Eligibility Guidelines (Domestic)

Student Sport Ireland Eligibility Guidelines for Third Level Sport in Ireland.

  1. A student must be fully registered and hold a student card for the institution with which they are internally registered. Undergraduate students must be pursuing a level 6 course of study that is equivalent to 60 ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits per annum in Ireland or 120 UK Academic credits per annum in Northern Ireland or that leads to an award ranked at a minimum of Level 6 on the NQAI Framework (National Qualification Authority of Ireland) or the equivalent Level 4 on the Northern Ireland National Qualifications Framework or the equivalent Level C on the Northern Ireland FHEQ.
  2. Part-time Masters students or Postgraduate students must be studying for at least 50% of the time a full time student would be studying.
  3. There is no age restriction for national third level sports competitions in Ireland.
  4. Professional athletes must have the permission of their National Governing Body and where relevant their Student Governing Body to compete in competition along side amateur competitors in that sport.
  5. Irish Colleges competing in Student Sport Ireland organised competitions must be affiliated to Student Sport Ireland.
  6. Academic progression must be shown, i.e. a student shall not be eligible to compete where they are registered for a course that is ranked by the NQAI or NINQF at a level equivalent to or lower than two courses for which they have previously registered.
  7. The academic year shall be defined as October to September. Students in any institution with an academic calendar not running concurrently with this will be eligible for the academic year during which they enter and any subsequent academic years depending on the E.C.T.S. value of their course.
  8. Where a year of grace exists it shall be defined as the academic year following completion of a course of study (i.e. Oct to Sept in Ireland and Sept. to Sept. in Northern Ireland). No more than 25% on any squad may be made up of year of  grace students. However when a student is registered during their year of grace with another institute s/he must compete with their current institute only.
  9. A sabbatical Officer of a Student Union (i.e.  a student who is intermitting a year during an undergraduate or postgraduate course of study) shall be eligible provided that the sabbatical is taken during their course of study.
  10. A student may only compete for one institution in any one academic year.


Appeals Process:

Appeals must be submitted via email by the college Sports Officer to the SSI Hon.Secretary copying the SSI office by 5pm the day after the fixture was played or a decision communicated.

Please follow this link to refer to the SSI Appeals Procedure.

The Hon. Secretary has the authority to dismiss an appeal received within one week of a scheduled knock out match if s/he is of the view that the appeal may result in the match not proceeding as scheduled.

Review of Guidelines:

The guidelines will be reviewed by the Eligibility Working Group on an ongoing basis; however changes to the above guidelines may only be made at Student Sport Ireland AGM’s.