WRB duties in such a manner should recuse themselves from hearing the case.

4. Parties appearing before the WRB may provide testimony in the form of a statement or presentation. An appealing party’s presentation is limited to thirty (30) minutes. The time limit may be extended only if necessary. Parties should focus on addressing any new information that will be helpful to the WRB and refrain from repetition. Repetitious and irrelevant testimony may be limited by the hearing chair.

5. The Waiver Officer will be given five (5) minutes to make a closing statement. The Waiver Officer may at that time provide the WRB with a non-binding recommendation to do one of the following concerning the appeal: uphold the decision; overturn the decision or make no decision at all.

6. The appealing party will then have five (5) minutes for a final summary.

7. Members of the WRB may question a party (including the Waiver Officer), party representative (counsel) or any witnesses that have appeared before the Board. A party may not question members of the Board or the Waiver Officer.

8. Immediately following the appellant’s closing statement, the members of the Board (or panel, as applicable) shall be polled for their vote.

9. Parties will receive a timely written decision regarding the outcome of their appeal. The WRB review of the Waiver Officer’s decision is the final UIL process for such matters.

10. An appeal that is determined to have precedential value will be the subject of a written opinion that will be published in the Wavier Review Board Precedent Manual.

Summary of Waivers

Part Two. Decisions

Waiver of the Parent Residence Rule (Section 403(f) & Section 442)

16-0912-04: Parent Residence Rule (5-0 Deny) 
Appellant sought a waiver because she desired to attend a public school to receive better preparation for college.

16-0912-09: Parent Residence Rule (5-0 Deny) 
Appellant sought a waiver because he desired to transfer to a school that was less crowded than the large 6A school he previously attended in order to experience less anxiety and less academic competition.

16-1003-04: Parent Residence Rule (5-0 Deny) 
Appellant claimed he was bullied as a freshman at the school he was zoned to attend. Appellant attended two private schools since his freshmen year, but chose to return to a public school his senior year because his family could no longer afford the high cost of a private school, and the long drive to the private school each day caused hardships.

16-1018-01: Parent Residence Rule (4-0 Deny) 
Appellant is a dual citizen who moved from Mexico to live with a family friend to attend a school in which he could experience the American culture in regards to participating in sports and being on a team.

16-1018-02: Parent Residence Rule (4-0 Deny) 
Appellants transferred to a school closer to their home that offered more academic opportunities. Appellants, one a junior and one a senior, both stated that they wanted to attend a good college after high school in which they could pursue a degree in the medical field.

16-1107-03: Parent Residence Rule (7-0 Grant) 
Appellant moved in with his brother so that he could live and attend a school in America. Appellant is a U.S. citizen, but his mother is working towards obtaining documentation that would allow her to immigrate to America legally. Appellant’s father was a citizen of the U.S. but was murdered near Mexico two years ago.

17-0207-01: Parent Residence Rule (3-1 Deny) 
Appellant sought a waiver of the parent residence rule, Section 403 (f) and Section 442, UIL Constitution and Contest Rules, after she transferred to a smaller school because she did not feel accepted by the students at her previous school.  Appellant claimed that her grades suffered because of the negative environment at her previous school, but she was now excelling in the more accepting environment of her new school.  Appellant’s father stated that they were seeking a waiver because Appellant’s new school does not offer junior varsity athletics.

17-0207-02: Parent Residence Rule (4-0 Deny) 
Appellant sought a waiver of the parent residence rule, Section 403 (f) and Section 442, UIL Constitution and Contest Rules, because he transferred to a school in Florida for six months and then returned to the school in Texas that he had attended for the previous 15 years of his life.  Appellant claimed that the culture and environment at the school in Florida prevented him from being successful academically, so he moved in with his grandparents and re-enrolled in the school that he had attended most of his life.  Appellant’s father added that he and his wife had lived in the school district and were active members of the community for almost forty years before moving to Florida.

17-0801-01: Parent Residence Rule (6-0 Deny)
Appellant sought a waiver of the parent residence rule, Section 403 (f) and Section 442, UIL Constitution and Contest Rules, because he desired to live with his mother who separated from his father and moved into a neighboring school’s attendance zone.  Appellant attempted to stay at his previous school after moving in with his mother, but because he had difficulty finding rides to and from school, he decided to transfer to the school in whose attendance zone his mother’s house was located.

22-1119-01: Parent Residence Rule (4-0 Deny)
Appellant sought a waiver of the parent residence rule, Section 403 (f) and Section 442, UIL Constitution and Contest Rules. Appellant had an option to attend more than one high school within his school district, rather than being assigned to a school according to attendance zones. Due to the appellant electing to attend an IB Program at first opportunity on an intra-district transfer, he was varsity eligible at the school he initially selected. The student subsequently transferred to another school within the district causing him to lose varsity eligibility for one calendar year.