OHSAA’s “Competitive Balance Issue” fails vote

By: Adam Niemeyer

CINCINNATI (FOX19)—Only one of 15 proposed bylaw and constitution revisions proposed to the Ohio High School Athletic Association's Constitution did not pass a vote by OHSAA member schools on Tuesday.

But that issue might have been the most divisive issue amongst member schools.

The Competitive Balance Committee proposed a change to Bylaw 2-1-4, which would change how high schools are placed into divisions for their respective state tournaments. The change recommended that schools be placed into divisions based on a "sport-by-sport athletic count."

The "athletic count," includes total enrollment and then enrollment based on how schools secure students (called the "boundary factor") and a four-year tradition of "success factor." Schools could lose students in the "athletic count" based on socioeconomic factors including high schools involved in the "free lunch program."

The bylaw revision failed by a vote of 332 to 303, a margin of 52 percent to 48 percent.

The Commissioner of the OHSAA, Dr. Dan Ross, released a statement surrounding the proposed change to the OHSAA's Constitution.

"As most of our school administrators and coaches are aware, this change was recommended by an OHSAA Competitive Balance Committee, and we believe this would have been a fairer way to assign schools in team sports to their tournament divisions," Ross said in the statement. "We also stressed to the membership that this was just a starting point for change since a companion OHSAA Sports Regulation would have allowed the Board of Directors to make modifications over time as a standing committee on competitive balance made recommendations.

"Our Board of Directors will have to provide direction on whether to reconvene the OHSAA Competitive Balance Committee to review other 'competitive balance' options, so I cannot speculate on whether or not that possibility exists. At the same time, we're also hearing that discussions to file a petition may be taking place by some member schools that are seeking to separate our tournaments totally between public schools and non-public schools. Again, whether that occurs or not, it's too early to tell."

For more information on the 14 changes that took place today, visit the OHSAA website, or see the release here: http://www.ohsaa.org/news/misc/ReferendumVotingMay2011.htm

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