Middle School Athletics

The IIAAA is proud to support the efforts of our education-based athletic leaders at the middle level.

Be proud of your profession and become a member, get involved!

Membership Information – Click here to register.

IIAAA Middle School Representatives

Section 1 (District 1 & 2)
Geriann Druyos – South Bend Career Academy


Section 2 (District 3 & 4)
Mark Evans – Greenfield Central JH


Section 3 (District 5 & 6)
Cory Julian – Loogootee


IIAAA MS Permanent Chairperson
Dave Lang – Zionsville West MS


 Original Document 7/1977, Revised 4/17/1984, Revised 5/1/1990, Revised 1/18/1995, Revised 1/30/2004, Revised 4/21/2011, Revised 3/15/2017, Revised 8/24/2022

Interschool Guidelines For

Middle Level Sports








Rule 1 – Rule Coverage
Rule 2 – Administrative Responsibility
Rule 3 – Age
Rule 4 – Amateurism
Rule 5 – Awards, Prizes, Gifts
Rule 6 – Coaches
Rule 7 – Conduct, Character, Discipline
Rule 8 – Contests
Rule 9 – Contracts
Rule 10 – Officials
Rule 11 – Participation
Rule 12 – Scholarship
 Rule 13 – Undue Influence



Rule 51 – Baseball
Rule 52 – Basketball
Rule 53 – Cross Country
Rule 54 – Football
Rule 55 – Golf
Rule 56 – Gymnastics
Rule 57 – Soccer
Rule 58 – Softball
Rule 59 – Swimming
Rule 60 – Tennis
Rule 61 – Track and Field
Rule 62 – Volleyball
 Rule 63 – Wrestling  

















Participation in IIAAA benefits athletic administrators in a variety of ways: 

  1. IIAAA Newsletter
    2. District and State IIAAA Conferences
    3. Continued improved communication with the IHSAA and State Coaches Associations
    4. Promotion of professionalism, new ideas, and new insights
    5. Fellowship with peers
    6. Fostering beliefs as professionals to provide the best programs possible for our student athletes.
     7. Provide liability insurance.



Go to https://iiaaa.org, click on membership, and click on your district for more information!



This publication has been prepared for those who administer the interschool athletic programs for middle level schools. On January 21, 1975, the IHSAA authorized the appointment of a committee to study and prepare guidelines for athletics in middle level schools. Many member schools had asked for guidance in the direction of a program adapted to the abilities of students at this level of competition. An understanding of the physiological and emotional development of early adolescents, the need for providing safety precautions, and the importance of protecting the best interests of students, prompted this request. The lack of specific limitations in the number of contests, age of participants, etc., often resulted in abuses, inequities, inconsistencies, and unfair competition. This Committee met frequently; conducted its study and received cooperation of a high percentage of school administrators. The following guidelines represent the judgment of the middle level representatives attending the State Athletic Administrators Association Conference in Indianapolis, and the Study Committee comprised of middle level representatives from each of the state’s six districts.



Original 7/1977
Revised 4/17/1984
 Revised 5/1/1990

Revised 1/18/1995
 Revised 1/30/2004

Revised 4/21/2011 

Revised 3/15/2017

Revised 8/24/2022

Revised 7/1/2023




The Indiana High School Athletic Association and the Indiana Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association do not govern middle level schools but recommend that they follow these rules within the guidelines set by the individual school district, principals’ association, district athletic association, or school’s athletic conference. Middle schools shall comply with Title IX. 



The purpose of these guidelines shall be to encourage, unify, and give direction to wholesome amateur interschool athletic competition between middle level grade students. All such interschool athletic competition coming under the suggested guidelines shall be subservient to and complementary to the academic or curricular functions of the schools, which are their primary purposes. To assure that the program of interschool athletic competition remains steadfast to the principles of wholesome amateur athletics and subservient to its primary academic or curricular functions of education of the middle level school, schools should: cooperate with agencies vitally concerned with the health and educational welfare of school students; furnish protection against exploitation of schools or their students; determine guidelines for qualifications of individual contestants, coaches and officials; and provide written communications to establish guideline standards for eligibility, competition, and sportsmanship.






