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‘High School Sports’ Articles

OHSAA honors coaches with Sportsmanship, Ethics and Integrity Awards

News Release – Ohio High School Athletic Association

Commissioner Daniel B. Ross, Ph.D. |


For Immediate Release – May 29, 2017


Recipients selected by coaches associations during 2016-17 academic year


COLUMBUS, Ohio – Throughout the 2016-17 school year, the coaches associations of the sports sanctioned by the Ohio High School Athletic Association had the opportunity to select one of their own for an OHSAA Sportsmanship, Ethics and Integrity Award. Recipients are recognized during the state tournament of their respective sport or at their annual coaches clinic.


The OHSAA congratulates the award winners and thanks them for their outstanding service to Ohio’s student-athletes. Individuals selected reflect the values of sportsmanship, ethics and integrity through their professional responsibilities and are role models for others.


The OHSAA is proud to recognize the following coaches who received OHSAA Sportsmanship, Ethics and Integrity Awards during the 2016-17 school year. They include:


2016-17 OHSAA Sportsmanship, Ethics and Integrity Award Winners

Girls Sports

Nate Irwin, Girls Basketball, Findlay Liberty-Benton High School

Dugan Hill, Girls Cross Country, Caldwell High School

Macie Miller, Field Hockey, Kettering Fairmont High School

Joan Ganim, Gymnastics, Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School

Cris Baker, Girls Golf, Waterford High School

Mike Murphy, Girls Lacrosse, Dublin Coffman High School

Alex Binger, Girls Soccer, Clyde High School

Staci Renollet, Softball, Sherwood Fairview High School

Brenda Wherley, Girls Swimming and Diving, Dover High School

Tom Haddow, Girls Tennis, Gahanna Columbus Academy High School

Preston Foy, Girls Track and Field, North Robinson Colonel Crawford High School

Ann Ellerbrock, Volleyball, Ottawa-Glandorf High School

None Selected, Girls Bowling


Boys Sports

Mark King, Baseball, Fremont Ross High School

Steve Franks, Boys Basketball, Zoarville Tuscarawas Valley High School

Milt Place, Boys Cross Country, Medina High School

Mike Niehaus, Boys Golf, Cincinnati Glen Este High School

Greg Cole, Boys Lacrosse, Cincinnati Sycamore

Miguel Pedraza, Boys Soccer, Springfield High School

Dennis Beck, Boys Swimming and Diving, West Chester Lakota West High School

Matt Hughes, Boys Tennis, Kettering Fairmont High School

Bob Bergstrom, Boys Track and Field, Greenfield McClain High School

Mike Golden, Football, Delaware Hayes High School

Jack Hoogeveen, Ice Hockey, Powell Olentangy Liberty High School

Tom Barbee, Wrestling, Covington High School

None Selected, Boys Bowling

### OHSAA ###




OHSAA News: All 20 Referendums passed by member schools


News Release – Ohio High School Athletic Association

Commissioner Daniel B. Ross, Ph.D. |


For Immediate Release – May 16, 2017



76 percent of ballots returned as schools pass two constitution and 18 bylaw revisions; District Athletic Board election results also announced


COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio High School Athletic Association member schools passed all 20 proposed revisions to the OHSAA Constitution and Bylaws, Commissioner Daniel B. Ross, Ph.D., announced Tuesday. The annual ballot counting procedure was conducted at the OHSAA office Tuesday following the deadline for schools to submit ballots Monday at 4 p.m.


The approved changes will go into effect August 1 unless otherwise noted. A simple majority is all that is required for a proposed amendment to be adopted.


Also announced Tuesday were the results of the District Athletic Board (DAB) elections, which included 10 open position.


The OHSAA’s annual referendum voting and DAB election period is from May 1-15. Each member school has one vote, which is cast by the principal. After 821 ballots were mailed to member high schools in late April, 620 valid ballots were returned for a voter turnout of 76 percent.


High School Voting Results:


District Athletic Board Election Results:



A Review of the 2017 OHSAA Referendum Issues


High Schools

821 high school ballots were mailed, 620 ballots were returned (76 percent)


Issue 1 C – Amend Constitution Article 3 – Initial and Continuing Membership

Require new member schools and those that wish to continue membership to sponsor a minimum of two sports per season, compete in at least 50% of all permissible contests and participate in the OHSAA tournament in each sport.

575 in favor; 44 opposed; 1 abstained


Issue 2 C – Amend Constitution Articles 5 & 6 – Board of Directors and Commissioner

Change the titles of office staff to Executive Director, Senior Directors, Assistant Directors and Coordinators.  Permit the Board of Directors to appoint a Senior Director of Finance who shall handle all financial duties of the Association.  Refer all appeals of any OHSAA rulings to the Appeals Panel.

