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Catholic Charities Corporation Administrative Offices:

7911 Detroit Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44102

(216) 334-2900

Player Eligibility

CYO player eligibility requirements are outlined below. Required documents and forms are also included on this page.

Members of boys basketball team on bench smiling
Three young girls on a soccer team

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible to participate in the Diocese of Cleveland CYO, your child must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Parish Membership: The parent(s)/guardian(s) are registered members of a Catholic parish within the Diocese of Cleveland or other approved areas.
  • School Enrollment: Your child attends a Catholic school within the Diocese of Cleveland or other approved area.
  • Parish School of Religion (PSR) or RCIA: Your child is enrolled in and regularly attends the PSR or RCIA in the current school year of the sponsoring parish and lives within the defined boundaries of the parish that would sponsor the team. In this case, an Eligibility Request Form must also be submitted, and your child must attend six religious education sessions before he/she is eligible to participate in competitions.

What if My Sport Isn't Offered?

If your parish/school does not have a team in the sport you wish to play, you will need to contact the CYO parish/school that is nearest to your residence for information on their offerings. To find out which parish/school is the nearest to your residence, you must use the Diocese of Cleveland Parish Locator. Simply type in your complete address, set the distance to "10 miles" and click search.

Diocese of Cleveland Parish Locator


Required Forms: Pre-Participation Form

Your child must have a current Pre-Participation Form on file with the sponsor of the team before he/she may participate in any CYO practices or games.

The form consists of three parts:

  • Physical exam
  • Information and release section
  • Emergency medical authorization

All three sections must be complete and current in order for the form to be valid and for your child to authorized to participate in CYO practices and games.

The complete Pre-Participation Form is valid for 13 months from the date of the physician's signature. The Pre-Participation Form will become invalid if any of the information contained in the information and release section or emergency medical authorization section of the form changes, or if 13 months have elapsed since the date of the physical exam.

Click the button below to download the Pre-Participation Form.

Pre-Participation Form

Eligibility Request Forms: Who Needs One?

To make the athlete eligibility process more inclusive, the following modification was put into effect in fall 2018:

  • If an athlete wants to play for your team and complies with Bylaw 3-1-2:
    • 1) Is a parishioner, or
    • 2) Attends a Catholic school, or
    • 3) Is enrolled in PSR
    • AND
  • If their parish DOES NOT sponsor a team, that athlete must comply with Bylaw 3-1-5 AND
  • If the athlete complies with Bylaw 3-1-2 AND 3-1-5 (closest, second closest, then third closest parish/school), THEN
  • Eligibility Request Forms WILL NOT be needed if they choose to play with a team within their section. See the parish/school section assignments list below to identify what sections parish/schools are in.

Section Assignments 2020-20212

For more information regarding who needs an Eligibility Request Form, please download and read our Fact Sheet.

Eligibility Request Form Fact Sheet

Completing an Eligibility Request Form

If your child requires an Eligibility Request Form, the form must be completed and approved before your child can participate in any CYO practice or game.

Please download the individual Eligibility Request Form below and read the directions on how to complete the form. Once Section 1 is complete, submit the form to the athletic director of the sponsoring team.

Eligibility Request Form

Group Eligibility Request Form

The Group Eligibility Request Form is only to be used for a group of athletes from the same parish/school seeking permission to play on another CYO member's team.

If, after using the Parish Locator for each individual address, ALL individuals from the group have the same parish/school as their nearest CYO Member, a Group Eligibility Request Form may apply.

Parents may download the Group Eligibility Request Form, read the directions on how to complete the form, and then contact the athletic director of the sponsoring team for the process to complete the form. Please note that the Group Eligibility Request Form cannot be used for children from different teams or different parishes/schools, nor for those that are not nearest to the sponsor of the team according to the Parish Locator.

Group Eligibility Request Form


High School Recruitment & Transferring

The Ohio High School Athletic Association Bylaws outline the limitations on recruitment by an OHSAA member high school. The following summary is provided for educational purposes only. Official rules can be obtained through the OHSAA website.

Parents should be aware that violations of these policies could result in loss of eligibility for the student-athlete.

Recruitment Limitations

  • A student is considered a prospective athlete upon enrolling in the 7th grade. Any attempt to recruit a prospective student-athlete for athletic purposes shall be strictly prohibited.
  • High schools can mass-market their education programs to the general public through television, radio, and newspaper ads and open houses or visitations.
  • High schools are not permitted to produce athletic program specific brochures for distribution.
  • High schools can invite an 8th-grade class to attend a game for free. However, the invitation must be made to the whole group and not particular students.
  • High school coaches are not to initiate contact with prospective students outside of the high school’s building until the student has applied to the school and acceptance letters have been distributed.

The Cleveland area Catholic high schools have an agreed-upon "No Contact" period that runs during the application review process from early January to mid-February. During this time representatives from high schools are not to have contact with prospective students.

  • High school coaches can talk to a parish group as long as they talk about the general educational values of athletics and not the attributes of a particular school.
  • High schools cannot give gifts such as sweatshirts, etc. to prospective students.
  • High schools cannot provide financial aid or scholarships to a student on the basis of athletic ability.
  • If a parent or athlete wishes to talk to a coach, they need to make a request through the admissions office of the school and a meeting will be held on school grounds.
  • Parents should not assume that a lack of interaction by a high school coach or school toward a prospective student represents a lack of interest, but rather respect for the policies outlined above. Please contact the high school admissions office for information about the school and setting appointments with their staff.

Transferring Limitations

The Ohio High School Athletic Association Bylaws have recently been updated with limitations on the transferring of high school students during their four years of schooling. The transfer bylaws apply to all students enrolled in grades 9 to 12. These bylaws apply to all schools, both public and non-public.

  • If a student transfers after the fifth day of the student’s ninth-grade year or after having established eligibility prior to the start of school by playing in a contest (scrimmage, preview or regular season or tournament contest), the student will be ineligible for one year from the date of enrollment in the school to which the student transferred.

The following are some exceptions to the general transfer bylaw that may apply with the approval of the OHSAA commissioner:

  • If the parents or legal guardian have made a bona fide legal change of residence from one public school district to another public school district.
  • If the student is the ward of a court-appointed guardian, and there is a subsequent change in that guardian. Likewise, if the student is the child of parents who were never married or had their marriage terminated and there is a court-ordered change of custody.
  • If, and only if, either one of the parents in a Shared Parenting Plan, notwithstanding any provisions there to the contrary, makes a bona fide legal change of residence from one public school district into another public school district.
  • If the school in which the student is enrolled closes.
  • If the bona fide residence of the student's parents is annexed to a different school district or consolidated within a school district.
  • A student shall be entitled to one transfer into a public high school located in the public school district within which the student’s parent residence is located.
  • If a student transfers from a non-public high school to the public high school in which the student's parents' residence is situated, the student may transfer back to the same non-public high school.
  • If a student transfers to a high school located within the jurisdiction of a non-public multiple high school system (i.e., Catholic Conference of Ohio, Ohio Association of Independent Schools, Association of Christian Schools International or another category as denoted by the State Department of Education) from another high school within that same system, the student may have his/her eligibility restored by the commissioner's office provided certain conditions have been met.
Catholic Diocese of Cleveland Part of the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland

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