The TSSAA Board of Control and Legislative Council will meet via conference call on Tuesday, March 17 and Wednesday, March 18, respectively. The Board of Control meeting will begin at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, while the Legislative Council meeting will start at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday. Both meetings were originally scheduled to take place at the DoubleTree Hotel in Murfreesboro, but due to the postponement of the state basketball tournament and other provisions being made statewide in regards to COVID-19, the decision was made to conduct the meetings via conference call.
A live audio stream will be made available for anyone interested in listening to either meetings by clicking here.
BOARD OF CONTROL
The Board will discuss the status of the currently suspended state basketball tournaments, a spring sports discussion, and the effects of the COVID-19 virus.
Financial reports of the State Bowling Tournament and Hall of Champions Games will be presented to the Board.
Two junior high schools, Gatlinburg-Pittman and Pigeon Forge, are requesting membership in the association. The Sevier County Board of Education has decided to change the grade configuration of Gatlinburg-Pittman Middle School and Pigeon Forge Middle School from 6-8 grade schools to 7-9 grade schools next year. Their request is to join TSSAA in order for the 9th grade students to be able to co-op with the high schools.
A timeline for Classification will be discussed by the Board, detailing important dates including collection of enrollment figures, deadlines for schools, and when the Board will decide on the number of classes for each sport.
The staff will discuss 8 Man Football with the Board, a minimum number of players required to play 11 Man Football, and the longstanding Board policy eliminating schools from basketball post-season if they drop football.
Gallatin High School has submitted a proposal to allow golf coaches to coach their student-athletes during regular and postseason competition.
One hardship appeal is scheduled for the meeting.
The Council will take three proposed changes that were discussed at previous meetings.
First, a proposed change to Article III, Section 2 and Article IV, Section 2 of the TSSAA Constitution to remove the phrase "minimum of 100 school days" for both the Board of Control and the Legislative Council in Section 2 of Articles III and IV of the TSSAA Constitution. It would read, "All members of the Board of Control/Legislative Council must be full-time employees who are principals..."
The second proposed change is to Article I, Section 9 of the TSSAA Bylaws. The proposal is that the phrase "full-time" be removed from Article I, Section 9(1) of the TSSAA Bylaws (Coaches). It would read, "Certified teacher of a board of education with a Tennessee teaching license or the equivalent, working a minimum of 100 school days."
The last item of "old business" is in regards to when the Legislative Council voted to sanction the sport of Lacrosse beginning with the 2021-22 school year. After conducting a survey of member schools that currently offer the sport and discussions with some current coaches and officials, the Legislative Council needs to decide whether or not we move forward with the sanctioning process.
New proposals that the Council will discuss include a proposed change to Article IV, Section 8 (TSSAA Sports Calendar) of the TSSAA Bylaws. The proposal, submitted by Cumberland County High School, is to increase the number of student-athletes coaches are allowed to give individual instructions to per day in baseball (5), softball (5), football (6), and soccer (6).
Friendship Christian School has submitted a proposal asking the Legislative Council to reconsider removing Article II, Section 12 (d) of the TSSAA Bylaws, which states:
The student is moving from a boarding school where they are a boarder to the school serving the territory where his/her parents live, or vice versa, provided the student has attended the school he/she is leaving for a minimum of twelve months and provided the principal at the school he/she is leaving indicates in writing that the move is not for athletic or disciplinary reasons. The move must be at the beginning of the school year. (Note: The school must be outside the day school territory of the boarding school.)
Science Hill High School has proposed to change the penalty for coaches ejected for unsportsmanlike conduct. The proposal is to remove the game(s) suspension of coaches that are ejected to be removed from the rule, and that a coach ejection would result in a $300 fine and the coach would be required to take an NFHS online sportsmanship class before being permitted to return to the bench.
White County High School proposed to change when the Dead Period begins and ends each year. Currently the summer Dead Period begins at midnight on Saturday night, June 21 and will end on Saturday night, July 5 at midnight. The proposal asks to move this back 24 hours to begin on Sunday, June 22 at midnight and end on Sunday, July 5 at midnight and that it be an amendment to the current 2019-20 calendar and be a permanent change in future years.
The last proposal on the Council agenda is a proposed change to Article II, Section 8 (Grade Participation) of the TMSAA Bylaws. The current rule states, "No student in a grade below the 6th grade can practice or participate as a member of a team in the Tennessee Middle School Athletic Association." The proposed change is to allow 5th graders who are enrolled and in regular attendance at a school to participate in non-contact sports.