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Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017: NYSPHSAA Executive Committee meeting preview

   Leading off today: There will be at least a couple of noteworthy agenda items when the New York State Public High School Athletic Association holds its fall meeting of the Executive Committee in Troy on Thursday morning.

   Chief among the items up for a vote is whether membership in the state's largest governing body for high school sports will proceed with the formation of an Oversight Committee, which would review sectional decisions on the tournament classification of non-public and charter schools. The committee wouldn't be able to overrule a sectional decision but could remand a decision back to the section for further review.

   What's been characterized as "a second set of eyes" by some would likely bring about greater consistency across the state when it comes to moving schools up or down based upon criteria such as recent success and the ability of returning players.

   Probably 75 percent of all grumbling in recent years has had to do with non-public schools playing in Class D and sometimes in C. Placement isn't cut and dried because each Section is allowed to develop and apply its own guidelines for moving teams up or down.

   Schools objecting to their class placement would continue to have an appeals process if the proposal is approved Thursday.

   The Oversight Committee would be chaired by the NYSPHSAA executive director. The NYSPHSAA President would be responsible for appointing a representative from each of the five enrollment classifications along with a sixth member from a non-public or charter school.

   The vote will be the culmination of a process that began in July 2016 when the NYSPHSAA took a two-pronged approach to re-assessing how non-public and charter schools are handled.

   The second initiative examined the feasibility of adding one or two new sections overlayed upon the existing 11 sections. The new section(s) would have consisted exclusively of the NYSPHSAA's non-public and charter members. No official proposal ever came up for a statewide vote before the Executive Committee decided earlier this year not to move forward in the face of a myriad of logistical and legal concerns.

   Second in significance among the items to be voted on is a proposal to adjust the timeline for applying enrollment data with respect to move teams up or down in class.

   The New York State Education Department currently collects BEDS data from schools each October and generates a report in January that leads to a flurry of activity in the state and sectional offices to verify the accuracy. Regardless of how quickly they can to that work and determine which schools will change class beginning in the fall, it's a chore for league officials and ADs to put together football, soccer and volleyball schedules that frequently are based on BEDS-driven divisional alignments. It gets worse if there are significant changes when the corrected NYSED data is published in June.

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   The new proposal would have the NYSPHSAA wait a year to implement changes. So, data that schools report in October 2019 would go through the normal workflow at NYSED but would only be put into use by the NYSPHSAA in time for the 2021-22 school year.    It's all but certain that a few schools per sport would wind up in the wrong class for a year, but even fewer would be sectional or state contenders, so the tradeoff of lessening the pressure on schedule makers hit with unexpected classification moves in June makes sense.

   Also scheduled for votes: The NYSPHSAA abides by NCAA rules for girls basketball. The NCAA approved some significant changes in late July that the sectional reps would like to see waived for a variety of reasons. Among them: extending the coaches box and allowing the use of courtside monitors to confirm or overturn calls.

  
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   This is the sort of issue that usually merits a discussion at one Executive Committee meeting followed by a vote at the next. But with the next scheduled meeting not taking place until February, there's a bit of urgency to tackle the topic now.

    • A new level of accommodation for athletes who do not appear in enough regular-season contests due to extenuating circum- stances could gain approval. Medical issues are already more or less covered, but the proposed amendment to the Representation Rule would give the NYSPHSAA executive director discretion (after submission to the respective section for consideration) to OK athletes for the postseason for circum- stances such as a death in the family or a change in foster care.

    • Leagues and sections could be given the option to do away with the 99-pound weight class in wrestling. New York has kept the class on its books even after it was eliminated by the National Federation.

   The wrestling committee also is seeking to limit the number of two-day, non-bracketed tournaments to a maximum of two (of the allotted six) tournaments. The issue boils down to the tradeoff between the additional cost for overnight travel and the benefit of piling up additional wins for competitors who hay be in line for at-large berths in the state tournament at the end of the season.

    • The competitive cheerleading committee is asking for approval of its revisions to scoring for the upcoming season. The rubrics were recently updated to simplify them for coaches and judges, and the new progression sheets give further clarification.

   I'd elaborate, but my eyes rolled up into the back of my head somewhere between pages 8 and 12 of the revised progression sheets.

   The cheerleading committee also has proposed allowing the use of video replays for appeals at the sectional championships. Replays are already in use at the state championships.

    • The softball committee already waives the international tiebreaker rule in the state tournament final fours. A vote Thursday could also remove it from the regional rounds effective next spring.

    A separate proposal would institute a mercy rule for the state tournament. A 12-run lead once the contest becomes an official game (4½ or 5 innings) would end it. The Championship Advisory Committee gave only narrow approval last month, so it will be interesting to see how the Executive Committee views the matter.

    The baseball committee has been formulating a proposal for a 10-run mercy rule to be used throughout the season, but it's only a discussion item on Thursday's agenda. It will likely go to a vote in February.


  
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