The TSSAA Legislative Council met on Wednesday, March 18. The meeting is normally held in person, but was conducted via teleconference due to the numerous precautions being taken regarding the COVID-19 virus.
The Council voted to sanction the sport of Lacrosse beginning with the 2021-22 school year at a previous meeting. After conducting a survey of member schools that currently offer the sport and discussions with some current coaches and officials by the state office staff, the Council voted to delay the sanctioning process indefinitely to avoid the negative impact that sanctioning would have on already established teams.
They took no action in regards to proposed changes to Article III, Section 2 and Article IV, Section 2 of the TSSAA Constitution and Article I, Section 9 of the TSSAA Bylaws. The proposals would have removed the phrase “minimum of 100 school days” for both the Board of Control and the Legislative Council in Section 2 of Articles III and IV of the TSSAA Constitution and removed the word “full-time” from Article I, Section 9(1) of the TSSAA Bylaws (Coaches).
The Council voted to approve a proposed Change to Article IV, Section 8 (TSSAA Sports Calendar) of the TSSAA Bylaws that was submitted by Cumberland County High School. The proposal increases the number of student-athletes coaches are allowed to give individual instructions to per day in baseball (5), softball (5), football (6), and soccer (6).
The Council denied a proposal from Friendship Christian School to remove Article II, Section 12 (d) of the TSSAA Bylaws.
Science Hill High School submitted a proposal to change the penalty for coaches ejected for unsportsmanlike conduct. The proposal was to remove the game(s) suspension of coaches that are ejected to be removed from the rule, and that a coach ejection would result in a $300 fine and the coach would be required to take an NFHS online sportsmanship class before being permitted to return to the bench. The proposal was denied.
The Council approved a proposal from White County High School to change when the Dead Period begins and ends each year. Currently the summer Dead Period begins at midnight on Saturday night, June 21 and will end on Saturday night, July 5 at midnight. With today's action, the Dead Period will begin on Monday, June 23 at 12:00 a.m. and end on Monday, July 6 at 12:00 a.m. in 2020 and remain with that schedule for future years.
The final proposal on the Council agenda was tabled. The proposal was to change to Article II, Section 8 (Grade Participation) of the TMSAA Bylaws. The current rule states, “No student in a grade below the 6th grade can practice or participate as a member of a team in the Tennessee Middle School Athletic Association.” The proposed change allows 5th graders who are enrolled and in regular attendance at a school to participate in non-contact sports. The Council asked that they wanted to gather additional information from the Middle School committee in regards to defining what sports should fall into the category of “contact sports.”
Any of the approved changes to the Constitution & Bylaws will go into effect with the 2020-2021 school year. The full minutes from the Legislative Council meeting can be viewed below.