Contact: John Johnson
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EAST LANSING, Mich. – May 17 – Approving a variety of regulations and sports activities policies were among the actions taken by the Representative Council of the Michigan High School Athletic Association during its annual Spring Meeting, May 1-2, in Bellaire.
The Spring meeting of the 19-member legislative body of the Association’s nearly 1,600 member schools is generally the busiest of its three sessions each year. The Council considered 42 committee proposals and also dealt with a variety of eligibility rule, post-season tournament and operational issues.
In action regarding MHSAA Handbook matters, the Council strengthened the regulation which requires a coach or player to miss the next day of competition after being ejected from an event. If the ejection occurs during an MHSAA Tournament, the player or coach must miss the next day of tournament competition, and the next day of non-tournament action if an event is scheduled between the two tournament dates. The action prevents schools from manufacturing a day of competition between two tournament dates to get someone eligible for the next day of the tournament.
Here is a summary of other actions taken at the Spring Representative Council Meeting which will take effect during the 2011-12 school year:
• Once eliminated from MHSAA post-season tournament play or following its last regular-season competition, schools will not be allowed to scrimmage other teams in any sport at any level. Schools may still conduct practice until the MHSAA Finals take place in a sport.
• The Council approved an Officials Review Committee recommendation to revise the rating categories for when school teams are evaluating officials. The four new categories – consistent judgment and application of play rules, physical appearance, contest management and communication skills, and professionalism – replace eight existing categories, eliminate duplication, and streamline the process for schools and officials.
• In Girls Competitive Cheer, the Council approved a committee recommendation that team members wear athletic shoes in competition, eliminating the use of gymnastics slippers and other footwear, to enhance safety.
• Watches will now be allowed to be worn by competitors in Cross Country and Track. The Council approved the committee recommendation to eliminate the “no watch rule,” which came in with the “no jewelry rule” in 1991.
• In Golf, a student may participate in the two qualifying stages of the U.S. Open Tournament conducted by the United States Golf Association without counting against his or her allowed two non-school competitions during the season.
• A shootout option to determine a winner during regular-season competition in Ice Hockey was approved. With advance approval by the competing team or by league adoption, a shootout may be used when regulation play ends in a tie. Three shooters from each team will be selected for the first round, and three different shooters for a second round if necessary. Single shots will then be taken after the second round, if necessary, to determine a winner. Neither team may repeat using a player for the shootout until all members of the smallest team’s roster have shot.
• In Soccer, the minimum requirement for an official game during MHSAA post-season tournament play will change from 40 to 60 minutes. If less time has been played and the margin is one goal or less, the suspended game will be resumed on another day. The Council also banned Vuvuzela horns at MHSAA Soccer Tournament games.
• In Swimming and Diving, the Council approved the committee recommendation to allow a diver doing a legal dive list which is judged but not scored in the team results to earn a “win” towards qualifying for MHSAA Regionals.
• A team point may now be deducted for a flagrant unsportsmanlike violation committed by a non-playing member of a team at any time during an MHSAA Tournament in Tennis.
• The recently-announced change in Wrestling weight classes by the National Federation of State High School Associations will not take place in Michigan in 2011-12. The Council voted to maintain the current weight-class structure of 103, 112, 119, 125, 130, 135, 140, 145, 152, 160, 171, 189, 215 and 285 pounds; and will study the new Federation structure of 106, 113, 120, 126, 132, 138, 145, 152, 160, 170, 182, 195, 220 and 285 pounds during the coming school year.
Studies Ordered By The Council During 2011-12
• Discussion will continue on the application of the rule which limits a coach working with up to three or four players out-of-season during the school year will be reviewed for its application within a facility, where a coach may work with the allowed number of players even when additional players are within a facility, but not under the tutelage of that coach.
• The appropriate penalties for a coach who failed to complete the annual rules meeting requirement for a sport.
• The waiver of maximum age limitations.
• International student eligibility.
• Minimum academic standards for eligibility at the junior high/middle school level.
• Limiting competition to sponsored school team only in bowling.
• Allowing shoulder pads to be used in selected out-of-season football activities, such as summer camps.
The Council also reviewed reports on membership, with 762 senior high schools and 773 junior high/middle schools in 2010-11; eligibility advancement applications, which totaled 15 for the third straight year; the use of Educational Transfer Forms, which increased in use this year; school violations, which declined this year due to improved compliance with rules meeting attendance; attendance at athletic director and coaches in-service workshops; officials’ registrations, topping the 12,000 mark again; rules meeting attendance; and officials reports submitted for the past three sports seasons. The Association’s $10.2 million budget for the 2011-12 school year was also approved.
The Representative Council is the 19-member legislative body of the MHSAA. All but five members are elected by member schools. Four members are appointed by the Council to facilitate representation of females and minorities; and the 19th position is occupied by the Superintendent of Public Instruction or designee.
The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership by over 1,500 public and private senior high schools and junior high/middle schools which exists to develop common rules for athletic eligibility and competition. No government funds or tax dollars support the MHSAA, which was the first such association nationally to not accept membership dues or tournament entry fees from schools. Member schools which enforce these rules are permitted to participate in MHSAA tournaments, which attract approximately 1.6 million spectators each year.