ISSA keeping watch on influx of overseas athletes for Champs

By Ricardo Chambers & Donald Oliver January 16, 2020

President of the Inter Secondary-Schools Sports Association Keith Wellington believes that until overseas athletes directly affect the outcome of the ISSA Boys and Girls track and field championships, his association won’t be perturbed by the influx of the numbers.

Wellington was speaking on The Commentators podcast with Ricardo Chambers and Donald Oliver.

“It would be a costly venture for that school, but we would be concerned because it would skew the championships… and that would not reflect properly what we are doing locally,” Wellington said

Over the past decade, there has been an increase in overseas students taking part at the annual championships in Kingston which will be held from March 24-28 at the National Stadium.

Wellington also went in detail about the amendments to the transfer rules, including the new quota system which came into effect January 1 this year.


Want to know more about the recent amendments? Read below.


Frequently Asked Questions and Answers 


Q1. What is the transfer quota rule? 

A1. The transfer quota rule is a restriction on the number of student/athletes that a member school is allowed to have representing the said school in an ISSA Competitionafter that student /athlete has represented another ISSA member school in that said sport 

Q2. When does the rule take effect? 

A2. The rule affects all transfers or changes of school done by students as of January 1, 2019, but will be applied in all cases starting January 1, 2020. Therefore students who transferred after December 31, 2018, and sit out the mandatory one (1) year waiting period will be affected once they become eligible to participate. Students who are enrolled in Sixth Form in 2019 are NOT affected until January 1, 2020 

Q3. At what grade levels is the quota rule applied? 

A3. The quota rule is applicable at all grade levels (7-13), once the student-athlete has previously represented another ISSA member school. 

Q4. Is there a time limit on the quota restriction applied to a student/athlete? 

A4. No. Once a student/athlete transfers from one ISSA member school to another, having already represented his/her previous school, he / she will be regarded as a part of the new school’s quota for the duration of his / her tenure at the new school. There are however a few exceptions where a student/athlete may not be counted as part of his / her new school’s quota. 

Q5. What are the exceptions applicable to transfer student/athletes by the quota rule? 

A5. The exceptions are as follows: 

  1. Where a student transfers to a member school but never represented his/her previous school in the sport he/she is being registered for at his/her new school, he/she will NEVER be counted in the quota for his/her new school 
  2. Where a student transfers to another member school he/she WILL NOT be counted as a part of his new school’s quota for a sport where his/her previous school is not registered to compete in any specified season in question. 

Q6. What is the quota for my sport? 

A6. The quota number for each sport varies as indicated below: 

  • Football, Cricket, and Hockey 3 players 
  • Netball, Volleyball, Basketball 2 players 
  • Swimming, Table Tennis 1 player 
  • Athletics 2 athletes per class 

The quota number is the number of transfer students/athletes that may be registered to represent any age group team in the respective sport. For example, there may be a maximum of three (3) transfer quota players in a school’s U14 cricket team. That same school may also have three separate transfer quota players in its U16 as well as U19 cricket teams in the same year 

1 ISSA Rule Amendments 

Version 1.0 August 2019 

Q7. Is the quota applied ONLY to those actively participating in a competition? 

A7. The quota is applicable to the full list of registered students for ALL competitions. Therefore schools are NOT allowed to register more students/athletes than allowed by the quota 

Q8. Can students/athletes who are registered and form part of the quota for a competition be replaced/substituted in a school’s list of registered participants? 

Q8. NO! Once a school has registered its full quota of transferred students, no replacement can be done for that year’s competition. 

Q9. With the quota system, is the mandatory one year rule still in place 

A9. Yes the one year waiting period for students transferred outside of 6th Form is still applicable. 

Q10. If a student returns to his previous school after transferring to and representing another 

ISSA member school, will the quota rule be applied to him? 

A10. Yes! 


“Transferred students will not be allowed to participate if transferred amongst member schools more than once.” 

Q1. What does this mean? 

A1. It means that effective January 1, 2020, NO student/athlete will be allowed to compete for a third school in any ISSA Competition. Therefore, having represented two previous schools in any ISSA competition, all students will be barred from competing for another school. 

Q2. Are there any exceptions where students will be allowed to represent a third ISSA member school after January 1, 2020? 

A2. Yes. In cases where students represented other member schools before January 1, 2019, the number of schools represented prior to this date will be disregarded. 

Q3. Is a change of school to or at Sixth Form regarded as a transfer? 

A3. YES! For the purpose of this rule, a student who changes school and seeks to represent his new school while in 6th form is regarded as transferring his registration with ISSA 

A4. If a student returns to his previous school after transferring to and representing another 

ISSA member school, will this be regarded as him representing a third school? 

  1. Yes! 


Q1 What are the changes to the academic standards required for student/athletes? 

A1. Effective September 1, 2018, ALL students from grades 7-13 are allowed to use internal grades to be eligible for all competitions. Previously, students who were promoted from grade eleven to grades 12/13 (6th Form) were required to submit external results (CXC / City & Guilds / NCTVET) with passes in at least four subjects. Students who wish to change schools and attend grades 12/13 (6th Form) at another school MUST however still provide evidence of passes in four (4) external examinations or sit out the mandatory one year waiting period before competing for their new school in grade 12 / 13. 

*** Please note that ISSA keeps an electronic database which allows it to track registered students/athletes who move from one member school to another


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