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Representatives introduce legislation affirming the independence of Ohio High School Athletics

July 13, 2022
Joseph A. Miller III News

COLUMBUS – State Reps. Adam Miller (D-Columbus) and Joe Miller (D-Amherst) today introduced legislation that would ensure the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) remains the sole authority over competition regulations in interscholastic sports. The OHSAA is a voluntary, unincorporated, not-for-profit association of public and private high schools and 7th-8th grade schools that coordinates regulations for athletic competition.  The OHSAA Board of Directors, which is elected by its member schools, approves sports regulations for Ohio sports.  Ohio’s schools, through the OHSAA, determine the rules of competition from games and matches to state championships for individual and team sports.

“As a parent, former teacher, coach, and school board member, I understand the important role sports can play in a young person’s life,” said Rep. Adam Miller. “The Statehouse should not dictate who can participate in sports any more than it should determine what constitutes a forward pass.” 

“As a parent of two teenage athletes as well as a former player, teacher and coach, I understand the positive impact sports play in the lives of student athletes. The Ohio High School Athletic Association has played a key role in carrying out the objectives of Ohio schools by providing all students, regardless of ethnicity, race or gender, an equal opportunity to participate in interscholastic athletics programs,” said Rep. Joe Miller. “Currently, the OHSAA partners with various professional education and athletic associations in Ohio and nationally to provide every child the safest and fairest opportunity to compete in regular season and tournaments across the state. This bill intends to support and protect a system from outside interference, a system that has worked for over 100 years.”

This legislation will codify the independence and authority of the Ohio High School Athletic Association and its member schools free from outside political influence.

The bill now awaits referral to a House committee.