New Orleans retained one Louisiana High School Athletic Association championship event to host, while Monroe picked up the other.
The LHSAA’s executive committee voted to award the bid for its 2012-13 soccer tournament to City Park’s Tad Gormley Stadium, a site that attracted 6,800 fans to the 2011 championships.
New Orleans opted not to bid on the LHSAA’s combined tournament for all divisions after hosting the event last spring. Monroe was awarded the bid for tennis for 2012-13.
The two events were awarded during a Wednesday executive committee meeting held at the LHSAA offices.
Denham Springs High also got a one-year exception that will allow baseball and softball teams to incorporate throwing a ball into their final two weeks of conditioning starting on Jan. 9, 2012.
The soccer and tennis event bids were the first handled by the LHSAA’s new “request for proposal” initiative through Varsity Event Management, a company contracted over the summer.
“It (bid process) is more personal now,” LHSAA Executive Director Kenny Henderson said. “Now they (Varsity Event Management) are going out to see if the sites can cover (the events) and have a question and answer session (with the host personnel).
“Before they (host sites) might be blindly saying whether or not they could handle certain things. Now they know what expect.”
Varsity Event Management is a partnership between Shreveport’s Mary Ann Tice, previously of the Shreveport Regional Sports Authority and Rob Owens, who worked as Henderson’s assistant last summer.
“We evaluate them (sites) and assess them based on if they meet the criteria of what the LHSAA is looking for,” Tice said. “We don’t make a decision. We provide information.
“This (new system) is 180 degrees ... it’s much better. Folks I have worked with in this industry feel the same way.”
Lafayette, Monroe and New Orleans were the bidders for the soccer event, which will include championships in all three divisions for the first time in 2012. Monroe and Lafayette were the only bidders for the tennis tournaments for Divisions I-IV.
The throws of change
Denham Springs Principal Kelly Jones and baseball coach Mark Carroll spoke on behalf of a one-year exception that will allow coaches to begin supervised throwing for baseball and softball on Jan. 9, two weeks before the start of spring practice.
The executive committee had taken throwing out of preseason training because of reported abuses that involved pitching and fielding drills.
The proposal by DSHS puts specific limits on throwing. Jones plans to submit the plan to the LHSAA’s general assembly for a vote in late January, too late to change spring training for 2012.
Former LSU baseball coach Skip Bertman and current coach LSU coach Paul Maineri were among those who submitted letters supporting Carroll’s plan.