Uganda Secondary Schools Sports Association (USSSA) are set to limit the number of foreign students playing for any school on a court at the same time in all its organized competitions.
Intended to be effected by 2025, USSSA president Justus Mugisha announced the development during a press conference on Thursday 1st February 2024 at GNS Hotel in Kampala.
“Come 2025, the number of foreign players on a team playing on a court at the same time shall be limited to a specific number.
We have discovered that USSSA uses a lot of government funds to prepare our local players, but there some schools that go out of the country and bring teams to play our competitions simply because they want to win.
This habit deny our local players chance to play and develop into good athletes”.
When asked if the new rule won’t violate the relationship of the East African Community which allows free movement within the region, Mugisha said, “We are not abolishing foreign students from playing our games but we are limiting them to a certain number that should be on the court for each team.
We are mindful of the East African Community relationship and consultations are on for a better rule”.
Mugisha also outlined the new competition format to be officially adopted this year.
In this format, all schools at the national level will play equal number of games to give more playing time to students whose schools can’t go farther in the competition.
“In the new competition format, we shall first play in groups then after, each eliminated team will play classification games.
All teams will play the same number of game. In this, all positions from 1-64 will be competed for.
This will give more playing time to players in teams that drop out of the competition before knockout”.
In the other announcements, the boys football championship which has initially been running for full two weeks is reduced to nine days.
The press conference also addressed the criteria to be followed in movement of players from one school to another.
This time, the hijacking of players by giant schools from others seems to be crippled and hard.
For any player to move from one school to another, it must be done through the USSSA online portal and the former school must provide a release letter to the mover.
However, the rule applies to only Bursary students. Non Bursary students are free to move at any time.
USSSA calendar and normal registration opened on the 1st January and will run to 29th February.
Special registration window for special cases will start on 1st to 15th March.
The sporting season opened with the USSSA Elite Games held from 24th to 27th April in Jinja.
The deadline for district qualifiers are 24th March, zonal qualifiers must also be done by 14th April.
National championships will run from 26th April to 5th May.