Athletes Guide

Full Student-Athlete’s Guide (PDF)

Providing answers to many frequently asked questions such as:

1. Athlete Recruiting
2. Athlete Eligibility
3. Athletic Scholarships
4. Doping Control Program
5. Thinking About Transferring

Canadian Interuniversity Sport rules are sometimes complex as they apply to certain students. This guide should not be relied upon exclusively. Please contact your Athletic Department for proper interpretations in specific cases.

Please note that Regional Associations and institutions may have additional regulations that are of a more stringent nature. Consult your Athletic Department about these rules.

All references in this guide are to the Canadian Interuniversity Sport Policies and Procedures.


Canadian Interuniversity Sport

Canadian Interuniversity Sport, which is the national governing body of university sport in Canada, is composed of the majority of degree granting universities in the country. Fifty-five (55) member institutions with over 10,000 student-athletes and 550 coaches vie for 19 National Championships in 11 different sports. CIS also provides high performance international opportunities for Canadian student-athletes at Winter and Summer Universiades, and 27 World University Championships.

From Victoria to St. John's, student-athletes compete for national and regional honours from the following Regional Associations:

- Canada West
- Ontario University Athletics
- RSEQ
- Atlantic University Sport

1. Athlete Recruiting

Are there any restrictions to who I can contact?
· unless you have signed a Letter of Intent (LOI), or you are already a CIS student-athlete, there are no restrictions to who you can contact.
· if you have signed an LOI, you are not permitted to initiate or respond to contact with another school for the purpose of competing for that other school.

Are there any restrictions to who can contact me from a CIS institution?
· unless you have signed a LOI, or you are already a CIS student-athlete, there are no restrictions to who can contact you.
· if you have signed an LOI, you are required to inform another CIS institution’s representative that you have done so; upon any subsequent contact by the same CIS institution for the same purpose, you should notify the Athletic Director (or designate) of your LOI Institution within 48 hours.

Can I practice with my prospective CIS team?
· for the sports of basketball, field hockey, football, ice hockey, volleyball, rugby, and soccer, you cannot practice with a CIS team during the competitive season;  you may practice with the team outside the CIS competitive season.
· specific to men’s football, out-of-season practices are restricted to registered students, although there is an exception for Canada West schools and prospective students from Western Canada.

What about recruiting trips, travel, and enticements?
· you are limited to one funded visit within an academic year, in whole or in part, to a CIS campus, although you are not limited to the number of unfunded visits to a campus or to the total number of schools you visit.
· a CIS school, inclusive of its alumni and boosters, is limited to providing you with product and/or services valued at $50 or less.

Are there any recruiting black-out periods?
· recruiting black-out periods are restricted to football, and exist from December 23rd to January 2nd inclusively, as well as within five clear days of the start of the CIS East-West All-Star Game and until one clear day following the completion of the Game.

2. Athlete Eligibility

What are the academic requirements for students entering directly from a high school, CEGEP, or CCAA school?
· a minimum 60% average or equivalent on those courses used to determine your university admission.
· specific to CEGEP or CCAA, you must also have maintained your respective academic eligibility in the QSSF or CCAA.

What are the academic requirements to remain eligible?
Canadian Interuniversity Sport student-athletes must:
· be enrolled in a minimum of 3 courses (minimum 9 credit hours or equivalent) in the term in which they are competing.
· successfully complete a minimum of 3 full courses, or 6 half courses (minimum 18 credit hours or equivalent) during the academic year.
· ALWAYS consult your athletic department prior to making any changes to your academic program or course load.

Are there any exceptions?
· exceptions are granted within certain academic programs and circumstances (please consult your Athletic Department).

How do I get charged with a year of eligibility?
· if your team does NOT have an exhibition schedule, you are charged with a year of eligibility when your name appears on the playing roster (or equivalent) of two or more regular season competitions; otherwise if your team DOES play in exhibition, you are charged a year for a single regular season competition with an exception in football and rugby (please consult your Athletic Department).
· for CIS exhibition and playoff competition, CEGEP participation, as well as National Team and Professional participation, please consult your Athletic Department.
· men's basketball and hockey have sport-specific regulations related to non-CIS participation which can result in the loss of eligibility; please consult your Athletic Department.
· within related jurisdictions, such as the CCAA or NCAA, you are charged with eligibility in accordance with that jurisdiction’s rules.

How many years of eligibility do I have?
· Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) allows you to compete for 5 years in CIS.  In the sport of football, those 5 years must be used within an 8 or 7-year period following the earlier of high school graduation or the completion of high school eligibility (for Quebec and non-Quebec high school graduates respectively).
· athletes who have completed their eligibility to participate in another post-secondary jurisdiction, such as the CCAA, are ineligible for CIS competition.
· athletes who have been charged with a year of eligibility or a season of competition in four separate academic years within a non-Canadian post-secondary jurisdiction, such as the NCAA, are ineligible for CIS competition.

3. Athletic Scholarships

What is an Athletic Scholarship?
· Also referred to as an athletic financial award, an athletic scholarship is any award that is conditional to being on a CIS team.
· An athletic scholarship can include, but is not limited to, scholarships, bursaries, prizes, leadership awards, merit awards, housing, and all other non-employment financial benefit received by an athlete from their institution.

