Scholastic Eligibility for High School Athletics

In order to participate in athletic activities at Chicago Public Schools, including practice and competitions, students must be eligible based on their past semester standing as well as their present semester record.

Incoming Freshmen are considered eligible for interscholastic sports for their first semester of enrollment in HS.

For Second Semester Freshmen and all other classes:

Past Semester standing – Grades from the previous semester

Students must have passed 2.5 credit hours (which many times translates into 5 classes) in the previous semester and maintain a cumulative 2.0 Grade Point Average.   Credits earned during summer school can be combined with the spring semester grades.

Present Semester record – Weekly grade checks

Whereas most CPS students are enrolled in 6 or 7 classes, students must be enrolled in at least 2.5 credit hours (5 classes) and must have a passing grade in each of the classes to which they are enrolled.  


What if a student passed 2.5 credits but does not have a 2.0 GPA?

Students that passed 2.5 credit hours in the previous semester but have less than a 2.0 cumulative Grade Point Average can be declared eligible once an Individual Study Plan (ISP) has been submitted to Sports Administration on behalf of the student.  An ISP is a contractual arrangement that mandates extra study time for the student, formally agreed with signatures of the student, parent, school counselor, and school principal.

What happens to a student that is ineligible?

Students that did not pass 2.5 credit hours in the previous semester are ineligible for the entire current semester.

Students that are eligible according to past semester standing or by the submission of an ISP that fail to earn a passing grade in each of their current classes to which they are enrolled according to a weekly grade check are ineligible for the next week of practice and competition.  Eligibility can be restored once passing grades have been earned in all classes.

My student is taking recovery classes in the fall.  Will he/she be eligible for winter sports when the season starts?

All classes that do not end prior to the start of the semester must be counted toward the eligibility of the next semester.  If this student was ineligible for the fall semester, he/she would not become eligible (even if some courses were completed prior to the end of the semester) until the start of the second semester.

How long is the student ineligible if he/she fails a class?

Assuming that the student was eligible according to past semester record, the student would be ineligible for as long as he/she is earning a failing grade in a class.  The minimum period of ineligibility is one week starting on Monday and ending on Sunday.

What if a student does not have grades for the immediate previous semester?

Past semester standing will be calculated from the last semester that the student posted final grades.

General Eligibility for High School Students

A student is generally eligible for interscholastic sports when:

1.     The Player Record Packet (including the current medical permission
     and concussion acknowledgement) of the student is on file at the school and the
     student has been recorded in the sports module in IMPACT by the school athletic

2.     The student meets scholastic eligibility requirements. However there are other
     factors that impact student eligibility.


For varsity level competition, a student will be ineligible to participate in a sport where
he/she will turn twenty (20) years old during the season of that sport.For Sophomore level competition a student shall be in the first or second year of school attendance and shall have not reached the seventeenth (17
th) birthday prior to September 1st of the current school year. For Freshmen level competition a student shall be in the first year of school attendance and shall have not reached the sixteenth (16th) birthday prior to September 1st of the current school year.


The student must be enrolled in the school by the tenth (10th) day of the semester.

A student is only allowed 8 semesters of athletic eligibility starting when the student first enrolls as a freshman.  

If a student has been out of school for some period of time, the term “Past semester standing” shall be understood to mean the last semester of which the student was a member of any school for ten days or more.


Once a student transfers to another school or into a school in the district, the student is ineligible for one calendar year from the date of enrollment in the new school or until a
ruling for eligibility has been determined by the Office of Sports Administration.

Amateur Status

All student-athletes must be amateurs.  Non-amateur student-athletes will be determined to be ineligible for the duration of their tenure at the school.

An amateur is an individual who has never used his or her knowledge of athletics or athletic skill for pay in any form, and has never played on any team on which there are
paid players.

Many situations can compromise amateur status, not limited to:

1.     Accepting pay to perform athletically.

2.     Accepting a promise to play in exchange for pay even after eligibility has expired.

3.     Signing a contract or commitment to play professionally.

4.     Competing on a team with professional athletes whether or not pay
     is involved.

5.     Receiving awards for athletic performance/participation greater
     than $50.

6.     Accepting remuneration by permitting the use of the student’s name
     or picture to advertise, recommend, or promote directly the sale or use of a
     commercial product or service of any kind.

7.     Accepting remuneration by endorsing a commercial product or
     service through the individual’s use of such product.

8.     Appears or permits the use of his or her name, picture or likeness
     in any media, for the purpose to advance a commercial interest without
     expressed permission from CPS District Officials.

If a student’s name or likeness appears on commercial items without the permission of the student’s (parents’) knowledge, the student and parents must take steps to stop such activity to regain eligibility.

Club/Other Affiliations

While a member of a school team, an athlete shall not represent any out of school organizations in the sport during the formal IHSA season of that sport.

Disciplinary Suspensions

A student serving an out of school suspension for an act of misconduct may not attend or participate in school sponsored events (including athletic competitions), and may not attend activities on school grounds (including team practices) during
the term of the suspension.