by Hunter Bower // GeauxPreps.com Owner
BATON ROUGE – For the first time in nearly a decade, the winds of change blew through Baton Rouge as the LHSAA convened for the second day of its annual summer meetings.
By a vote of 16-5, the association’s executive committee approved the redefining of what shall be considered a select school per bylaw 4.4.4, which calls for the promotion of fair play among LHSAA member schools. With the new definition approved, any member deemed to be lab schools, magnet schools, schools with magnet components, charter schools, parishes that allow open enrollment at all its public schools and tuition-based schools in the definition will now fall under the select category beginning in this fall.
Under the new definition, the number of select schools could increase to 198 while 207 remain under the non-select category which nearly splits the two sides.
“I think coming into the meeting I wanted to make sure, that at no point, anything that I or my staff said would lead or guide someone down any of the three options,” said LHSAA executive director Eddie Bonine.
Prior to the new definition going into effect on July 1, the association is giving any parishes that currently serve as open enrollment districts until June 22 to change said policy if they wish to remain on the non-select side.
Other options discussed were to keep the association split as it was at the start of the day or by completely splitting both the public and private member schools apart.
“In the grand scheme of things, the conversations that we had with our board members and who they represent, was that the second option had some momentum,” said Bonine. “After hearing the dialogue today from today’s meeting, I think that was the best option we could have got out of today’s meeting to move forward until we know something different.”
In reference to bylaw 4.4.4, Bonine was quick to point out that today’s vote to redefine a select school coincides with the explanation given in the rule.
“If anything we did today does not resemble bylaw 4.4.4, then I need to know what is,” said Bonine. “This was all about fair play, competition and sportsmanship.”
Using the same bylaw, the executive committee unanimously passed to unite Non-Select and Select championship events once again starting with the Prep Classic in December. Other sports coming back together are basketball, baseball and softball.