UPDATED – 7-18-19 Governor Mike DeWine signed into law the latest State of Ohio budget, He vetoed 25 items but did not veto the legislation that affected the issue on eligibility of foreign students.


see details below on the issue

UPDATED – 7-16-19

According to the current legislation text update no changes have been made to eliminate Sec. 3313.5315  (page 836).  This is an eligibility concern for the OHSAA since it was addressed in June.

Ohio lawmakers are expected to vote on the final budget today, sending it to Governor Mike DeWine, who can line-item veto proposals he doesn’t like. That option is something the OHSAA is hoping will happen with Sec. 3313.5315.

If the item is allowed to stand it would be the second set back for the association, a recent Ohio Supreme Court ruling has put the competitive balance plan in possible jeopardy.

(6-14-19) – Ohio’s  House Bill 166 (overall budget bill) is over 2,900 pages long and it has the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) officials worrying about the future of high school sports in Ohio. A provision in the bill would allow international students eligibility that they don’t presently have.

At this time the OHSAA only permits international students to play if they come on an educational visa. If passed the bill would allow international students on a non-educational visa to  play sports for one year at a public school and then transfer to private schools and play multiple years once they’ve completed one year at a public school.

Found on page 784-785 of Bill

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Member schools within the OHSAA believe this amendment would  favor private schools, eliminate a level playing field with private and public schools competing against one another and limit public school access to international student-athletes and a possible split of public and private schools in the future.

OHSAA Executive Director Jerry Snodgrass told Spectrum News 1

“The challenge with that is, since they can only attend a non-public school, they would only have eligibility to participate in non-public schools for multiple years, upsetting the balance of competitiveness between our public and non-public schools.”

“We believe it will trigger a referendum proposal by schools, our member public schools to force that separation.”

OHSAA officials testified in front of legislators on May 23rd hoping to get the amendment changed and let member schools control the issue as they have in the past.


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Legislators in other states have stepped in on the operations of state high school athletic associations. The most recent took place this week in Pennsylvania which would lead to separate state tournaments for public and private schools.

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