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OHSAA Member Schools Pass All 20 Referendum Items

By JAKE FURR Reflector Sports Editor jakefurr@norwalkreflector.com • May 18, 2017 at 12:30 PM

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.

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

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