CINCINNATI — The Greater Catholic League Co-ed is all for competitive balance in high school sports, but they’re not too keen on how it’s being done by the Ohio High School Athletic Association, said Mike Schafer, the league’s spokesperson and Director of Communication & Mission Promotion with the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.
In a statement, Schafer emphasized that “athletic competition is an important part of high school education. Student athletes learn the values of hard work and team play. These values are reinforced and rewarded when a team achieves at least some level of success on the court or playing field. That is why we support the concept of competitive balance, wherein all teams at a given level have a reasonable chance of winning.”
The OHSAA’s Competitive Balance formula involving a school’s initial enrollment count, an additional roster count based on a Tier determination, and then based on the adjusted count. It was created as a way for baseball, basketball, football, soccer, softball and volleyball teams to play similar levels of competition.
According to the OHSAA’s competitive balance website explanation, “the modifications are based on which students are actually on each respective roster. Competitive Balance roster data collection began in ArbiterGame during the Fall of 2016 and was initially implemented during the 2017-18 school year.”
According to Schafer’s statement, “the Ohio High School Athletic Association’s ‘competitive balance measure’ results in just the opposite. In fact, it institutionalized competitive imbalance by forcing small- and medium-sized schools to play against schools much larger in size. The application of a competitive balance measure that does not consider a school’s previous level of competitiveness is misguided. …
“The GCL Co-Ed and its member schools are challenging the content and application of the OHSAA’s competitive balance measure because it unfairly discriminates against non-Division I Catholic schools by penalizing them for enrolling students from the Catholic feeder schools from which they have received students for decades, without regard to the historic level of success of a school’s athletic teams,” Schafer said.
While the GCL Co-Ed was the only Ohio high school league awarded in the restraining order, the OHSAA said earlier this week that it would adhere to the restraining order and apply the ruling to all OHSAA-affiliated schools.
There had yet to be a determination on whether the present set of Competitive Balance guidelines would be utilized throughout the 2018-‘19 school year, or whether some form of alteration would take place after the Fall season had ended.
Locally, Carroll High School is a member of the GCL Co-Ed. Patriots Athletic Director Scott Molfenter and the rest of the league’s ADs had been asked to refer all comment on the restraining order to Schafer.
We’ll have more updates on the OHSAA’s Competitive Balance formula as it develops. Contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.