Is there a limit to the value of athletic scholarship that I can receive?
· tuition and compulsory fees is the maximum amount you can receive in an academic year, including athletic-related bursaries.
· the value and quantity of athletic scholarship available varies from institution to institution.
· specific awards may have additional conditions, such as academic success and citizenship, beyond what is stated here.
· many awards, such as academic awards or awards provided by Sport Governing Bodies or the Federal and Provincial Governments, are not included within the tuition and compulsory fees maximum; please consult your Athletic Department.

Who provides athletic scholarships?
· all athletics scholarships provided to student-athletes must be administered through the providing university.
· to receive an athletic-related award that is not administered by your university, the award must not be conditional on attendance at any particular university, that is, you must be free to attend the university of your choice.

When can I receive an athletic scholarship?
· you are eligible to receive an athletic scholarship at the beginning of your first year at a university (September) if you have a minimum entering average of 80% or equivalent.
· alternatively, where applicable (and excluding Ontario as per Ontario University Athletics policy), you are eligible to receive an athletic scholarship at the end of your first year at a university (spring or summer) if you satisfy CIS academic requirements with at least a 65% average or equivalent.
· thereafter, you are eligible to receive an athletic scholarship at the beginning of any year if you satisfy CIS academic requirements with at least a 65% average or equivalent in the preceding year (for Ontario universities, as per Ontario University Athletics policy, a 70% average is required).

Please note that Regional Associations and institutions may have additional regulations that are of a more stringent nature; please consult your Athletic Department about these rules.

4. Doping Control Program

What is the CIS Doping Control Program?
· CIS, in cooperation with the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES), coordinates a doping control program that incorporates both “in-season” and “out-of-season” testing.
· student-athletes are tested in accordance with the rules of the Canadian Anti-Doping Program (CADP).

Who’s eligible for testing and when can I be tested?
· every CIS student-athlete is eligible for testing, both in and out of competition, throughout the year.

What’s permitted and what’s prohibited?
· The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List is applied in Canada by the CADP.
· the Global Drug Reference Online (DRO), at www.globaldro.com, provides athletes and their support personnel with information about which prescription and non-prescription medications are prohibited or not by WADA.
· you can also contact the CCES at 1-800-672-7775, or by e-mail at substances@cces.ca

Are prescribed medications permitted?
· many medications are prohibited, regardless of a prescription from a physician.
· athletes must verify the status of any medication before it is consumed or used.
· if you are required to take a medication that is considered prohibited by WADA to treat an illness or condition, please consult your Athletic Department.

Are herbal products and nutritional supplements prohibited?
· The CCES believes that the use of supplements poses an unacceptable risk for athletes and their careers.  As such, the CCES recommends that athletes do not use supplements.  Athletes are responsible for any prohibited substance found in their sample; this is known as strict liability.  Serious sanctions may be imposed on athletes who test positive for a prohibited substance regardless of its source (e.g., supplement use). 
· The CCES has taken this position because there is little government regulation of the supplement industry. As a result, supplements may be inadvertently contaminated with prohibited substances, intentionally contain prohibited substances, or be mislabeled.
· The CCES is advising athletes who choose to use supplements to support the nutritional demands of training and travelling to take maximum precautions to minimize the associated risks, and to keep a record of the steps that were taken.

· Recommended precautions include:
· Make a direct inquiry to the manufacturer. Get a written guarantee that the product is free of any substances on the current WADA Prohibited List.
· Ask if the manufacturer makes any products that contain prohibited substances at the plant where the supplement is produced.
· Ask if the manufacturer is prepared to stand behind their product. If not, don’t use the product.
· Select a product that has NSF Certified for Sport™ approval. To minimize the risk of inadvertent doping, this program helps athletes identify products that have been tested and certified. Go to: www.nsfsport.com 
 
For More Information: contact CCES at 1-800-672-7775 or www.cces.ca or info@cces.ca

CIS Drug Education and Doping Control Policy (PDF 418Kb)

5. Thinking About Transferring?

As a current CIS student-athlete, how soon can I play after transferring to another CIS school?
· one year must pass from your last participation in that sport, subject to all other rules.

Are there any exceptions?
· when either the sport you play or your academic program of study has been discontinued at your school, subject to all other rules.
· if you enroll in a graduate or first professional degree program at a school different from the one you attended the previous year, you may be able to participate immediately in CIS competition (please consult your Athletic Department).
· for academic years 2008-09, 2009-10, and 2010-11, and specific to the sports of swimming, track & field, and cross-country running, a student-athlete can transfer to a CIS institution from any degree granting post-secondary institution without restriction in an immediately subsequent academic year under certain conditions (please consult your Athletic Department).

What else should I know?
· if you contact another school’s coach or Athletic Department representative regarding a potential transfer, the Athletic Director of your present school will be notified.

What if I’m contacted by another coach?
· CIS coaches and Athletic Department representatives are not permitted to contact athletes already attending a CIS school. 

As a CCAA student-athlete, how soon can I play after transferring to a CIS school?
· you can participate immediately in CIS competition, unless:
1) you have participated in any game(s) in that semester or term; or
2) you have not achieved a minimum 60% average or equivalent on those college courses utilized to determine your university admission; or
3) you have completed your CCAA eligibility; or
4) you have not maintained your academic eligibility in the CCAA.

As a NCAA or NAIA student-athlete, how soon can I play after transferring to a CIS school?
· subject to all other CIS rules including academic requirements, and provided you have not been charged with a year of eligibility in four separate academic years within the NCAA or NAIA, one year must pass from your last participation.

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