A for Athlete


In Kentucky, grade schoolers can play high school basketball.[]

    • O.J. Mayo began playing high school basketball at Rose Hill Christian High School in Ashland, Kentucky. Mayo averaged 23.1 points for Rose Hill's varsity team while in seventh grade. In eighth grade, he tallied 20.5 points per game and was named a first-team all-state player by the Louisville Courier.
    • Mayo then moved to suburban Cincinnati to live with grandfather Dwaine Barnes. Mayo was still in eighth grade when he enrolled at North College Hill High School in April 2003. The Cincinnati Enquirer and local television stations sent reporters to cover Mayo's first day of school at North College Hill Hith School. [6]
      • North College Hill Trojans, have 12 Varsity athletic teams in nine sports and is a member of the Ohio High School Athletic Association and the Miami Valley Conference. The school has earned State Championships in boys basketball, Division III, in 2005, 2006, 2007. O.J. Mayo was in 10th, 11th and 12th grades in those years.

Kentucky eligibility considerations[]

As is standard for high school sports in the U.S., students are limited to four consecutive years of eligibility (grades 9-12), whether or not they participate in any sports during one or more of those years. The eligibility "clock" for students does not start until they enter ninth grade.

  • In football and soccer, students are not allowed to play on the varsity until they are actually enrolled in the ninth grade.
  • Wrestlers cannot compete on the high school team until they have entered the seventh grade.
  • In other sports, there is no grade restriction.
    • For example, current NBA player O. J. Mayo first played on a high school varsity team as a seventh-grader at Rose Hill Christian School in Ashland.
  • Current PGA Tour golfer JB Holmes first played on the golf team of Taylor County High School in Campbellsville while in the third grade.

Like all U.S. jurisdictions, Kentucky has an upper age limit for high school athletic participation. The KHSAA rule is that students must be under age 19 as of the July 31 preceding the current academic year. This particular rule is actually codified in Kentucky Revised Statutes § 156.270(2)(e).

A student who is repeating a grade during high school for any reason is not allowed to compete during his or her second year at that grade level.

Homeschoolers are prohibited from participating in any KHSAA-sanctioned activities.[21] Moreover, KHSAA schools are also prohibited from competing against teams composed of homeschoolers.