New competitive balance proposal replaces public vs. private

March 22, 2013

COLUMBUS — Forget the vote on having separate public and private school tournaments.

That’s been taken off the table.

Instead, all Ohio High School Athletic Association schools will vote on the latest competitive balance proposal, the OHSAA announced Friday.

On Monday, the OHSAA Board voted to place a new competitive balance proposal on the May ballot. When that happened, the vote for OHSAA tournaments to be conducted separately for public and non-public schools was removed from the ballot by the Wayne County group.

Two votes have been taken on separate competitive balance proposals over the last two years. Both have gone down in close votes. The 2011 proposal went down 332-303. The 2012 proposal was defeated 339-301.

Now OHSAA principals will have the window of May 1 to May 15 to vote on the new competitive balance proposal. The vote would need a simple majority to pass.

The sports under the proposal will be football, soccer and volleyball in the fall, basketball in the winter and baseball and softball in the spring. Team wrestling will be considered in the future.

If passed, the new proposal will be for the 2015-16 school year.

This new competitive balance proposal differs from the other two that were voted down in that there are is no “sports tradition” factor. There is also no socio-economic factor.

There are no conditions in which programs will be penalized by a multiplier on enrollment if they made many trips to the regionals or state tournaments.

“This has nothing to do with success factors or socio-economics,” OHSAA commissioner Dan Ross said during a teleconference Friday. “This centers on where kids come from on your rosters.”

For example: In basketball, the rosters would add the freshman, junior varsity and varsity teams. If a school had 10 players on each team, the total number on the roster would be 30. Of those 30, if 20 came from within a school district, those players would have no effect on the roster. But if 10 came from outside the district, those 10 would be multiplied by five (for basketball) to get a number of 50.

That number of 50 would be added to the enrollment number on file by the Department of Education. This could push a team into a higher tournament division.

The district would be based on where the school is physically located.

“So the factors would be the same for public and non-public schools,” Ross said.

Ross added that the multiplying number for football would be two.

Ross said the rosters would be collected and they would be able to be viewed by the public. In this way, anyone could see where a team’s players came from.

Dave Rice, superintendent of Wooster schools, who started the two-tournaments petition, said, “I do believe it’s a better proposal than the two-tournaments proposal.”

Ross said after the last competitive balance proposal went down, 55 percent of the schools were against the “sports tradition” factor. He said the schools were about 50-50 on the socio-economic factor.

So, this time around, both were taken off the proposal.

Rice said since the public vs. private vote was put on the ballot, his group had been searching for “an alternative.”

Ross added if teams had gone “a long time” without a league or sectional title, there would be a competitive balance review to see if they would be bumped up a division, even if they had the out of district players to bump them up.

This proposal focuses on students only on the playing roster.

“The crux of this is where do the kids representing your school come from,” Ross said. “If they come from outside the district and they are representing your school on the field or on the court, then this would affect them. It effects the kids on your roster. It won’t effect the kids there for a science or music program.”

Here are the basics of the new competitive balance proposal, as supplied by the OHSAA:

• At a designated deadline (most likely to be near the beginning of each sports season), each school will submit their team rosters to the OHSAA that will indicate each grade 9 through 12 student’s name, grade in school and district school of residence. Submission will take place through an online system as recommended by the Commissioner’s Office and approved by the OHSAA Board of Directors.

• Every student on a team’s roster whose district of residence is outside of the district or attendance zone of the school he/she is attending will be multiplied by an out-of-district sports specific factor. That number will then be added to the school’s initial enrollment count. Public schools that do not accept open enrollment students would not be subject to an out-of-district sports specific factor, although tuition and international and exchange students would be subject to the factor.

• The sports specific factor will be applied on a sport-by-sport basis in the team sports of football, soccer, volleyball, basketball, baseball and softball (with the Board of Directors also considering use in the sport of wrestling for the team tournament). The factor will be different for each sport and be dependent upon the number of tournament divisions for that sport. A competitive balance committee representing the membership will study the formula and recommend the various out-of-district sports specific factors to the OHSAA Board of Directors. The current sports specific factors being considered are two for the sport of football and five for sports with four divisions (basketball, volleyball, baseball and softball).

• The initial enrollment counts submitted to the Ohio Department of Education (EMIS numbers) will be used for two years, but schools will submit their roster data annually, meaning adjusted enrollment numbers and divisional assignments in the team sports mentioned will be recalculated annually.

• Schools that have an adjusted enrollment count that moves them into a higher division will not be limited to moving strictly into the next higher division.

• Rosters will be posted online to help ensure that a “check and balance” system is in place and accurate data has been entered into the system by each school. The OHSAA will also utilize compliance monitors to assist with the process as needed.

• Schools that fail to submit their school roster data by the designated deadline in a particular sport will be subject to penalties as determined by the OHSAA.

• Schools will begin their seasons in the sports of football, soccer, volleyball, basketball, baseball and softball (and possibly team wrestling) not knowing to which OHSAA tournament division they have been assigned until approximately 30 days into the season in order for roster data to be submitted and validated.