521 in favor; 95 opposed; 2 abstained


Issue 1 B – Amend Bylaw 1-2-1 – Sponsorship

Place all contests under the direct supervision of the schools involved.  Refer to new Bylaw 3-2-1 for specific responsibilities.

422 in favor; 187 opposed; 11 abstained


Issue 2 B – Amend Bylaw 1-6 – Team Membership

Allow girls to play on boys’ teams with no restrictions (except cannot play on both the boys and girls teams in the same sport in the same school year) and include information on FTM and MTF transgender policy.  Amend 1-6-3 to include Title IX interpretations for clarity.

435 in favor; 177 opposed; 7 abstained


Issue 3 B – Amend Bylaw 1-7-1 – Team Competition Between Sexes

Permit competition between sexes on a case-by-case basis with a waiver to be issued by the Executive Director’s Office.

428 in favor; 186 opposed; 5 abstained


Issue 4 B – New Bylaw 3-2-1 – School’s Responsibility When Hosting a Contest

Require all contests to support educational values, consider safety of all participants, appoint a site manager and utilize an Emergency Action Plan.

521 in favor; 96 opposed; 4 abstained


Issue 5 B – Amend 3-3-1 – School Representative Must Accompany Team

Clarify that basketball refers to girls’ and boys’ varsity.  Highly recommend administrative coverage for ice hockey and boys and girls soccer.  In all other sports require appointment of a site manager who could be the coach.

433 in favor; 185 opposed; 2 abstained


Issue 6 B – Amend Bylaw 4-3-1 Exception 4 – Non-Traditional Schools

Change “alternative” to non-traditional/specialty to describe special schools within a district which do not sponsor sports. Refer to business rules for assigning students in these non-traditional schools to a member school within a multiple high school district and place those rules in the Handbook and online.

557 in favor; 57 opposed; 4 abstained


Issue 7 B – Amend Note 2 of Scholarship Bylaw 4-4-1

Clarify that for students who attend community, vocational, non-traditional/specialty schools as well as students in CC+, STEM and other educational options, the immediately preceding grading period is that of the member school for which the student wishes to compete.

595 in favor; 21 opposed; 3 abstained


Issue 8 B – Revise Transfer Bylaw 4-7-2 Exception 1 – Parents Bona Fide Move

Add the phrase “immediately following the date of the student’s transfer” to the conditional eligibility provision of 90 days when both parents are unable to make a move that is more than 100 miles from their former residence.

594 in favor; 24 opposed; 2 abstained


Issue 9 B – Amend Transfer Bylaw 4-7-2 Exception 1 “Note”

Add the phrase “any public school in the parents’ new district of residence in a multiple high school district” to denote this choice when the student is actually enrolling in that school.

570 in favor; 45 opposed; 4 abstained


Issue 10 B – Amend Transfer Bylaw 4-7-2 Exception 7 – Bullying

Change “strictly” to “substantially” in item #1 to assist in compliance.  Add #5 to reinforce that this exception cannot be used for isolated incidents or in cases where there has been no contemporaneous reporting as is required in the law.

580 in favor; 34 opposed; 6 abstained


Issue 11 B – Transfer Bylaw 4-7-2 – New Exception 11 – Death of Immediate Family Member

Address when the death of an immediate family member has created the necessity to change schools and such necessity can be verified by the superintendent as required to protect the student’s physical and/or mental well-being.

604 in favor; 12 opposed; 2 abstained


Issue 12 B – Amend Transfer Bylaw 4-7-3

Require approval of the bona fide move of the parents in accordance with Bylaw 4-7-2 #1 to waive the consequence of the mid-season transfer when the two schools are at least 50 miles apart.

576 in favor; 42 opposed; 1 abstained


Issue 13 B – Amend Transfer Bylaw 4-7-6 – Add Note

Note that specific educational program changes shall not be permitted to waive the 50% sit out for seniors desiring to make an intra-district (public) transfer.

556 in favor; 60 opposed; 6 abstained


Issue 14 B – Amend Transfer Bylaw 4-7-7 – Add Note

Note that specific educational program changes shall not be permitted to waive the 50% sit out for seniors desiring to make an intra-system (non-public) transfer.

544 in favor; 71 opposed; 5 abstained


Issue 15 B – Amend 4-8-1 – Exception 1 – International Students

Add Note #2 to advise that international students who transfer into an Ohio school under this exception must also meet a transfer exception to have the 50% sit-out waived.

537 in favor; 80 opposed; 3 abstained


Issue 16 B – Amend 4-9-7 – Recruiting

Provide the OHSAA a broader range of specific consequences for violation of the recruiting bylaws including denial of participation in the OHSAA tournament in the sport(s) in which the student was recruited.

