Other States laws/regulations;

OLR Research Report

March 1, 2012




By: Hendrik deBoer, Research Fellow

You asked for statewide qualification requirements for athletic directors in other states.


Based on a WestLaw search and discussion with the National Conference on State Legislatures, we found that New Jersey is the only state with a statute addressing qualification requirements for athletic directors. That statute requires that high school athletic directors possess a specific certificate.

We also contacted nearby states to inquire on their specific regulations and practices. New York has a regulation which requires a director of physical education for each school district and sets qualifications for the position. Massachusetts has a supervisor/director license which may be required for an athletic director. New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont have no statewide requirements for athletic directors.


In New Jersey, to be eligible for appointment as the director of athletics in any public secondary school an applicant must possess a supervisory certificate issued by the State Board of Examiners (N.J. Stat. Ann. 18A:26-2.1). In order to obtain a supervisory certificate, a candidate must (1) hold a master's degree or higher, (2) complete an approved training curriculum, and (3) hold a New Jersey instructional certificate or its out-of-state equivalent and complete three years of full-time teaching or educational services experience (N.J.A.C. 6A:9-12.6)


In New York, each school district operating a high school must employ a director of physical education, who is responsible for providing leadership and supervision for class instruction, intramural activities, and interschool athletic competition in the total physical education program. Where there are extenuating circumstances, a member of the physical education staff may be designated for such responsibilities, upon approval of the commissioner. School districts may share the services of a director of physical education.

A director of physical education must have certification in physical education and administrative and supervisory service (N.Y. Comp. Codes R. & Regs. tit. 8, 135.4(c)(4)(iii)). New York's administrative certificates are now called School Building Leader (SBL) and School District Leader (SDL). In order to obtain either certificate, a candidate must (1) hold a bachelor's degree, (2) have at least three years experience teaching or in other pupil services, (3) engage in leadership experiences in a variety of settings, including a 15-week full-time school building leadership experience (or an equivalent experience), (4) hold a Master's degree upon program completion, and (5) complete 175 hours of professional development within every five year period to maintain certification. In order to obtain an SBL certificate, a candidate must also (1) complete an SBL program and (2) pass an SBL assessment. In order to obtain an SDL certificate, a candidate must (1) complete an SDL program, (2) pass an SDL assessment, and (3) have earned at least 60 semester hours of graduate credit (http://schools.nyc.gov/NR/rdonlyres/241A2C2A-035F-4C51-831B-E25576C61922/11684/SBLpdf.pdf)


In Massachusetts, there is a Supervisor/Director license which districts may require for athletic directors. In order to obtain the certificate, candidates must:

1. have a related license (such as a physical education teaching license),

2. complete three years of experience in a leadership, supervisory, teaching, or administrative role in a public or private school, higher education institution, or other educational setting accepted by the department,

3. complete an approved graduate school program or internship, and

4. pass a communication and literacy skills test (603 CMR 7.09).