New CBP: Six Weeks Is a Short Time To Sell
You thought May’s impending OHSAA referendum vote was going to be a ninth-inning nail-bitter pitting public vs private.
Nope. That pitch might still happen, but not at least for another year. Possibly never.
Last Friday, on the second day of the boys basketball state tournament, the OHSAA announced its board of directors had voted unanimously to pass “a new competitive balance proposal.” This New CBP – approved by the Wayne County contingent that created and continues to press the fairness issue – is based solely on an athlete’s residence in relation to the physical address of his/her high school. Basically, any athlete living outside of their school’s home boundary will count at least double towards athletic classification. In some cases he/she could count as much as five regular students (the proposed penalty in basketball, volleyball, baseball and softball).
This is the latest solution to the ongoing public vs private debate, which was to have ended with May’s previously impending vote to separate state tournaments.
The reasoning is sound.
If a player on a roster isn’t from a school’s home district, it counts against it.
Here’s a link to the proposal. Read for yourself.
“Some of the initial discussions by the original OHSAA Competitive Balance Committee included some of the same elements that are in this new proposal,” OHSAA commissioner Dan Ross said. “It is generally believed that in addition to the size of enrollment, students on a school’s team roster who are from outside that school’s geographic boundary or attendance zone does affect athletic success. So this concept is not something that is entirely new.
“The beauty of this new proposal is that all schools, public and non-public, would pass through the same filter when applying the new formula.”
But hiccups exist.
Apparently, not every school will go through the same filter.
One bullet point under the OHSAA’s “Basics” of the New CBP suggests that teams that “do not demonstrate a level of competitiveness” may not “be subject to an out-of-district sports specific factor.” As proposed, a committee will recommend what “competitiveness” is and which schools lack it. This will be applied “on a sport-by-sport basis.”
How soft do we want to get? How watered-down? This is high school. Varsity.
A committee to determine if a school is competitive in a sport?
Why is this an option?
Why the monkey wrench?
Under the new proposal, rosters (including name and residence) will be submitted online at a designated date. Check.
The process, however, means that schools won’t know what division they’re in until “approximately 30 days into the season.” Distraction? I think so. Coaches preach “a game at a time” approach, but it’s got to be a strategic and logistical disadvantage (scouting, scrimmages, non-conference scheduling, etc.) for programs to not know their postseason destination (or potential opponents) until in some cases, a third of their season is over. How difficult is it going to be in football, specifically, where regions come in to play? Teams will be subjected to this annually.
Other notable New CBP inclusions: 1) All rosters will be posted online, 2) Schools won’t be limited to bumping up just one division, and 3) Schools that don’t submit their info on time will be subject to penalties.
None of this is concrete.
“By approving this proposal, member schools will be authorizing our Board of Directors and staff to develop and test such a formula over the next two-plus years so that the exact factors added to a school’s enrollment and any kinks in the data entry, collection and final formulas can be worked out,” Ross said.
During April, the OHSAA will hold its annual athletic discussion meetings at various locales statewide. One of the main topics at the events – attended by administrators, athletic directors and media – will be the New CBP.
Schools will vote on the measure during the annual OHSAA referendum period from May 1-15. Results will be released May 16.
If passed, the process will debut in the 2015-16 school year.
“I truly believe the climate from the last vote on separating the tournaments has changed and this year’s vote would have come down to the wire,” Ross said. “That being said, I also believe separation of the tournaments would have had many far-reaching ramifications that likely would have changed the landscape of interscholastic athletics in Ohio for years.”
Regardless of what happens – and it’s become obvious neither side will rest until something does – Ohio’s athletic landscape is going to be affected.
This is the latest play.
And one the OHSAA and Wayne County contingent supports.
Question is…Will Ohio schools?
There’s a lot to sell in six weeks.