A new competitive-balance referendum is in play for Ohio high schools to consider.
A vote to separate public and private high schools in the Ohio state playoff tournaments was called off Friday. Instead, there will be a vote on a revamped competitive-balance referendum in May.
David Rice, superintendent of Triway Schools, agreed Friday to pull the separate playoff referendum that was the result of a petition he submitted to the Ohio High School Athletic Association in November.
The OHSAA Board of Directors voted 9-0 to place a new competitive-balance issue on a referendum ballot to be voted upon by member schools May 1-15.
“This morning, the board adopted it as a referendum item, so consequently I pulled the request for the separate tournaments,” Rice told the Akron Beacon Journal. “We never stopped working on an alternative to the separate tournaments.”
The competitive-balance proposal would place an addition on a school’s initial enrollment count on a sport-by-sport basis that is based on the number of students on a team’s roster who reside outside the school’s district or designated attendance zone.
It could affect public and private schools, and the new item could go into effect in August 2015 if passed by a majority vote.
For private schools, their attendance zone would be attached to the public high school in their district. For example; Archbishop Hoban, St. Vincent-St. Mary and Our Lady of the Elms would be attached to the nearest Akron Public Schools member and fall under its attendance zone.
Hoban is in the Garfield district, so any team member from outside the Garfield attendance zone would be subject to the new formula. St. V-M is in the North district, and Elms is in the Firestone district. Walsh Jesuit and Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy are in the Cuyahoga Falls district.
If the private school’s boys or girls basketball team has five members who are outside their district, that number would be multiplied by a factor of five, adding 25 to that school’s enrollment figure, which could potentially move the school up a division.
The factors have not been finalized and would vary. OHSAA Commissioner Dan Ross said a factor of two is being considered for football.
The other sports that might be subject to the enrollment addition are baseball, soccer, softball and volleyball, and their factors could be between two and five.
“It’s the fairest proposal and the best one so far,” Ross told the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “It deals with about where kids come from that play for your school. It only deals with the kids that are playing in that sport. It hits the crux of the issue.”
Ross said an appeal process would be included for teams that are not competitive but would be forced to move up according to the new math. Standards for those appeals remain on the drawing board.
“We have been working on it in Wayne County; myself, Dalton’s Scott Beatty, Orrville’s Jon Ritchie and Norwayne’s Larry Acker,” Rice said. “We sat down with the OHSAA and have had many conversations. We feel like we have a concept that is fair and hopefully people can support it. We think this is better than separate tournaments.”
Rice said this new item applies to the team rosters of the students in grades nine through 12 and takes into account open enrollment.
Rice said teams would not know their division assignment until after the season begins in each of the sports that fall under this referendum. Rosters would be published online with each student-athlete noted as living inside or outside the school’s respective district.
Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the high school blog at http://www.ohio.com/preps. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MBeavenABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.