Vancouver, BC, Canada
6 General Rules - Eligibility

BC School Sports (BCSS) is the provincial body which is responsible for governance of secondary school sport in British Columbia.  Our 18 VSB secondary schools are members of BCSS and must adhere to all BCSS policies and guidelines.

All Member School teams and student-athletes competing in BCSS and VSSAA approved sports must be registered on a team in accordance with the BCSS Rules and Regulations prior to competing in all competition.  For a complete copy of BCSS Eligibility Regulations please visit the BCSS website - BCSS Handbook


There are 6 general rules* for student athletic eligibility:

Rule 1: Student-athletes can only compete for the school at which they are registered.

  • A student-athlete can only play for the member school at which they are registered. Student-athletes must be in grades eight (8) to twelve (12) at a BCSS member school in order to compete in any BCSS or VSSAA competition.


Rule 2: There is a maximum age allowed for each level of competition.

  • Grade 8 Competition - Student-athletes must be under 15 years of age as of December 31st of the current school year and be in their first year of eligibility.
  • Grade 9 Competition - Student-athletes must be under 16 years of age as of December 31st of the current school year and be in their second year of eligibility.
  • Junior Competition - Student-athletes must be under 17 years of age as of December 31st of the current school year and be in their third year of eligibility.
  • Senior Competition - Student-athletes must be under 19 years of age as of December 31st of the current school year and be in no more than their fifth year of eligibility.


Rule 3: Student-athletes are athletically eligible for five years, from entry into Grade 8.

  • Student-athletes have five (5) consecutive years of BCSS competition eligibility, starting on the entry date into grade eight (8). A year is considered to be the twelve (12) month period between September of one (1) school year and September of the next school year.
  • The eligibility calendar continues to run regardless of a student-athlete’s actual participation on a team. If a student-athlete does not try out for a team, does not make the team, withdraws from school, is asked to leave school, or the school does not offer a particular sport during a time period that school year or portion still counts toward the student-athlete’s five-year period of eligibility.


Rule 4: Student-athletes cannot have graduated from secondary school.

  • Student-athletes who complete graduation requirements during the current school year and continue to take courses, will remain eligible, should they continue to meet all other eligibility requirements.


Rule 5: Student-athletes must be full-time.

A student athlete must be enrolled in and attending a minimum of a sixty-two and a half percent (62.5%) course load. A one hundred percent (100%) course load is defined as thirty two (32) credits or eight (8) standard courses.

LINEAR SCHOOL SYSTEM (VSB normally operates under this system) - Student-athletes must be enrolled in and attending a minimum of five (5) full time courses (20 credits) within the school year to be considered eligible.


Rule 6: Student-Athletes Must Fulfill One of the Following Residency Requirements

  • Reside with parent(s) in BC;
  • Reside with a legal guardian in BC. Guardianship must have been in place for twelve (12) months prior to the period for which eligibility is sought.
  • 520.1.3 Must be a ‘Ward of the Province of BC’ and assigned to an individual or family by the Ministry of Children and Family Development.
  • Must be attending a BCSS member school as an international student or exchange student and be recognized by the District Board or Independent School office as such – student-athletes must reside in BC and attend the member school for a period of five (5) months of be eligible to participate in BCSS competition.


* One or more of the general rules may have exemptions for extraordinary circumstances.  For those rare cases please consult with your school athletic director to discuss the prescribed course of action required for eligibility.


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