Section 1 - All contest rules for events are adopted from the NFHS. These guidelines apply to all teams and all contestants enrolled in middle level schools participating in interschool athletic contests and tournaments. The guidelines below are those deemed age appropriate for middle level athletes in Indiana. 


 Section 1
- The principal is recognized as the school representative and as such is accountable for conduct of the athletic program of that school.

Section 2 - The principal has the authority to designate a faculty member/s employed in that school system to act as a director of the teams representing the school.

Section 3 - It is understood that any school corporation may adjust the scope of athletic activities.

Section 4 - The principal or designee shall institute adequate team and crowd control measures at all contests in which their school participates and assures that their school’s participants and fans conduct themselves in a proper and sportsmanlike manner. 

 Section 5
- The principal of the school in accordance with the guidelines hereby suggested must certify to the eligibility of all contestants.

  1. Each school should establish their own guidelines toward scholastic eligibility. 
  2. When eligibility is in question, students should not be allowed to participate in interschool contests. 
  3. All participants should be fulltime students within their respective school district.

Section 6 - Students, prior to their first practice, should have had: 

  1. a completed IHSAA pre-participation physical 
  2. a completed consent and release certificate of parent or guardian for such participation
  3. a completed sudden cardiac arrest and concussion acknowledgement form

All three documents should be on file in the school athletic office prior to the student’s first practice. Physical examination must be completed on or after April 1 for the following school year. Such certification may suffice for the entire school year. This guideline should not be waived. It is recommended that all student athletes have insurance.

Section 7 - Students who are physically unable to practice for 5 consecutive days due to illness or injury should present to their principal or director a statement from a physician licensed to practice medicine that they are again physically fit to participate in interschool athletics. 



Section 1- Students participating in sixth grade, seventh grade and/or eighth grade athletic contests should be eligible within the following guidelines: 


6th grade - A student who is or shall be fourteen (14) prior to or on the scheduled date of the last contest in a sport should be ineligible to compete in grade-level specific sports within the following guidelines.

7th grade - A student who is or shall be fifteen (15) prior to or on the scheduled date of the last contest in a sport should be ineligible to compete in grade-level specific sports within the following guidelines. 

8th grade - A student who is or shall be sixteen (16) prior to or on the scheduled date of the last contest in a sport should be ineligible to compete in grade-level specific sports within the following guidelines. 


Section 2 - In non-grade-level specific sports, a student who is or shall be 16 prior to or on the scheduled date of the last competition in a sport should be ineligible for competition in that sport. 



Section 1 - All contestants in middle level school sponsored contests should be amateurs in that sport in which they wish to participate.

Section 2 - Students should not play under assumed names nor accept remuneration, directly or indirectly, for playing on athletic teams.

Section 3 - Students should not be considered as violating their amateur standing if they participate in any sport, out of season, sponsored by professionals.

Section 4 - School having students who have violated their amateur standing should notify any school against whom competition occurred which involved that student’s participation.

Section 5 - A student may accept reasonable meals, lodging and transportation if such are accepted in service rather than money or in some other material form. 


 Section 1
- The giving and receiving of awards should: 

  1. be kept within reasonable bounds 
  2. have symbolic value only and 
  3. be with the consent and under the supervision of the school principal. 

NOTE: The giving and receiving of awards with the consent and under the supervision of the school principal concerned should mean that the school principal in each school should have real control and supervision without pressure of any kind from outside persons or groups of persons.

Section 2 - Awards such as trophies, plaques, medals, ribbons or similar articles of symbolic value may be given. 


Section 3 - Schools belonging to athletic conferences may make awards to the winning schools or winning participants.

Section 4 - Suitable awards may be accepted by schools and/or students from such local organizations as service clubs, patriotic organizations, civic groups, and dads’ and mothers’ clubs. Commercial businesses may name a player or players of the game or week provided the student does not accept merchandise, meals, cash, etc. for such an honor. 


