LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL AGENDA December 6, 2017 Hermitage, TN

  1. Roll Call
  2. Approval of Minutes of Last Meeting
  3. Election of Officers
    • President
    • Vice President
  4. 2017 Regional Meetings

    Regional Meetings were held at Hardin Valley Academy, University School of Jackson, and Hillwood High School. There were five proposals for changes in the TSSAA Bylaws on the agenda for consideration.

    1. Proposed Change to Article IV, Section 8 (TSSAA Sports Calendar) of the TSSAA Bylaws:This proposal is to move the sport of girls’ softball to the fall semester. Rationale:
      1. Weather – less rain, much warmer if not hot, ideal softball weather.
      2. Timing – players are coming directly out of travel/rec ball, which means they are in game shape. Pitchers would be better prepared for the season and their arms would be 100%. Fewer injuries would occur because of the players being in game mode.
      3. Schedule – the calendar would be set up like volleyball where players work out during the late summer, begin play in early to mid-August, district play begins the first or second week in October, state ends by October 31. Again temperatures would be much friendlier for these dates too.
      4. College Recruiting – by playing in the fall, college coaches would have a better chance to recruit high school athletes from Tennessee. Right now, they are limited to watching primarily during the summer months. The students could showcase their abilities potentially in front of more college coaches without having to travel far with a summer team. The state of Georgia does this and has major success with their players moving onto the next level. I would think modeling the schedule after Georgia would be a good start.
      5. Rec Ball – this would allow spring rec leagues to grow and not have to worry about the high school season ending. Numbers would/should rise and participation would cause more kids to try-out for high school teams.
      6. Middle School Softball – this could still be played in the spring, but the high school coaches could coach it and prepare the younger players for high school. Practices, fundamentals, and plays would all be in preparation for the high school team. Plus, the middle school wouldn’t have to rely on a faculty member to coach the team that may or may not have an interest in softball.
    2. Proposed Addition to Article II, Section 11 (Transfer Student Definition) of the TSSAA Bylaws: This proposal is to amend the current rule regarding the eligibility of a student that transfers from one school to another without a change of address as it pertains to a student’s participation on a co-op team. As an example: A student attending school A is playing on a co-op team at school B. At the end of the first semester, the student transfers to school B that hosts the co-op team with school A. The student did not have a change of residence. The student becomes ineligible to continue to play on the co-op team because he transferred to school B with no change of residence. Rationale: It seems that if the student was eligible to play on the co-op team while attending school A, he should be able to play on that very same co-op team when he transfers to school B, even though his transfer does not include a change in residence. He is obviously not transferring for athletic reasons because he was already on the co-op team. (Submitted by McEwen High School)
    3. Proposed Change to Article I, Section 3 (Membership) of the TSSAA Bylaws: This proposal would change Section 3 to read:For tournament competition there shall be two categories. Division I shall be schools whose student-athletes do not receive need-based financial aid. Division II shall be those independent schools whose student-athletes may be the recipients of need-based financial aid. Any independent school with a financial assistance program involving tuition-paying student-athletes and/or their immediate family must be classified as a Division II school. Rationale: The current policy, which allows public schools to compete in Division II is not consistent with the direction that the TSSAA membership appears to be taking. As the TSSAA membership more clearly delineates the lines between public schools and independent schools based on their many differences, entanglement between public and independent schools should be reduced. Division II should be reserved for and limited to independent schools. Furthermore, this separation would effectively eliminate the potential for abuse of cooperative agreements between public schools and independent schools. (Submitted by Jackson Christian School)
    4. Proposed Addition to Article III, Section 10 (Unsportsmanlike Conduct) of the TSSAA/TMSAA Bylaws: If a fan is ejected from an athletic contest, the school will be given a choice of removing the fan for a minimum of the next two contests or fined $500.00 and face further disciplinary action. If a fan is ejected from an athletic contest, and the fan is a relative of a student-athlete participating in the contest, the school will be given a choice of removing the student-athlete and the fan for a minimum of the next two contests or fined $500.00 and face further disciplinary action. Rationale:The TSSAA and its member schools believe strongly that the major purpose of athletics is to be a part of the total educational program. A major part of this purpose is to stress to coaches, players, officials, and fans the vital importance of sportsmanship. It is critical that everyone in each of these categories understand the major role model that they can be for others. Recognizing this principle, unsportsmanlike conduct on the part of these groups cannot be accepted. (Submitted by the TSSAA staff)
    5. Proposed Change to Article IV, Section 8 (TSSAA Sports Calendar) of the TSSAA Bylaws: The amendment will address the current calendar guidelines for wrestling and girls’ wrestling. The amendment seeks to change the maximum number of regular season contests from 18 dates to 22 dates which would move it closer to the current guidelines for basketball (24). There will not be a change to the second part of the guideline that states an individual shall wrestle no more than 55 matches, excluding forfeits, in the regular season. Rationale: After careful consideration, we believe that there are many advantages to the amendment proposal. Current region alignments along all classifications have made individual regions extremely large. Because of the limited competition dates, teams in large regions have been forced to wrestle several tri-meets and quads (wrestling three or four teams) on weeknights in order to compete against as many region teams as possible. Many duals take an hour or more forcing teams to compete late on school nights. By increasing the competition dates, teams will be able to spread those matches over several dates. Second, the increased competition dates will allow programs to attend multiple tournaments on the same date. For example, a team can send half of their wrestlers to one tournament, while the other half attends a different tournament. We believe that the increase in competition dates will also increase varsity opportunities for younger wrestlers and expand participation in the sport. Moreover, the current fifty-five match limit, stated in the second part of the guideline, prevents wrestlers from wrestling too many competitions during the season. The increase in competition dates is not intended to increase the number of matches a wrestler gets in a season; rather one of the purposes is to improve the quality of the competition opportunities and encourage programs to promote the sport through rivalry nights, in-school matches, and team versus team duals. Finally, the proposal has the support of the state coaches association as well as the TACA committee. (Submitted by Alcoa High School)
  5. New Business
    1. Proposed Changes to Article II, Section 18 (Amateur Rule) and Sections 19 and 20 (Award Rule)
    2. Proposed Change to Article II, Section 21 (Independent Game Participation)It is the staff’s recommendation that this proposal be placed on the 2018-2019 Regional Meeting Agenda.
    3. For the Good of the Order:
      1. Unified Sports Update
      2. Rules Meeting Requirement Discussion
      3. Sports Medicine Update
  6. Litigation Report