OHSAA Sends 14 Rule Changes To Schools For Possible Changes

Presented By Atomic Speedway

(Columbus) Member schools of the Ohio High School Athletic Association will vote on 14 potential changes to the OHSAA constitution and bylaws during the annual referendum voting period May 1-16. The OHSAA Board of Directors approved the 13 bylaw issues and one constitution issue to go to the membership for a vote. 

These referendum issues, along with other important matters involving educational-based athletics, will be presented to school administrators at six upcoming Athletic Discussion Meetings during the month of April, which include: 

Wednesday, April 6- Athens Meeting, 10 a.m.
Monday, April 18- Columbus Meeting, noon
Wednesday, April 20- Clayton Meeting, noon
Monday, April 25- Cuyahoga Falls Meeting, 1:45 p.m.
Tuesday, April 26- Bluffton Meeting, 9 a.m.
Thursday, April 28- Cambridge Meeting, 1:30 p.m.

Members of the media are also welcome to attend. High school principals will vote electronically on the 14 proposals beginning May 1 and ending at 4 p.m. Monday, May 16. If approved, all items become effective August 1, 2022, unless otherwise noted. A simple majority is needed to pass an item.

A complete text of the 2022 Referendum Items can be located here:https://ohsaaweb.blob.core.windows.net/files/SchoolResources/refvote/FINAL-2022ReferendumItems.pdf  

Two Items of Note
Issue 12B is a Name, Image and Likeness proposal that mirrors changes made at the collegiate level in the last year. This proposed addition would now allow student-athletes to sign endorsement agreements so long as their teams, schools and/or the OHSAA logo are not used and provided there are no endorsements with companies that do not support the mission of education-based athletics (casinos, gambling, alcohol, drugs, tobacco).

In addition, issue 4B would permit a student enrolled at a member public high school that does not sponsor a team sport in which the student desires to participate to petition to play that sport at a public school located in a bordering public school district pursuant to the bordering district’s duly adopted Board of Education resolution.

Summary of 2022 Referendum Items

ISSUE 1C: Transfer of Schools From One Athletic District to Another
This proposed modification of Constitution Article 5-7-3 and addition of Article 6-1-10 would clarify procedures and factors used for evaluating a request for a school to change OHSAA athletic districts. The proposed amendment would 1) restrict requests to those that can meet “objective, published criteria,” 2) restrict how frequently such changes may occur, 3) remove the final decision-making authority from the Board of Directors, which is composed of Reps from the impacted districts, and instead places the decision-making authority with the Executive Director, and 4) allow any denied transfer requests to be heard by the OHSAA Appeals Panel. If passed, effective May 16, 2022.

ISSUE 1B: Definition of Interscholastic Contest
This proposed modification would clean up the definition of an “interscholastic contest” by providing clarity to and more detail on the definition.

ISSUE 2B: Recognized & Emerging Sports
The proposed modification to the definition of Recognized Sports removes the list of recognized sports from the bylaw and moves that list to the General Sports Regulations, to be modified as needed by the Board of Directors. New Bylaws 1-5-2 and 1-5-3 provides definitions of Emerging Sports and Sponsored Events, respectively, and removes those definitions from the General Sports Regulations. The proposed changes also clarify that emerging sports are recognized sports covered under the OHSAA catastrophic insurance policy. The modification in Bylaw 1-5-4 clarifies that all OHSAA recognized sports, including school club teams, must abide by all OHSAA rules.

ISSUE 3B: Student Manager Exception
This proposal would enable schools to reward and/or recognize a student manager or a student with an intellectual or physical disability for his/her special contributions to a team and allow them to play in a game without requiring the school to verify certain aspects of eligibility. The participation of such a student would only be permitted one time per sports season and the opposing coach and officials would have to be made aware of the student’s participation before the student enters the contest. This concept is already captured in Bylaw 2-2-2, so, if passed, that Bylaw would also be modified to remove the requirement for the student to meet the standard of the OHSAA scholarship bylaw. 

ISSUE 4B: Students Attending Public School Playing Sports at Neighboring District School
This proposed new exception would permit a student enrolled at a member public high school that does not sponsor a team sport in which the student desires to participate to petition to play that sport at a public school located in a bordering public school district pursuant to the bordering district’s duly adopted Board of Education resolution. Reciprocal language has been developed for students in a multiple high school district. An OHSAA form would need to be utilized and, if approved by the Board of Education, must be on file at the OHSAA. Forms for the next school year must be received by the OHSAA Office by June 30 each year, and no student may participate at another school until approved by the Executive Director’s Office. If passed, effective May 16, 2022 with tangible implementation for 2022-23 school year.

