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Decision No. 13,370

Appeal of CHRISTINE PRENTICE, on behalf of her son, ROBERT PRENTICE, from action of the Board of Education of the Harpursville Central School District regarding participation in interscholastic athletics.

Decision No. 13,370

(March 15, 1995)

Hogan & Sarzynski, Esqs., attorneys for respondent, John P. Lynch, Esq., of counsel

SOBOL, Commissioner.--Petitioner appeals respondent's refusal to allow her son, Robert, to participate in interscholastic sports in his senior year and seeks a waiver from the Commissioner to enable him to play. The appeal must be dismissed.

Robert is an eleventh grade student in respondent's school district and participates in interscholastic football. Robert was born on July 20, 1976. He will turn 19 in 1995. By letter dated October 24, 1994, respondent informed petitioner that Robert would be ineligible to participate in interscholastic sports during his senior year (the 1995-96 school year) because of his age. This appeal ensued.

Section 135.4(c)(7)(ii)(b)(1) of the Commissioner's regulations provides in relevant part that:

A pupil shall be eligible for interschool competition in grades 9, 10, 11 and 12 until his/her 19th birthday. ... A pupil who attains the age of 19 years on or after September first may continue to participate during that school year in all sports.

Since the record indicates that Robert will turn 19 prior to his senior year, respondent correctly determined that he is not eligible to compete in interscholastic sports.

Petitioner contends that Robert should be granted a waiver or extension of eligibility because "family problems" resulted in his being required to repeat kindergarten and third grade. While I am sympathetic to petitioner's arguments, there is no provision for waiver of the maximum age limitation (Application of a Child with a Handicapping Condition, 29 Ed Dept Rep 370; Appeal of Davison, 25 id. 180; Matter of Allen, 22 id. 255).