New OSSAA proposal could be a trend setter nationally
BY MATT BAKER World Sports Writer
Friday, April 15, 2011
4/15/11 at 6:28 AM
The OSSAA asked a committee to think of a creative way to solve the debate between public and private high schools.
What the committee proposed Wednesday certainly qualified.
The Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association's board of directors approved a motion that would take a team's athletic success into consideration before moving a school up a classification.
Some states, including Missouri and Illinois, have used a multiplier to increase private schools' enrollment figures in all sports.
But Oklahoma would be one of the first to use a team's tradition to determine whether a school moves up a classification.
"Maybe we can be a trend setter," OSSAA executive secretary Ed Sheakley said after Wednesday's meeting.
Ohio's state association is considering a similar proposal, according to published reports.
The state would use athletic success - state titles and trips to regional or state - plus socio-economic factors and the size of its school district to determine classifications.
Oklahoma's plan would make a school eligible to move up a class if it meets three of these criteria: It has selective enrollment, is within 15 miles of a school in Class 5A or 6A, has less than 25 percent of its students on free or reduced lunch or has seen its enrollment increase by 50 percent in the last three years.
Specific teams at that school would move up a class only if they finished in the top eight at state in three of the past five seasons.
In basketball, soccer, cross country and track, the boys and girls teams are lumped together. If one team has made it to state regularly, both teams would move up a class.
The OSSAA will finalize its plan in the next week or two, Sheakley said. It will then be sent out to all OSSAA schools for a vote.
If member schools approve the recommendation, it would take effect next school year in sports that haven't already set districts then. Football would not be affected until the 2012-13 school year.
Cascia Hall's football program would be one of the teams that could change classes. The Commandos - currently in 3A - won three titles in a row from 2007-09.
"As I have said from the beginning, I have no problem moving up," Cascia Hall football coach Joe Medina said. "We've built the program up to where we can take on anybody. I don't think we've lost to a 4A or 5A team. I don't run from competition."
World Sports Writers Kelly Hines and Barry Lewis contributedto this report.
Programs impacted by new OSSAA proposal
Here are some of the local teams that could move up a class under the proposal:
* Would move up a class if the team finishes in the top eight at state this season.
- Cascia Hall football
- Lincoln Christian football
- Victory Christian basketball
- Cascia Hall basketball
- Bishop Kelley baseball
- Metro Christian baseball*
- Cascia Hall baseball*
- Bishop Kelley soccer
- Metro Christian soccer
- Cascia Hall soccer
- Cascia Hall golf
- Metro Christian golf
- Victory Christian golf
- Bishop Kelley golf
- Cascia Hall tennis
- Bishop Kelley tennis
- Victory Christian tennis*
- Metro Christian tennis*
- Metro Christian cross country
- Bishop Kelley cross country
- Bishop Kelley volleyball
- Cascia Hall volleyball
- Victory Christian volleyball
- Cascia Hall wrestling
Original Print Headline: New OSSAA proposalcould be a trendsetter
Matt Baker 918-581-8358