The Representative Council of the Michigan High School Athletic Association, at its Spring meeting approved a proposal for a vote by member schools which would change the organization??s Constitution to allow for a waiver of its maximum age limitation under narrowly defined circumstances.The Michigan High School Athletic Association??s representative council said today it is asking its member schools to approve a proposal that would change its constitution regarding the maximum age limit and allow students with disabilities to receive a waiver allowing them to participate in athletics.
Eric Dompierre, a 19-year-old junior at Ishpemming high school who has Down Syndrom, is hoping to play football and basketball his senior year. His father, Dean, has been pushing for the rule change for two years. He collected 92,000 signatures on his website letemplay.us
In a release the MHSAA said ballots will be mailed this week. Schools have two weeks to return the ballots, which must be signed by the school principal and superintendent.
Currently under MHSAA rules, a student who turns 19 prior to Sept. 1 of a school year is not eligible for interscholastic athletics. Michigan is one of approximately 40 states which use this maximum or have a younger maximum age limit. The MHSAA??s Constitution, which can only be changed by a two-thirds vote of member schools, does not allow the maximum age rule to be waived. Michigan is in the majority of states which do not allow waiver of the rule.??We recognize that member schools have preferred a bright line for the maximum age rule,?? said MHSAA Executive Director John E. ??Jack?? Roberts. ??We have prepared for a vote of the membership what we believe is the best alternative ?? better for Michigan than any proposal we have reviewed from other sources.