OHSAA BOD August meeting highlights

COLUMBUS — The Ohio High School Athletic Association Board of Directors held its regularly scheduled August meeting on Thursday morning at the OHSAA office.

The following are highlights from the meeting.

Complete meeting minutes will be posted at OHSAA.org.

— The Board approved the list of schools that renewed their membership with the OHSAA for the 2021-22 school year. There are currently 817 member high schools and 747 member 7th-8th grade schools. The OHSAA remains the fourth-largest state association in the country for member schools.

— Please meet the 2021-22 OHSAA Board of Directors at: https://www.ohsaa.org/about/BOD and read a Q&A with Board President Scott Kaufman at: https://www.ohsaa.org/news-media/articles/ohsaa-qa-with-board-of-directors-president-scott-kaufman

— The Board approved the tournament regulations for the upcoming fall sports tournaments and received other updates from the OHSAA sport administrators. Fall sports include:

* GOLF: The state tournaments return to The Ohio State University Golf Club and NorthStar Golf Club in Sunbury. On Oct. 15-16, the Division III boys and Division II girls play at OSU, while the Division II boys play at NorthStar. Then on Oct. 22-23, the Division I girls and boys play at OSU. The statewide tournament draw is Sept. 19.

* GIRLS TENNIS: The state tournament returns to the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason Oct. 22-23. The statewide tournament draw is Sept. 26.

* CROSS COUNTRY: The state tournament returns to Fortress Obetz and Memorial Park on Saturday, Nov. 6. The statewide tournament draw is Oct. 10. The 7th-8th Grade Invitational is also at Fortress Obetz and Memorial Park on Sunday, Oct. 24.

* VOLLEYBALL: The state tournament will be played at the Nutter Center at Wright State University in Fairborn from Nov. 11-13. The statewide tournament draw is Oct. 10.

* SOCCER: As announced on Wednesday, the state championship games will move to the new home of the Columbus Crew, Lower.com Field, in downtown Columbus on Nov. 12-13. The statewide tournament draw is Oct.10. The new venue announcement is posted at: https://www.ohsaa.org/news-media/articles/lowercom-field-and-columbus-crew-to-host-ohsaa-soccer-state-championships

* FOOTBALL: The Harbin computer ratings will be used this season and teams must qualify for the playoffs, which will include the top 16 schools in each region. Due to some games being cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic, the minimum number of rated varsity games that a school must play has been lowered to five games instead of eight for the 2021 season. The regular-season ends on Saturday, Oct. 23 and the playoff qualifiers will be announced on Sunday, Oct. 24. The state championship games return to Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton Dec. 2-4. The Canton announcement was made June 16 and is posted at: https://www.ohsaa.org/Sports/News/ohsaa-awards-pro-football-hall-of-fame-state-football-championships

— The Board was provided the OHSAA financial reports and the overall OHSAA financial outlook. Of note, 80-percent of the OHSAA’s profit for the entire 2020-21 school year came from the spring tournaments, as attendance restrictions were lifted at that time.

— The Board approved the tournament broadcast rates for the 2021-22 school year. The rate card is posted at: https://ohsaaweb.blob.core.windows.net/files/News/Media/TournamentBroadcastRates.pdf

— The Board reviewed and discussed tournament proposed ticket prices for the 2021-22 school year and is expected to approve a final recommendation on ticket prices from the Executive Director’s Office at an upcoming meeting.

— The Board was updated on the upcoming annual OHSAA Student Leadership Conference, which will be held virtually this year on Tuesday, Oct. 5. There is no cost for schools to participate in the conference and it will be available for viewing afterwards. Previously, the in-person conference has been the largest one-day student leadership conference in the country with 1,500 students gathering at The Ohio State University. The OHSAA anticipates an even larger number of participants online and welcomes entire classrooms to watch the conference together. Registration will begin the week of Sept. 13.

— In accordance with Constitution Article 8-1-1, the Board approved an emergency referendum item for a vote by member school principals to take place between Sept. 1-15, 2021. The referendum item, if approved, will restore the bylaws/exceptions that were previously removed due to legislative action in August 2019 and are currently shown as “strike-throughs” in the current OHSAA Handbook under the Transfer Bylaws. More information about this emergency vote will be forthcoming to schools in the near future. A complete text of the bylaws/exceptions which are being presented for restoration are outlined at: https://ohsaaweb.blob.core.windows.net/files/SchoolResources/refvote/EmergencyReferendum-FINAL.pdf

— The Board reviewed the list of recent infractions by OHSAA member schools. Since the Board’s last meeting, consequences were issued to five schools for violations of OHSAA bylaws or sports regulations. The list of infractions will be included in the complete Board meeting minutes posted at OHSAA.org.

— The OHSAA staff conducted two in-person school administrator workshops in August and will conduct a third workshop virtually on Aug. 31 to provide updates and reminders in several areas and answer commonly asked questions.