There will be no vote to separate in the OHSAA


Cooler heads have prevailed.

Well, almost, anyway.

Progress has certainly been made and that’s certainly a step in the right direction.

One thing’s for sure, there will be no separation of tournaments in the Ohio High School Athletic Association this spring.

The administrators in Wayne County made a decision to pull their referendum that would have created a tournament for public and non public schools from the OHSAA’s ballot.

Word of the Wayne Co. administrators’ decision broke Thursday evening and the OHSAA held a press conference Friday afternoon at the Jerome Schottenstein Center on the campus of The Ohio State University during the boys’ basketball state tournament to formally announce the decision.

Like we said earlier, there’s still many with issues about the non public schools seemingly dominating the prep sports landscape in Ohio.

So, the issue is far from dead and there is still a vote forthcoming this spring for high school principals,

During the press conference, Dr. Daniel Ross, the OHSAA commissioner, announced a new competitive balance proposal for schools to vote on.

First off, the new idea for competitive balance is much simpler and easier to understand that the last two votes, which included factors such as socioeconomic, tradition and other factors that formulated an “athletic count.”

The new idea, which has been signed off on by the OHSAA’s Board of Directors is sport by sport. In the past, a school steeped in football tradition affected the numbers for the boys basketball team or a girls basketball power could affect the volleyball count.

That’s not the case with this format.

According to a press release from the OHSAA, the new method “could place an addition onto a school’s initial enrollment count on a sport-by-sport basis that is based on the number of students on a team’s roster who are from outside the school’s district or designated attendance zone.”

In layman’s terms, if School A has 15 players on its roster and seven of them reside outside of that school’s district boundaries, its enrollment figured would be altered.

The new proposal would affect public and private schools the same mathematically, meaning the same formula would be used. Under the old proposal, non public schools were assessed an addition before anything else was even considered.

One area of the new format which remains the same is the new proposal is strictly for team sports, meaning cross country, wrestling, track, swimming, gymnastics won’t be included. However, with the addition of team wrestling this past winter, the OHSAA is reserving the right to look into it in the future.

The membership, and media, will have a chance to learn more about the proposal during Athletic Discussion Meetings, which will be held all over the Buckeye State next month. There are two scheduled for the Eastern District with the closest being in Cambridge on Wednesday, April 10.

I’ve attended those meetings before and they’re highly informative. They should be mandated for the membership, actually.

From just reading different takes on this and the press release, this adjusted proposal looks like it could have a legitmate chance to pass. If for no other reason, it’s much easier to understand. I think a lot of people were confused by the earlier proposal and just voted, “No!”

The argument of the public schools has some validity, but separation was not the way to go as we’ve written in this space countless times.

Some believed that if the referendum had passed, the majority of the non public schools might have withdrawn from the OHSAA, in essence, giving them absolutely no rules whatsoever to follow.

That could have and would have created absolute chaos because if you thought parochial schools were poaching athletes or recruiting them before, what do you think they’d do if they had no rules?

Plus, would a state public school title mean as much? To the players, coaches and community, probably so, but I am a firm believer in the adage of , “to be the best, you’ve got to beat the best.”

On top of that, public schools haven’t been doing too badly when you think about it. Of the 24 state titles awarded in the ‘team’ sports, 13 have gone to public schools and 11 to private.

Concessions were made by the administrators, the OHSAA and now it’s back to the membership to decide the course of action for the 2015-16 school year.

Stay tuned because the voting period runs from May 1-15 and a majority vote is needed.


We’d like to pass along our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Ray Ponzo. The long-time Shadyside band director passed away early Saturday morning.

Ponzo was a true gentlemen and ambassador for the village of Shadyside. Plus, he turned the Tigers’ marching band into one of the area’s largest and most respected.

On top of that, Ponzo was the scorekeeper for Shadyside boys basketball and announced junior high football and track meets around the Ohio Valley.

Everyone who came in contact with Ponzo had nothing but great words to say about him.

As a Shadyside High alumnus, I’m hoping that the alumni band at this year’s football game is as big as ever. If you’ve never thought of coming back for the annual event, do it for Mr. Ponzo.

He loved Shadyside, marching band, sports and his family. Ponzo was a true gentlemen.

Again, we send our deepest condolences to his daughters Melanie (Haswell) and RaeAnne along with his entire family.


THE TIMES LEADER’S Spring Sports Preview publishes on Wednesday. The 36-page supplement features previews on all area baseball, softball, track and tennis teams. Plus, schedules are contained.


Players and coaches chosen for the OVAC All-Star Basketball Game are reminded that media night for the annual Samuel A. Mumley All-Star Classic is slated for 7 o’clock tonight at OUE.

Staskey can be reached at