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By John Millea
Conference issues (that means you, Lake and Classic Lake) were the big story from Thursday's meeting of the MSHSL board of directors, but other things happened. Here's a wrapup...
Girls' lacrosse/ The board approved three rule changes. 1) The clock will be stopped after goals and restarted when play resumes. 2) Instead of sudden-death overtime, a six-minute overtime will be played. if still tied, a six-minute sudden–victory overtime period will be played. 3) If a player is removed from a game after two yellow cards, they will not have to sit out the next game. If a player or coach is ejected with a red card, they also must sit out the next game.
H1N1/ MSHSL staff member Ellen Giloy-Rajkowski gave a presentation on H1N1 flu.The MSHSL is exploring insurance options to cover lost revenue in case any state tournaments are cancelled due to an H1N1 outbreak.
Classes/ Changes in the number of classes in some sports could be dissussed at the board's next meeting in December.
Travel policy/ Thirty to 35 schools have received permission to travel outside the 600-mile round-trip limit instituted recently. Those schools started making travel arrangements prior to new rule.
John Millea is on Twitter at twitter.com/stribjohn
By John Millea
No surprise here, but nine Lake Conference schools have all notified their fellow league members that they plan to withdraw from the Lake at the conclusion of the 2009-10 school year. Today was the deadline for those intents to be made known in order for the nine schools (plus Prior Lake from the Missota) to begin play in the new South Suburban Conference in 2010-11.
The nine schools are Apple Valley, Eastview, Eagan, Rosemount, Burnsville, Lakeville North, Lakeville South, Bloomington Kennedy and Bloomington Jefferson. Their departure leaves Eden Prairie standing alone ... with Edina, Hopkins, Minnetonka and Wayzata of the Classic Lake. That league will dissolve at the end of the school year and those five schools will form up in 2010.
As noted in an earlier post today, MSHSL executive director Dave Stead hopes to meet with administrators from the nine schools. His goal is to find another way to move forward without the massive planned Lake changes. But after talking with the chairman of the Lake executive board this afternoon, that seems unlikely unless the MSHSL amends it plan to place the four Classic Lake schools into the Lake.
"I think conferences should be made up of schools who decide they want to play together with each other," said Bloomington Jefferson principal Steve Hill. "Schools should have the right to make that decision, not have it be imposed on them by a third party.
By John Millea
The board received several updates on the troublesome issue of conference alignment. Board president Jeff Whisler said the board has three basic options:
1. Keep the current placement process/ This is how Edina, Hopkins, Minnetonka and Wayzata were placed in the Lake Conference, leading to the plans of nine Lake schools (all but Eden Prairie) to leave the league to form a new league.
2. Wash their hands of everything and let schools fend for themselves/ Not likely..
3. Get legislation passed giving the MSHSL authority to place schools in conferences/ Other states do this, but the board isn't jumping into anything just yet.
MSHSL executive director Dave Stead said he is hoping to meet with Lake Conference administrators in the near future, and see if resolutions can be found other than leaving the five above-mentioned schools in a five-school league.
Today is the deadline for Lake schools to make their intentions to withdraw known, in order for those withdrawals to take effect in 2010-11. The board also noted that the Lake schools did not vote to dissolve the conference. What that means remains to be seen.
The board now is hearing committee reports, which is boilerplate stuff.
Final update/ The meeting has ended.
The packet of paperwork in front of each board member includes one very interesting document: it's the Lake Conference constitution. The seven-page document is here exactly why?
We shall find out...
The members of the board of directors are milling about in the board room, waiting for the meeting to commence. The gavel will drop in a few minutes.
Updates? Comin' up!
John Millea is on Twitter.com/stribjohn
By John Millea
I'll be in the room when the MSHSL board of directors gathers Thursday morning for its October meeting. No screaming headlines are expectede from this meeting, but we may know more about a couple of issues by the time the gavel drops to close the meeting.
The board will discuss the current mess with conference placement. The Edina-Hopkins-Minnetonka-Wayzata question will soon become the Edina-Hopkins-Minnetonka-Wayzata-Eden Prairie problem, as we all are well aware. The board members will talk about where to go from here, but the MSHSL's powers are limited, as also has been well-documented. We shall see what happens.
Another topic to watch is H1N1. The board will talk about ways to keep participants and spectators safe from the flu, as well as how H1N1 might impact MSHSL insurance coverage.
As always, I'll be offering live blog updates from the meeting, which is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. Thursday.
John Millea is on Twitter at twitter/com/stribjohn
Lakeville superintendent Gary Amoroso explained why his district is pushing for the new conference:
"As far as our district goes there were really two driving factors. The first was looking at reducing the amount of time our students miss as a result of being involved in co-curricular activities. That has been increasing and that concerns us. We believe the conference as aligned for 2010-11 (with the Classic Lake schools added to the Lake) would further increase that time. Second, we’ve been doing an awful lot of budget adjustments in our district, and we believe that the conference currently being discussed would extend those trips and cost us additional dollars. The potential new [South Suburban] conference provides us with, we believe, some reductions in transportation and travel."
From the Apple Valley-Eagan-Eastview-Rosemount school district come some cost comparisons. Using Rosemount High School as a starting point, the average round-trip in the expanded Lake (with the four Classic Lake schools added) would be 38 miles. (62 miles is the average from Rosemount to the four Classic Lake sites). With the South Suburban Conference, the average would be 26 miles.
As for Prior Lake, which is slated to be part of the new South Suburban, the round-trip mileage in the new league would be 23.8 miles. In the Missota, Prior Lake's current conference, the average is 51.7
The Missota, of course, will undergo changes next year. Hutchinson will leave for the Wright County and Chaska and Chanhassen will leave the Lake in 2010-11 and join the Missota.
There may be a sticking point in Prior Lake's plans to join the South Suburban next fall. Missota bylaws state that schools wishing to withdraw must make that intention known by Sept.1 in order for the move to be effective the following year. Prior Lake officials are trying to convince the rest of the Missota schools to give them some leeway on that deadline.
And here's something to think about: What happens if Edina, Hopkins, Minnetonka, Wayzata and Eden Prairie -- the five schools left hanging by the massive Lake withdrawal -- declare that they are dissolving their five-team league and they all want to apply for membership in the South Suburban, effective in 2010-11?
This mess just keeps getting messier.
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