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February 2, 2009

 

State votes to trim high school slates

By TOM VARTANIAN
Staff Writer

BINGHAMTON — The New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) conducted its quarterly Executive Committee meetings Friday and Saturday in Binghamton and voted on several recommendations from its Fiscal Concerns ad hoc committee.
The recommendations are meant to help all school districts trim costs in their athletic budgets. The changes will be in effect for the next sports season, 2009-10 and 2010-11.
While the NYSPHSAA Executive Committee considered a number of items, and referred some other back to committees, the most important approved item was the reduction of the maximum number of contests permitted during the regular season. Beginning in the fall of 2009, sports with 24 contests will be reduced to 20, sports with 20 contests will be reduced to 18 and sports with 18 contests will be reduced to 16. Wrestling will be reduced to 20 events. Football will be reduced from 10 to nine. The ninth game is permitted, with section approval, for teams who do not qualify for sectional play.
For the teams involved in the sectional tournament the maximum number of contests shall be 10. For the sections involved in the state championship three additional games are permitted for a total of 13 games for the season: one game for regionals, one game for semifinals and one game for championships.
Cortland High athletic director Jeff Johnson and Homer Central athletic director Mike Carboine both support this decision. In fact, both pointed out the Section 3 was already looking at this idea in some form.
“We have been making some of these changes already and will use some of them this spring,” Johnson said. “We have been looking at ways to reduce travel expenses and officiating costs for some time now. I really support any way to cut costs, if it allows us to keep our lower level programs.”
Those lower level programs are the modified programs which are the feeder programs for the junior varsity and eventual varsity teams.
“I think it is a good idea,” Carboine stated. “It will help out financially and we all know the every little bit helps. Any cost savings will help out the district.”
While the effects will be felt across the board, certain sports will feel the change more than others. Soccer and lacrosse, for example, looked for the maximum of 18 games and will be cut to 16 games now. Baseball and softball always scheduled 22 to 24 games, in hopes of playing 18 to 20, now there will be just 20 games scheduled.
In line with that, no action was taken by the NYSPHSAA Executive Commitee on establishing a maximum of two scrimmages for varsity, jayvee and freshman teams and one scrimmage for modified teams, but it has been on the minds locally.
“We will look at this issue anyways,” Johnson stated.
Both Carboine and Johnson added the Section 3 was already looking at regionalizing the modified scheduling again and is reducing the number of games for those programs. That means Cortland and Homer will be looking more at modified games with schools like Tully, LaFayette and Onondaga, instead of trips to Fulton, Mexico and Phoenix. Both schools are looking at about 10 modified games each season against the more regional competition than playing a 14-game schedule with longer trips involved.
“Part of the original concern was the competition level,” Carboine said. “This whole idea to trim cuts will help keep these programs going.”
Four other items that were approved were as follows:
1. Support the use of telephone conference calls and video conferencing for NYSPHSAA meetings to reduce the travel reimbursements costs for the NYSPHSAA and Sections.
2. Support the use of officials from the host Section at all NYSPHSAA regional contests, except when the Sections involved mutually agree to use neutral officials. Effective with the 2009-2010 season and continuing to 2010–2011 school year.
3. Support a moratorium on the expansion of existing NYSPHSAA tournaments as it pertains to participation.
4. Centralized sites should be considered as part of the bid process for state tournament site selection when it can be proven that cost savings outweighs other criteria.