ISSA introduces transfer quotas

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

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The practice of established schools backed by wealthy alumni stockpiling top student athletes through transfers, mostly at the expense of 'smaller' schools could have been seriously checked following amendments made to the transfer rule by the Inter-Secondary Schools, Sports Association (ISSA) last week.

In a landmark vote that was reportedly unanimous, principals of ISSA member schools last Wednesday moved to 'level the playing field' between the haves and the have nots in a move that was seen by some as the most meaningful in high school sports in decades.

The new rule amendments that were first reported by the Jamaica Observer the previous Thursday, will bar students from participating in ISSA-run competitions if they transfer more than once and will put a cap on the number of transferred students that schools can include in their teams.

In a release Friday, ISSA-said, “School teams will have a limit placed on the number of transferred students (a quota) that will be allowed to be registered for various ISSA run competitions. The quota will be applicable to students who change member schools between first and sixth form (Grades 7-13).” Additionally, “Each student will only be regarded as part of the receiving school's quota for a competition if they had previously registered with another member school for the said sport for which he/she is being registered.”

Cricket, football and hockey teams will have a quota of three players; Netball, volleyball and basketball will be allowed two; swimming and table tennis, one each, while track and field will be allowed two per class.

The release said also, “Students who move from one member school to another as of January 1, 2019 will be subject to the quota system for all ISSA competitions with effect January 1, 2020.

While students transferring from one school to the next will still be required to sit out a year, they will still count towards the quota for the entire duration of their stay at the institution, the rule also said.

The rule will only apply to students who had participated in sports at their first school, so if the student had not played a sport they would be able to transfer to another school and be eligible to participate.

— Paul Reid

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