Heyl Royster



Hefflefinger and Pratt Provide Disability Litigation Update at the NFHS Legal Meeting


At the Legal Meeting of the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), Matt HefflefingerTyler Pratt, and the Executive Director of the IHSA (Illinois High School Association), Craig Anderson, recapped the IHSA’s Seventh Circuit victory, which centered on a high school student's claim that the ADA required the IHSA to create a separate division with different qualifying time standards for para ambulatory runners (see A.H. v. Illinois High School Association). The presentation also fostered a discussion on recent court decisions and rule guidelines from around the country relating to reasonable accommodations and the inclusion of student athletes with disabilities in high school athletics. While the IHSA and other athletic associations remain committed to the inclusion of student athletes with disabilities, the Seventh Circuit’s decision re-confirmed that an association is not legally required to create new standards or opportunities in every instance.

The NFHS serves as a federation of the high school athletic associations from 50 states (and the District of Columbia). The NFHS publishes playing rules in 16 sports and administers fine arts programs and other initiatives that reach 18,500 high schools.