A longstanding relationship between the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association and Baptist Sports Medicine came to an end at last month’s Spring Fling.
TSSAA executive director Bernard Childress announced at Wednesday’s Board of Control meeting that Baptist has terminated its sponsorship after it failed to generate a suitable number of referrals.
Baptist had provided certified athletic trainers for championship events.
“We had 20-plus years with Baptist, and they’ve been more than professional with us, but we understand where they are,” Childress said. “And we can’t go into any state championship event without certified athletic trainers available. Safety is first and foremost. It has to be.”
The board voted to approve a partnership with Vanderbilt Sports Medicine.
“We haven’t signed anything yet, but we’re very close to an agreement with them,” Childress said.
Vanderbilt Sports Medicine also likely will work with educating coaches on injury and health issues and serve as a TSSAA sponsor.
More room: The coaches box for basketball was extended to 14 feet from 6 feet, bringing Tennessee in line with the rules of the National Federation of State High School Associations.
“I think most states are going to 14 feet,” Childress said. “We didn’t go by what other states are doing, though, so much as by the feedback we’ve gotten from our coaches.
“They felt 6 feet was confining in some instances. This gives them some room to talk to their kids and control their bench area.”
BlueCross Bowl: The board discussed a possible rotation for the football state championship games to provide all classes an opportunity to play on all three days of the event. The discussion was tabled.
The Division II-A and DII-AA games take place on a Thursday — following an open week — at Tennessee Tech’s Tucker Stadium. The Class 1A, 3A and 5A games are played on a Friday, with Class 2A, 4A and 6A contests held on a Saturday, with all those teams having played on the previous Friday.
Bowling plan: Changes were made to the bowling regulations that will affect tiebreakers in team competition and the number of competitors and lane conditions at the state tournament.
In addition to the automatic qualifiers, bowlers with the top 12 averages statewide will make the state field in Division I.
The lane change will be from house shot, a conventional oiling, to sport shot, a specific pattern that bowlers are made aware of in advance for practice purposes.
DII wrestling: A proposal from the Division II committee to adopt a nine-man bracket for the wrestling tournament was approved.
New TSSAA member: McClain Christian Academy, which has 43 students enrolled in kindergarten through 12th grade, was approved for TSSAA membership. The Lebanon school is expected to enter a cooperative agreement for athletics with Mt. Juliet Christian Academy, a Division II school.