Thu. 3 p.m.: Competitive balance issue voted down

By a vote of 327-308 the competitive balance proposal on the Ohio High School Athletic Association’s May referendum has failed. That’s a vote of 51.5 percent to 48.5 percent.

“When this new proposal was placed on the ballot, we said at the time that the vote would come down to the wire, and it certainly did,” OHSAA commissioner Dr. Daniel B. Ross said. “It’s disappointing that it did not pass because we believed this formula addressed the main issue to which schools voiced concern: the impact on athletic success by students on a school’s team roster who are from outside that school’s geographic boundary or attendance zone.”

This was the third time in three years the OHSAA has had a competitive balance proposal on the May ballot, only for it to be rejected. In 2012, the vote was 339-301 and in 2011 the vote was 332-303.

“As everyone is aware, this is the third year in a row a competitive balance proposal has been narrowly defeated. I will be consulting with our Board of Directors to see what action, if any, we take next, but I anticipate at a minimum that a proposal on separate tournaments for public and non-public schools will again be placed on the ballot next spring via the petition process.”

Originally, a vote to separate public and private schools from each other in the state tournaments was the initial referendum item schools were to be voting on. However, on March 22, it was announced that the authors of the petition to separate the tournaments pulled that petition from the ballot in favor of the competitive balance proposal.

Also on the ballot, but passing, was a change to the OHSAA transfer bylaw that reduces the penalty for transfer athletes from one year to the first 50 percent of the maximum allowable regular season contests in any sport in which the student participated in the previous year. That passed by a vote of 346-288.

Eighty-one percent of the eligible schools voted on this year’s May ballot. Out of the 823 schools, 191 did not vote. Out of the 191, four ballots were invalid and 27 did not meet the May 15 deadline.