In what seems to be a yearly occurrence, the Ohio High School Athletic Association announced this week that yet another competitive balance proposal is on the table for a May vote - the fourth in as many years.
The proposal is very similar to last year but there are a few different parts to it. So, for a refresher course and to look at the new formula, here's the equation:
1. The school's enrollment is the base number. These are numbers that the schools submit every two years to the OHSAA, which is the total number of students in ninth, 10th and 11th grades.
2. After the rosters are determined, participants on those rosters that live in the school district do not get any alteration or assigned a multiplier.
3. The participants on the roster that do not live in the district, but have been enrolled in the school system since at least seventh grade, are given a multiplier number of one.
4. Participants on the roster that do not live in the district and or the athlete started attending the school from eighth grade on, they are given a different multiplier that varies by sport. For soccer, the multiplier is six. For football, the number is two. For volleyball, basketball, softball and baseball, the number is five.
For public schools, the district barrier is easy to figure out. If you live in the LaBrae school district, but choose to go to Warren, then you're either a multiplier of one or more, pending on when the athlete began in the school system.
For the parochial/non-public schools, the "when did the athlete start going to the school" portion is now based on parish or feeder school. Schools such as John F. Kennedy, Ursuline or Cardinal Mooney will designate feeder schools to go back to look at schooling history.
Have fun policing this OHSAA.
One thing that this proposal does correct from last year's is that there are some parents that choose to send their children to parochial schools from an early age, but they don't live in the district. So for those parents, for example, that know they want their child to go to John F. Kennedy, but they live in Girard, this will now eliminate that child being subject to the same multiplying number that would be assigned to an athlete that all of a sudden in high school decided that they want to switch schools.
One thing the proposal does not address - and OHSAA commissioner Dr. Daniel Ross admitted it during a conference call during the week - is that this does not hurt or help Division I schools at all. If anything, it will only encourage some schools that are in Division I to go out and get who they can to win, because they are already as high as they can go.
"Division I is an animal of its own," Ross said. "Division I is a separate issue they'll have to tackle on its own. If it's an issue that needs to be addressed, we'll address it - we just couldn't do it now."
Can the OHSAA do this now is the big question. Last year, the vote nearly passed, only failing by a 327-309 vote. A majority is needed to pass the measure. The 825 schools that are OHSAA members will vote on the proposal from May 1 through 15. There will be town hall meetings held by the OHSAA in April to further educate administrators on the issues on the ballot.
Will this measure pass? Ross thinks so, granted he thought that last year. He went on record saying that it was "the best proposal we've had," but he has to say that as the face of the proposal and of the OHSAA.
In many talks with Ross, he has never come across as trying to be the smartest man in the room. While he is well educated and obviously has knowledge, he is always eager to hear other opinions and truly wants do what he thinks is best after hearing numerous opinions and options.
Will the fourth time be the charm for competitive balance? We can only wait and see. If not, I'm sure number five will be unveiled in March of 2015.