After a series of seminars and class meetings on Thursday, the question going into the final day of the annul LHSAA convention remains the same.
What will member principals do when faced with five classification-related proposals, including one that could add select/nonselect championships for basketball, softball and baseball in all classes?
The answer will come on Friday during a general assembly vote set for 9:15 a.m. at the Crowne Plaza.
“I think there was a lot of dialog that took place amongst a lot of people,” LHSAA President Vic Bonnaffee said. “I have never seen meetings where people paid more attention to information given than I have this year.
“This is the largest class meeting we’ve had and the largest participation. That shows that people care and are concerned about the future of the organization. That's all we can ask for.”
One key element hammered out Thursday was the order of the vote for the five classification proposals. LHSAA Parliamentarian Brian LeJeune told the principals on hand that when one of the proposals passes, the others will be rendered moot and will not voted on. If none of the five classifications plans passes, the LHSAA will retain its current split football format.
The proposal from Many Principal Norman Booker to add basketball, softball and baseball to the current football split in all classes is set to be voted on first.
Booker said he would be willing to alter the proposal so that it would be effective in 2016-17 rather than immediately in order to alleviate site-related issues for those state tournaments. Booker reiterated his insistence that the expanded split proposal should pass in the Class 2A meeting.
“I feel very strongly that this needs to pass,” Booker said. “I think it does the most good for the most kids.”
Others to follow are: a school relations committee plan for football that would allow select/nonselect playoffs for Classes 3A, 2A and 1A. It would reunite 5A and 4A; Mandeville Principal Bruce Bundy’s proposal to what erase the football split and put the LHSAA back in the traditional five classes for football; Ruston Principal Ricky Durrett’s proposal for football that would add a 6A super class; and the LHSAA’s rural-metro plan that is an alternative to select/nonselect classification designations and playoff system.
Discussion at class meetings and in seminars also stressed the importance of approving pay raises for officials in several sports. Those raises were put into effect this fall after LHSAA Executive Director Eddie Bonine negotiated with officials’ group to stave off a strike.
“I knew there were going to be issues when we met yesterday (an executive committee meeting), but we got past that,” Bonine said. “We had good attendance today. My goal is that we leave the building tomorrow knowing what direction we’re going in and that we do so in a positive manner.”