The Legislative Council is going to be busy this April.
Already a big meeting because of the scheduled introduction of new commissioner Rhonda Blanford-Green, the representatives will be voting on a wide variety of important proposals. Perhaps the most visible is the proposed addition of boys volleyball as a sanctioned sport.
There's also basketball's proposed mercy rule, a proposal about co-op programs, one dealing with violating game contracts, and plenty more.
Full information about the April Legislative Council meeting, including an agenda and all proposals, is posted here. We'll break it all down below.
Boys volleyball seeks sanctioning
Boys volleyball has long sought sanctioning from CHSAA, and this is actually the third official campaign from representatives of the sport. The Tri-Peaks League is sponsoring the proposal.
The administrative proposal seeking to amend the CLOC report will be among the first voted on at the April meeting. It is seeking to add boys volleyball as a spring sport, and have it immediately enter with two classifications that are based upon skill rather than enrollment. (This would kind of build on hockey's tiered alignment, though that is within a single classification.)
According to the proposal, there are 50 teams currently competing as club high school teams. A recent survey of member schools indicated that 93 schools would consider adding a team, and 107 supported the sport's sanctioning.
However, a group of boys volleyball representatives made a presentation to the CHSAA equity committee in January, and while the committee was impressed, it ultimately did not endorse sanctioning.
In a letter after that meeting, the equity committee cited data that showed that 81 percent of schools "responded that by adding this sport, their proportionality numbers would either be negatively affected or their school's proportionality would become out of compliance." Proportionality deals with the balance of boys and girls sports as mandated by Title IX.
Because of that, boys volleyball may face an uphill battle for sanctioning from the Legislative Council.
If boys volleyball is added — the vote will take a simple majority to pass — Colorado would become the 25th state to sanction it. CHSAA hasn't added a sport since boys and girls lacrosse and field hockey were added from 1997-99.
Proposal would clarify co-op programs
Last fall, the Hi-Plains football team won the 6-man championship.
Along the way, it underwent its fair share of scrutiny from its fellow schools and fans of opposing teams because it appeared to be reaping the benefits of a co-op program without actually forming a co-op — which would have forced it to combine enrollment numbers, and, as a result, move up to 8-man.
Well, the Board of Directors has forwarded a proposal to the Legislative Council dealing with co-op programs. Coincidence? Probably not.
To be fair, the Hi-Plains situation, which involved Flagler and bussing kids from one school to the other, drew a microscope because the team won a championship. As commissioner Paul Angelico said in December, "It's more widespread than just these two schools."
But, here we are.
This proposal clarifies what a school may not do if it doesn't offer a program. It makes it so schools cannot:
- Dictate to which school a student must go if his/her school does not offer a program
- Provide transportation to that school for the student(s)
- Make an informal agreement between schools in regard to which school will offer a program and which will not
- Provide the receiving school with any funds, equipment, facilities, etc., for the student(s) going to play at that school
- Provide any physical support except to provide transcripts for eligibility checks
The rationale behind this proposal states that the state law which allows students to participate at other schools if their school doesn't offer a program "is clear that where a student may play shall be the decision of the student and student's parents, not the school that is sending the student."
Furthermore, it adds that "small school athletics face enough challenges without schools using the law to gain a competitive advantage by dictation where students play sports and providing financial and transportation support for that student."
Committee reports to be voted on, including basketball's mercy rule
As usual, individual sport committees have been meeting over the past few months and making their recommendations to the Legislative Council.
Included is basketball's sportsmanship rule, which would institute a running clock when the score margin is 35 points or more after three quarters.
The basketball committee forwarded that proposal to the Legislative Council during its February meeting, along with a change to the regional format in Class 2A.
Earlier, we'd reported that a separate proposal would penalize violation of the sportsmanship rule. That proposal was not actually forwarded to the Legislative Council, and thus will not be voted on.
Along with this committee recommendation is a separate proposal from the Board of Directors that would penalize violation of the sportsmanship rule. If a team exceeds the 35-point margin more than three times in a season, it would be placed on restriction, along with their head coach.
- Hockey is seeking to add new programs at Chaparral and Woodland Park. It also wants to slightly amend its postseason waiver process.
- Spirit is seeking to separate the 4A/5A co-ed division into separate 4A and 5A divisions.
Violating game contracts to be considered
Another proposal revolves around game contracts and creates penalties for not honoring the agreement.
Currently, bylaw 2860.1 reads that "member schools are expected to honor game contracts." This would amend that bylaw to read that they "shall honor game contracts," so long as they are written and signed by the principal or athletic director of each school.
For a first violation of breaking as contract, a school would be placed on probation and required to pay a $500 reimbursement "to the offended school within 45 days." A second violation would place the school on restriction, meaning none of their athletic programs could compete in the postseason, and require a reimbursement of $1,000 to the other school, as well as a "mandatory meeting with the CHSAA office with a penalty to be determined."
Additionally, if a school doesn't pay a fine to the other school within 45 days, it will be "placed on restriction." The "penalty is non-appealable."
It's worth noting that the penalty "will only be applicable for varsity-level teams."
The proposal was forwarded by the Board of Directors in response to a number of member schools who have identified what they feel is an increasing trend.
It requires a majority approval to pass.
- A proposal dealing with football equipment dates was sent by the Board of Directors. It deals with using equipment and commercial and college camps, and it's probably easier to just link the proposal itself.
- The Frontier League has forwarded an amendment to change basketball's RPI percentages. The basketball committee is not in support of the amendment, which hasn't been analyzed or discussed using official data.