(5-4-21) The Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) 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.

OHSAA member schools have not paid annual membership dues since 1998. There are 815 member high schools presently in the 2020-21 school year. 7th-8th grade schools will be exempt from paying membership dues.

The measure was approved by a 9-0 vote by the Board on Monday, each high school will now contribute $50 per OHSAA sanctioned sport in which the school participates.

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.

Based on the OHSAA web site (examples) –

  • Coldwater with a total of 18 (boys and girls) sports will pay – $900
  • Celina with a total of 21 (boys and girls) sports will pay – $1,050
  • Waynesfield-Goshen with a total of 11 (boys and girls) sports will pay – $550

The dues will be reviewed on an annual schedule 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.

Ute said:

“First, I want to thank our board of directors for unanimously approving my recommendation. 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.”

Changes with membership fees in place:
· 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.

This past year schools were assessed fees when competing in OHSAA tournaments, no school was given ticket income from those events or reimbursed for expenses.

The last updated financial statement on the OHSAA web site is from the February Board Meeting –

Ute added:

“We will continue to be open and transparent with our member schools about our financial situation. 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.”

There was no vote taken by member schools on the membership fee proposal.

Recently Illinois added a membership fee in early April to schools based on enrollment numbers.

The IHSA Board approved a recommendation from the IHSA Financial Ad Hoc Committee to implement an annual membership assessment over the course of the 2021-22, 2022-23, and 2023-24 school years. Known as the IHSA Recovery Plan, the graduated fee structure is based on a school’s enrollment, which is generally a strong indicator of participation in IHSA sport and activity programs. Assessments for the 2021-22 school year will be collected through September 1, 2021. The graduated assessment structure is as follows:

1-155   $500 $250 $125 
307.5-605  $1,250$625$313
605.5-1379 $1,625$813$407
1379.5+  $2,000$1,000$500