EAST LANSING - The Michigan High School Athletic Association recently created a waiver making 19-year-olds eligible for high school sports, but specific conditions apply.
The MHSAA amended their constitution to compensate for disabled athletes. The new rule allows athletes who turn 19 before September 1 to play high school sports under certain circumstances.
According to the MHSAA’s Executive Director, John Roberts, the rule allows for a very narrow gate for letting older athletes play.
“The exception is made for a specific set of circumstances where a student has been delayed in early elementary school and at the time of the request for waiver continues to have a disability,” Roberts said.
It all started when Dean Dompierre of Ishpeming, Michigan wanted his son with Down syndrome to continue playing high school sports. The only problem was he was over the age limit.
Over a year of working with the MHSAA eventually resulted in an amendment to the age limit rule.
The MHSAA’s representative council revised their constitution creating the age limit waiver. Roberts expects some controversy regarding the necessary conditions for the waiver, however.
The vote to change the age rule was passed with a 94 percent approval from the representative council. The rule takes effect August 1, 2012.
EAST LANSING - Are you a high school athlete? Tune in to Meridian Magazine to see how the new age limit rule could affect your team!