COLUMBUS — The Ohio High School Athletic Association Board of Directors has approved a recommendation from OHSAA Executive Director Doug Ute that membership dues be collected beginning with the 2021-22 school year. The measure, approved by a 9-0 vote by the Board on Monday, means each high school will contribute $50 per OHSAA sanctioned sport in which the school participates.
“First, I want to thank our Board of Directors for unanimously approving my recommendation,” Ute said. “I also have received favorable feedback from the majority of the administrators with whom I have conversed at our member schools. Levying membership dues does not change our mission, which is to serve our member schools and enrich interscholastic opportunities for students.
“We traditionally have relied on tournament ticket sales for about 80 percent of our revenue,” Ute explained. “That financial model has not been sustainable, and the COVID-19 pandemic has certainly not helped. Levying membership dues will give us a steady line of income since many of our other lines are variable, and it will help us build a new, more sustainable revenue model. That model, which will help ensure our long-term sustainability, will be a combination of a wider variety of income streams – including these dues – and continued better management of our expenses.”
Total dues for the 2021-22 school year will range from $300 per school to $1,300, depending on the number of OHSAA-sanctioned sports in which a school is participating. The dues will be reviewed annually by an OHSAA Finance Committee and any modifications will be recommended to the Board by the executive director. In the future, dues will not exceed $100 per sport.
Levying dues means:
• Member schools will no longer pay any tournament entry fees, bowling lineage fees, golf green fees or wrestling weight management fees. The membership due is all-inclusive.
• Student scholarships will be reinstated during the 2021-22 school year.
• Student catastrophic insurance coverage for all student-athletes, cheerleaders, student managers and student athletic trainers during in-season and OHSAA tournament practices and contests will continue to be provided at no cost to member schools.
• OHSAA will continue to supply all team trophies and/or individual medals for champions, runners-up and other selected place-winners at the district, regional and state level.
• OHSAA will continue to supply rule books, sport manuals, online rules meeting presentations plus other publications and tournament administrator passes at no cost to member schools.
• OHSAA will continue to pay high school fees for ArbiterGame accounts.
• No membership dues will be levied against member 7th-8th grade schools.
“We will continue to be open and transparent with our member schools about our financial situation,” Ute said. “If we are able to adjust dues in the future, we will look to do so. I want to sincerely thank all of our school administrators for their work and efforts in helping to provide participation opportunities for our student-athletes during these uncertain times, and we appreciate the support they have given us in continuing to conduct our tournaments.”
The Board previously was presented information on membership dues during both the regularly scheduled February 18 and April 22 Board of Directors meetings. Ute also hosted in three virtual meetings April 5 and 13 with member school administrators to discuss dues and OHSAA finances in general.