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League rules prevail in high school football appeal

Displaced high school students who were barred from playing interscholastic sports at their new school get no relief from a federal appeals court.

A panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sided with the Virginia High School League which denied a waiver for the new students at Castlewood High School. The VHSL refused to waive its one-year wait rule designed to prevent high school sports recruiting.

Parents argued the VHSL decision interfered with their fundamental right to make decisions for their children, but the 4th Circuit panel found no constitutional protection for parents’ rights to make decisions about interscholastic sports.

The new Castlewood students had previously attended the now closed St. Paul High School in Wise County. Although former St. Paul students who lived in Wise County were permitted to transfer to the nearby Castlewood school in Russell County, league rules temporarily barred them from interscholastic sports and certain other activities.

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