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Fla. schools shorten seasons to save money; will Washington’s?

Post by Doug Pacey / The News Tribune on April 28, 2009 at 3:50 pm with No Comments »
April 28, 2009 3:50 pm

In this tough economic climate, school districts are looking everywhere to save money. In Florida, that includes reducing the number of regular season games.


On Monday, the Florida High School Athletic Association took the drastic measure of shortening the regular seasons of all sports except football. The FHSAA — Florida’s version of the WIAA — voted to cut varsity seasons by 20 percent and sub-varsity seasons by 40 percent through the 2010-11 school year.


Here’s an excerpt from an Associated Press story on the matter:


The rule change was designed to cut costs for Florida high school athletic departments, which are facing tough budget constraints.


“These are unprecedented times,” board president Greg Zornes said. “People are losing their jobs as schools are cutting millions and millions of dollars from their budgets. Our job is to look out for all the schools.”



At the WIAA Rep Assembly on Friday, executive director Mike Colbrese spent a considerable amount of time exploring cost-saving measures with the principals, athletic directors and coaches in attendance at the Spirit of Washington Events Center in Renton. Trimming games from the schedule was one option. But Colbrese made the point that while cutting games does reduce costs, it also eliminates opportunities for schools to make money through ticket and concession sales.


Let’s be honest, at the vast majority of schools, football games bring in the most money. That’s why Florida isn’t cutting any football games. But that’s not an excuse to slice and dice the schedules of non-revenue sports or JV and C-teams.


Under an experimental rule, some schools in districts 4 and 9 have been allowed to play more than one JV basketball game in a day in the last two seasons. This reduces travel costs for schools, saving them money. It’s no coincidence that the Rep Assembly passed an amendment on Friday that would allow all schools to do this.


School districts are taking serious looks at their budgets and deeming what is expendable. I won’t be surprised to see some schools forgo traditional rivalries and join or create leagues that will reduce travel expenses.


If expenses must be trimmed, what cost-cutting measures do you want to see implemented first?


Click below to read the complete story on Florida high schools trimming their schedules:



Florida high schools to cut games as cost-saving measure




The Associated Press


GAINESVILLE, Fla. — High school athletes in Florida will play fewer games for the next two years under a new rule approved by the Florida High School Athletic Association that is designed to save money during tough economic times.


The group’s board of directors voted 9-6 Monday to cut the number of varsity games by 20 percent and all other play by 40 percent through the 2010-11 school year. The policy applies to all sports except for football.


"It’s written in the proposal to have a sunset after two years. That’s it. We really mean two years," board president Greg Zornes said in a statement. "We fully intend to restore what we had until today at the end of the two-year period."


The rule change was designed to cut costs for Florida high school athletic departments, which are facing tough budget constraints.


"These are unprecedented times," Zornes said. "People are losing

their jobs as schools are cutting millions and millions of dollars from their budgets. Our job is to look out for all the schools."


Critics say the rules change will reduce opportunities for students and cost some schools money they gain by hosting games.


The board on Monday denied three amendments to the proposal, and in June will consider a recommendation regarding schools without football.


"We tried to bring in a uniform and systematic approach to a problem," executive director Dr. Roger Dearing said in a statement. "We are hopeful this will ensure the future of all sports at all levels of competition. It will not affect all schools in all ways, but it will help a vast majority of those schools facing the elimination of certain sports."

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