 Section 1
- Coaches should be regularly certified to teach in schools in Indiana if possible, however lay coaches may be used. 

  1. All remuneration for coaching should be from the Board of Education of the school employing the coach.
  2. No school should be permitted to employ a coach who receives extra pay, salary, gifts, or trips from outside sources for coaching. 
  3. Where there is a coach of a mixed (boys and girls) team or a male coach of a girls’ team or a female coach of boys’ team, there should also be an adult advisor of the opposite sex. It is strongly recommended that such advisor be employed by the school system. Responsibilities must include being present at practices, contests, meetings, and accompanying team to all events, which involve travel. 



 Section 1
- Contestants’ conduct, in and out of school, should be such as: 

  1. Not to reflect discredit upon their school. 
  2. Not to create a disruptive influence on the discipline, good order, moral or educational environment in the school. 
  3. Any coach removed from a contest will sit for the next scheduled contest. 

These are general rules applying to all interschool contests. The official rules of all contests are those published by the NFHS, with developmentally appropriate adaptations noted in the sections below.

Section 1 - No games, meets or tournaments should be played by schools without the sanction of the principals. 

Section 2- Interschool athletic contests should follow the recommended guidelines for that contest.

Section 3 - In all contests, the decisions of the officials shall be considered final and binding.

Section 4 - Students may represent only one school in any sport during a tournament series.

Section 5 - All-boys teams and all-girls teams should not participate against each other in interschool athletic contests.

Section 6 - There should be no interschool athletic contests played or practices or clinics held on Sunday. Calling one or more team members together on Sunday for the purpose of studying scouting reports or viewing films of games should be considered a violation.

Section 7 - To protect the health and safety of all participants, if a student fails to attend, or when a school is unable to conduct practice sessions for its students, and therefore such students are unable to attend and actively participate for consecutive days, such students shall be required to complete the following prior to participating in a contest: 

  1. The required preseason practices, if applicable.
  2. Participate in 4 separate days of school-approved practices following 8 to 14 consecutive interrupted school days.
  3. Participate in 6 separate days of school-approved practices following more than 14 consecutive interrupted school days.


Section 8 - Withdrawal of a school athletic team from an athletic contest in progress other than in an emergency, or by mutual consent of both schools, should jeopardize future scheduling considerations.


 Section 1
- The “Contract for Athletic Contests” should be used for all interschool athletic contests and countersigned by the principal or director of the schools involved.


 Section 1
- The officials in all interschool contests requiring officials should currently be licensed by IHSAA.

Section 2 - All licensed officials should wear the current officials’ insignia on the prescribed uniform.

Section 3 - Written contracts are suggested between schools and officials. 




 Section 1
- Participation in an athletic contest or any other similar team during the same season in which they represent their school in that sport is strongly discouraged.

Section 2 - A student who participates in an interschool contest when ineligible other than in scholarship, too many quarters, too many events and similar oversights, should become ineligible only in that sport for the remainder of that sport season unless facts were purposely withheld or misrepresented. Such deliberate action should make the student ineligible in all sports for the remainder of that semester and all of his/her next semester in school.

Section 3 - Participation of students in an organized athletic contest with or against players not belonging to their school constitutes a game. An organized “scrimmage” or practice by students with or against teams or players not belonging to their school is considered a game. 


 Section 1
- Each school should establish their own scholastic requirements for students participating in their interschool athletic contest. 


 Section 1 -
The use of undue influence by any person or persons to secure or to retain a student or to secure or to retain one or both parents or guardians of a student as residents should cause the student to be ineligible for interschool athletics.

Section 2 - No student should be eligible to participate in any interschool contest under the rules, if it should be shown that he/she or any member of their family is receiving any remuneration, either directly or indirectly, to influence them or their family to reside in a given school district or territory in order to establish eligibility on the team of said school. 




GENERAL ELIGIBILITY RULES – these rules apply to all sports. 

