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High schools: GCL Coed, Roger Bacon fighting competitive balance, get temporary restraining order against OHSAA

The Ohio High School Athletic Association’s competitive balance plan has become a legal issue.

The OHSAA said Wednesday it was informed that the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas has issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) that prohibits the OHSAA from continuing to utilize a component of the competitive balance process that OHSAA member schools voted into place in 2014.

The court’s TRO ruling was specific to the Tier 1 factor and specifically to Roger Bacon High School and the other members of the Greater Catholic League Coed Division, which includes Badin, Fenwick, McNicholas, Purcell Marian, Alter, Carroll and Chaminade Julienne.

However, OHSAA member schools voted to have the competitive balance process apply to all member schools, both public and non-public.

“We were advised this afternoon of the court’s TRO,” OHSAA Executive Director Jerry Snodgrass said in a release. “Although the court’s ruling was specific to one conference, the OHSAA is an organization that emphasizes treating all of our member schools fairly and consistently, so we will work diligently with our staff, Board of Directors and general counsel to determine the best course of action in light of the TRO.”

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The ruling has no affect on regular-season schedules or contests. However, the OHSAA had already announced the tournament divisional breakdowns for 2018-19 using competitive balance for the sports that it affects — soccer, volleyball, football, basketball, baseball and softball.

Information regarding the next steps for the OHSAA or the court proceedings is not available at this time.

The competitive balance plan, approved as a referendum issue by OHSAA member schools in 2014, adds factors to school enrollment figures that are based on the residence of students on rosters of public school teams and the educational history (feeder schools) of students on rosters of non-public school teams. Enrollment figures are combined with the competitive balance factors to generate a tournament enrollment number for each school before they are assigned to an OHSAA post-season tournament division. The 2018-19 school year will be the second in which the competitive balance plan is scheduled to be utilized.

Cox Media reported earlier this year about Badin’s concerns in baseball. Thanks to competitive balance, the Rams were moved up to Division I with a base enrollment of 227 boys. The largest school in the division was Mason with 1,357 boys.

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