567 in favor; 51 opposed; 2 abstained


Issue 17 B – Amend Bylaw 7-1-7; New 7-1-8 – Contracts for Athletic Contests

Separate contract disputes into two bylaws – 7-1-7 to discuss involuntary breach and 7-1-8 to discuss unilateral contract breach.  New 7-1-8 would permit the Office a much broader array of penalties, including removal from the OHSAA tournament in the sport in question, as a deterrent for this unilateral voiding of contracts.

545 in favor; 71 opposed; 4 abstained


Issue 18 B – Amend Bylaw 11-1-2 – Penalties

Include within this penalty bylaw, suspension of membership and suspension of eligibility.  Expand denial of participation to include post-season OHSAA tournaments and make this applicable to students, coaches and administrators.

546 in favor; 69 opposed; 5 abstained




OHSAA announces highlights from Board of Directors Meeting

News Release – Ohio High School Athletic Association

Commissioner Daniel B. Ross, Ph.D. |


April 6, 2017


COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio High School Athletic Association Board of Directors held its April meeting Thursday morning at the OHSAA office. The following are highlights from the meeting. Complete meeting minutes will be posted at


-          The board approved new divisional breakdowns for the OHSAA’s fall sports, which for the first time include Competitive Balance roster data in football, volleyball and soccer. Winter sports divisional breakdowns will be approved in June, followed by the spring sports in August. Details for the fall sports divisional breakdowns are posted in a separate release at:

-          The board reviewed the schedule for the upcoming OHSAA Athletic Discussion Meetings and the referendum items that member schools will be voting on from May 1-15. Details for the meetings are posted at: – while details on the referendum items are posted at:

-          Since the board’s February meeting, nine member schools were penalized for committing infractions of OHSAA bylaws or sports regulations.

-          The board reviewed the attendance and financial reports from the OHSAA’s fall tournaments in football, cross country and soccer. Of note, the cross country state championships drew an all-time high 12,496 fans. The football playoffs’ total attendance of 455,027 was the second-lowest since the tournament expanded to five rounds in 1999. The attendance at the regional and state tournaments in soccer (48,266 total) have resulted in soccer now becoming the OHSAA’s fourth-highest revenue sport behind football, boys basketball and girls basketball.

-          Details for the upcoming Inaugural 7th and 8th Grade Track and Field State Championships were presented to the board. The event will be held Saturday, May 13, at Lancaster High School. Details are posted at:

-          The board reviewed the list of open positions on the various District Athletic Boards. More information is posted at:

Recent Headlines at

April 6: Fall Sports Divisional Breakdowns Approved, Including Sports Utilizing Competitive Balance

April 3: Football Practice Start Date Moved to Monday, July 31

March 22: OHSAA Circle of Champions Honorees Highlight List of Award Winners


OHSAA Monday Minute




OHSAA issues sanctions to Dayton Public School District for 2016 Football incident

News Release – Ohio High School Athletic Association

Commissioner Daniel B. Ross, Ph.D. |


For Immediate Release – April 7, 2017




District receives $10,000 fine, public reprimand and required attendance at upcoming compliance meetings; all DPS schools placed on three years probation


COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio High School Athletic Association has announced the conclusion of an investigation into the Dayton Public School District and subsequent penalties stemming from an incident that occurred during Week 10 of the 2016 football season in a game between Dunbar High School and Belmont High School.


The incident occurred when Dunbar football players received instructions at halftime to lose the game intentionally so that the school would not need to report using an ineligible player and so that an additional Dayton Public School would qualify for the playoffs. Game officials stopped the contest in the third quarter and brought both coaches to midfield, instructing them to tell their players to play the game correctly or risk stoppage of the game and further ramifications.


Sanctions include a $10,000 fine issued to the Dayton Public School District, three years probation for all Dayton Public Schools, public reprimand and the requirement that DPS athletic administrators attend required meetings with the OHSAA compliance staff. In addition, if further violations of the same nature occur while the district is on probation, the membership status of all member Dayton Public Schools is in jeopardy.


“This is among the most serious and disturbing incidents I have seen because it strikes at the very core of what high school sports are all about,” Dr. Dan Ross, OHSAA Commissioner, said. “Our mission is to teach our youngsters about responsibility, fair play and sportsmanship. The vast majority of our coaches and school administrators do that every day. Even more significant penalties were discussed, but we didn’t want to harm the kids because they were the ones caught in the middle of this.”


