JJHuddle Series: Dissecting the OHSAA’s “Competitive Balance Committee” proposal

Image

OHSAA: Competitive Balance

Public v. Private. It’s not a Supreme Court case but in certain parts of Ohio it might as
well be. And a decision is looming. From April 29-May 16, member schools in the OHSAA will mull over and vote on one of the most important
proposals in
the association’s history. And we’ve got it covered…


Public vs Private.

It’s not a Supreme Court case but in certain parts of Ohio it might as well be. It’s that important to plenty of people. And a decision is coming.

From April 29-May 16, member schools in the Ohio High School Athletic Association will mull over and vote on one of the most important proposals in the association’s history. Schools will vote on whether or not to pass a new bylaw proposed by the OHSAA’s “Competitive Balance Committee” that would change the way teams are placed in divisions and qualify for certain state tournaments.

A result from the voting is expected May 17 and if the proposal passes it will be implemented no sooner than the 2012-2013 school year and no later than 2013-2014.

At its core, the proposal is simply a way to combat the continual “Public versus Private” argument that’s raged for years.

Is the proposal a good one? Is it fair? Is it garbage? That’s what we’re going to look at.

Starting next monday, we’ll publish a series of articles related to the Competitive Balance Proposal and talk with coaches and administrators from many of the major players. We’ll talk to big schools, small schools, public schools and private schools. And we’ll come to a conclusion.

At the end of the series we’ll give you our take on the proposal and what we think should happen.

Monday, discussions started to heat up again.

Over the course of the next several weeks, the OHSAA will hold its 2011 Athletic Discussion meetings at various locations around the state. Over 1,500 members of the media, OHSAA and member schools have signed up to attend. Today the first two were held in Dayton and Chillicothe.

The Dayton meeting, attended by 215, was held at Wright State’s Nutter Center. After a 15-minute video on the CBC proposal produced by the OHSAA (included below) there was a seven-minute question and answer session before more on the agenda was discussed.

We will dedicate much more time to the issue.

Next week we kick off our coverage.

Here’s what we’ll be looking at…

A Guide To The Competitive Balance Proposal

(Published by the Ohio High School Athletic Association 1/21/2011)

Why Competitive Balance Was Addressed
A concern about competitive balance in Ohio High School Athletic
Association tournaments was raised by a group of school administrators
in northeast Ohio, and a study showed that 43 percent (146 of 340) of
the state championships in selected team sports between 1999 and 2010
were won by non‐public schools, even though non‐public schools make up
only 17 percent of the total membership of the OHSAA.

Ohio History on Competitive Balance
Competitive balance is neither unique nor new to Ohio. In fact, there
were referendum issues to separate the tournaments between public and
non‐public schools brought before the OHSAA membership by school
administrators in both 1978 and 1993, and both were defeated (83.9
percent to 16.1 percent in 1978; 66.8 percent to 33.2 percent in 1993).
In addition, a committee was formed to discuss competitive balance
during the 2006‐07 school year and no recommendations were made since a
consensus could not be reached.
While there is a concern across the state from Ohio’s public school
coaches and administrators that the current system may not be as fair as
they would like, coming forward with a recommendation to improve the
system has proven challenging to say the least. While a better solution
seems elusive, what does seem to be fairly universal is the comment
heard from most coaches and administrators that “in order to be the
best, we want to compete against the best.” Still others believe
separate tournaments are the only way to go, and some have even
suggested that an enrollment multiplier be used for nonpublic schools.

The Competitive Balance Committee and its Charge
The OHSAA Competitive Balance Committee was formed in January 2010. It
was comprised of 29 school administrators and coaches from across the
state from public and non‐public schools both large and small along with
members of the OHSAA Board of Directors and administrative staff and
representatives from both the state superintendents’ and state
principals’ associations.
The Competitive Balance Committee’s charge was to attempt to identify
what factors account for the disproportionate number of championships
being won by an equally disproportionately smaller group of member
schools, and what the OHSAA could do to balance out these factors for
all member schools.
This meant that the criteria chosen for a new plan must:
• Move toward a more competitive balance in all chosen sports;
• Maximize sustainability;
• Minimize complexity as much as possible;
• Maximize support from both the OHSAA membership and all interested
constituents.

