OHSAA to put competitive balance plan back up for vote

COLUMBUS — The Ohio High School Athletic Association will again put a competitive balance proposal to a vote with Ohio high school principals in May.

In 2011, a measure attempting to level the playing field in high school sports between private and public schools was defeated, 332-303, by Ohio’s principals.

The OHSAA’s Board of Directors last Friday decided to put the referendum to a vote between May 1 and May 15.

The OHSAA called the proposal “slightly revised” from the 2011 version.

The main changes to the proposal from the 2011 version are on the tradition factor.

A school which placed a team in the Sweet 16 of the state tournament in four of the past eight seasons in the sport will receive a six-percent addition to its enrollment.

A school which placed a team in the Final Four of the state tournament in four of the last eight seasons will receive a 10-percent enrollment addition.

The OHSAA has said that schools have threatened to leave or split the OHSAA if the issue of competitive balance is not addressed. Opponents have countered that the measure punishes programs for their success.

“While this may not be the ultimate solution or one that everyone would list as their first choice, a realistic view is that a formula built on the principles being addressed is preferred to a separation of an Association with over 100 years of service to Ohio’s schools,”  OHSAA’s news release from commissioner Dan Ross’ office stated.

The proposal would assign divisional placement on a sport-by-sport basis based on the boundaries of the school district, socioeconomic factors and the success of the program over a period of time.

If passed, the the changes would take place starting in the 2013-2014 school year.

The language of the proposal will be: “Each school shall be placed into tournament divisions based on its sport-by-sport athletic count. The formula for determining athletic counts and to which sports the athletic count shall be applied will be recommended by the standing Competitive Balance Committee and approved by the Board of Directors on a biennial basis. The formula for calculating athletic counts and the sports to which they are applied are listed in the OHSAA’s General Sports Regulations — Tournaments.”