Parents say new requirements for high school sports too strict

Local News

(KTXL) — Parents of local high school athletes are concerned over new requirements to play sports. 

For Richard Andrade’s daughter, she will not be able to continue the sport she loves if she decides to continue to move in with him. 

“As a parent, you love to see your kids do something that they’re so passionate about and for her to lose that passion, it would be devastating to her and to me,” Andrade said. “If for some reason her and her mom, she lives with her mom, they got in an argument and she had to come live with me, it would be impossible for her to play sports at a new school because I have nothing in my name.”

The new rules that kicked in once sports resumed this school year asks students to produce a number of documents to prove their new address. 

“If I were to ever be forced out of my house and move somewhere, I couldn’t meet some of these requirements,” said Michael Baker. 

Things like real estate receipts, a license with the new address and even a voter registration card are being asked for as proof. 

“I would be fearful of the day that I were to lose my job and have to move somewhere and my credit be to the point where I couldn’t get this stuff and have to look at my son in the face and say, ‘Son, I’m sorry. You can’t play high school sports because we don’t meet these requirements because I was laid off from my job.’” Baker said. 

It’s why some say section leaders are asking for too much, especially for low-income and undocumented students. 

“Not everybody can legally vote. I think about how they want proof of certain utility bills, well not everyone has utility bills in their name. A lot of families have to live with other family members and they aren’t able to provide that,” said Leia Schenk with EMPACT. “Some family members don’t have a driver’s license. They don’t drive. So, a lot of these stipulations really set families up to fail.”

Parents agree there should be some rules to regulate recruitment but are calling on the conference to compromise so that students are not taken off the court. 

“One thing we want as parents that if we have to unfortunately move, which a lot of times is not by choice, we want our children to have the most normalcy of a life as possible, and sports for a lot of children is just that,” Schenk said. 

The Sac-Joaquin Section tells FOX40 that transfers have been down this year but have held steady since January. 

A list of possible documents needed can be seen below:

The Section Commissioner and school may request additional documents they deem necessary to establish that a valid change of residence occurred as defined above. Evidence may include:
• Property tax receipts;
• Bank account statements;
• Credit card statements.

The Section Commissioner and/or school have the discretion to request additional documents that he/she deems necessary to confirm change in residency. Examples may include:

• Real estate documents indicating and verifying a change of residence (sale and purchase, for instance);
• Court documents indicating a change of residence;
• Declaration of residency executed by the student’s parent(s)/guardian(s)/caregiver;
• Operative telephone and utility service at the student’s new residence and terminated at the former residence;
• Utility service receipts;
• Proof of paying for utilities at the new residence including phone, gas, electricity, water, cable television and garbage collection;
• Proof of submitting a change of address to the U.S. Postal Service to receive mail at the new residence;
• Proof of transfer of the parent(s)/guardian(s)/caregiver and age-appropriate student’s motor vehicle registration;
• Proof of changed address on the parent(s)/guardian(s)/caregiver and age-appropriate student driver’s license;
• Voter registration listing the new address;
• Proof of entering a long-term lease (minimum of 12 calendar months);
• Rent payment receipts. 

The Section Commissioner and/or school have the discretion to request additional documents that he/she deems necessary to confirm residency

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