ISSUE 5B: 18¬Year¬Old Provision in Residency Bylaw
This proposed amendment would permit the Executive Director’s Office to approve residency eligibility after considering extenuating circumstances that may compel a student who is 18 and no longer eligible for a legal change of custody/guardianship to transfer schools and move into a new residence with a primary relative while his/her parents are living outside of Ohio. This proposal mirrors the amendment to the 18¬year¬old provision found within the change of custody exception under the transfer bylaw. If approved, the student would still have to meet the requirements of a transfer bylaw exception in order to restore eligibility for the entire season.

ISSUE 6B: Shifting Period of Ineligibility
The proposed modification, which would be in the additional note, would give the Executive Director’s Office authority to adjust the period when a student would fulfill the regular season transfer consequence if they are unable to compete during all or part of the first 50 percent of the season due to extenuating circumstances through no fault of the student-athlete. This would NOT allow for the transfer consequence to be waived, nor would it allow for the student to regain eligibility for the OHSAA tournament.

ISSUE 7B: Bona Fide Move Changes/Clarifications
Besides moving language from the former “Note 1” to more clearly articulate to which school(s) a student can potentially attempt to restore full athletic eligibility via this exception, the proposed modification would do the following: 

1.) The current language of this exception allows for families to select any non-public school when they move into a new public school district, regardless of the distance of their move. The proposed amendment would set a new mileage requirement (15 miles) for a student attempting to use this exception at a non-public school.

2.) The current language of this exception allows for families to select any school when they move into a new public school district if the distance between the two residences is over 100 miles. The proposed amendment would decrease that distance to allow for the selection of any school when the distance between the two residences is 80 miles.

It was also noted that the reason there is no mileage requirement for approval for transfers to public schools for a move of less than 80 miles is because public schools have defined geographic boundaries which govern state allocated funding and school attendance assignments based on residency. If passed, effective May 16, 2022.

ISSUE 8B: Remove Current Transfer Exception 5 (School of Deaf/Blind)
Since the State School for the Blind and State School for the Deaf are no longer members of the OHSAA, this proposal would remove the exception for students transferring to these schools. A proposal to add this exception could be recommended should either school desire to return as an OHSAA member school.

ISSUE 9B: Return to Non-Public System of Education
The proposal to add this exception would give the Executive Director’s Office authority to approve a one¬ time transfer of students back to a non-public school located within the same system of education BUT ONLY if the student was continuously enrolled within that system of education in grades 4 through 8.

ISSUE 10B: Adult Bad Behavior Exception
The proposal to add this exception would provide a pathway for a student who may have been subject to inappropriate adult behavior to transfer schools and not be subject to a period of ineligibility so long as certain criteria is met. The proposed exception has no application for a student/family displeased with the former coach’s training tactics/style. 

ISSUE 11B: Modifications to Amateurism Bylaw
This proposed modification of the bylaw clarifies that money can never be accepted as a result of participation in interscholastic competition and also clarifies that a student can be a professional in one sport but still retain their amateur status in a different OHSAA recognized sport. If passed, effective May 16, 2022.

ISSUE 12B: New Amateurism Bylaw (Add Name Image and Likeness Regulations)
This proposed addition would now allow student-athletes to sign endorsement agreements so long as their teams, schools and/or the OHSAA are not being represented within those endorsements and provided there are no endorsements with companies that do not support the mission of education-based athletics (casinos, gambling, alcohol, drugs, tobacco). If passed, effective May 16, 2022.

ISSUE 13B: Modifications to Awards Bylaw
This modification clarifies that the award threshold from participation in an event is reset after each competition and that the award must be given as a result of participation in a specific athletic competition. Also, the proposed award/prize amount has been increased to $500 per competition from $400. If passed, effective May 16, 2022.

Early Voting Now Underway In Ohio

Presented By Classic Brands

(Columbus) – Ohio’s May 3rd primary is off and running as early voting is now underway.

“Ohio’s elections are secure, they’re accurate, and they’re more accessible than they’ve ever been,” said Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose. “Ohioans should know that your neighbors, the bipartisan election officials that work in your county board of elections, have been working overtime to make sure we’re ready to go. Now it’s your turn to make a voting plan and ensure your voice is heard on May 3rd.”

