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AHSAA Board approves participation of home school students

Staff Report
(April 13, 2016)

The Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) Central Board of Control and AHSAA Legislative Council approved Tuesday a bylaw that will grant athletic eligibility for non-traditional students.

Non-traditional students include students who are home school students, virtual school students or students attending a charter school.

The action was one of eight proposals passed at the Spring meeting of the Central Board of Control and of the Legislative Council.

The bylaw, Proposal 8, ratifies athletic eligibility for non-traditional students and will go into effect for the next school year. Non-traditional students will be eligible to enroll at the public school that serves the district where their parents reside. All current AHSAA eligibility and transfer rules will apply equally to traditional and non-traditional students.

The complete guidelines can be found at www.ahsaa.com at the following link: www.ahsaa.com/New-By-Laws (click).

AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese said many hours have gone into developing the bylaw that addresses the concerns of non-traditional students and AHSAA member schools.

“A lot of time and thought have gone into developing this important legislation,” he said. “We now are ready to move forward. This will give our outstanding coaches an opportunity to make a positive difference in even more students’ lives.”

In other Central Board and Legislative Council business Tuesday, the Legislative Council approved eight proposals. To make a proposal a by-law, a two-thirds vote of the 32-member group is required.

“We appreciate the Legislative Council for their due diligence in making the tough decisions and doing what is right for the association as a whole,” AHSAA Central Board president Mike Welsh said. “I also want to thank the AHSAA staff for developing a bylaw that maintains the integrity of the AHSAA and its mission of fair play and educational athletics.

The Council also approved Proposal 11, which requires any proposal ratified by the Legislative Council at its April meeting to go into effect following the last day of the current school year. Previously, any bylaws passed became effective on the first day of the next school year. This rule affects all proposals that were ratified Tuesday.

Also approved were:

Proposal 3: Schools declaring ninth-grade football teams may conduct a separate ninth grade 10-day evaluation period either during the middle school 20 days allowed or during the high school 20 days allowed. Student-athletes will be allowed only 10 days of evaluations total.

Proposal 5: Schools that participate in the AHSAA playoffs in any sport that allows participation of an ineligible athlete must return all playoff shares/revenue to the AHSAA with the funds to be placed in the Revenue Share program.

Proposal 6: The word of current Rule VI, Section 12 is changing its verbiage to read: “A school in violation of this rule may be placed on restrictive probation.” It previous read “will be placed on restrictive probation.

Proposal 12: Allows AHSAA certified coaches from the school’s staff to hold organized instruction outside the sports season during the school year in groups not to exceed 50 percent of the players required to play the game for a maximum of two hours per week per athlete. Athletes participating in an in-season sport may not participate in outside-the-season instruction.

Proposal 13: Allows unlimited summer competition for winter and springs sports during three of the four weeks of May 30, June 6, June and June 20. Fall sports teams will be allowed unlimited competition during three of the following weeks of June 27, July 4, July 11 and July 25. The week of July 18 will be a dead week for competition due to AHSAA All-Star Week.

Proposal 15: Amends Rule III, Section 16 to allow spring sports the option to either conduct their evaluation anytime from the end of their season to the end of the school year or to conduct the evaluations during the first semester.

The Central Board also voted to make the NFHS Cardiac Arrest online course mandatory for all member school coaches. It now becomes one of the items required for coach certification.

Two schools, Oakwood Advent Academy of Huntsville and St. Michael’s Catholic High School of Fairhope, were approved for associate membership for 2016-17.

Central Board president Mike Welsh, principal at Spring Garden High School, and vice president John Hardin, principal at Hackleburg High School, were also elected to serve one more year in that capacity.

UMS-Wright head football coach and athletic director Terry Curtis was also sworn in as a new Central Board member from District 1 replacing Jamie Riggs of T.R. Miller, who retired.

Savarese presented out-going Central Board members Dr. Stephanie Robinson and Dr. Cathy Trimble with plaques of appreciation for their service on the Central Board of Control.
The Central Board also voted to make a donation to Dale County High School’s band, the 2016 recipient of the NFHS National Heart of the Arts Award. The award will be presented at the NFHS Summer Meeting in Reno, Nev., June 20.

Other Central Board action included:

— Approved the 2015 Football Playoff Audit, the 2016 Bowling, Wrestling, Indoor Track, Regional and State Basketball Financial Reports.

— Approved expenses for the National Federation Summer Meeting scheduled for June in Reno, Nevada.

— Approved the AHSAA 2016-17 Calendar of Events and Sports Calendar, the AHSAA 5-year Calendar, and dates for Central Board regular meetings for the 2016-17 school year.

— Approved New Board Member Orientation for June 16, 2016.

— Approved the Association of Classical and Christian Schools as an organization that can provide school accreditation. The request was made by Providence Christian School.

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