[ Continued from Page 1 ]
hard and got back to 20 games a few seasons ago, but others have been waiting. Their break came when the state's superintendents association recognized the obvious last September -- a lot of scrimmages could easily be replaced by games.
By the superintendents' calculation, three-sport athletes could be losing out on as many as 48 games opportunities in a four-year career as matters stand now. And savings to schools has been negligible at best.
Changing penalties: The existing penalty for exceeding the maximum number of games is immediate termination of the season. It rarely happens and there really is no excuse for it happening. The biggest issue that people seem to have with the rule is that it's the kids who absorb the brunt of the penalty for a mistake made by adults.
That could change this week. The proposal in play is to let schools remain eligible for the postseason by paying a $1,000 fine and suspend the head coach for the remainder of the season.
A hockey long shot: The ice hockey committee has put forward a proposal to extend periods to 17 minutes with adjustments also made to the length of penalties. The 2018-19 regular season was played under those conditions but the state tournament had to revert to 15 minutes with shorter penalties because a year-long pay dispute with on-ice officials couldn't be settled.
The money issue remains unresolved, so the new proposal specifies that the new pay rates have to be negotiated to make this work. That would require the NYSPHSAA to break from its policy of re-setting officials rates every third year. The recommendation of the Championship Advisory Committee by a 6-4 margin to oppose the hockey committee's request suggests that's no more likely to happen now than it was a year ago.
Hockey will still get its 17-minute periods, but it'll have to happen beginning with the 2020-21 season.
Site selections: It'll be up to the Central Committee to settle a difference of opinion on where to conduct the boys swimming championships from 2021-23. The NYSPHSAA office staff recommended Ithaca College but the swimming committee went with Nassau Aquatic Center by a 7-5 vote.
The rental cost of the Nassau bid is substantially higher but the facility has greater seating capacity.
A proposal from the Webster Aquatic Center that was somewhat competitive on the basis of price got no traction in the discussion, with seating capacity (slightly lower than Ithaca) and overall deck space cited as factors. I hope this isn't my Section 5 bias showing, but the people making the site selection would have saved a ton of money on hotel rooms by going with Webster.
Other action items: The handful of lesser items that will be put to a vote includes:
• Modification of the rules for appeals to the NYSPHSAA, which would increase the filing fee to $500 and require a unanimous decision by the three-member panel to overturn a section's decision.
• Creation of a NYSPHSAA Foundation, launched with a one-time dispersal of money from the NYSPHSAA. Fifteen state associations responding to a survey have foundations, which allocate money for causes like scholarships, student leadership training, safety equipment such as AEDs and funding insurance policies for catastrophic injuries.
• Creation of an Officials Appreciation Day during the fall season, comparable to what is in place to recognize coaches in the spring.
• Approval of state coordinators for five-year terms in five sports: Jim Wright in softball, Jamie Harter in girls golf, Diane Hicks-Hughes in girls swimming, Pat Ryan as assistant for girls swimming and Chuck Wiltse in boys cross country.
Up for discussion: The softball committee has proposed an extension of the international tiebreaker rule waiver, already in place on the final four weekend, to also cover the earlier rounds of the state tournament.
The rationale is that the international tiebreaker rule, which has teams start the inning with a runner on second base beginning with the 10th inning, was instituted in the days when the pitching circle was set at 40 feet from home plate instead of the current 43.
Moving the circle back three feet had the desired effect of reducing the number of 1-0 and 2-1 scores. In fact, the committee has moved in the direction of adding a mercy rule to address offensive outbursts.
The elephant in the room, which the softball committee