State Legislators Propose Dissolving the GHSA

John Meadows, State Representative from Calhoun said he received more complaints about the GHSA than anything else put together (from schools, referees, parents, and coaches).  “I don’t think any of them know what their job is.  Basically I’m sick of it.”.

Meadows introduced House Bill 415, which would dissolve the GHSA and put high school athletics under the authority of the state’s Board of Education.

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Can Baseball’s Power Rankings Be Manipulated ? Yep!

Apparently the GHSA can allow baseball’s power rankings to be manipulated simply by teams not playing the games they were supposed to play.   Take this case of the Portal Panthers and the Lanier County Bulldogs.  It’s an interesting scenario how these rankings can be manipulated (whether intentionally or unitentionally) and cost teams chances at the playoffs.   Either changes need to be made on how rankings are calculated in the first place or a different appeals process should be put in place.

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Introducing the 3% Rule

Buford City BasketballOn Wednesday Dec 18, 2015 the GHSA voted to introduce ta new “three percent rule” when deciding member school’s classifications.  This rule is intended to address the competitive advantage schools with open enrollment have with recruiting students/players.  Schools with open enrollment are usually private schools such as Greater Atlanta Christian and city schools such as Buford City Schools.

This new rule compares the number of students living in the service area of that school (the county) with the number of students living outside that service area.  If more than 3% the students live outside this service area then the school can be bumped up to the next classification.  Because of this rule Buford (with a 17.1% of students living outside the service area) will now be a part of 4A.  Greater Atlanta Christian now becomes 3A due to a 39.7% living outside the service area.

Many schools appealed and were granted waivers to avoid this bump such as Vidalia which had a 8.7%.

Is the fair ?  Due to the number of waivers granted it still seems that this rule could be tweaked to avoid any type of subjective decisions.

Minutes and a listing of all of the new classifications can be found here.

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GHSA Releases Statement Explaining John Green’s Disqualification.

The GHSA has released the following statement regarding the disqualification of West Forsyth High School’s John Green from the state cross country meet this past Saturday:
“First, let’s be completely clear that this disqualification had NOTHING to do with what was written on the athlete’s headband. The fact that it was of a religious nature did not enter into the decision whatsoever.

Also, despite published reports to the contrary, the athlete and his coach were informed BEFORE the start of the race that the headband in question was illegal and could not be worn during the race.

After being informed that the headband was illegal, the athlete removed the headband and the meet referee assumed he would run the race without it. However, at some point after that, the coach and the athlete made the decision to ignore the warning and the headband was put back on. Since the athlete then ran the race with apparel that had already been ruled illegal, there was no choice but to issue a disqualification.

Here is the explanation by the meet referee: “I was called to the start line by the clerk concerning the headband. It was a white headband with large black letters written on it. The coach said he could turn it inside-out and make it legal. He did so, and the writing was still very visible. The rule said the item had to be unadorned except for a logo, and this clearly was not the case. I told the coach and the athlete that he could not wear the headband during the competition. The athlete took it off – neither the coach nor the athlete were happy – and I left. When I got back to the finish area, I noticed the athlete had a white headband on. So, when I saw him come down the finish hill, I went inside the finish corral to watch him finish, and he had the same headband on. I told the timer to DQ him, I paged the coach, and told the coach of the disqualification.”

Here are the rules that came into play in making the ruling:

NFHS Rules Book, page 14, Section 4 REFEREE, Article 6. “The referee has the sole authority for ruling on infractions or irregularities not covered within the rules.” The headband was not specifically covered in the rules.

GHSA Cross Country Coaches Handbook, page 3, bullet 7 “Beanies, toboggans, ear covers are permitted if of a single color, unadorned (one logo only).” Since this rule included headwear, the referee included the headband with the other headwear. Therefore, the headband had to be unadorned.

NFHS Rules Book, page 71, top paragraph reads “For wearing of an illegal uniform, when a violation is observed and noted by a meet official, the competitor shall be required to make the uniform legal before becoming eligible for further completion, and shall be issued a warning that a subsequent violation shall result in a disqualification from the event.”

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Equipment Violation ?

The GHSA deemed that a headband worn by a runner at a state championship cross country meet is considered an “equipment violation” and the runner was disqualified.
West Forsyth High School’s John Green was disqualified this past Saturday at the State Championships when the GHSA ruled that his headband which he was an “equipment violation.” The headband contained the bible verse, “Isaiah 40:30” which states “Even youths grow tired and weary. And young men stumble and fall but those who trust the Lord will renew their strength.” Green stated that he had worn that same headband for every race and had never been ruled ineligible until now.
West Forsyth’s head coach, Clayton Tillery, has challenged the GHSA indicating that there is rule regarding a headband as an equipment violation. “The rule simply doesn’t exist,” Tillery said.

GHSA officials said simply that Green was disqualified for an “equipment violation” and would not comment further on the ruling.

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GHSA Will Vote to Amend Bylaws on National Competitions

The agenda for the GHSA State Executive Committee Meeting has been released.  And the GHSA will, in fact, be voting to amend it’s bylaws to allow teams to compete in National tournaments after the completion of the season.  This change was brought about due to the controversy involving Wheeler High School’s basketball team being invited to a national competition in New York after winning the Georgia State Championship.  The GHSA initially denied Wheeler the chance to compete in this tournament because it is forbidden in the bylaws.  However, after a public outcry and charges of racism, the GHSA granted Wheeler a waiver allowing them to participate.   To avoid this situation in the future the GHSA will be voting to amend the bylaws permanently.


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BREAKING NEWS: GHSA caves and allows Wheeler to participate in National Tournament

BREAKING NEWS:  The GHSA today decided that Wheeler High School will be allowed to participated in a National Tournament in Madison Square Gardens in New York.  The GHSA bylaws prohibit teams from participating in National Tournaments after the regular season.

Executive Director of the GHSA, Gary Phillips, consulted with the GHSA board of trustees and decided that the rule which prohibits Wheeler fromWheeler State Champs participating may be in violation of a 2006 Georgia Law and decided to allow Wheeler to participate in the tournanment.  Fans of Wheeler had mounted a huge social media compaign (#LetWheelerIn) to push the GHSA into overturning their bylaws.  It worked. When faced with charges of racism and favoritism the GHSA decided to change it’s decision and allow Wheeler to play in the National event, even though their bylaws prohibit such a tournament.



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GHSA State Executive Committee Meeting April 12-13

April Meeting Calendar Mark it on your calendar.  The GHSA State Executive Committee  meeting will be held on April 12-13 in Macon, Georgia.


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Wheeler High School Congratulations! But 4 Transfer Students Were Eligible ?

Wheeler State ChampsThis is not a dig at Wheeler High School.  Congratulation on winning the 2014-2015 State Championship.  BUT how is it possible to pick up four top recruits in a season ? For the 2014-2015 season they picked up the following players:
* Shambari Phillips from Tucker High School
* Darius Perry from Mount Vernon
* Cam Jordan from Marietta High School
* Hakeem Anchrum from Parker High School in Birmingham.
Did all of these players have a bona fide move with their families to the the Wheeler service area ? Or did they transfer to Wheeler due to a financial hardship ? Those are the only two reason how they could have been eligible to play.

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Two Females Allowed on the GHSA Executive Committee

Two females are allowed on the executive committee of the GHSA !  Hooray!

Here is the excerpt from the GHSA Constitution to prove it…Article IV, Section 2:Females Allowed- Hooray!

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