COLUMBUS - A petition that would have placed a referendum item on the Ohio High School Athletic Association's May ballot that called for all OHSAA tournaments to be conducted separately for public schools and non-public schools has been removed from the ballot, Commissioner Daniel B. Ross has announced.
In its place, the OHSAA Board of Directors has approved a new competitive balance proposal that could place an addition onto a school's initial enrollment count on a sport-by-sport basis (in team sports only) that is based on the number of students on a team's roster who are from outside that school's district or designated attendance zone. The alternate proposal was approved when the OHSAA and the petition originator, together with representatives from his group, mutually worked to reach a resolution on the issue.
If passed, the proposal would require schools to submit their rosters of student-athletes in grades 9-12 to the OHSAA office at a designated time and to further indicate how many of those students are from outside of the school's district (for public school districts with one high school) or attendance zone (for non-public schools or public school districts with multiple high schools).
For non-public schools, this means indicating how many students' residences are located outside the boundary of the same public school district or designated attendance zone in which the high school building is physically located. Affected sports will be football, soccer and volleyball in the fall, basketball in the winter and baseball and softball in the spring, with team wrestling to be considered in the future. Implementation of the new proposal, if adopted, will be for the 2015-16 school year.
"Some of the initial discussions by the original OHSAA Competitive Balance Committee included some of the same elements that are in this new proposal," Ross said. "It is generally believed that in addition to the size of enrollment, students on a school's team roster who are from outside that school's geographic boundary or attendance zone does affect athletic success. So this concept is not something that is entirely new.
"The beauty of this new proposal is that all schools, public and non-public, would pass through the same filter when applying the new formula. In addition, the roster data that will be input by the member schools in this formula will be both objective and independently verifiable. By approving this proposal, member schools will be authorizing our Board of Directors and staff to develop and test such a formula over the next two-plus years so that the exact factors added to a school's enrollment and any kinks in the data entry, collection and final formulas can be worked out.
"I want to thank the administrators from Wayne Country who worked cooperatively on finding an alternative to separate tournaments and to the OHSAA Board of Directors for allowing the new proposal to be placed on the referendum ballot. I truly believe the climate from the last vote on separating the tournaments has changed and this year's vote would have come down to the wire. That being said, I alsp believe separation of the tournaments would have had many far-reaching ramifications that likely would have changed the landscape of interscholastic athletics in Ohio for years."
The Basics of the New Competitive Balance Proposal