Athletics and Extra Curricular » Eligibility Requirements

Eligibility Requirements

Eligibility Rules


Eligibility rules apply to all Varsity and Junior Varsity teams representing Spotswood High School (girls and boys).

  1. ELIGIBLE if a student has not reached the age of 19 prior to September 1.
  2. ELIGIBLE to represent the high school eight consecutive semesters following a student’s entrance into ninth grade.
  3. ELIGIBLE if a student passes:
  • To be eligible for athletic competition during the first semester (September 1 to January 31) of the 10th grade or higher, or the second year of attendance in the secondary school or beyond, a pupil must have passed 25% of the credits (30) required by the State of New Jersey for graduation (120), during the immediately preceding academic year.
  • To be eligible for athletic competition during the second semester (February 1 to June 30) of the 9th grade or higher, a pupil must have passed the equivalent of 12.5% of the credits (15) required by New Jersey for graduation (120) at the close of the preceding semester (January 31). Full-year courses shall be equated as one-half of the total credits to be gained for the full year to determine credits passed during the immediately preceding semester.
  1. NOT ELIGIBLE if they have 2 or more failing grades (including WF, I & NC) until the following marking period. This includes the fourth marking period, which carries over to the first marking period of the following year.   If at the end of that marking period they have less than two failing grades, they would then become eligible.  *Please note if a student earns a failing grade in two or more courses for the year, they are ineligible for the first marking period of the following year (this includes health and semester courses.)
  2. ELIGIBLE if in full residence.
  3. ELIGIBLE if transfer because of change of residency by parent or because of hardship, as approved by the NJSIAA Executive Committee.
  4. ELIGIBLE if no influence used to retain or secure the student.
  5. NOT ELIGIBLE if the student transfers from one high school to another without a change of residence by the parents.
  6. ELIGIBLE to represent the school if a student’s parents move to another school district maintaining a secondary school of equal grade or higher as long as the student remains properly enrolled.
  7. NOT ELIGIBLE if expelled from one high school and going to another.
  8. NOT ELIGIBLE after the completion or 8 semesters following a student’s entrance into the ninth grade, regardless of the fact that a sports season may not be completed.
  9. NOT ELIGIBLE after the class in which a student originally enrolled graduates, regardless of transfers during 3 or 4-year period.



In order to participate in interscholastic athletics, a student must have a physical each calendar year from a physician (MD or DO) licensed to practice in New Jersey.  

The Physical Examination Form must be completed by your physician.  All areas must be completed.  If the physical is not complete, you will have to return to your doctor to have the missing areas filled in.  You must also submit the History Form completed by the parent/guardian to the school nurse along with the Physical Examination Form.  Once the nurse receives your completed forms, all forms must be reviewed before your student is allowed to practice.  Once the review is completed, your child will receive a written letter giving clearance from the school’s physician for them to participate.  If paperwork is not turned into the nurse prior to the start of practice there is a possibility that incomplete information could delay your child’s clearance to participate. 

In Executive Order 72, issued December 20, 2005, Governor Richard Codey directed the New Jersey Department of Education to work in conjunction with the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) to develop and implement a program of random testing for steroids, of teams and individuals qualifying for championship games. 

Beginning in the Fall, 2006 sports season, any student-athlete who possesses, distributes, ingests or otherwise uses any of the banned substances listed here (link), without written prescription by a fully-licensed physician, as recognized by the American Medical Association, to treat a medical condition, violates the NJSIAA’s sportsmanship rule, and is subject to NJSIAA penalties, including ineligibility from competition.  The NJSIAA will test certain randomly selected individuals and teams that qualify for a state championship tournament or state championship competition for banned substances.  The results of all tests shall be considered confidential and shall on be disclosed to the student, his or her parents and his or her school.  No student may participate in NJSIAA competition unless the student and the student’s parent/guardian consent to random testing.




In order to help protect the student athletes of New Jersey, the NJSIAA has mandated that all athletes, parents/guardians and coaches follow the NJSIAA Concussion Policy.

A concussion is a brain injury and all brain injuries are serious.  They ware caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, or by a blow to another part of the body with the force transmitted to the head.  They can range from mild to severe and can disrupt the way the brain normally works.  Even though most concussions are mild, all concussions are potentially serious and may result in complications including prolonged brain damage and death if not recognized and managed properly.  In other words, even a “ding” or a bump on the head can be serious.  You can’t see a concussion and most sports concussions occur without loss of consciousness.  Signs and symptoms of concussion may show up right after the injury or can take hours or days to fully appear.  If you child/player reports any symptoms of concussion, or if you notice the symptoms or signs of concussion yourself, seek medical attention right away.

