Possible issues on GHSA agenda Monday

The recruiting of student-athletes by high schools and ever-changing golf technology may be two of the more interesting topics for Monday's meeting of the GHSA executive committee.

Nearly 30 issues, ranging from outright rule changes to word clarifications of bylaws, have been put on the calendar for discussion by the GHSA's various subcommittees on Sunday, the day before the bigger meeting.

GHSA officials estimated that 50 percent or less of the issues will make it to Monday's vote. Here are some of more intriguing topics:

More baseball: A proposal to extend the season, including a March 1 start (instead of Jan. 31) of practices and the completion of the state championship series by June 24-25 (instead of the last week in May).

Thursday night football: A proposal to allow schools to play varsity games Thursday, if both schools agree. Currently, GHSA permission is required.

Electronic golf: The rule that states that players may not use electronic devices to compute playing distances during competition is up for clarification. The GHSA did away with sky caddies, but discovered all kinds of other stuff was going on with the evolution of cellphones, including counseling between holes from parents and coaches. There have also been reports of photos and video taken of a player's swing and then sent to the respective player's cellphone for an immediate review. The GHSA could prohibit golfers from using cellphones.

Cheerleading on mats: Proposal to rescind or amend the rule that disallows stunting and tumbling at basketball games. They want to go back to the cheerleading's old rules, which permitted stunting and tumbling at basketball games without mats. The national rules, which are more directed toward competitive cheerleading, require mats.

Recruiting: There will be a special report on recruiting student-athletes among member schools. At one point, there were some radical rules changes expected to be proposed. However, because of legal concerns and the need for more time to research, the committee will likely only recommend minor changes, such as the clarification of terminology. "For example, it would not be against the rules for someone's parents to go speak to the principal and say they want to move into the area because they have a great softball program or whatever," said Ralph Swearngin, the GHSA's executive director. "However, it is against the rules for the school to initiate the contact. Those are the type of things we all know, but this will give us specific wording that we can rely on."

Basketball doubleheaders: There is discussion to leave the decision to the schools regarding which of two possible days to play a boys/girls doubleheader in the first and second round of the state playoffs.

Basketball seeding: Proposal for the seeding for the playoffs to be based on power rankings rather than the outcome of region tournaments.

Football semifinals: Review and analyze procedures pertaining to the GHSA's policy of providing staffing to supervise and sell tickets at the semifinals. The GHSA may let staff from the home school handle staffing.

Curbing appeals: In hopes of reducing the number of eligibility appeals, there will be a second vote on a constitutional amendment requiring "substantial" new information or an allegation that a GHSA rule was misapplied, among other things.