In 2007 School Sport NZ introduced eligibility regulations for the events it sanctions. These were deemed necessary to recognise the importance of consistency, equity and fair play for participation in National and Island secondary school sporting events and to protect long held school values by:
1. Student Eligibility
a) A student eligible to compete in National and Island secondary school events must:
1. be enrolled as a bona fide (Year 9 or above) student at the school of representation and studying at least 80% of a programme that is part of the timetable provided by the school for at least four weeks immediately prior to the event.
2. have a satisfactory attendance record at the school. The final decision will be at the Principal's discretion.
3. be under 19 years of age at the first of January in the year of the competition unless specified otherwise for a particular competition. NOTE: Rowing and Rugby events are U18 on January 1st through their event regulations.
b) The school must be prepared to authenticate a student’s birth date. Organising committees may require validation by a birth certificate or passport.
c) All teams and individuals participating in National or Island events must be declared at the date prescribed
by the sanctioned sporting body.
- all other eligibility rules regarding age and attendance of the students are met
- the principals of the schools complete a written agreement on the terms that allow students from the ‘attached’ school[s] to play for a team[s] of the host school, the terms to include agreement that the student[s]
from the ‘attached’ school will be part of the team[s] for the season and not selected only for certain fixtures. At least eight weeks prior to the proposed shared participation, the agreement[s] will be provided to School Sport NZ for its approval and to allow notification to the organising committee which will consider but is not bound to accept the recommendation of School Sport NZ.
- the principal of the host school accepts responsibility for the team.
- The team[s] will compete under the name of the ‘host school’.
- Students will be named as representatives of the ‘host school’.
- An attached school will have only one host school [or one girls’ school and one boys’ school] for any/all of
its students who participate in national and island secondary school events; this does not prevent the attached
school entering students under its own name in sports where numbers may be viable [e.g. individual sporting
2. School Team Eligibility
Maximum Number of students enrolled within 2 years preceding the start of event (New to School Students - NTS) and Non Domestic Students (ND - who MUST be included in these maximum numbers). New to School students who have been issued a Primary Caregiver Relocation Exemption (PCRE) whereby they are EXEMPT from these numbers. For clarity, the student’s most recent enrolment date at the school must be used.
Rowing - other boats
Rugby Union -15’s
Rugby Union – 7’s
2. Where the family or primary caregiver of a student has changed address and, as a consequence of the primary caregivers relocation, the student could not reasonably have been expected to remain at their previous school, an application for exemption may be submitted to the Regional Sports Director responsible for the region of the new school. The application must be on the official Application for Exemption form available at www.nzsssc.org.nz, be signed by the principal and parent/primary caregiver and have evidence of the address change attached as outlined on the application form. A MAXIMUM of 2 PCRE’s issued in any calendar year may be included in any team that has a School Sport NZ NTS quota. Any appeal must be lodged in writing with the CEO of School Sport NZ.
3. Schools that allow entry for some students only at some time after Year 9 (e.g. girls in Year 12 and above) and The Correspondence School will not be bound by the numbers permitted here but will be restricted to those maximum numbers for each code when enrolling students who had previously represented another school in that code in a competition listed here. For clarity, a school could not play in its Basketball team more than 2 girls who had previously competed for other school(s) in the ‘A’ or “AA’ Championships or their Premiership qualifiers. Special Circumstance Variation: For Girls Rowing only, at St Pauls Collegiate, Scots College and Kings College only a new to school student who provides a School Sport NZ waiver signed by her previous school principal to NZSS Rowing Assoc will be exempt from the quota of new to school students.
4. Students who have attended a middle school and transfer at the end of the final year level of that middle school will not be considered new to school at their school of first enrolment following middle school.
5. Teams from ‘host school/attached school’ agreements [see below] that introduce students ‘new to either school over the past two years’ must include these in the maximum number allowed in a team.
6. Any final decision on the eligibility of a student or team will rest with School Sport NZ.
or whatever definition the Ministry of Education currently applies.
3. Composite Teams
Composite teams will be permitted only if:
4. Home Schooled Students
5. Inducement to Transfer for Sporting Reasons (Poaching)
School Sport NZ does not condone any inducement of students to transfer from one school to another for sporting reasons, other than by way of publicly advertised scholarship. Where a Regional Principals Association advises School Sport NZ in writing that it has investigated and is satisfied that inducement has taken place, School Sport NZ may, in support of the Regional Principals Association, invoke the procedures outlined in the School Sport NZ Integrity Framework and, if proven, impose a penalty which may include exclusion of a student(s), team or other personnel (coach, manager etc) from School Sport NZ sanctioned events.
6. Transgender Students – THIS GUIDANCE IS CURRENTLY UNDER REVIEW
We are currently reviewing eligibility regulations in relation to the release of Sport NZ Guiding Principles for the Inclusion of Transgender People in Community Sport in December 2022. If you would like to discuss this or would like support with transgender students in your school or sport, please contact Casey Redman - Diversity and Inclusion Lead.
Our highest priority for this work is the safety of all students, particularly that of the student who has been identified as gender diverse, as they should never be individually identified or singled out where possible.
We still have a lot of work to do before we can offer clear rules and bylaws but the work is underway and we are able to support with advice in the meantime.
School Sport New ZealandPO Box 621, Taranaki Mail CentreNew Plymouth firstname.lastname@example.org