More questions than answers on competitive balance issue

This past week, the Ohio High School Athletic Association held one of its 14 athletic discussion meetings around the state with athletic directors, administrators and the media about the upcoming referendums to be voted on this May. The first of 14 meetings was held at Roby Lee’s in Newton Falls.

Everyone in attendance knew what the hot-button item was going to be at the meetings – the new competitive balance referendum.

After a half hour of discussion and questions about the proposal, only one thing was answered – this referendum leaves more questions asked then answers given.

The questions that were asked covered all areas of the proposal. Questions of what child qualifies as a multiplier athlete, how would the divisions then be divided, when would the rosters need to be submitted and who would police this were just a few of the many that were posed. While OHSAA Commissioner Dr. Daniel B. Ross did his best to answer many of the questions, even he was left stumped by a few of them.

No matter on what side of the fence you sit, the competitive balance proposal has a lot of questions that need answered, and I don’t know if two months is enough time to answer them all.

Originally in May, voters were supposed to be casting their ballot on the separation of public and private schools during the tournaments. Administrators were prepared for that vote – this one not so much as it was just announced during the boys state basketball tournament on March 22.

The fact is something does need to be done in terms of balancing the divisions, and Dr. Ross has said on numerous occasions that this isn’t the perfect fix, but the best one they can come up with right now and better than past competitive balance proposals. That I agree with. I just don’t know if those who vote will feel educated enough to comfortably vote either way.

While competitive balance is the biggest thing on the OHSAA’s plate right now, it’s not the only thing that is keeping them busy in Columbus. Transfer rules, concussions and the state of athletics in general are just some of the other issues being talked about around the state and in Columbus.

With the OHSAA being in the news as much as they are these days, and in an effort to try and help to better educate the people of the Mahoning Valley on all of the OHSAA issues, Dr. Ross has agreed to do an extensive question-and-answer session with the Tribune Chronicle.

While the staff here has been formulating questions over the past few months, it’s the parents, administrators and coaches who probably have just as many questions as we do. So, I encourage all readers to send any suggested questions to Dr. Ross to Every questions deserves an answer, especially when it affects the student athletes.