  1. Practice should start no earlier than 3 weeks of school prior to the first scheduled contest. 
  2. There should be 10 separate days of organized practice under the supervision of the coaching staff for each contestant preceding their initial date of participation in interschool contests. Only one practice may be counted for any one day.  
  3. Individual participants may be considered eligible to participate in a sport season immediately following the conclusion of another season in which they participated after 5 days of organized practice.
  4. For grade level teams, students will play in their own specific grade level. 
  5. All sports will follow National Federation Rules except in Golf (USGA rules are used) and Tennis (USTA rules are used) except those developmentally appropriate changes noted below.


1. A team should play no more than 16 contests and two tournaments per season.
 2. If the pitch count on a calendar day is _____, the pitcher must rest _____.

1-35 pitches = 0 days
36-60 pitches = 1 day
61-80 pitches = 2 days
81-100 pitches = 3 days
 101-120 pitches = 4 days

  1. A pitcher may throw no more than one hundred twenty (120) pitches in a contest. If a pitcher reaches 120 pitches during an at-bat, the pitcher may finish the at-bat before leaving the pitching position.
  2. Regardless of the daily pitch count, a pitcher who has a pitch count of more than sixty (60) pitches over two calendar days must rest one calendar day.

3. All bats must be consistent with NFHS regulations.
 4. In addition to the 10-run rule after 5 innings, it is recommended that schools implement a 15-run rule after 4 innings.

    By local association adoption, a 20-run rule after 3 innings may be adopted.
 5. By local association adoption, a 2:15 or other appropriate time limit may be established.


1. A team should play no more than 16 regular season contests and two tournaments per season.
2. The length of quarters should be no greater than 6 minutes with a 10-minute halftime.
3. Overtime periods should be 3 minutes in length.
4. Participants can play up to 6 quarters per session. Overtime is considered an extension of the 4th quarter.
 5. If at any time in the second half, a game reaches a 25-point margin, a running clock will be utilized. Regular timing will

    not be resumed if the margin falls below 25 points. The clock will only stop for: Officials timeouts, team timeouts, 

    shooting fouls, or intermission between quarters.


1. A team should compete in no more than 12 contests per season.
2. All participants should wear a similar school team uniform.
3. The recommended distance for middle school races is 3000 meters.

1. A team should play no more than 10 contests per season.
 2. Teams may use intermediate or regulation ball. Each team should provide their own balls for use during their offensive

 3. The length of quarters should be a maximum of 8 minutes for 8th graders and 7 minutes for 7th graders, with a

     maximum 10-minute halftime.
4. Participants should play no more than 5 quarters per session.
 5. Overtime will be played for “A” contests. Recommended overtime procedures:

  1. At least one overtime possession beginning from the 10-yard line will be afforded to each team following the end of a regulation game with the score tied. By local adoption, multiple overtime possessions may be allowed for each team.
  2. A coin flip will determine the team who possesses the ball first. The winner of the flip will choose possession or side of the field. The loser of the flip will choose the other. 
  3. Both possessions will take place on the same side of the field.
  4. A PAT will be allowed (if needed) following a successful touchdown. The offensive team’s possession ends immediately following a score, a turnover, or the conclusion of its series of downs.

6. If at any time in the second half, a game reaches a 28-point margin, a running clock will be utilized. Regular timing will 

     NOT be resumed if the margin falls below 28 points. The clock will only stop for officials’ timeouts, team timeouts, or

     intermission between quarters.
7. Running clocks or other timing rules may be adjusted for “B” contests.
8. By local association adoption, “B” contests may be adapted to allow coaches in backfield.

1. A team should compete in no more than 10 contests and one tournament per season.
 2. Four players’ scores will be counted for the purposes of determining team score.


1. A team should compete in no more than 12 contests and one tournament per season.
 2. Each participant should compete in no more than 3 events.


1. A team should compete in no more than 14 scheduled games and one tournament per season.
 2. The length of halves for middle level contests should be no greater than 30 minutes with a 10-minute halftime. The

    clock should continue to run after scored goals.
3. If at any time after the 45th minute of play, the scoring margin reaches 7 goals, the game will be halted, and the final 

    score recorded.
 4. By local association adoption a 5-shot shoot-out may be used for overtime procedures.


