TSSAA Legislative Council Agenda – December 2015


LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL AGENDA
December 9, 2015
Hermitage, TN

  1. Roll Call
  2. Approval of Minutes of Last Meeting
  3. Election of Officers
    • President
    • Vice President
  4. 2015 Regional Meetings

    Regional Meetings were held at Hardin Valley Academy, University School of Jackson, and Hillwood High School.  There were six proposals for changes in the TSSAA Bylaws on the agenda for consideration.  A summary of the attendance for the 2015 Regional Meetings as well as elections of Board of Control and Legislative Council members will be reviewed.

    1. Proposed Change or Addendum to Article II, Sections 13a and 13b (Ineligible Transfer Students) of the TSSAA Bylaws:
      1. Students who are involuntarily transferred from an academic magnet or private school, whose territory encompasses the entire school district or 20 miles, respectively, will be able to participate in athletics at their zoned school immediately, provided they meet all other requirements established by the TSSAA.
      2. Students who are involuntarily transferred from an academic magnet or private school, whose territory encompasses the entire school district or 20 miles, respectively, will be able to participate in athletics at their zoned school contingent upon written letters of permission submitted by the Executive Principals or Head Masters of both schools to the TSSAA, provided they meet all other requirements established by the TSSAA.

      Rationale:

      Currently students who are involuntarily transferred from an academic magnet or private school, whose territory encompasses the entire county or 20 miles, respectively, are ineligible for athletic participation on the varsity level 12 months past their last date of participation.

      The rule, in focusing on involuntary transfers specifically, is unfair to the students. The rule penalizes them, sometimes for an entire school year from any athletic participation, for the decision made by the academic magnet or private school to preserve their scores, graduation rate, academic standing, etc.

      The involuntarily transferred student becomes the victim of the politics of education. Often, when the student returns to their zoned school, in the face of now not being able to participate in athletics in addition to being “kicked out” of their previous school, their performance, both academic and personal suffers further. In order to provide for the social emotional needs of the student, which directly affect the academic performance of the student, we need to surround this student and lift them up, and athletics can play a key role in this process. (Submitted by Stratford STEM Magnet High School

    2. Proposed Change in Article II, Section 13 (Ineligible Transfer Students) of the TSSAA Bylaws

      If the student-athlete has an athletic record for the previous or current school year in any TSSAA sanctioned sport, the student-athlete will be ineligible in the sport(s) in which an athletic record has been established, but will be eligible to participate in other TSSAA sanctioned sports in which no athletic record has been established. The twelve month ineligible provision from the last date of participation will still apply to the student-athlete in the sport(s) in which the student-athlete established an athletic record.

      Rationale:

      The TSSAA Bylaws currently state that if an ineligible student has an athletic record the previous or current school year in football, basketball, baseball, girls’ softball, or track and field, the student is ineligible in all these sports twelve months past their last date of participation. In all other sports, ineligibility applies only to the particular sport in which the ineligible student has an athletic record the previous or current school year. This section of the Bylaws should be consistent across the board. Ineligible transfer students should only be ineligible in the particular sport in which they established an athletic record the previous twelve months. (Submitted by Hillwood High School)

    3. Proposed Addition to Article III, Section 14 (Playing of Ineligible Student Athletes) of the TSSAA Bylaws

      Any TSSAA member school that is required to forfeit 50% or more of the regular season contests in any TSSAA sanctioned sport as a result of the participation of an ineligible player shall be prohibited from entering post season competition in that sport.

      Rationale:

      Schools that play an ineligible athlete for that many contests should not have the opportunity to enter and advance in post season competition. (Submitted by Hillwood High School)

    4. Proposed Addition to Article II, Section 8 (Eighth Grade Participation) of the TSSAA BylawsThere are three items for consideration within this proposal:
      1. Eighth grade students enrolled in a school district with one middle school and one high school be allowed to play high school sports once their middle school season is over; or
      2. By setting the ruling with a student population for a certain number or less, to allow 8th graders to play high school sports once their middle school season is over; or
      3. Eliminate 8th graders the ability to move up at all.

