Category Archives: General

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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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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Who is the GHSA ?

The following information was taken from the GHSA website on January 5th. 2015 and is only copied here to give context and understanding on who the GHSA is:

In 1903, Dr. Joseph S. Stewart came to the University of Georgia to work with the schools of the State. In 1904, in cooperation with the schoolmen in west Georgia, there was organized at Temple, Georgia, what has developed into the present GHSA. The present program has been developed over the years by secondary school administrators who realize the need for regulations in the constantly growing area of high school activities.

The GHSA is a voluntary organization composed of over 400 public and private high schools. It strives to promote good sportsmanship and a cooperative spirit among its member schools. It endeavors to maintain high standards so that each pupil competing in each school is on the same basis. In the field of athletics its interest is the safety of the participants; it is on this principle that its athletic rules are based.

The GHSA operates under a Constitution and By-Laws which outlines the scope and purpose of the Association. It contains the standards of eligibility to be met by high school pupils for attaining the privilege of participation in interschool contests, and rules controlling the participation among schools. By adoption of the Constitution and By-Laws through its membership, member schools have by their initiative acted to operate and discipline their interscholastic activities and contests.

Schools are divided in classification according to size so that schools will have an opportunity to compete for honors among schools of their own size. The state is divided into regions in each classification. Each region is operated by the schools in the region. Some events are held as statewide events open to all schools. Some events are held on elimination basis with the region competing in state events in the various classifications.

The GHSA provides services to its member schools in the organization and administration of Region and State events in the following: BOYS: Baseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Football, Golf, Lacrosse, Riflery, Soccer, Swimming, Tennis, Track, Wrestling – GIRLS: Basketball, Cheerleading (co-ed), Cross Country, Golf, Gymnastics, Lacrosse, Riflery, Fast Pitch Softball, Soccer, Swimming, Tennis, Track, Volleyball – LITERARY: Dramatic Interpretation, Essay, Extemporaneous Speaking, One Act Plays, Quartet, Spelling, Trio, Vocal Solo.

The GHSA sets standards for the registration, training, and evaluation of officials in all competitive activities. Rule books are distributed and rules clinics for coaches and officials are held throughout the state by GHSA-trained instructors. In football and basketball, more than 75 trained evaluators circulate around the state weekly to assess the work of the officials.

The State Office of the GHSA is located in Thomaston, Georgia. Information such as bulletins, materials, rules publications and press releases are available from this office. Any request for information should be directed to the GHSA, P. O. Box 271, Thomaston, Georgia, 30286. Telephone: 706-647-7473.

The GHSA is a member of the National Federation of State High School Associations – an organization of State High School Associations united to solve problems common to such organizations and to secure the benefit of cooperative research and action.

President: Glenn White
Vice-President: Lisa Moore Williams
Executive Director: Gary Phillips
Assistant Executive Director: Jay Russell
Director of Media Relations: Steve Figueroa
Associate Director: Denis Tallini
Associate Director: Tommy Whittle
Associate Director: Carror Wright
Associate Director: Ernie Yarbrough
Business Manager: Robin Bullington

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