The
Proposal

The committee’s recommendation is that all member schools of the OHSAA
pass through  the same “filter.” This means that school enrollment will
continue to be the beginning basis for placing schools into their
respective tournament divisions. Once that data is received, schools
will be placed into their respective tournament divisions based on their
sport‐by‐sport “athletic counts.” Three factors will be used to
determine “athletic counts” for each school:
• School Boundary Factor (how students are obtained);
• Socioeconomic Factor, and
• Tradition Factor.

School Boundary Factor
The Competitive Balance Committee identified school boundary as a key
factor in competitive balance. From where and how a district or school
receives its students does affect athletic success. Current percentages
proposed by the committee (which could be modified by the Board of
Directors per its discretion or through a recommendation from a
Competitive Balance Standing Committee):
1. Non‐public schools with no boundaries: 10 percent times enrollment
will be added;
2. Non‐public schools with limited boundaries: 8 percent times
enrollment will be added;
3. Public schools with statewide open enrollment: 6 percent times
enrollment will be added (*);
4. Public schools with adjacent districts open enrollment: 4 percent
times enrollment will be added (*);
5. Public schools with no open enrollment: no percentage added.
(*) Indicates that this percentage will NOT be applied to public schools
with open enrollment if their net number of open enrollment students is
negative (i.e. have more open enrollment students leaving the school
than coming into the school).

Beginning Enrollment x School Boundary Factor = number to be
added to the Beginning Enrollment.

Note: The school boundary factor would be gender specific (i.e. the
percentage would be placed on a school’s boys enrollment for use in boys
sports and on a school’s girls enrollment for use in girls sports).

Socioeconomic Factor
The Competitive Balance Committee determined that the socioeconomic
makeup of a district is a key factor in competitive balance just as it
is in the probabilities of educational success. If a district is
disadvantaged, the participants may have less resources available to
participate and be successful in interscholastic athletics.

The committee chose an objective measure for the socioeconomic
factor, which is the number of free lunch participants in a high school
or district that is reported to the Ohio Department of Education through
claims submitted by participating schools. This number cannot be
manipulated by schools and many schools, including non‐public schools,
have students who participate in the program.

The current percentage proposed by the committee (which could be
modified by the Board of Directors per its discretion or through a
recommendation from a Competitive Balance Standing Committee):

The number of free lunch participants within either the high school
(if exact data is provided) or school district times 10 percent equals
number to be subtracted from enrollment

Beginning Enrollment x Percent of the Free Lunch Number of a
High School/District = the number to be reduced from the Beginning
Enrollment.

Tradition Factor
The Competitive Balance Committee determined that tradition is also a
factor which impacts athletic success — success breeds success, as they
say. Student‐athletes often want to go to a program that has a tradition
of success. While this is not recruiting, it is a factor that cannot be
discounted when combined with the other factors identified by the
committee.

A school’s enrollment could increase by adding a percentage based on a
school’s most recent four‐year tradition of advancement to the regional
and/or state tournament.

The current percentage proposed by the committee on a sport‐by‐sport
basis (which could be modified by the Board of Directors per its
discretion or through a recommendation from a Competitive Balance
Standing Committee):
1. Appearances in a regional final: 6 percent of enrollment will be
added;
2. Appearances in state tournament: 8 percent of enrollment will be
added, and
3. Appearances in state finals: 10 percent of enrollment will be added.

Note: While the highest percentage would be used for each individual
year, the total percentage for all four years would be added together to
arrive at the tradition factor.

Beginning Enrollment x the Tradition Factor over the past four
years = number to be added to the Beginning Enrollment on a
sport‐by‐sport basis.