      Rationale:

      This proposal is in regards to 8th graders being eligible to play at the High School level when they are housed in the same building. Numerous 1A (Single A) schools throughout the state are located in one small town with a middle school at a different location, but in the same town. Their student population may be the same as those that are in the same building, however, they are not eligible under the current stipulations for eligibility.

      This is giving some students 5 years of valuable experience at the high school level. As we all know, experience is a very valuable component for athletes. Some sports are affected differently as to when their middle school season is over, only allowing a portion (4 ½ years) of the high school season.

      We are seeing parents, players, friends, etc. encouraging players to enroll in their school, which is all under one building, in order to have more eligibility. We are also seeing middle school girls attending summer camps with the high school team at a high school only camp.

      Our proposal is to allow schools located in one town with only one middle school within one school district to be eligible to move up to the high school sports once their middle school (8th grade) season is complete. (Submitted by Huntingdon High School)

    5. Proposed Addition to Definition of “Open Facilities”

      Open Facilities
      – Permitted at all times except during the Dead Period. Schools may use their facilities for students in their building prior to or at the conclusion of the school day. Coaches may serve in a supervisory capacity only. There is no instruction, no teaching, no coaching, etc. Coaches may not participate or play in any manner. It is a free play type atmosphere. Sport specific skills cannot be taught. ATTENDANCE CANNOT BE MANDATORY.

      Change Open Facilities Definition to read:
      Permitted at all times except during a Dead Period. Schools may use their facilities for students in their building prior to, at the conclusion the school day, or at the conclusion of the in season sport practice/game. Coaches may serve in a supervisory capacity only. There is no instruction, no teaching, no coaching, etc. Coaches may not participate or play in any manner. It is a free play type atmosphere. Sport specific skills cannot be taught. ATTENDANCE CANNOT BE MANDATORY.Rationale:Some schools only have one gym. This would give them another option to conduct open facilities. If a school that has one gym has volleyball they would not be able to have open facilities after school. (Submitted by Bradley Central High School)
    6. Proposed Addition to Article II, Section 12 (Eligible Transfer Students)Proposal:Student-athletes that are cut at one school can transfer to another school without having to sit out of competition for 12 months. (Note: This does not apply to student-athletes who quit a team or got dismissed from that team after making the team.)

      Requirements:A student athlete who is cut from football, basketball, baseball, softball, or track and field at School A should be permitted to participate in that sport at School B if he/she meets all other transfer requirements. If the student had an athletic record in any of the other sports at School A, he/she would be ineligible in those other sports for 12 months from their last date of participation.There should also be a letter of verification from the previous school confirming that the player was indeed cut. It should also include their last date of participation in any other applicable sports.

      Rationale:

      As an athletic organization, TSSAA should want as many kids as possible to compete in athletics. If that opportunity is not given to a student at “School A,” then that student should be allowed to have those lessons and experiences given to him/her at “School B.” (Submitted by Mt. Juliet Christian Academy)

  5. New Business
    1. Proposed Change to Article III & Article IV of the TSSAA Constitution

      Tennessee High School is requesting that the Legislative Council amend Articles III and IV of the TSSAA Constitution to allow three directors of school (one from each Grand Division) to be elected by the membership as voting members of the TSSAA Board of Control and Legislative Council. The TSSAA staff has worked on the language for these proposed amendments and will explain.

    2. Proposed Change to Wrestling/Girls Wrestling Sports Calendars:

      The TSSAA staff proposes the removal of the current limitation of four individual tournaments in the current TSSAA Wrestling Sports Calendar while setting a 55 match limit during the regular season for each individual. The proposal does not change the number of dates that each school is allowed to schedule. The staff will explain.

  6. Litigation Report