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Sunday, July 24, 2016: Previewing the Central Committee meeting (con't)

[ Continued from Page 1 ]

    Finally, Nassau Aquatics Center has been recommended as the 2018-20 host for boys swimming championships. Critics of some recent decisions (ice hockey, boys basketball) will note that this wasn't a dollars-and-cents pick. The Webster Aquatic Center in Section 5 submitted a bid that was significantly cheaper, but the sentiment when bids were examined was that there was a lack of deck space and seating capacity.

    • The NYSPHSAA media credential policy checks in at a daunting 10 pages of guidelines and requirements that go beyond just credentials, but a thorough reading after May's Executive Committee meeting doesn't raise any flags that should be of particular concern to legitimate media. Above all else, it brings more consistency to the process of weighing whether certain media access requests are approved or declined.

    • The field hockey committee is seeking approval of its new nine-year rotation for how two sections per year are paired for pre-quarterfinal contests needed to get the tournament fields down to eight quarterfinalists.

    Boys basketball also has a request that applies only to Class D. At present, Sections 1, 8, 9 and 11 play down to a single quarterfinal berth in Class D -- but Section 8 typically has no representative and the three other sections are sparsely populated. A new configuration of Sections 1, 4, 9 and 11 would bring about slightly better East/West balance.

    Soccer and girls basketball are among the sports that have already realigned in recognition of the imbalance.

    • Members will be asked to approve a switch in sources for data that determines the current heat index and wind chill readings during times of extreme weather conditions throughout the year.

    • The Central Committee will also receive a 20-page update of financial policies and practices for its consideration. It starts out a little slow, but the end is a real page-turner. (I'm kidding. It's not ... though it's hard to argue against being diligent about good governance.)

    • Some tweaks to the NYSPHSAA Scholar Athlete Award Program, including a new level of recognition. "School of Distinction" will remain the top honor, but a "School of Excellence" category could gain approval.

    • CP Sportswear in Naples appears to be in line for a second consecutive three-year contract as the NYSPHSAA souvenir vendor.

Up for discussion

   As usual, a number of other topics will be aired. In most cases they'll be put on the agenda for votes at Executive Committee meetings this fall or early next year.

   Topping that list is the NYSPHSAA wrestling committee's proposal to conduct state-wide dual-meet championship tournaments in two classes beginning in January 2018, and the bowling committee's bid to expand its championships to two classes later that winter.

   The one-day wrestling event would bring together one representative per section in each class, with the selection process left up to the respective sections. The subject is already being batted around at the local level, and this week's meeting will be an opportunity for state wrestling coordinator Marty Sherman to take the room's pulse.

   With both boys and girls bowling fielding more than 300 varsity teams across the state and the championships typically dominated by teams from larger schools, the sport seems ripe for expansion.

   As with many things in life, there's a "however" awaiting both sports.

   Though a lot of people think launching the new wrestling tournament and expanding bowling is long overdue, there may be resistance in the form of concerns over opening the door to "me too" requests from other sports. If you recall, that was one of the rationales last fall behind the Executive Committee putting a bullet in football's request to expand to six playoff classes.

   The wrestling and bowling proposals would be likely to come up for votes in October.

   Along similar lines, a long-standing desire by the girls golf committee to hold a team tournament for one school from each section as part of its season-ending individual championship will also be discussed. The concept faces a few challenges for the time being, not the least of which is giving boys golf teams the same opportunity.

    • A long-overdue idea being pitched by the wrestling committee would be to allow multi-school meets comprised of teams with small rosters. No team scoring would be kept and athletes would be allowed to wrestle a maximum of

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three matches in one day. It's a seemingly obvious solution to the multiple forfeits that plague so many dual- and triangular-meet competitions.

    • Competitive cheerleading, the newest NYSPHSAA sport, has been busy this year updating its scoring rubrics. The Central Committee will take a look with an eye toward subsequent approval before the second annual state championships.

Also on the schedule

   The rest of the agenda consists of a rundown of informational items meant to bring the membership up to speed on old and new business.

   That includes:

    •Updates on recent tweaks the State Education Department has made to the Athletic Placement Process (formerly known as the Selection Classification Process). When all is said and done, junior-high athletes seeking to play JV or varsity sports should find the process somewhat less foreboding than it was in Year 1 of APP.

    •Treasurer Lisa Arnold will submit her annual rundown of sport-by-sport and NYSPHSAA-wide P&Ls. Though net proceeds from a number of sports in 2015-16 took year-over-year drops from the previous season, sponsorship and vendor revenue has been strong and leads Arnold to conclude the association's overall he financial health is very good.


    •The Association of Independent Schools, which was recently approved to compete in the season-ending state tennis championships, recently approached the NYSPHSAA with a request to participate in the state wrestling tournament.

    •At the newer end of the spectrum, the NYSPHSAA Membership Committee was reconvened last week in Saratoga Springs, where the most recent available transfer data from each section was shared and Davis Whitfield, chief operating officer of the National Federation of State High School Associations, offered his expertise on current issues.

    •And, finally, this tidbit that I'm guessing members of the print media are familiar with because their work tends to show up in radio and television broadcasts sans compensation from time to time:

   USA Cheerleading has distributed a reminder regarding copyright laws with respect to music used in routines during games as well as cheer competitions. They will now require proof of schools complying with copyright laws -- which apparently doesn't directly affect the NYSPHSAA cheerleading championship but will be of particular concern to competitive cheer squads the attend the numerous national events.

   Hence, NYSPHSAA cheerleading committees can look forward to two pages of legalese coming their way.

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