• Atlanta Public Schools Department of Athletics

    The Department of Athletics mission is to give students quality opportunities to participate in activities that enhance their physical, academic and social growth. APS offers the following sports for students enrolled in middle and high schools. Offerings may vary depending on student interest. For more information, call 404-802-5575.

    As a member of the Georgia High School Association (GHSA), APS students must meet the following requirements to participate in athletic programs:
    *Sixth-graders are now eligible to participate in middle school athletics (except APS Football) under the following State of Georgia policy:
If you are having trouble viewing the document, you may download the document.
    Sports Offerings & Important Information:
    APS offers the following sports for students enrolled in middle and high schools. Offerings may vary depending on student interest. 
    High School
    Cross Country 
    Girls Flag Football
    Track and Field

    Middle School
    Track and Field
    Girls Flag Football
    Requirements & Information:
    If a student is injured or becomes ill at school, every effort will be made to contact the parent and to take action at the parent’s direction. If a parent cannot be contacted, school officials will take reasonable actions to preserve the health of the child. Parents must notify the school if their child has health problems that could result in a health emergency and should explain the procedures the school should follow. 
    Academic Requirement:
    High School Student-athlete: Must meet the requirements set forth by the GHSA Constitution and By-Laws:

    1.51 To be eligible to participate, practice, and/or try out in interscholastic activities, a student must be academically eligible. A student is required to pass classes that carry at least 2.5 Units counting toward graduation the semester immediately preceding participation. Exception: First semester ninth-grade students.
    (a) Passing in all GHSA member schools is a grade of seventy (70).
    (b) Students participating in junior varsity or “B” team competition must meet all scholastic requirements.
    (c) If an eligible student transfers from a school that uses a block-schedule format to a school using a traditional format (or vice versa) and that student cannot get a full schedule of classes with equivalent credit in the semester of the transfer, the school may petition the Executive Director for a waiver of this rule for the first semester after the transfer occurs.
    (d) For schools offering courses with yearlong grading, eligibility must be computed for each semester.
    • (1) At the end of the first semester, the school must determine that the student has a grade of 70% or higher in classes carrying at least 2.5 Units.
    • (2) The second semester grade will be the grade given for the entire course and shall include the end-of-course test grade.
    • (3) Remediation programs designed to bring the student’s first semester grade up to 70% or higher may be used (in accordance with GHSA guidelines) if the school allows such programs for all students.

    1.52 Students gain or lose eligibility on the first day of the subsequent semester. The first day of the Fall semester shall be interpreted as the first date of practice for the first sport.

    (a) Exception: Students who successfully complete summer school to maintain eligibility become eligible the last day of summer school.

    • (1) Summer school is an extension of the previous semester and courses may be: a. remedial in nature where a previously-taken course is repeated in its entirety with a new grade being given. b. enrichment in nature where a new course is taken that results in new credit being earned.
    • (2) A maximum of two (2) unit credits earned in summer school may be counted for eligibility purposes. NOTE: Additional credits may be earned in credit recovery programs or make-up programs after the start of the new semester.
    • (3) Summer school credits earned in non-accredited home study programs or non-accredited private schools may not be used to gain eligibility. Accreditation recognized under the rule shall be from the Georgia Accrediting Commission (GAC) or a regional accreditation agency (such as SACS) or the Georgia Private School Accreditation Council (GAPSAC).
    • (4) An independent study course taken in summer school must be regionally accredited and accepted by the school system for graduation credit. (b) Courses completed after the beginning of a new semester may not be used to gain eligibility for that semester. Example: night school classes, correspondence courses, etc. (c) Independent study courses taken during the school year must meet the criteria of 1.52 (a) 4.

    1.53 Students must accumulate units towards graduation according to the following criteria:

    (a) First-year students (entering 9th grade) are eligible academically. Second semester first-year students must have passed courses carrying at least 2.5 units from the previous semester in order to participate.

    (b) Second-year students must have accumulated five (5) total units in the first year, AND passed courses carrying at least 2.5 units in the previous semester.

    (c) Third-year students must have accumulated eleven (11) units in the first and second years, AND passed courses carrying at least 2.5 units in the previous semester.

    (d) Fourth-year students must have accumulated seventeen (17) units in the first three years, AND passed courses carrying at least 2.5 units in the previous semester.

    (e) Students may accumulate the required units for participation during the school year and eligibility will be reinstated at the beginning of the next semester.


    Middle School Student-athletes:
    Middle school students cannot have reached their 14th birthday before May 1st.

    High School Students:

    GHSA Rule: 1.30 - AGE To be eligible to participate in interscholastic activities, a student must not have reached his 19th birthday prior to May 1st, preceding his year of participation. 

    Code of Ethics:
    The GHSA recognizes its responsibility to ensure honesty, truthfulness, and accuracy in record keeping and reporting. Therefore, the professional personnel of the member schools are charged with upholding the Code of Ethics adopted by the Professional Standards Commission as accepted and approved by the State Board of Education.

    Insurance verification:
    Students who participate in an APS athletic program must have insurance and show proof of a current insurance policy. Insurance is required for conditioning, try-outs, volunteer workouts, and in-season participation. If a student does not have insurance, the district offers activity insurance that may be purchased at the school.

    Media release:
    This gives the district the right to photograph athletic activities for promotional purposes. APS offers a variety of sports for students enrolled in middle and high schools. Offerings may vary depending on student interest. The middle school athletic program is for students in the seventh and eighth grade.

    Residence in a school service area:
    Students establishing eligibility as ninth-graders can participate in sports during the first semester. Transferring high school students is subject to GHSA rules.

    Parent permission:
    Each student must have permission from a parent or guardian.

    Physical examination:
    Students must have an annual physical examination by a board-certified medical doctor. It must be recorded on the GHSA  Permission to Participate and Physical Examination form.

    GHSA Policy:
    1.41 Students must have a certificate of an annual physical examination on file at the school prior to participating in any athletic try-outs, practices, voluntary workouts or games that indicate the students are physically approved for participation.
    (a) Physical examinations will be good for twelve (12) months from the date of the exam. EXCEPTION: Any physical examination taken on or after April 1 in the preceding year will be accepted until that school ends classes the next Spring or concludes its final Spring sports season (for those participating students).
    (b) The physical exam must be conducted by a licensed medical physician, doctor of Osteopathic medicine, nurse practitioner or a physician’s assistant.
    (c) The exam must be signed by an M.D., D.O., or by a Physician’s Assistant, or an Advance Practice Nurse who has been delegated that task by an M.D., or D.O.
    (d) The GHSA requires that member schools use the edition of the preparticipation physical evaluation form approved by the American Academy of Pediatrics, et. al., found on the GHSA web site. 

    A student will be INELIGIBLE for participation if the student:
    1. Did not attend school last semester.
    2. Did not pass five (5) subjects, or the equivalent, toward graduation, the previous semester.
    3. Has not attained required number of accumulated Carnegie Units for years in school.
    4. Has been in high school more than four consecutive years after his or her first entry into the ninth grade.
    5. Has attained his or her 19th birthday prior to May 1st proceeding the year of participation.
    6. Have not completed a physical examination during the past 12 months.
    7. Is a professional athlete in the sport he or she wishes to participate.
    8. Is currently in in-school suspension, in alternative school for disciplinary reasons, or has been expelled by the previous school.
    9. Transfers and does not make a bona fide move in the school zone.



    For additional information on the Department of Athletics:
    Please call 404-802-5575
Last Modified on March 27, 2023