The TSSAA Legislative Council will meet via a conference call on Thursday, December 10. The meeting will begin at 9:00 a.m.
The Council will vote on three proposals for changes in the TSSAA Bylaws. The three items were discussed with administrators of member schools in East, Middle, and West Tennessee that were held virtually on November 4th.
The first proposal would be an addition to Article IV, Section 7 (Rules of the Game) of the TSSAA Bylaws. The proposal, submitted by Valor College Prep, would make an exception to a National Federation of High Schools (NFHS) playing rule. The proposed rule would state:
Religious headwear is permitted, provided it is not abrasive, hard, or dangerous to the participant and any other player, and must be attached in such a way it is highly unlikely to come off during play. Religious headwear does not need to comply with any of the color restrictions defined in applicable sport uniform codes.
Religious headwear in wrestling must comply with the safety standards of the sport and be approved by the head coach and contest referee.
Hijabs, turbans, and yarmulkes are acceptable types of religious headwear.
The second proposal in front of the Council would be a change to Article II, Section 8 (Eighth Grade Participation) of the TSSAA Bylaws. The proposal, submitted by Memphis Rise Academy, is to allow seventh-grade students to be eligible to participate for a member school in individual sports if he/she is enrolled at the school. The rule currently allows for eighth-grade students to participate for a member school if they are enrolled at that school. The rationale submitted by Memphis Rise Academy is that allowing 7th graders to become eligible for senior high sports could become a good resource for small schools that house grades K-12 or 6-12. This would allow more participation within the school for individual sports.
The third proposal submitted for consideration to the Council, which would be a change to Article IV, Section 8 (TSSAA Sports Calendar Definitions) of the TSSAA Bylaws. The proposed change is as follows:
Begins with the school’s elimination from the post season tournament play in a particular sport and concludes with the end of the school year. Coaches may deliver instruction in an individual or team setting to no more than the stated number of players allotted for each particular sport (Basketball-3, Baseball-5, Softball-5, Football-7, and Soccer-6).
Pre-Season Practice Rule
Begins the first day of school until the first official day of practice in that particular sport. Coaches may deliver instruction in an individual or team setting to no more than the stated number of players allotted for each particular sport (Basketball-3, Baseball-5, Softball-5, Football-7, and Soccer-6).
Pope John Paul II submitted the proposal with the thought being that it would eliminate confusion amongst coaches and that many coaches around the state believe as long as they stay within the allotted number they can work with their players in a team setting.
Tellico Plains submitted a new proposal that would be an addition to Article I, Section 6 (Cooperative Programs) of the TSSAA Bylaws. The proposal is that schools participating in a cooperative program shall combine their enrollments to find their classification for that sport. The thought being that it is a competitive advantage for a school of 500+ students to have a cooperative program with another school of 400+ students and compete in a region against other schools of 375-541 students.
Click here to listen to the meeting live at 9:00 a.m. CST on Thursday, December 10.
The full Council agenda can be viewed below.