The incident occurred Oct. 28 at Dayton Welcome Stadium. At halftime, with Dunbar leading by 20 points, Dunbar’s athletic director and football coaches met with Dayton Public Schools Athletic Administrator Mark Baker. While the exact details of that conversation are in conflict, it was proven that when the third quarter began, Dunbar players began to deliberately give the football to Belmont in an effort to lose the game intentionally, as they had been told that a Dunbar loss coupled with a Belmont win would get both teams into the playoffs and Dunbar would not have to report using an ineligible player in that game.


After the officials met with both coaches at midfield, the game was played to its conclusion with no further incidents, but the OHSAA investigation began. It resulted in Dunbar forfeiting its Week 9 and 10 games for using an ineligible player both weeks, thus missing the playoffs, and causing the reshuffling of many playoff qualifiers in Southwest Ohio.


The violation is of OHSAA Bylaw 3 – Administrative Responsibility and Institutional Control, which is in place to uphold the values and integrity of education-based athletics.


If there are no further violations of this nature by the Dayton Public School District, one year of probation shall be rescinded and $2,500 of the fine shall be refunded.




OHSAA announces changes to 2017 Football date start; New Divisional alignments upcoming

News Release – Ohio High School Athletic Association

Commissioner Daniel B. Ross, Ph.D. |


For Immediate Release – April 3, 2017

Contact – Tim Stried, Director of Communications,



Official start date of football practice moved to Monday, July 31; new divisional alignments to include competitive balance roster data in football, volleyball and soccer


COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio High School Athletic Association has announced an adjustment to the 2017 football season calendar, which moves the official start date for practice one day earlier, back to Monday, July 31. The original practice start date had been established as Tuesday, August 1, which matched the start date for all other OHSAA fall sports.


In addition, the OHSAA Board of Directors meets this Thursday for its regularly scheduled April meeting and will be presented with the new divisional breakdowns for all fall sports. For the first time, competitive balance roster data will be added to the base enrollment numbers in the fall sports of football, volleyball and soccer. Pending board approval, divisional breakdowns for all fall sports will be posted at Thursday, including the school-by-school divisional assignment in the three fall sports affected by competitive balance.


In May 2014, OHSAA member schools voted in favor of the Competitive Balance Proposal, which affects baseball, basketball, football, soccer, softball and volleyball by examining sport-specific roster data (grades 9-12) submitted by each school and could increase a school’s enrollment count. More information is posted at:


Winter sports divisional breakdowns will be presented to the board at its June meeting, while spring sports will be presented in August.


Football Practice Begins Monday, July 31

The change in the start date for football practice was approved so that schools can have the traditional amount of practice time before their first scrimmage the following week, which is usually a teaching scrimmage mid-week, followed by a live scrimmage that Friday or Saturday. An OHSAA Jamboree Game, which is a third scrimmage played under game conditions, is then permitted the following week.


“Football is the only sport that requires a five-day acclimatization period before full-go contact is permitted, so allowing for an additional day of practice will really help our coaches teach more fundamentals before their first scrimmage,” Beau Rugg, OHSAA Assistant Commissioner and football administrator, said. “And with the reduction in full-go contact during practice that went into effect a couple years ago, every minute on the practice field is important. Most of our schools want three scrimmages, and giving them this extra day of practice will help make that a reality.”


In 2018, football practice will begin Monday, July 30.



2017 OHSAA Football Calendar

·         April 6 – New divisional breakdowns presented to OHSAA Board of Directors (posted at

·         May 15 – Deadline for schools to have varsity schedules posted in Arbiter

·         June 6 – Regional assignments and playoff format announced (date assignments for each division)

·         June 1 through July 30 – Summer period regulations in effect (10 days of full team coaching permitted – no pads)

·         July 31 – Official start date for practice (five-day acclimatization period begins)

·         August 5 – Full-contact practices may begin, per OHSAA full-contact regulations

·         August 6 – Mandatory Day Off

·         August 8-19 – Scrimmages permitted (third scrimmage permitted if conducting OHSAA Jamboree Game)

·         August 21 – Season Officially Begins (August 25 is the first Friday)

·         September 19 – First weekly computer ratings released (every Tuesday afternoon for remainder of season)

·         November 4 – Regular-season ends

·         November 5 – Final computer ratings, playoff qualifiers and regional playoff brackets released

·         November 3-4 – Regional Quarterfinals

·         November 10-11 – Regional Semifinals

·         November 17-18 – Regional Finals

·         November 24-25 – State Semifinals

·         November 30-December 3 – State Championship Weekend in Canton (all games at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium)



2017-18 and 2018-19 Base Enrollment Figures and Process Explanation:


Upcoming Dates for Divisional Breakdowns and Competitive Balance Roster Data Implementation:



### OHSAA ###




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