10:06am: Talkline with Hoppy Kercheval

SSAC Moves Into Comment Period For Sports Changes

Proposed rule changes to the West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission have been moved to a 30-day open comment period after a state Board of Education meeting on Wednesday. The six new rule modifications include:

  • ·         Using grades 9-12 to determine a school’s population and state classification – A, AA or AAA — rather than the current format, which only includes grades 9 through 11.
  • ·         Allow school coaches and principals to blend 9th grade and varsity practices together in the same facility at the same time.
  • ·         Not allowing players who miss 14 or more practices due to non-medical reasons to immediately return as an active member of their team.
  • ·         Students who participate in school-related sports will not be allowed to join a team not organized by the school.
  • ·         Extend the ejection period for players, coaches and fans into the postseason.
  • ·         Add 10 quarters to the 40 quarter limit a player can participate in during the season.

Gary Ray, executive director of the SSAC, says all six proposals can help clean up the current format of secondary school activities in the state and help them be more similar to surrounding states.

“We would reclassify our schools every four years and I thought ‘Why are we not counting our seniors?’,” said Ray of adding the 12th grade to school classification. “I don’t think it’s going to hurt anything.”

Ray added that allowing 9th grade teams to practice with the varsity helps smaller schools who have limited space and time.

“Principals and head coaches can call the shots,” said Ray. “Smaller schools, in particular those with limited space and time, are sometimes trying to work around four teams using the same gym.”

Ray feels the extended suspension period will help clean up some of the language heard during sporting events and adding 10 more quarters a player could participate in during the season would give the coaches and players more flexibility.

 “The great thing about the comment section is it brings in problems that we never thought were there [with the proposed changes],” added Ray. “We’re so close to the situation to notice problems sometimes.”

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