The TSSAA Board of Control met on June 8 and 9 in Murfreesboro to address nearly 50 items for the upcoming school year.
The Board discussed a growing issue concerning virtual schools and athletic eligibility. The Board voted to permit the transfer of a student’s athletic record to a district-operated virtual school under the existing rules, permitting transfers due to a student's reassignment by the school district.
As an emergency action for the upcoming school year, the Board voted to give virtual schools two options to choose from based on how it wishes to conduct its athletic programs. The school (1) may field its own teams, or (2) allow students to participate in any sport at the student's zoned public school.
Virtual schools who are currently members and already participating in cooperative agreements must choose one of the above options for the 2021-22 or make a special request to the Board of Control to continue their cooperative programs.
The Legislative Council will discuss this action at its December meeting and consider whether to make these rules a permanent part of the TSSAA bylaws or to make changes as it sees fit.
Twelve schools applied for and were approved for TSSAA membership. Each school that applied for membership is a virtual school including Rutherford County Virtual School, The iLearn Institute at Lenoir City, Collierville Virtual Academy, E.B. Wilson High School, VITAL (Virtual Instruction to Accentuate Learning), Greene Online Academy of Learning, Johnson City Virtual Academy, WCS (Williamson County Schools) Online, Jackson Academic Steam Academy, Pioneer Virtual Academy, Germantown Online School of Learning, and Roane County Virtual Academy.
Other items on the agenda included the Board allowing schools to return to their normal preseason as allowed by the TSSAA Calendar and approved a two-year extension to the contract with the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce for Division I basketball tournaments and Spring Fling through the 2022-23 school year.
The Smyrna Bowling Center and Hendersonville Strike & Spare both submitted bids to host the state bowling tournament for the next two years. The Smyrna Bowling Center was selected to continue to serve as host of the state tournament, which they have done since the sport was sanctioned by TSSAA 20 years ago.