OHSAA issues Board of Directors Meeting Highlights

Executive Director Doug Ute

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For Immediate Release – April 23, 2021

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

–         The Board was updated by the OHSAA staff regarding the upcoming spring sports tournaments, with adjustments due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Specific attendance protocols will be announced in May. The OHSAA thanks all tournament sites for their willingness to host tournament contests during the COVID-19 pandemic.

o   BOYS TENNIS: The state tournament will remain at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason May 28-29. The tournament draw is May 2.

o   SOFTBALL: The state tournament will remain at Firestone Stadium in Akron June 3-5. The tournament draw is May 2.

o   LACROSSE: The state tournament semifinals will be played at neutral sites June 1-2 and the state championship games will remain at Ohio Wesleyan University on June 5. The tournament draw is May 9.

o   TRACK & FIELD: As announced in January, the state tournament will be held at three Central Ohio high schools June 4-5, as Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium at The Ohio State University cannot host the state championships this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Division I state meet will be hosted by Hilliard Darby, the Division II state meet will be hosted by Pickerington North and the Division III state meet will be hosted by Westerville North. The tournament draw is May 2.

o   BASEBALL: The state tournament will remain at Canal Park in Akron June 10-12. The tournament draw is May 9.

–         The OHSAA staff made a proposal to the Board to begin charging member school dues beginning with the 2021-22 school year. The proposal calls for each high school to contribute $50 per OHSAA sanctioned sport that the school offers. Member schools received the following memo on Friday morning:  https://ohsaaweb.blob.core.windows.net/files/SchoolResources/2021MembershipDues.pdf – The Board will meet on May 3 to vote on the proposal. The OHSAA will continue to look for funding sources and ways to cut expenses to keep the dues as low as possible. Of note, the OHSAA’s three main sources of funding come from tournament ticket sales (80%), officials dues (10%) and corporate partners (10%). All three of those sources are variable from year to year and the COVID-19 pandemic has greatly reduced tournament ticket sales since March 2020. 

–         The Board approved the 2021 football tournament regulations, which include an expansion of playoff qualifiers to 16 schools per region. Please see the full release here: https://www.ohsaa.org/news-media/articles/ohsaa-to-expand-football-playoffs-and-adjust-regional-format – In addition, the higher seeded team will host games during the first two rounds of the playoffs instead of just the first round, and throughout the regionals, the higher seeded team will be the home team. Previously, the top team on the bracket was the designated home team. Also, the state championships site has not yet been determined, but the schedule will include one game Thursday, December 2, and then two games each day on December 3-5. As a reminder, in January the Board approved the general football regulations, which permit schools to fulfill two of the required five acclimatization days in July in advance of official practice beginning on Sunday, August 1. Two scrimmages will be permitted between August 6-14. Either or both of the scrimmages may be conducted as jamboree games. The first Friday of the regular-season is August 20 and the regular-season will conclude on October 23.

–         The Board was updated on the recent Athletic Discussion Meetings to explain the upcoming referendum voting items for proposed changes to the bylaws and constitution. Each member school has one vote, which is cast by the principal. The voting deadline is May 15. Details are posted at: https://www.ohsaa.org/School-Resources/referendum-voting

–         The Board reviewed the financial reports from the OHSAA winter sports state tournaments and the overall OHSAA financial standing. While a reduction in expenses resulted in a positive net profit from the winter, the overall revenue was $2 million less than what was received during the 2019 winter sports state tournaments prior to attendance restrictions put in place because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

–         The Board reviewed the list of recent infractions by OHSAA member schools. Since the Board’s last meeting, consequences were issued to 11 schools for violations of OHSAA bylaws or sports regulations. The list of infractions will be included in the complete Board meeting minutes posted at OHSAA.org.

–         The Board approved edits to the OHSAA Competitive Balance business rules, in accordance with Bylaw 2-2-7, to ensure the collected roster data had relevant effect and meaning. With the new Ohio Department of Education enrollment management process (EMIS) cycle pushed back until the 2022-23 and 2023-24 school years, a modification was made to alter the time period when multi-HS school districts and non-public schools submit/select their attendance zones and designated feeder schools, respectively. Instead of collecting this data in the spring/summer of 2022, as was previously outlined, these selections will now be made in the 2021 spring/summer. This change was recommended to ensure the applicable data lined up with the new EMIS cycle. Schools impacted by this change will be contacted by the OHSAA staff in the coming months to make their selections prior to the 2021-22 school year.

–         The board ratified the approval for the OHSAA office to fill four staff vacancies. Charles Anderson will fill the position of Manager of Officiating, while Kate Barnett and John Kuzio join as Sport Administrators and Laura Lemanski will be the new Senior Accountant. The four new staff members take positions vacated in late 2020 or early 2021 and are not newly created positions.

Recent Headlines at OHSAA.org

April 16 – Member School Updates

April 14 – NFHS: What Have We Learned About High School Sports During the Pandemic?

April 13 – Spring Tournament Deadlines

April 9 – Member School Updates