For the 3rd consecutive year, Ohio’s Competitive Balance referendum fails, however this attempt by only 19 votes.
327 member schools voted for the proposal, while 308 voted against, the narrowest margin yet in the OHSAA’s attempt to level the high school athletic playing field; however, the biggest disappointment, according to OHSAA commissioner Dan Ross, is that 191 members did not vote.
Other similar competitive balance proposals failed 339 to 301 (53 percent to 47 percent) in 2012… and 332 to 303 (52 percent to 48 percent) in 2011. Approval of this year’s proposed amendment would have been implemented in 2015.
“When this new proposal was placed on the ballot, we said at the time that the vote would come down to the wire, and it certainly did,” Ross said, “It’s disappointing that it did not pass because we believed this formula addressed the main issue to which schools voiced concern: the impact on athletic success by students on a school’s team roster who are from outside that school’s geographic boundary or attendance zone.”
A vote to separate public and private schools in tournament play could be the next measure taken by the OHSAA and could come as early as next year.
Ross explains, “As everyone is aware, this is the third year in a row a competitive balance proposal has been narrowly defeated. I will be consulting with our Board of Directors to see what action, if any, we take next, but I anticipate at a minimum that a proposal on separate tournaments for public and non-public schools will again be placed on the ballot next spring via the petition process.”
“I believe separation of our tournaments is not the best option,” Ross added. “That being said, I also believe almost 50 percent of our member schools believe some type of change is needed, but no one seems to have the answer for what change would satisfy the most people. One thing seems pretty certain, though: this issue is not going to go away. It’s something in which many, many other states are also struggling to find an answer.”