COLUMBUS — For the second time in as many years, the Competitive Balance revision proposal by the Ohio High School Athletic Association has been shot down.
The proposal would have brought about sweeping changes in how schools are assigned to divisions in many team sports. Instead of placing a school strictly on enrollment figures, the proposal would have developed a sport-by-sport athletic count, then factored in other conditions.
The idea, said members who proposed the plan, is to balance the playing field when private schools essentially recruit students who are athletes.
The vote of athletic directors across the state, which was tallied Wednesday, was 339-301 against the proposal.
“As was the case last year, we anticipated the vote would be close,” said OHSAA commissioner Daniel Ross. “The schools have spoken.”
The proposal would likely not have had a large impact on local schools in and around Knox County.
The other factors in determining division status would have included boundaries of open-enrolled students, lost enrollment based on socioeconomics (such as students who attend based on free lunch programs), and tradition (success in reaching state tournaments).
Ross said the proposal will not be renewed next year.
“I don’t anticipate bringing the committee back together,” said Ross. “But, at the same time, I don’t anticipate competitive balance going away since this issue has engendered a lot of conversation among a lot of people. It’s an issue that a lot of state associations across the country are also dealing with and working on.”
The OHSAA tallied votes for 14 referendum issues on Wednesday, 13 of which passed. Only the competitive balance issue failed to pass.
Issues which were approved by popular vote include:
•Giving the Board of Directors the ability to suspended OHSAA membership of a school.
•Requiring district athletic board members to work full-time in a member high school.
•Creation of an appeals panel to review cases involving student eligibility.
•Allowing the possibility of teams having to forfeit games if they use a player declared ineligible due to falsified information.