COLUMBUS – Ohio High School Athletic Association commissioner Dan Ross met with the media Wednesday during the Ohio Prep Sportswriters Association’s annual meeting.
Ross covered a variety of topics during an hour session. Below are some of the highlights:
•Ross said a system is being tested that would allow coaches and athletic directors to submit their teams’ rosters in advance of the implementation of the new competitive balance measures. The test program will be next school year with all schools required to participate when the rule is implemented for the 2016-17 school year.
•The National Football League’s plans to do a major construction around the Hall of Fame and Fawcett Stadium likely will delay the return of the state football finals to Stark County. The state finals could remain at Ohio Stadium for Fall 2016 and return to Canton and Massillon for the following two seasons. The state finals already are contracted to be in Columbus this fall.
•The OHSAA previously finished a deal to move the state tennis tournaments to the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason starting next school year.
•Ross expects boys and girls lacrosse to be the next sports approved for OHSAA sponsorship. The state is nearing the 150 schools needed for sponsorship, and play could begin as early as Spring 2017.
•Also on the list for possible sponsorship is archery. Ross said it could provide a similar impact as bowling, which has many participants that are first-time competitors at the varsity level. No decision is imminent regarding boys volleyball as interest has leveled out across the state.
•The state’s principals will be voting in May on several referendum items pertaining to transfers. Of note, two items up for vote would allow for exceptions that have previously been taken out. If separately approved, students would be allowed one free transfer without penalty back to their home school, and students would be allowed a free transfer if their school board elects to drop sports for any reason.
•The OHSAA is continuing to offer training and education to athletic trainers, coaches and officials regarding concussions. Ross said girls soccer has the most concussions.