MONTGOMERY – The Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) Central Board of Control approved E-Sports competition for member schools and Instant Replay for football games at its board meeting at the AHSAA Office Thursday.
The AHSAA Legislative Council also met Thursday afternoon and ratified four legislative proposals – which go into effect for the 2018-19 school year.
The AHSAA received permission from the NFHS to begin instant replay for regular-season varsity football games beginning next season. The permission grants up to three years of experimentation. DVSport Inc., the nation’s top instant replay company, is partnering with the AHSAA on the project. A separate news release outlining the Instant Replay was sent out Thursday following a press conference that was held at the AHSAA Office.
E-Sports is a new online gaming activity that allows students to compete with other schools and will now be offered to AHSAA member school students. The Central Board approved a two-year experiment for E-Sports. The program is being provided by NFHS Network Partner PlayVS.
The Central Board also approved limiting high school basketball teams to 30 games in the regular season, including tournaments, and lifted the restriction on the number of tournaments a team can play in. The 2017-18 rule allowed varsity teams to play 20 regular-season games and three regular-season tournaments with two being played with no loss of school time. Junior high and middle schools will be allowed to play 24 games total.
The Board voted to move the site of the South Regional Basketball Tournament, which had been at the Dothan Civic Center the last six years, to Montgomery. The new format will have two regionals at Montgomery – at Alabama State University’s Oliver-Dunn Acadome and the new site, Garrett Coliseum, which seats 8,500 with the ability to add an additional 4,000 seats. The regionals will be renamed Southeast and Southwest. The Northeast Regional will remain at Jacksonville State and the Northwest Regional will remain at Wallace-Hanceville.
University Charter School of Livingston was approved for membership into the AHSAA, making it the first public charter school member in AHSAA history.
Current Central Board president John Hardin, Hackleburg High School principal, and vice president Keith Bender, Oneonta City Schools, were re-elected by the Central Board to serve for the 2018-19 school year. Past president Mike Welsh of Spring Garden, who finished a two-year term at the end of the 2016-17 school year, received a plaque of appreciation from the Central Board and Executive Director Steve Savarese.
Legislative Council Ratifies Four Proposals
Proposals No. 6, 9, 13 and 19 were passed by the 32-member Legislative Council:
No. 6 – Amends the current ejection policy to remove fines from ejections that occur due to NFHS rules that call for ejections based on game rules and are not conduct related.
No. 9 – Amends Rule 1, Section 6 to allow individual sports (Bowling, Cross Country, Swimming, Wrestling, Tennis, Golf and Track) to be exempt from the AHSAA 50% rule.
No. 13 – Changed the punishment for a first time violation of the outside participation rule to the athlete serving restitution. A second violation would result in loss of eligibility.
No. 19 – Will allow two additional days for all sports to compete at in-state college and university team camps that occur outside the allowable three weeks of summer competition. If a team chooses to attend an in-state camp during these two days, the team will lose two days from the allowable time period.
In other board action:
-- Approved Grace Lutheran School for associate membership.
-- Approved 2018 financial reports Regional and State Bowling, Dual, Super Section and State Wrestling, Indoor Track and Regional Basketball.
-- Approved 2017 State Football Playoff Audit.
-- Approved 2018 basketball Finals Audit.
-- Heard an update from the AHSAA Medical Advisory Committee.
-- Approved 2018-198 Required Forms and release date of forms.
-- Approved ECSI – CPR and AED Certification.
-- Approved the 2018-19 Calendar of Events, 2018-19 Sports Calendar and AHSAA 5-Year Calendar.
-- Approved 2018 NFHS Summer Meeting expenses
-- Heard a report from AHSADCA Director Alvin Briggs on the AHSADCA Summer Conference and All-Star Sports Week.
-- Approved providing only football playoff on-line ticket sales for visiting teams.
-- Approved New Board Member Orientation (June 14, 2018), if needed.
-- Approved Regional Cheerleader competition to be held at Mobile Civic Center (Nov. 7, 2018) and Birmingham CrossPlex (Nov. 15, 2018) and State Cheer Competition will remain at Wallace-Hanceville (Dec. 15, 2018).
-- Approved bracket rotation – home team listing consistency for all sports.
-- Approved standardizing Officials District Director salaries.
-- Approved 2018-19 school year Central Board meetings (July 25, 2018, October 17, 2018, and January 30, 2019).