The TSSAA Legislative Council met in Hermitage on Thursday, December 7.
Dan Black, the Director of Schools for the Bradford Special School District, was elected to continue to serve as President of the Legislative Council. Keith Turner, Athletic Director at Science Hill High School, was elected to serve as Vice President of the Legislative Council.
The Council voted on 12 proposed changes in the TSSAA Bylaws that were discussed with administrators of member schools in East, Middle, and West Tennessee at the Regional Meetings that were held in early November.
A proposal to add Swimming as a sanctioned sport was denied and a proposal to add Girls’ Flag Football was tabled until the April Legislative Council meeting.
The Council voted to allow Category IV schools to apply for membership in the association. Prior to this change, only Category I, II, and III schools could apply for membership.
The Council approved a change to the TSSAA Sports Calendar to move the first official contest date for all spring sports from NFHS Week 37 to NFHS Week 36. The change does not add any contest dates or practice time, but adds one week to the regular season. This will go into effect this school year. NFHS Week 36 for this school year begins on March 3, 2024.
The Council approved changes to Article II of the Bylaws which align the Home School Rule and the Virtual School Rule under the new heading of Non-Traditional Students. A non-traditional student is one who attends a public virtual school governed by the Board of Education, is a legally-registered independent homeschool student, is a home school student enrolled in a church-related umbrella school, or is a home school student enrolled in an accredited online school.
In other business, the Council approved a change to the TSSAA Sports Calendar to allow for 8 days of off-season practice during a 15 consecutive school day period for all sports (except for football). The change will not go into effect until the 2024-25 school year. TSSAA staff will bring back final language to the Council for approval at their next meeting in April.
A change to the Golf Sports Calendar was approved that will allow each individual golfer to compete in 14 contests per season.
Potential changes to the existing transfer rules were discussed and tabled until further conversations with members of the state legislature are able to take place and the Council can gather further information from member schools as to which option they would prefer, if a change were to be made.
The repeating rule was revised to state that a student who participates in middle school athletics for more than two years after entering the 7th grade shall be ineligible for participation in all sports at all levels in the 9th grade.
The Council voted to implement standards in place regarding emerging sports. An emerging sport will be eligible for sanctioning once 20% of the TSSAA membership are participating in the sport and are committed to continued participation in the sport once sanctioned. A sanctioned emerging sport will be treated the same as all other TSSAA sanctioned sports, except that a state championship will not be offered until participation has increased to at least 25% of membership. All emerging sports, regardless of initial participation numbers, must go through a one-year trial period before a state championship will be added.
The full summary of the meeting can be viewed below.