Spring Representative Council Meeting
Cooperative Programs In All Sports Involving Class A and B Schools Have Renewal Process Modified. In all sports in which Class A and B schools are involved in cooperative programs, the renewal process will require league approval; tryout procedures and participation numbers will be monitored; and all materials sent to schools for both new agreements and renewals will communicate the preference for cooperative programs to split into separate teams as participation numbers grow.
Quoting MHSAA Associate Director Jerry Cvengros - "Cooperative programs have had a positive effect in stimulating growth of teams where school teams have not previously existed. However, there has been a growing concern that cooperative programs involving schools of larger enrollments could actually be excluding more student-athletes than two separate teams might include. Another concern is the disporportionaly talent pool that a cooperative program might have. These renewal options are intended to maintain a level playing field between cooperative and traditional programs."
The Executive Committee was given authority to waive the reclassification of a cooperative program in sports involving only Class D schools where only a few students are participating from the cooperating school, as opposed to the host school. The cooperating school must not have sponsored the sport for at least three years, and league support is required. The cooperative program would be classified by the enrollment of the host school only.
Quoting Jerry Cvengros - "There are situations where a cooperative program could exist but doesn't because the primary school doesn't want to move up in classification because it is accepting so few student-athletes from the cooperating school. This would allow more students the possibility of participation, but not potentially penalize a school with small numbers by moving it up a class."
The Spring sports season will have its first practice date delayed by one week, beginning in 1999; and schools will be surveyed regarding committee proposals related to their tournament calendars. The second Monday after March 1 will become the new date on which practices in all Spring sports may commence, which is the week after girls volleyball regionals and boys basketball districts. In 1999, that date will be March 15. The Representative Council also ordered surveys in two Spring sports - girls soccer, and track and field, which would determine interest in delaying the former sport's tournament by one week, the latter's by two weeks.
Quoting MHSAA Executive Director John E. "Jack" Roberts - "Delaying the beginning of Spring practice will be welcome news to many athletic directors around the state who have discussed and expressed a desire for the change for several years. It will help alleviate what has become a very congested gymnasium situation with winter and spring sports overlapping their seasons. Given the number of activities in which students are involved at the end of the school year, the Council felt that direct input from schools was necessary to evaluate sport committee proposals to delay these two spring tournaments, which were new proposals this year."
In basketball, a mercy rule will be implemented in 1998-99. At all levels of all regular-season and MHSAA tournament basketball games, a running clock will become mandatory when one team has a 40-point lead, with the condition that the running clock will revert to regular timekeeping procedures when the lead is reduced to 30 or fewer points. This will require that the MHSAA apply to the National Federation to experiment with this rules modification.
Quoting MHSAA Assistant Director Nate Hampton - "There are still a number of games taking place where score differentials are out of control, in spite of school's best efforts to keep scores down. Going to a running clock may help achieve an earlier end to lopsided contests."
Advanced the starting times of the girls basketball final sessions; and realigned the semifinal session playing order. All sessions of the MHSAA Girls Basketball Finals will begin one hour earlier in 1998. The Class D-A finals session will begin at 11 a.m. (EST), and the Class C-B session will begin at 5 p.m. Additionally, the semifinal order of sessions has been realigned to match that of the boys' semifinals, with Class C semis on Thursday afternoon; Class D Thursday evening; Class A Friday afternoon; and Class B Friday evening.
In soccer, schools will be allowed to compete in one-day, multi-team tournaments and count as only one of their 18 regular-season contests. Twice during the regular season on non-school days, a school could participate in a one-day, multi-team tournament and have it count as only one of its allowed contests. Schools would be limited to 180 minutes of playing time, and overtime games will not be allowed. Any individual who plays in such a multi-team tournament may only play in one additional game that week.
Quoting MHSAA Assistant Director Suzanne Martin - "Schools will use these multi-team tournaments primarily as an early-season opportunity to see their teams against a number other squads, and to look at more players than they might have under normal scheduling conditions. The limited number of minutes available will also keep these tournaments from becoming all day events."
In other actions, the Council acted on the request of superintendents
in Kent County to survey school superintendents, principals and
athletic directors this spring regarding the possibility of having
all high school seasons align with the collegiate seasons in
those sports; approved a measure to allow pep bands at MHSAA
basketball semifinals and finals for the first time since 1955;
approved a soccer committee request to locate the Boys Soccer
Final sites in closer proximity to each other and stagger the
starting times to enable more fans to watch games at both sites
(pending the availability of sites); and established a committee
to review the current MHSAA policy regarding the participating
of Upper Peninsula schools in statewide tournaments.