The
Final Formula

As mentioned, once all three factors are derived, schools will be placed
into their respective tournament divisions based on their
sport‐by‐sport “athletic counts.” The final “athletic count” would be
achieved by:

Beginning Enrollment
+ Boundary Factor
— Socioeconomic Factor
+ Tradition Factor

OHSAA Board of Directors Action on January 13, 2011, and the Next
Steps

The OHSAA Board of Directors approved the basic concept of the
Competitive Balance Committee’s proposal, with implementation scheduled
no later than the 2013‐14 school year (but possibly as early as the
2012‐13 school year). By approving the concept, the Board placed the
following up for a referendum vote of OHSAA member schools, which will
occur during the annual referendum voting process that takes place
between May 1 and 15:

“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 counts shall be applied will be
determined by the Board of Directors on a biennial basis. The formula
for athletic counts and the sports to which they are applied are listed
in the OHSAA’s General Sports Regulations — Tournaments.”

The Board of Directors’ current plan, which would be spelled out in the
companion Sports Regulation, is that only team sports will initially be
affected by the proposal.

Those sports are football, soccer and volleyball in the fall;
basketball in the winter, and baseball and softball in the spring.
Consideration will be given to add other sports in the future.

Additionally, a Competitive Balance Standing Committee will be
formed. This committee will monitor the effectiveness of the athletic
count formula and recommend to the Board of Directors any changes in the
weight to be given to any one or more of the factors in the formula.
Changes recommended by the Standing Committee could then be approved by
the Board of Directors and reflected in the Sports Regulations.

OHSAA Competitive Balance Formula Examples

Example
1:
School A – Public, Boys Enrollment: 388; Girls
Enrollment: 330

School Boundary Factor
• This school has statewide open enrollment and has a positive net gain
of open enrollment students.
• Boys — 6 percent of 388 = +23
• Girls — 6 percent of 330 = +20

Socioeconomic Factor
• This school has 85 total students who are on the free lunch program.
– 10 percent of 85 = ‐9 (subtracted from the “athletic count”)

Tradition Factor
• Boys: this school’s basketball team reached the regional finals one
year and the state tournament two other years during the past four‐year
cycle.
– 6 percent of 388 = +23
– 8 percent of 388 = +31
– 8 percent of 388 = +31
– Total Enrollment Addition = +85

• Girls: this school’s basketball team reached the regional finals
one year and did not advance to the state tournament during the past
four‐year cycle.
– 6 percent of 330 = +20
– Total Enrollment Addition = +20

School
A’s Athletic Count For Basketball

Boys: 388 + 23 – 9 + 85 = 487 (This school was a Division II school. The
increase in enrollment would move it to Division I.)
Girls: 330 + 20 – 9 + 20 = 361 (This school was a Division II school.
The increase in enrollment would keep it in Division II.)

Example
2:
School B — Non‐Public, Boys Enrollment 175; Girls
Enrollment 165

School Boundary Factor
• This school has no boundaries.
• Boys — 10 percent of 175 = +18
• Girls — 10 percent of 165 = +17

Socioeconomic Factor
• This school has 30 students who are on the free lunch program.
– 10 percent of 30 = ‐3 (subtracted from the “athletic count”)

Tradition Factor
• Boys: this school’s football team reached the regional finals one
year, the state tournament one year and was state champion two other
years during the past four‐year cycle.
– 6 percent of 175 = +11
– 8 percent of 175 = +14
– 10 percent of 175 = +18
– 10 percent of 175 = +18
– Total Enrollment Addition = +61
• Girls: this school’s volleyball team reached the regional finals three
years during the past four‐year cycle.
– 6 percent of 165 = +10
– 6 percent of 165 = +10
– 6 percent of 165 = +10
– Total Enrollment Addition = +30

School
B’s Athletic Count

Football: 175 + 18 – 3 + 61 = 251 (This school was a Division V school.
The increase in enrollment would
move it to Division IV.)

Volleyball: 165 + 17 – 3 + 30 = 209 (This school was a Division III
school. The increase in enrollment would keep it in Division III.)

______________________________________________________________________

COMPETITIVE BALANCE PROPOSAL SERIES

Background: Dissecting the OHSAA’s “Competitive Balance Committee” proposal

Monday: What about Division I?

Tuesday: Penalizing
Success – throw the ‘Tradition Factor’ out

Wednesday: A
private school separation? (and would that really be a bad thing?)

Thursday: Did anyone even really want this? And if so, does this even answer why we’re talking about it?

Friday: Will the Competitive Balance Proposal Pass?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *