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OHSAA Member Schools to Vote on Six Referendum Issues

April 9, 2024
News Release – Ohio High School Athletic Association
Executive Director Doug Ute
For Immediate Release – April 9, 2024
Contact – Tim Stried, Director of Media Relations, [email protected]
OHSAA Member Schools to Vote on Six Referendum Issues
Annual OHSAA referendum voting period is May 1-15
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Member schools of the Ohio High School Athletic Association will vote on six proposed changes to the OHSAA bylaws during the annual referendum voting period May 1-15. Results will be announced on Thursday, May 16.
A simple majority of the votes cast by the OHSAA membership is the only way to amend the bylaws and constitution. Member schools are required to submit a ballot.
The full text of the referendum details and more information about the process are posted at: https://www.ohsaa.org/School-Resources/referendum-voting
Referendum Update Meetings Scheduled
The OHSAA staff will conduct meetings with school administrators in each of the OHSAA’s six districts to explain the referendum issues. The meetings will be held April 10 in Clayton, April 16 in Streetsboro, April 18 in Athens, April 22 in Columbus, April 25 in Cambridge and April 30 in Tiffin. Media are invited to attend a meeting and should contact Tim Stried for details.
Member school administrators have received registration information for the meetings.
2024 OHSAA Referendum Issues  
Voting Period May 1-15. Results announced May 16.
Simple majority needed to pass an issue.
Issue 1B- Create New Exception to Bylaw 2-1-1, Alternative Divisional Assignment 
This proposed exception would allow schools to move up to Division I on a sport-by-sport basis if they desired to do so for that season. The request would have to be received by the OHSAA Executive Director’s Office by the established deadline (to be published on the OHSAA website). If requested for an individual sport, all athletes on that school’s team would have to compete in Division I. This was initially announced on February 21: https://www.ohsaa.org/news-media/articles/opting-up-to-division-i-among-referendum-items-approved-for-spring-vote
Issue 2B- Modify Bylaw 4-6-2, Residency
This proposed modification would allow that once a student is subject to custody orders involving child protective services, social services or a similar state agency, school administrators would be absolved from enforcement of the residence bylaw (e.g. ensuring the student has a parent living in Ohio) for that student.
Issue 3B- Modify Definition of “School Day” Within Bylaw 4¬-4-3
This proposed modification would address the transition of athletic eligibility between grading periods and amend the OHSAA’s definition of a school day to not include calamity days, where school is cancelled due to weather or similar circumstances.
Issue 4B- Modification to Bylaw 4-7-3, Midseason Transfer Exceptions
This proposed modification came about from feedback from student eligibility appeals. There are currently two exceptions which will allow a student to play the same sport for two different schools during the same season, but both exceptions require the schools to be at least 50 miles apart. The proposed change would address the second exception when a student transfers to a different school midseason due to the death or incarceration of the student’s parent(s) or the intervention of Children’s Services or a similar government agency. If such a situation transpires, the proposed exception would allow the executive Director’s Office to restore full transfer eligibility at the new school even if it is less than 50 miles from the former school. The proposed new language to the midseason transfer regulations would not include “standard” custody transfers (Exception 2).
Issue 5B- Modify Bylaw 4-7-3, Sub-varsity Midseason Transfers
This proposed modification would allow for midseason transfers to be fully eligible at a new school in the same season but only at the sub-varsity level (and no OHSAA tournaments) and only if the student met the requirements of an exception to restore full transfer eligibility. The proposed change would not permit a student who has played for the varsity team (or if there has not been a distinction between varsity and sub-varsity competition) at the school from which they are leaving to gain sub-varsity eligibility at the school to which they are transferring.
Issue 6B- Modify Bylaws 9-2-1 and 9-2-2, Contests with Out-of-State Schools
This proposed modification would allow schools to: 1.) travel to bordering states or provinces an unlimited number of times strictly to practice, and no approval would be needed by the OHSAA Executive Director’s Office, and 2.) travel to a non-bordering state for practice purposes only one time per sports season. The current bylaws only permit teams to practice while out-of-state if they will also be participating in a contest(s) during that trip. New language would clarify that schools are permitted to miss school time at their discretion when they exercise their one-time travel to a non-bordering state or province.
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