Legislative Council preview: Proposals include changes to transfer rule, classification creation

Legislative Council meeting January 2018

(Ryan Casey/CHSAANow.com)

The agenda for April's Legislative Council meeting is out, and it is loaded from top-to-bottom.

The 73-member body will vote on 27 proposals and another 14 committee reports at the Radisson Hotel Denver Southeast on April 26. Among the highlights:

  • A proposal to change the transfer rule.
  • A potential shift in philosophy when it comes to setting classifications.
  • A change to the bylaw dealing with middle school activities.
  • A 23-game proposal for softball.
  • A move to use the NFHS calendar across all sports.

Notable this year is that a 21-person handbook committee met in February to make recommendations on changes to CHSAA's bylaws. A number of the proposals are a result of that meeting.

Transfer rule proposal

One of the biggest proposals heading to the Legislative Council is a proposal that would create a more clear and consistent transfer rule. Currently, mid-season and summer transfers are treated differently.

This proposal, which was recommended by the handbook committee and has been put forth by the Board of Directors, would give students junior varsity and below eligibility for 365 days from the date of transfer. The option of having 50 percent varsity eligibility would go away.

"Data showed that there's an increased number of transfers under the 50 percent rule that is impacting the outcome of postseason play," said CHSAA commissioner Rhonda Blanford-Green. "If our goal is to focus on competitive equity, this bylaw proposal supports schools of choice while reducing the number of students who transfer for athletic purposes.

"The transfer rule promotes the opportunity for choice by students and parents when they first enter high school, no matter where they reside," Blanford-Green added. "According to this proposal, any subsequent transfer without a hardship or bonafide move would give the student junior varsity and below participation for 365 days from the date of transfer."

CLOC's setup could see a shift

CLOC meeting

The CLOC committee met last November. (Ryan Casey/CHSAANow.com)

The Classification and League Organizing Committee may see a shift in philosophy and approach if proposals headed to the Legislative Council are passed.

On paper, that body currently sets classifications and league alignments, with help and recommendations from CHSAA staff.

"A 21-person handbook committee met to determine the best way to equalize competitive equity through hard enrollment numbers as well as additional factors that promote competitive equity and safety," said CHSAA commissioner Rhonda Blanford-Green. "This proposal is continuing a shift in how we look at classifications. We're changing, and not restricting the ability for those additional factors to be implemented."

A proposal put forth by the Board of Directors would amend bylaw 1500.1 to read that "CHSAA Commissioners will set classifications based on Bylaw 1500.11/1500.21 and present to the CHSAA membership in January of the odd numbered years." The CLOC meeting would then hear appeals from the membership.

Additionally, 1500.1 would be reworded to give CHSAA assistant commissioners in charge of a sport or activity the authority to review the data without any bias and determine "whether the total number of classifications should be increased" for that sport or activity.

Bylaw 1500.21 lays out how classifications should be determined. This proposal also slightly alters that language, and would have classifications be split using the following criteria:

  • Enrollment
  • Socioeconomics and demographics of a school
  • Participant safety
  • Competitive non-success and success
  • Competitive history and balance
  • Geography
  • School's enrollment trend
  • School's participation rate in CHSAA activities
  • Entry or selection process of a school

Schools would declare then preliminary CDE enrollment counts in December of even-numbered years, and submit their final numbers in January of odd-numbered years. That same month, in January, schools would declare their sports and activities, along with the classification in which they prefer to compete. The CHSAA assistant commissioner would then set classifications, to be ultimately approved by CLOC.

Schools would have to option of appearing before CLOC in February of that year to appeal any alignment/classification placements. Classification splits would be approved in April by the Legislative Council.

A separate proposal would change the name of CLOC to the Classification, Appeals and League Organizing Committee, though it would continue to be known by the acronym "CLOC." CLOC would only meet once per year, if the proposal is passed.

Changes to middle school bylaw

The middle school bylaw would be completely revamped according to a proposal, with a focus on sportsmanship and parent education.

"This would reflect the collaborative efforts of the middle school administrators and the visibility of the CHSAA to promote parent education, coach education and sportsmanship," said Blanford-Green.

Notable proposals:

Valor Christian Mesa Ridge softball

(Renee Patridge/reneepatridgephoto.com)

  • The Board of Directors has put forth a proposal that would extend softball's game limit to 23 games, matching what baseball did in January. The Equity Committee supports that proposal.
  • The Board of Directors is putting forth a proposal that would change the Legislative Council from bi-annual meetings to a single meeting. Currently, the Legislative Council meets in January and April.
  • A proposal would allow "an individual student or team" to "represent a member school in a contest(s) outside the competitive sports season in recognized national events" so long as it comes with written permission from the principal and the CHSAA office. This would mark a big change in philosophy.
  • One lengthy proposal would move all sports to the NFHS calendar as opposed to the current "rules of thumb" dates, something football had approved by the Legislative Council in January. This would create a clear and consistent calendar format.
  • The Intermountain League is proposing that 3A basketball return to playing a complete consolation bracket during the state tournament. The classification moved to only playing a third-place game a few years ago.
  • The Santa Fe League is proposal that 2A volleyball use the same regional format that is used by 3A, 4A and 5A. Currently, 2A uses a district format. The 3A, 4A and 5A classifications each have a 36-team regional bracket that is seeded statewide.
  • Hockey's committee report is recommending a 23-game regular season, but no official proposal to do so has been submitted to the Legislative Council. However, there is a different proposal from four leagues which seeks to keep the sport at the current 19 games.
  • As it relates to football, one proposal wouldn't allow any live contact during kicking plays in scrimmages.
  • One proposal would only allow schools to become new members of CHSAA at the start of a two-year cycle.
  • A proposal would create a CHSAA Database for coaches and activity sponsors, and require all be entered into it.

Committee reports

  • The hockey committee also recommended a new alignment, and approved new varsity programs at Colorado Academy and Glenwood Springs.
  • The Sports Medicine Advisory Committee is requiring every school to create venue-specific emergency action plans.
  • The spirit committee has upped the roster limit from 25 to 28 in 4A and 5A.
  • The swimming committee is recommending a change from top 16 for finals at state events to a top 20. Additionally the boys 4A and 5A championships would be at one combined site starting in 2019.
  • The track and field committee is recommending that the girls 800 medley relay be eliminated from the state meet starting in 2019. (The boys don't run the event.)

New Board members

The following have been nominated to serve on CHSAA's Board of Directors, starting in the fall of 2019:

  • Luke DeWolfe, Steamboat Springs athletic director, in District 1.
  • Chase McBride, Niwot athletic director, in District 2.
  • Femi Alao, DSST: Green Valley Ranch athletic director, in District 5.
  • Don Steiner, Evangelical Christian athletic director, in District 8.