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Another competitive balance vote coming for high school sports

Staff report


Since the third time was not a charm, perhaps they will score with number four.

For the fourth straight year, principals of the Ohio High School Athletic Association’s member schools will vote on a competitive balance proposal designed to make the playing field more level for high school sports in the state.

The OHSAA Board of Directors has unanimously approved the proposal that makes modifications on how schools are placed in tournaments in team sports.

This year’s referendum voting by the 825 high school principals will take place from May 1-15. If approved, it is anticipated the proposal will become effective for the 2016-17 school year.

The plan is similar to the proposal that member schools voted upon last spring. The vote last May — 327 against and 308 for — was closer than in the two previous years. The 2013 proposal was a late replacement for a proposal to hold separate tournaments for public and non-public schools.

“I’m extremely pleased with the plan that the committee has recommended and the Board has approved,” OHSAA Commissioner Dan Ross said. “While the proposal is similar to last year’s, the modified version is the result of a compilation of input from our superintendents, principals, athletic administrators and coaches.”

In addition to the size of a school’s enrollment, new modifying factors may be applied to students on each roster on a sport-by-sport basis that are based on where the student’s parents reside and/or the educational system history of the student.

The new competitive balance formula would be applied to students in the sports of football, soccer and volleyball in the fall, basketball in winter and baseball and softball in the spring.

If passed, the new proposal will require schools to submit to the OHSAA their team rosters of student-athletes in grades 9 through 12 and to provide more information about each student. Students in public schools will be subject to modifying factors if their parents do not reside in the district or the student has not been continuously enrolled in the district since seventh grade, and students in non-public schools will be subject to the same modifying factors if they did not attend that school’s designated “feeder” school(s) continuously since seventh grade or have not been continuously enrolled in the same system of education.

All four proposals — and the idea of separating public and non-public schools for tournament play — have been designed to deal with the fact that from 1999-2010, non-public schools made up 18 percent of the OHSAA’s membership but won about 43 percent of the state titles. That imbalance has not changed in recent years.

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