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13 of 14 referendum issues passed by OHSAA; competitive balance fails again

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 16, 2012

Commissioner Daniel B. Ross announced today that all but one of the 14 proposed Ohio High School Athletic Association Constitution and Bylaw revisions passed as voted on by OHSAA member schools. 

The failing "competitive balance" bylaw was a proposal to change how schools are assigned to tournament divisions in six sports—football, basketball, baseball, softball, volleyball and soccer. 

Under the proposed change, male or female enrollment wouldn't be the only determining factor in deciding where to place schools in OHSAA tournament divisions. Enrollment would have still been the initial factor, but a boundary factor (how a school secures students), tradition factor (sport-by-sport success in reaching the regional and/or state tournament over an eight-year period) and possibly a socioeconomic factor (number of students involved in the free lunch program) would have been added into the final tally. 

In may 2011, the proposed bylaw failed by a vote of 332-303 (52 percent), as voted on by the principals of each participating school. This athletic count proposal failed by a vote of 339-301 (53 percent). A majority is needed for the vote to pass. 

"As was the case last year, we anticipated the vote would be close," Ross said in a statement. "We tried the Competitive Balance Committee's proposal two years in a row but the schools have spoken. I don't anticipate getting the committee back together and bringing another proposal back to the membership, but at the same time I don't anticipate competitive balance going away since this issue has engendered a lot of conversation among a lot of people."

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