The complete Hardship eligibility rules are as follows, as written in the CIAC by-laws:
Hardship – Eligibility may be granted to a transfer student who does not meet the CIAC transfer standard when sufficient evidence, as determined by the CIAC Eligibility Committee, is provided to show that it was necessary for the student to transfer because of unforeseen, unavoidable, or unusual circumstances including, but not limited to, broken home conditions, terminal or serious illness of parent or sibling, death of a parent or guardian, abandonment, loss of school accreditation, bankruptcy and/or loss of principal income of legal guardian(s), and provided the transfer was not for athletic reasons and there was no undue influence. Hardship is defined as an unforeseeable act, condition or event which may not reasonably and/or practically be avoided or corrected and which causes the imposition of a severe burden upon the student or his/her family. A hardship may be a situation which is unique to the student or his/her family which could not have been predicted, which does not apply to others in a similar setting, and over which the family has no control.
When a school receives a transfer student and all three of the following conditions apply it must submit a transfer notification form via the “Admin Actions” tab in the Online Eligibility Center. This form is only required if all three of the following conditions apply:
- The student-athlete was in grade 10 or higher prior to withdrawing from their sending school.
- The student-athlete was a varsity or junior varsity player in grades 10, 11 or 12 in at least one CIAC-sponsored sport during the calendar year (365 days) prior to the transfer.
- The student-athlete did not, while living with their parents or legal guardian, have a change of legal address into the service area of the receiving school.
Upon submission of a transfer notification for by the receiving school, the information will be sent to the Principal and Athletic Director of the school this student-athlete is transferring from. That school will have 14 days to submit its information. After the sending school submits its information the central office will notify the receiving schools how many games the student-athlete must sit out prior to becoming eligible. If the sending school does not respond within its 14-day window it will be assumed that the transfer was not for athletic reasons.
Hardship appeals regarding the length of time a student-athlete must wait to become eligible following a transfer or requesting an exception to the four-year rule or any other eligibility rule may only be made by the principal of the school the student-athlete is currently attending.