The NIRSA Championship Series appeals process has been created to ensure that all individual competitors and institutions participating in NIRSA Championship Series events receive fair and equal treatment. The ultimate goal of the appeals process is to maintain the integrity of the NIRSA Championship Series tournament brand.
- An individual or team can appeal the sanction or request an eligibility exception through a written letter approved by their Campus Recreation Director (or designated representative). This letter should include the Director’s statement of support and signature, and be sent to the NIRSA Director of National Sport Programs, Valerie McCutchan, within ten business days of the sanction (NOTE: Request for eligibility exceptions must be made a minimum of 30 days prior to the respective contest).
- The reasons for the appeal should be clearly outlined. The NIRSA Director of National Sport Programs forwards the appeal to the NIRSA Championship Series Standards of Competition Work Team Chair for review by the appeals committee. The appeals committee reserves the right to modify current sanctions as necessary, including imposing additional sanctions. The appeals committee will rule on the appeal within ten (10) business days or receiving notification from the NIRSA Director of National Sport Programs.
- The committee may choose to contact the Campus Recreation Director from the appealing institution (or designated representative), the team representative of the appealing team, and/or legal counsel.
Appeals concerning transgender participation
- Appeals and the supporting evidence should be taken directly to the host tournament director. The tournament director will remind the appealing party that transgender participants are eligible to play based on their expressed gender identity as long as they comply with all NIRSA Player Eligibility Guidelines.
- In the event an individual or team appeals the eligibility of an opposing participant on the grounds of an opponent misrepresenting their gender to gain a competitive advantage, appeals should be handled with sensitivity and student privacy in mind.
- The tournament director or their designee will review the submitted roster to compare the gender identified on the roster with the gender expressed in the appeal. If the genders do not match, the participant will be disqualified and the team will forfeit all games that the player participated.
- The appeals committee reserves the right to modify current sanctions as necessary, including imposing additional sanctions. The appeals committee will rule on the appeal within five business days of receiving notification from the NIRSA Director of National Sport Programs.
- If there is concern that a team has not acted in good faith concerning gender identification, the NIRSA Director for National Sport Programs, may investigate a student’s self-identification with the local campus official who signs off on their team’s roster after the tournament concludes.
Eligibility Concerns at NIRSA Championship Series Events
- If there are concerns that a participant in a NIRSA Event is illegally participating, the Tournament Director and protest committee will determine if action is necessary.
- The player is allowed to continue playing unless deemed ineligible.
- Individual raising concerns should provide any research or proof to the Tournament Director who may conduct additional research.
- If found ineligible, team will forfeit all games the ineligible player checked in to participate.
- If the ineligible ruling occurs during bracket play, the team will be removed from the bracket and the team last defeated will be advanced if the next game has not started. Games will not be delayed or rescheduled to research eligibility or allow a defeated team to return to the game site.
- Eligibility concerns about players that are considered ineligible at NIRSA Events, but believe they should be eligible must be handled prior to the event using the appeals process which will be reviewed by the NIRSA Championship Series Standards of Competition Work Team.
- An individual or team may request a second review/appeal by the NIRSA Championship Series Appeals Board. The appeals board is comprised of the 5 NIRSA members appointed by the NIRSA Services Board President.
- The Campus Recreation Director (or appropriate school representative) must request this appeal through written notification. This should be sent to the NIRSA National Director of Sport Programs, include any circumstances related to the situation that caused the violation, and must be submitted within five business days of the ruling(s) of the appeals committee. The NIRSA Director of National Sport Programs forwards the appeal to the Chair of the NIRSA Championship Series Appeals Board.
- The NIRSA Championship Series Appeals Board will rule on the appeal after investigating the situation and may uphold, reject, or modify the action taken by the NIRSA Championship Series Standards of Competition committee.
- The NIRSA Championship Series Appeals Board may make exceptions to rules/policies due to extenuating circumstances. Decisions made by the Appeals Board are final. Under no circumstances can a decision by the Appeals Board result in the replay of any completed competition.