Ohio voters may cast their ballot in one of three ways: 1) early in-person; 2) vote-by-mail; or 3) on Election Day.

Ohio voters will enjoy nearly 200 hours of early voting this primary season. Ohio is one of 22 states that allow voting on a Saturday and one of just six states that allow early voting on a Sunday. You can find the entire early voting schedule on VoteOhio.gov.

Voters may also choose to vote by mail. Learn how to request your absentee ballot at VoteOhio.gov. Of the 42 states that run a traditional absentee voting system, a comprehensive review by the Brookings Institute determined no state does it better than Ohio. 
SOURCE: www.brookings.edu/research/voting-by-mail-in-a-pandemic-a-state-by-state-scorecard/.

Voters should consider these best practices when they choose the vote-by-mail option:

  • Fill in the information properly. Review the form to ensure you have filled it out properly, including writing your date of birth where required, not the day’s date, as well as signing your request form.
  • Include your e-mail and/or phone number. County board of elections will be calling or e-mailing voters who may need to remedy information on their ballot request form or absentee ballot envelope. Including your information will ensure you can be reached if your ballot request doesn’t have everything filled out properly.
  • Don’t wait. To accommodate necessary processing time at the county board of elections and the time required for the United States Postal Service to deliver elections mail, voters should not procrastinate – fill out and mail your absentee ballot request as soon as possible.
  • Double check your return envelope. Before you submit your ballot request form, make sure the envelope is addressed to your county board of elections.
  • Track your ballot. Once their ballot request is received by their county board of elections, voters may track their ballot at VoteOhio.gov/Track. As long as your ballot is postmarked by the day before the election and received within 10 days (20 days for UOCAVA voters) after the election at your county board of elections, your vote will be tabulated.

Absentee voting in Ohio is time-tested and has strong security checks in place.

Ohioans have utilized absentee voting for nearly two decades, and that has allowed Ohio to put in place both the laws and processes necessary to make absentee voting secure against fraud.

  • Voter identification and signature are checked TWICE during the process
  • Voter list maintenance allows for accurate voter rolls
  • Ballot harvesting is against the law in Ohio
  • Voters can track their ballot on VoteOhio.gov/Track

These requirements and processes, as well as strict laws against voter fraud, have made absentee voting secure in Ohio and instances of voter fraud are exceedingly rare.

Ohio voters will find the following races on their primary ballot:

  • Governor
  • Attorney General
  • Auditor of State
  • Secretary of State
  • Treasurer of State
  • Ohio Supreme Court
  • U.S. Senate
  • U.S. Representative to Congress
  • Additional Judicial and municipal candidates

The offices of State Senator, State Representative, and Member of State Central Committee will not appear on the May 3 Primary Election ballot.

Food Waste Prevention Week April 4-8

Presented By Chillicothe VAMC

(Columbus) – Did you know that nearly one million pounds of food waste is landfilled in Franklin County every single day? To bring this number to life, this is the equivalent of wasting: 

  • 41 BILLION gallons of water – By wasting food, each Central Ohio resident wastes 30 gallons of water each year.
  • 22 MILLION gallons of gas – That’s how much gas is used every year to transport food that Central Ohioans throw away – enough to fuel 44,000 vehicles for a year.
  • 160,000 ACRES of land – Each person in Central Ohio requires an area of land larger than a basketball court to grow the food they throw away each year.
  • 400 MILLION dollars – Every year, the average family of four wastes $1,500 on food that is purchased but never eaten.
  • 187 MILLION meals and 337 BILLION pounds of food – For every Franklin County resident, 145 potential meals and 260 pounds of food waste are landfilled each year. 

When food is landfilled, we lose natural resources, money and the opportunity to feed hungry members of our communities. Luckily, there are little actions we can all take to cut food waste in half in Central Ohio by 2030. In recognition of Food Waste Prevention Week (April 4-8), SWACO is sharing some helpful resources to get you started at home and work: 

Reducing Food Waste at Home:

  • Shop Smart, Plan Ahead: Before you head to the store for a family dinner or your next party, make a grocery list of what you have on hand so you don’t end up with duplicates at home, some of which may expire before you can use them. To only buy what you need, check out this Guest-imator tool so you know how much food to purchase.
  • Store Food Properly: Did you know that fresh herbs like basil and rosemary should be washed and kept in a vase like flowers, and potatoes will last longer if stored in a paper bag in a dark place? Visit USDA.gov to learn even more about food storage tips.
  • Consume Every Bite: Food left on your plate? Check out SaveTheFood.comfor inspiring recipes and ways to use leftovers, food scraps or imperfect produce. Find additional tips and recipe collections here.