1. A team should play no more than 16 contests and two tournaments per season.
 2. In addition to the 10-run rule after 5 innings, it is recommended that schools implement a 15-run rule after 4 innings.

    By local association adoption, a 20-run rule after 3 innings may be adopted.
 3. By local association adoption, a 2:15 or other appropriate time limit may be established.


1. A team should compete in no more than 10 meets per season.
2. Entered contestants may participate in a maximum of 4 events, 2 of which should be relays.
 3. The recommended events for middle level swimming are: 200 Medley Relay, 200 Freestyle, 100 Individual Medley, 50

    Freestyle, 1M Diving, 50 Butterfly, 100 Freestyle, 400 Freestyle, 200 Freestyle Relay, 100 Backstroke, 100

    Breaststroke, 400 Freestyle Relay.
 4. Diving should be conducted in accordance with USA Swimming’s recommendations for middle level students.


 1. United States Tennis Association rules should be followed.

2. A team should compete in no more than 16 contests per season.
3. A contestant may not play both singles and doubles in the same event.
 4. Coaches should exchange lineups prior to each match.

5. Matches should be scored as single set matches to 8 points.


1. A team should compete in no more than 14 contests per season.
2. All team members/participants must wear the school uniform. No head apparel should be permitted.
 3. Events conducted shall be those recommended for middle level schools in the National Federation rulebook. They are:

    3200M Relay, 100M Hurdles (Girls), 110M Hurdles (Boys), 100M, 1600M, 400M Relay, 400M, 200M, 800M, 2400M,

    1600M Relay, Shot Put, Discus, Long Jump, High Jump. By local association adoption, Pole Vault and 200M Hurdles 

    may be included. It is recommended that schools who adopt pole-vaulting only do so if certified coaching is available 

    and landing pad meets NFHS specifications.

4. Each participant should take part in no more than 4 total events.
 5. The height of hurdles for boys races shall be 33” and for girls races shall be 30”. It is recommended that 30” hurdles be

    used for all exhibition races (boys and girls).

6. Both boys and girls shall use a 4kg shotput and 1kg discus.





1. A team should compete in no more than 16 contests and two tournaments per season.
 2. Competing schools should provide line judges for all contests and notify visiting school regarding modifications of

    facilities or rules prior to contest.

3. Games should be played in a best of 3 sets format. Game 1 & 2 should be capped at 25pts. Game three should be played 

    to 15, win by two, with no cap.


1. A team should compete in no more than 14 dual meets and two tournaments per season.
 2. The approved weight classes for a middle level combined team are: 70, 75, 80, 85, 90, 95, 100, 106,

    113, 120, 126, 132, 138, 144, 150, 157, 165, 175, 190, 215, 245, 285.
 3. Wrestlers may move up a maximum of one weight class.

4. Weigh-ins should be conducted in one of two formats:

  1. Before school under supervision of a school administrator. In this format, the following rules should apply:
    1. Wrestler gets one chance to weigh in.
    2. Weights must be emailed to the opposing school by 12:00pm on the day of the contest.
    3. Wrestlers who are absent from AM weigh-ins may weigh-in later in the day.
  2. At the event site under supervision of a contest official. In the interests of time, the following rules should apply for this format:
    1. Teams should exchange weigh-in lists the morning of the event, or earlier if possible.
    2. Home team should weigh in upon contests official’s arrival.
    3. Visiting team should weigh-in upon their arrival.

    NOTE: For invitational or other events occurring on weekends, all teams must weigh in on-site under supervision of

     contest official.
 5. Wrestlers will be given a 1-pound allowance for each of the following reasons:

  1. A match on a day after school is not in session
  2. A match on the second of consecutive days
  3. A match in February
  4. A match in March

    NOTE: At no time will a wrestler be given an allowance of more than 2-pounds. If either team is given a weight

    allowance, all competing schools will be afforded the same allowance.
 6. Excessive weight loss is not condoned.