Symptoms may include one or more of the following:

  • Headache.
  • Nausea/vomiting.
  • Balance problems or dizziness.
  • Double vision or changes in vision.
  • Sensitivity to light or sound/noise.
  • Feeling of sluggishness or fogginess.
  • Difficulty with concentration, short-term memory, and/or confusion.
  • Irritability or agitation.
  • Depression or anxiety.
  • Sleep disturbance.
  • Signs observed by teammates, parents and coaches include:
  • Appears dazed, stunned, or disoriented.
  • Forgets plays or demonstrates short-term memory difficulties (e.g. is unsure of the game, score, or opponent)
  • Exhibits difficulties with balance or coordination. 
  • Answers questions slowly or inaccurately.
  • Loses consciousness.
  • Demonstrates behavior or personality changes.
  • Is unable to recall events prior to or after the hit.


What can happen if my child/player keeps on playing with a concussion or returns too soon?

Athletes with the signs and symptoms of concussion should be removed from play immediately.  Continuing to play with the signs and symptoms of a concussion leaves the young athlete especially vulnerable to greater injury.  There is an increased risk of significant damage from a concussion for a period of time after that concussion occurs, particularly if the athlete suffers another concussion before completely recovering from the first one.

This can lead to prolonged recovery, or even to severe brain swelling (second impact syndrome) with devastating and even fatal consequences.  It is well known that adolescent or teenage athletes will often under report symptoms of injuries.  And concussions are no different.  As a result, education of administrators, coaches, parents and students is the key for student-athlete’s safety.


If you think your child/player has suffered a concussion

Any athlete even suspected of suffering a concussion should be removed from the game or practice immediately.  No athlete may return to activity after an apparent head injury or concussion, regardless of how mild it seems or how quickly symptoms clear.  Close observation of the athlete should continue for several hours.

An athlete who is suspected of sustaining a concussion or head injury in a practice or game shall be removed from competition at that time and may not return to play until the athlete is evaluated by a medical doctor or doctor of Osteopathy, trained in the evaluation and management of concussion and received written clearance to return to play from that health care provider.

You should also inform your child’s Coach, Athletic Trainer (ATC), and/or Athletic Director, if you think that your child/player may have a concussion.  And when in doubt, the athlete sits out.

For current and up-to-date information on concussions you can go to:


Sudden Cardiac Death


Sudden cardiac death is the result of an unexpected failure of proper heart function, usually (about 60% of the time) during or immediately after exercise without trauma.  Since the heart stops pumping adequately, the athlete quickly collapses, loses consciousness, and ultimately dies unless normal heart rhythm is restored using an automated external defibrillator (AED). 

In more than a third of sudden cardiac deaths, there were warning signs that were not reported or taken seriously.  Warning signs are:

  • Fainting, a seizure or convulsions during physical activity;
  • Fainting or a seizure from emotional excitement, emotional distress or being startled;
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness, especially during exertion;
  • Chest pains, at rest or during exertion;
  • Palpitations - awareness of the heart beating unusually (skipping, irregular or extra beats) during athletics or during cool down periods after athletic participation;
  • Fatigue or tiring more quickly than peers; or
  • Being unable to keep up with friends due to shortness of breath (labored breathing).

The only effective treatment for ventricular fibrillation is immediate use of an automated external defibrillator (AED). An AED can restore the heart back into a normal rhythm.  N.J.S.A.18A: 40-41a through c, known as “Janet’s Law,” requires that at any school-sponsored event or team practice in New Jersey public and nonpublic schools including any of grades K-12, the following must be available:

  • An AED in an unlocked location on school property within a reasonable proximity to the athletic field or gymnasium; and
  • A team coach, licensed athletic trainer, or other designated staff member if there is no coach or licensed athletic trainer present, certified in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and the use of the AED; or
  • A State-certified emergency services provider or other certified first responder.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the AED should be placed in a central location that is accessible and ideally no more that 1 to 1.5 minute walk from any location and that a call is made to activate 911 emergency system while the AED is being retrieved.

For more information on Sudden Cardiac Death, please visit: