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OHSAA: Competitive Balance study continues

February 3, 2012
By E. Shawn Aylsworth of Ohio Preps Authority

From ohsaa.org

COLUMBUS – Members of the Ohio High School Athletic Association’s Competitive Balance Committee met at the OHSAA office Jan. 31 and came to the consensus that they will continue to study the competitive balance issue, Commissioner Daniel B. Ross, Ph.D., said.

The issue came to the OHSAA’s attention a few years ago when a group of member school administrators expressed concern over the high number of state championships being won by non-public schools, even though non-public schools make up only 17 percent of the Association’s membership. The Competitive Balance Committee first met in January 2010.

Discussion on Tuesday included the possibility of reassessing the referendum issue that was narrowly defeated by the membership last spring, whereby schools would be placed into tournament divisions based on a sport-by-sport athletic count that included a school boundary factor, a socioeconomic factor, and a tradition factor. The committee also discussed a recent letter that was sent to the OHSAA Board of Directors from a member school superintendent who requested that the Board place a referendum issue on the upcoming ballot to separate OHSAA tournaments between public and non-public schools.

“We had some very healthy, open dialogue, and I believe everyone on the committee felt as though we had a chance to review all of the issues and concerns that have come up since last spring’s referendum voting,” Ross said, “the August survey that was conducted with over 300 member school principals and recent meetings of both a competitive balance subcommittee and a committee to study the enrollment disparity that exists in Division I.

“We even addressed how some legislative issues that have been raised could impact Ohio’s schools.”

Ross said an update will be provided to the OHSAA Board of Directors during the Feb. 15 board work session and that the competitive balance committee hopes to reconvene later in February in an attempt to determine the direction to take next.

“It is possible a referendum issue dealing with competitive balance could be placed on the ballot for the May voting by the membership, but at this point it’s premature to speculate what, if any, proposal the Board of Directors may approve,” Ross said.

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