Two-Sport Policy and Baseball Cooperative Agreement Explained
by Bill Day
At the January USD 220 Board of Education meeting, Ashland High School’s Two-Sport Policy was changed to accommodate the possibility of Ashland High School students participating with Minneola High School in baseball.
USD 220 already had in place a policy for students who wished to participate in two sports during the same season. In the past, AHS has had students participate in cross country and tennis as well as cross country and football during the fall sports season.
The previous policy prevented two-sport athletes from missing more than all or part of eight school days for the two sports combined. Eight is the normal number of competitions an athlete is allowed to participate in based on rules established by the Kansas State High School Activities Association. That means that the AHS policy will allow a two-sport athlete to miss only the number of days a one-sport athlete could miss.
The previous policy also created a stricter accountability for a two-sport participant’s grades. Under normal AHS rules, students become ineligible for participation during the third week in which the student has any grade below passing. To participate in two sports in the same season, an athlete must not allow any grade to drop below a C at any time. The first time any grade drops below a C the athlete must drop one of the sports for the remainder of the season.
None of these provisions have changed. What did change with the adoption of the new policy concerns students who wish to participate in an AHS sport and a sport for which AHS has entered into a cooperative agreement with another school.
Cooperative agreements are an avenue for students from smaller schools that might not otherwise have enough participants to make a team to participate on a team made up of members from two or more schools combined. This has recently become an issue, as USD 219 (Minneola) has invited Ashland High School to participate in baseball.
Players who participate on the cooperative team will play for Minneola High School. There are no costs involved for USD 220 as the team is actually Minneola’s. All equipment, supplies, transportation, fees and coaching is provided by USD 219. The parents of Ashland team members will drive their students to practices and competitions in their own vehicles.
Ashland single-sport players can play baseball for Minneola without being affected by the two-sport policy. However athletes who participate in track and field for AHS and baseball for MHS will be governed by the two-sport policy.
The most significant change to the previous USD 220 two-sport policy deals with the potential conflict between competition schedules. The new policy makes it clear that a two-sport athlete playing on a cooperative team, must consider the Ashland sport as the primary sport in the event of a schedule conflict between the two sports. That means that if a Minneola baseball game and an Ashland track meet are scheduled for the same time, the Ashland student must participate in the Ashland sport that day rather than the Minneola sport.
The potential for that to happen is greatest on the weekend of May 27-28. The state championships for both sports are that weekend.
The Ashland High boys’ track team placed second at State in 2010 and is one of the favorites to win the team championship in 2011. A baseball team made up of Minneola and Ashland players will also be considered a state favorite, so there is a good possibility that several Ashland athletes would qualify for both State Track at Wichita and State Baseball at Emporia on the same weekend.
The new policy also states that if the athletes’ parents can transport the athletes from one event to the other between their track events, then the athlete will be allowed to participate in both.
According to USD 220 Activities Director Jason Endicott everyone has felt the effects of the recent state budget cuts and the corresponding cuts to programs at Ashland High School, especially the students. The moves to allow students to participate in two sports and to field a cooperative baseball team are efforts by administration and the Board to give kids greater opportunities in these trying times of less money and fewer opportunities.
Anyone with questions is encouraged to contact Bill Day at the high school or Jason Endicott at the grade school.