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Recapping Friday's NYSPHSAA meeting (con't)

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   "Two distinct styles are not unusual, but other states have figured it out," Zayas said.

   To that end, he told the cheerleading committee last summer that he didn't like the direction in which the sport was moving and that they could tackle the issues or he would feel obligated to do it himself.

   "I'm not doing my job as your executive director if I sit back and say, 'Let's continue to try to figure it out,' because I don't know if that's working," Zayas told the Executive Committee. "We're either moving in a negative direction or a positive direction. Right now I don't see that we're moving in a positive direction."

   That led him to begin advocating this year for a separate Game Day Cheer competition as a nod to traditional cheerleading and the aspects it brings to a school's environment. His idea of organizing two NYSPHSAA Game Day Cheer invitationals each fall while continuing the Competitive Cheerleading championship at the end of the winter season was supported by executive directors of the respective sections in March, but the cheerleading committee resisted.

   Some sectional cheerleading representatives took offense at the idea of bringing in an outside agency to help reshape the sport in New York. But resentment can be a two-way street, and Zayas mentioned a trend that I've been seeing for a long time in Section 5, which has arguably been ground zero for Competitive Cheerleading in New York.

   "There have been so many instances the last three of four years where I've heard from athletic directors saying, 'You know what, our cheerleaders don't even want to cheer at games anymore. Friday night football we have no cheerleaders, basketball games we have no cheerleaders,'" Zayas said. "Now that we've made it a sport, they don't want to cheer at games anymore. That wasn't why we made it a sport. It's a complete conflict with what we should be doing. 'Game Day' will hopefully bring that back."

   Approved: Venue selections for baseball and football semifinals and finals, which I blogged about last week, sailed through as expected. In addition, the Executive Committee approved setting ticket prices for state semifinals and finals in all sports at $10 at the gate and $8 online. Prices at the gate had already been $10 for a number of sports.

   A change to the Representation Rule was approved to allow females that compete on teams only offered to males -- golf, for instance -- are now eligible for postseason competition against females.

   A request to promote Kristen Jadin from director of special programs to assistant director was OK'd. She's been handling a wide variety of duties including the launch of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, revisions to the Scholar-Athlete Program and streamlining pre-tournament communications with participating schools.

   And girls volleyball, which was due to renew its six-year rotation for regional playoffs, was given the OK to submit a one-year plan instead so that its committee could more closely examine the effects of changing enrollments and avoid having sectional champions ending up with byes straight into the final fours in Glens Falls.

   Rejected: The baseball committee has had a protocol in place for at least two decades to select state tournament semifinalists via a points system if weather or other situations prevented regionals from being completed by the time the final four was scheduled to begin.

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   They've never had to resort to it, but someone noticed last year that the procedure had never been ratified by the Executive Committee as official policy. It came up for a vote Friday and was rejected by a 14-8 margin, meaning the NYSPHSAA is more or less committed to postponing the semifinals for as long as it takes to complete regionals.

   Coming attractions: I'm not planning on attending the annual NYSPHSAA Central Committee meeting this July -- there are too many really big hills between Rochester and Lake Placid -- and that's probably a mistake. The agenda is shaping up to be pretty weighty.

   There likely will be discussion and possibly a vote on patching a loophole in the process of assigning teams to classes based upon enrollment data. As I wrote back in March, Buffalo East won the NYSPHSAA boys Class D basketball championship despite an enrollment that should have placed it in Class C.

   It's a relatively narrow issue pretty much restricted to schools that are being reorganized after being placed into receivership by the State Education Department. Unfortunately, that happens more than just occasionally in Buffalo and Rochester, so someone has to figure out how to flag numbers that get knocked out of whack when it happens.

   The agenda also figures to include:

    • Discussion of the Safety Committee's recommendation that all New York high schools have a full-time athletic trainer available.

    • Continuation of the discussion of whether softball, volleyball and girls basketball should be following the National Federation rule books like the state's other sports do.

    • Discussion of the football committee's desire to add a sixth class.

    • A potential vote on another change to the graduated scale used to calculate enrollment figures for schools that combine teams in a sport. A proposal from Section 9 advocates for using the sport-specific class cutoffs rather than the so-called "five-class" cutoffs.

   A bit of humor: As the roll was being called at the beginning of the meeting, Section 7 representative Trish Ryan-Curry rose to her feet and asked, "Is there a doctor in the house?"

   It triggered a standing ovation for Zayas, who recently successfully defended his thesis and was awarded his Ph.D in sports administration from the University of New Mexico. It culminated a decade-long process for him.

   "I don't look forward to being referred to as 'doctor' as much as I do to being done," he joked.

   Extra points: Financial reports noted that attendance at the boys basketball tournament in Binghamton hit a record low of 9,367 and that girls attendance at Hudson Valley Community College was its lowest in six years. Combined, the basketball tournaments still turned a profit of $178,000.

   Wrestling's inaugural dual-meet championship was a bit of a surprising, operating in the red by more than $4,600.

   When all the winter sports were added up, profits slipped by about 9 percent to $243,042.


  
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