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Story Archives: LHSAA makes limited changes
|LHSAA makes limited changes|
Louisiana High School Athletic Association member principals approved a proposal that will allow member schools to play one class above their enrollment-based classification, starting in 2013-14.
"We're not moving up," said Vidalia High principal Rick Brown.
The LHSAA body took no action on two other significant classification proposals, opting to table both for one year during its general assembly meeting held in Baton Rogue.
The group put off for one year an amended version of a proposal by South Beauregard High Principal Marlin Ramsey that would divide schools for the playoffs into groups of non-select (traditional public schools) and select (private, magnet, dual curriculum, charter and lab schools) schools.
Also tabled after some debate was an LHSAA proposal drawn up by Executive Director Kenny Henderson that would divide football schools into five divisions and then classify schools separately for other sports in six classes.
The LHSAA currently has seven classes.
"Something is going to have to be done," Brown said. "The way charter schools are coming up it's only a matter of time. It's hard enough playing the 'private schools' and now you will have charter schools with an unfair advantage."
On Friday, principals voted by a 158-125 margin to allow schools to play up one classification.
"I would rather see them make a super district," said Vidalia High football coach Gary Paul Parnham, who could see both Evangel and John Curtis move into Class 3A with Vidalia under the new proposals. "We don't want either one of them."
Ferriday High principal Michelle Bethea said she is all for schools being able to move up.
"This will give the small schools a chance to compete and make the playoffs," Bethea said.
Ferriday assistant principal and boys basketball coach James Davis said the move to play one class up is a good start.
"Small schools like us cannot compete because the talent level does not come around the same as it does at some schools in our class," Davis said. "Hopefully in the near future they will let schools play wherever they want to play."
Ferriday head football coach Richard Oliver said he would be glad to see John Curtis and Evangel move from 2A to 3A.
"This gives us a better chance to compete," Oliver said. "The private schools have been dominating. I think they will end up going to six divisions. There are going to be a lot of changes over the next few years."
Ramsey's proposal that did not pass would divide the LHSAA's 387 schools into four classifications and then sub-divide schools into select and non-select groups for the playoffs, allowing for four non-select championships and two select championships in most sports.
Several principals from smaller schools spoke against the Henderson's LHSAA proposal, which would absorb the smallest class, Class C. The vote to table Henderson's proposal was 143-126.
"That's a good deal for us," said Monterey Athletic Director and girls basketball coach Carey Shively. "I hope it stays that way, but it's coming. There are too many small schools closing. But I am not going to worry about things I cannot control. We'll just keep doing what we are doing."
There were three proposals that set up sportsmanship guidelines and consequences for ejections and fighting for student-athletes as well as coaches conduct.
• The amount of time new member schools must wait before being able to play for championship honors was reduced from two years to one by a 154-135 vote.
• All baseball and softball coaches will be required to wear protective head gear in the coaching box.
• The practice period for baseball and softball and indoor track were extended. Indoor track gains four added weeks. Baseball and softball gain two weeks and short toss and long toss conditioning before starting actual drills.
• A series of proposals to revamp golf and its qualifying standards, effective in 2012-13, were approved.
Also, spring football practice remains limited to 10 days, but starting next year, schools can hold it in late January and early February instead of late April and early May as is now required. Schools cannot split the dates.
• A proposal banning from the playoffs teams that have to forfeit at least 33 percent of their games for violating eligibility rules did not pass. In 2010, Acadiana had to forfeit four football games, but still managed to win the Class 5A title.
Notable items that failed were:
• A proposal to prohibit teams that forfeited 33 percent of regular-season games from advancing to the playoffs by a 141-134 margin.
• A plan to allow all students who transfer to be eligible for non-varsity competition for one year if they live outside a school's attendance zone.
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