MPSSAA looking at policies on offseason

Other rules changes also under discussion


February 14, 2007|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,Sun Reporter

Among the issues — The Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association has begun to implement recommendations from a report issued by its Strategic Planning Committee, which could result in rules changes over a five-year period through 2011, association director Ned Sparks said.

Among the issues - all of which are listed under "MPSSAA Survey Results" at - are those addressing high school coaches' contact with players during offseason competition and "finding a way to certify emergency coaches, people who are not teachers in the school system who could be bumped by certified teachers," Sparks said.

Sparks said the offseason coaching regulations are being re-examined because the rules were written before the expansion of Amateur Athletic Union, summer and club teams.

"We're finding, in some cases, the rules are difficult to enforce," he said. "This is going to take a change in our regulations, which takes time and give-and-take. There's consensus that we need to do something, but no concrete proposal. We'll map it out and attack it."

Sparks said MPSSAA regulations prohibit member coaches from "sponsoring or conducting camps in which students or returning players are involved or participate."

They also state that "a coach may not coach a team representing his/her school beyond the sports season," and "coaches shall confine all organized or formal practices for all students or teams to seasonal limitations."

Sparks said any individual group or team gathering that is assembled for the purpose of instruction under the direction of any member of a school's coaching staff in the offseason would constitute a violation.

Offseason coaches are limited to "a certain number" of their high school players "up to 80 percent of what constitutes a starting lineup in that sport," Sparks said.

"In basketball, where the starting lineup is five players, you could only have four of your own on an outside team," Sparks said.

In a separate issue related to the boys and girls state soccer tournaments, Sparks said that sport's committee began discussing last week the use of penalty kicks to eliminate a format that can result in state co-champions. Sparks said the issue, first broached during a Feb. 6 soccer committee meeting, could be resolved in a Feb. 27 conference call.

"Members weren't comfortable voting until they got a reaction from the people they represent," Sparks said. "We'll give them some time to talk about it and then get together in a telephone conversation at the end of this month, then make a recommendation that will go before the Board of Control in April."

Gallman impresses

Poly track star Jamin Gallman, a senior, was a runner-up at 800 meters in the recent Baltimore City indoor meet and anchored the Engineers' city and regional champion 400- and 800-meter relay teams. Gallman, who carries 3.4 grade point average in honors classes, has drawn interest from Tennessee, Brown and Massachusetts.

City showdown

Leontay Brown (145 pounds) and brothers Chance McCree (119) and Antonio McCree (135) will lead the Edmondson wrestling team (7-1) into today's Baltimore City League meet at defending champion Poly (8-4), which has not lost in seven city matches.

Brandon Jones (130) leads the Engineers.

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