Reducing Food Waste at Work:

  • Plan Zero Waste Events: Planning a company event? Check out SWACO’s Event Waste Reduction Best Practices to learn more about creating a zero-waste event, connecting with local haulers, waste station signage and SWACO’s waste container loan program.
  • “Free Food Alert!”: It’s easy to order too much when catering in a lunch for clients or other stakeholders. Create a system to let co-workers know there’s leftover food in a kitchen or common area for those instances where there’s a significant amount of extra food. For example, if you know there could be leftover food after a big meeting, alert co-workers ahead of time before they bring or buy their lunch.
  • Pack Lightly: There are lots of ways to make a zero-waste lunch, like using a recycled bag, bringing washable napkins and reusable flatware, eliminating beverage straws or using one made of stainless steel, and packing only what you need.

What’s one way to reduce food waste at home AND at work? Composting – a great way to create nutrient rich soil for gardens, while redirecting food that would otherwise end up in a landfill! Click here for SWACO’s introductory guide to backyard composting for your home. Or, if you’re interested in working with your office to start a composting program at work, click here to learn how.

Reducing food waste is an important and critical step toward protecting our natural resources, reducing our reliance on the landfill and ensuring a greener tomorrow for generations to come. For more information, ideas and inspiration, SWACO’s Save More Than Food is a one-stop-resource for understanding the issue and learning ways to take steps to solve it.

Voinovich School Continues To Rise As Preeminent Public Service School

Presented By Horizon Connects

(Athens) – Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Service was ranked 62nd in the U.S. News and World Report’s list of top public affairs graduate schools for 2023, advancing from 64th in 2022.

The Voinovich School continues to strengthen its position as a national frontrunner in leadership and public affairs education through its strong public service mission and commitment to working with communities to implement solutions that make meaningful, lasting impacts on Ohioans’ health, livelihoods, and well-being.

Voinovich School Dean Mark Weinberg attributes the School’s success to its distinction among public service schools for its ability to build public-private partnerships with nonprofit organizations, government, and businesses to create public value by leveraging faculty and partner expertise. The Voinovich School integrates services, investment and talent development to grow companies, build community collaboratives and non-profit organizations, and improve government delivery of services. This model allows Voinovich students, including many working professionals, to use applied research to develop and implement impactful real-world solutions. 

“Our biggest goal, because it is our responsibility as stewards of public service, is to help build vibrant, healthy communities, and the Voinovich School is positioned to do that through strong partnerships in those communities and by leveraging the limitless talent and resources at Ohio University,” Weinberg said. “We are uniquely equipped to bring together the brightest minds and best resources to solve big challenges and create real change in the Appalachian region of Ohio and beyond.”

Jason Jolley, director of the Master of Public Administration program and associate dean for public strategy and innovation at the Voinovich School, said this peer ranking, which is comprised of a national survey of all public affairs deans and program directors, is further recognition of the increasing importance of public service colleges, like the Voinovich School, with a primary mission of engagement with their respective regions and states.

“The Voinovich School is nationally recognized for focusing on developing research-based solutions and implementing innovative partnerships to build regional entrepreneurship, expand rural economies, prevent substance use disorder, promote quality of life for children and families, and improve the environment,” Jolley said. “This ranking demonstrates that the Voinovich School is competitive with established programs at highly ranked universities like Brown University.” 

The Voinovich School maintains a strong reputation as a catalyst for economic growth and opportunity, social impact and sustainability, and leadership and community building, and offers several graduate degree programs to help educate and inspire tomorrow’s workforce.

Home to the Executive Master of Public Administration, Master of Science in Environmental Studies and Master of Sustainability, Security and Resilience degree programs and certificates, along with the George V. Voinovich Academy for Excellence in Public Service, the Voinovich School annually engages nearly 200 students and many more public service professionals in hands-on learning opportunities and networking to enhance their careers and bring their ideas to life.

The Voinovich School also welcomes high-performing undergraduate students to gain experience in applied research and leadership skills through the Voinovich Undergraduate Research Scholars program. The competitive program gives students opportunities to contribute to active research projects and learn leadership skills alongside the Voinovich School’s faculty and professionals.

To learn more about the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Service’s graduate programs, please contact Joe Wakeman at wakemanj@ohio.edu.