COLUMBUS, Ohio (WKBN) — Ohio High School Athletic Association member schools passed 14 proposed Constitution and Bylaw revisions, Commissioner Daniel B. Ross, Ph.D., announced Friday following ballot counting. One item, regarding a proposed Constitution revision that would make it mandatory for schools to return a ballot, is a virtual tie and will be recounted next week. The OHSAA’s annual referendum voting period is from May 1-15, with approved items going into effect August 1 unless otherwise noted.
After a total of 820 ballots were mailed in late April, 737 were returned for a voter turnout of 90 percent. Only 83 member schools did not return a ballot.
Highlighting the referendum voting was approval of a Competitive Balance Plan that makes modifications on how schools are placed in tournament divisions in team sports. The plan, approved by the membership after three similar proposals were narrowly defeated between 2011 and 2013, passed 411 votes to 323 votes (56 percent to 44 percent, with three ballots abstaining). It will become effective during the 2016-17 school year.
“On behalf of the Board of Directors and Competitive Balance Committee, I want to thank the membership for having the confidence in this plan and voting to move forward with implementation,” Ross said. “While passing the plan was a major step and truly exciting, our work is just beginning since the Competitive Balance Committee will continue to clarify any unanswered questions and our staff will put all the wheels in motion to finalize the electronic roster collection system.
“As we’ve said before, this plan is similar to last year’s, but this version is the result of a compilation of input from our superintendents, principals, athletic administrators and coaches. I’m most proud that we were able to work together and come up with a solution that will create a better system than we currently have because it looks at how schools secure the enrollment of their students participating in interscholastic athletics.”
In addition to the size of a school’s enrollment, the Completive Balance Plan will have new modifying factors that will be applied to students on each roster on a sport-by-sport basis and are based on where the student’s parents reside and/or the educational system history of the student. All schools will be subject to the factors of the formula, which will be applied to students in the sports of football, soccer and volleyball in the fall, basketball in the winter and baseball and softball in the spring. Click here for a link to the details of the plan: http://www.ohsaa.org/news/2014-03-19CompetitiveBalanceInformation.pdf.
All fifteen 2014 proposals were placed up for referendum vote by the OHSAA Board of Directors. High school principals had between May 1 and 15 to cast their votes on 14 of the issues, and one issue was voted upon by 7th- and 8th-grade principals. A simple majority is all that is required for a proposed amendment to be adopted.
The complete final voting results are available on the OHSAA website (ohsaa.org), and the 2014-15 OHSAA Constitution and Bylaws will be posted on the site sometime in late June.