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07

Member Schools to Vote on Proposal From Special Legislative Commission Meeting

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The IHSA Legislative Commission convened a special meeting on Wednesday, April 6 via conference call to address an equity issue that arose from the outcome of the annual IHSA legislative process in January.

In January, IHSA member schools voted to approve 13 proposals, including the elimination or restriction of non-traditional seasons in several sports. During that vote, a proposal was passed that placed restrictions on schools wishing to organize a softball team during the non-traditional fall season. However, a proposal to place similar restrictions on schools wishing to organize a baseball team during the non-traditional fall season was not approved. Citing equity concerns between baseball and softball, the IHSA Board of Directors asked the Legislative Commission to reconvene for a special meeting to bring forth a proposal to the membership that would provide consistency between the non-traditional baseball and softball seasons.

The new proposal brought forth by the Legislative Commission would limit the formation of fall baseball teams to schools that either do not host a football team or that send less than 15% of the male student population to a coop football program. Likewise, it would limit the formation of fall softball teams to schools that either do not host a girls volleyball team or that send less than 15% of the female student population to a coop volleyball program.

Voting on the proposal will be conducted in the IHSA Schools Center and will run from April 8 to May 7, 2011. The proposals that were approved in January, as well as the current proposal, if passed, will take effect on July 1, 2011.

The text of the proposal is shown below:

Special Election  --  2010-11 --  Proposal No. 1

Amend By-law 5.011 – Boys Fall Baseball – Season Limitation
Amend By-law 5.231 – Girls Fall Softball – Season Limitation
Submitted by B. Kent Jones, Official Representative, Breese (Central)

By-law 5.011 currently reads:

5.011      Season Limitation

a.             No school belonging to this Association shall organize its Boys Fall Baseball teams, practice or participate in interscholastic contests earlier than Monday of Week 7 or later than Saturday of Week 16 in the IHSA Standardized Calendar.
b.            A member school may conduct its first interscholastic contest in Boys Fall Baseball no earlier than Monday of Week 8 in the IHSA Standardized Calendar.

By-law 5.231 currently reads:

5.231      Season Limitation

a.             No school belonging to this Association shall organize its Girls Fall Softball teams, practice or participate in interscholastic contests earlier than Monday of Week 7 or later than Saturday of Week 16 in the IHSA Standardized Calendar.
b.            A member school may conduct its first interscholastic contest in Girls Fall Softball no earlier than Monday of Week 9 in the IHSA Standardized Calendar.

Revise By-law 5.011 to read:

5.011 Season Limitation

a.            No member school shall organize a Boys Fall Baseball team if it organizes a Football team, or if more than 15 percent of its male student body participates in a cooperative Football program.
b.            No school belonging to this Association shall organize its Boys Fall Baseball teams, practice or participate in interscholastic contests earlier than Monday of Week 7 or later than Saturday of Week 16 in the IHSA Standardized Calendar.
c.             A member school may conduct its first interscholastic contest in Boys Fall Baseball no earlier than Monday of Week 8 in the IHSA Standardized Calendar.

Revise By-law 5.231 to read:

5.231 Season Limitation

a.            No member school shall organize a Girls Fall Softball team if it organizes a Girls Volleyball team, or if more than 15 percent of its female student body participates in a cooperative Girls Volleyball program.
b.            No school belonging to this Association shall organize its Girls Fall Softball teams, practice or participate in interscholastic contests earlier than Monday of Week 7 or later than Saturday of Week 16 in the IHSA Standardized Calendar.
c.             A member school may conduct its first interscholastic contest in Girls Fall Softball no earlier than Monday of Week 8 in the IHSA Standardized Calendar.

 

Rationale of Submitter

The Legislative Commission believes that the same standard should exist for those schools who may desire to offer fall baseball and fall softball to its student bodies.  The action taken by the membership as a part of the 2010 legislative process creates a disparity between the sports.  Originally, the association’s strategic planning process recommended the elimination of these seasons, along with the elimination of a series of other sports seasons, given the lack of overall participation in those seasons by member schools and because those seasons are not the ones in which the IHSA conducts its state series.

PROS
Creates equal participation opportunities between baseball and softball and eliminates potential Title IX issues.
Provides accord to the membership’s decision earlier this year to eliminate non-traditional seasons in boys golf, girls golf, softball, boys tennis, girls tennis.

CONS
Could potentially limit participation opportunities.

Posted in: General

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