by Hunter Bower // GeauxPreps.com Owner
BATON ROUGE – It could be business as usual with a twist at the LHSAA offices Thursday as the executive committee convenes for its annual summer meeting.
The session, set to begin at 10 a.m., will be highlighted by several key items up for discussion including school appeals, handbook-related item discussions as well as the reorganization and/or consolidation of several member schools.
Among the handbook topics include several by-laws changes passed during the spring meetings as well as “hold-back” information and summer/spring participation including seventh and eighth graders.
The public comment period could also provide several key discussions regarding the future of postseason formats for the sports of baseball, basketball, football and softball. Member school representatives as well as the general public will have the opportunity to share thoughts, opinions and suggestions surrounding current matters within the association.
A motion to postpone the ratification of current playoff structures for the sports of football, basketball, baseball and softball was approved overwhelmingly by member schools at the LHSAA annual convention in January. Instead, an agreement was reached to discuss the future of the postseason formats during the summer months.
Although two attempts were made by member principals to convene a special meeting in June to discuss and potentially call a vote to either ratify or turn down the current playoff formats, the association could not gain a commitment from at least 50% of the membership, the minimum number of schools needed to hold any meetings outside of the annual convention.
The first attempt resulted in only 33% (125 schools) of principals responding with a commitment to appear for a special meeting while the latest attempt gained more traction but still failed to reach the minimum requirement with only 41% (169 schools) committing to appear.
The special meeting was planned to convene in mid-June should the membership had reach a 50% commitment.
Independently, a group of principals developed a survey to send out to LHSAA membership a few months ago in an effort to gauge the perspective of school leadership.
Survey information received by GeauxPreps.com reflected that a principal and/or athletic director from 209 member schools, or 51% of the membership, responded to the survey in an effort to have their voices heard regarding several key topics, including Non-Select/Select status, relationships with executive committee members as well as the current playoff format.
Although a majority of the respondents agreed that the current postseason format as well as the designation of the Non-Select/Select definition should be addressed, almost 40% of the respondents answered that they have never reached out to an executive committee member.
A member of the group responsible for sending out the survey noted that principals must be more engaged with their committee members as those who are currently involved tend to receive good results from their representatives.
Executive committee meetings are designed for the public to attend in order to listen as well as have their voices heard.
An appearance by member school representatives would serve as further progress in an effort to become more involved in each side assisting each other for the betterment of the Louisiana’s high school student-athletes.
RESULTS OF INDEPENDENT PRINCIPAL SURVEY
I. Rank the following statements in order of importance as it concerns YOUR school. #1 is MOST important . . . #5 is LEAST important.
1. We do not like the process the EC used to implement the new plan
T2. We should address the disparity created by Divisions
T2. We should address unfair Select/Nonselect designations
4. We should bring the Association back together
5. We should vote to leave the new plan in place
II. How would you assess your Executive Committee member’s responsiveness to your communications?
I have never reached out to my Executive Committee member – 39.9%
Very responsive – 31.5%
Somewhat responsive – 21.6%
Not at all responsive – 7%
III. Which of the definitions of SELECT do you believe “levels the playing field” for athletic competition in the LHSAA?
Select shall mean private or public schools that have a state or parish approved designation as a lab school, magnet school(s)with one or more magnet component(s), approved charter schools, parish wide approved open enrollment, state recovery district (RSD) application-based parish schools, tuition-based schools and/or any established academic and/or retention-based criterion schools. – 45.5%
NEITHER – 30.5%
This proposal amends that definition to read: Select shall mean private, public, or charter schools that have a population of greater than or equal to 25% of their total student population who reside outside of their athletic attendance zone as defined by the LHSAA. – 23.9%
IV. Do you believe that it is important for the LHSAA to keep Districts in place for regular season competition?
Yes – 74.3%
No – 25.7%