Cassville athletes get longer summer break under new rules

Wednesday, August 5, 2015
Cassville football coach Lance Parnell talks to his team during a timeout of a game last season. Parnell and his Wildcats will have five fewer contact days in the summer after a new rule was passed by the member schools of the Missouri State High School Activities Association. Kyle Troutman

Athletes will only be allowed 20 summer contact days

The Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA) and its member schools voted to make 11 changes to its constitution and bylaws, which were passed in May at the annual MSHSAA election.

"There were a few things on the ballot that were more editorial changes to the bylaws," said Jason West, MSHSAA media director. "One was with the constitution, outlining the requirements for membership and putting in a few more requirements, meeting with office staff for compliance purposes, things like that, instead of just saying, 'We want to be a member. Here are our registration fees.'"

Changes to the constitution included establishing an application process, a timeline and a training requirement for schools seeking MSHSAA membership.

MSHSAA requires two-thirds of a majority vote for changes to the constitution, and each of the three proposals received at least 390 votes.

Of the eight changes to the bylaws, a proposal to reduce the number of contact days in the summer allowed per sport, per gender from 25 to 20 was approved.

The amendment proved the most divisive, receiving 281 votes in favor and 213 against. It will become effective next summer.

A proposal passed to allow a student-athlete to attend one camp, clinic or group lesson during the sport season, under certain conditions, without being accompanied by an approved school coach.

"In the past, any time a student-athlete wanted to attend a camp, they had to be accompanied by a coach or other school personnel," West said. "This kind of loosens that back a little bit and allows a kid to attend one camp or clinic or group lesson during that sport season under certain conditions, having permission from the school."

The appeal of an ejection received clarification in a proposal to add language requiring any appeal to take place at the site of the contest at the time of occurrence. The decision made at the site would be final. The proposal passed by 150 votes.

The change removes postgame appeals of ejections to MSHSAA.

"If a player gets ejected during a football game on a Friday night, the first thing Monday morning people are calling the office saying, 'We want to appeal this. You need to look at the video,' and there is no appeal," West said. "This is cleaning up that language and making sure that everyone knows if you don't like the ejection, then you need to appeal to the game officials that night and state your case to have them consider it at the game.

"You can't wait until the next day to call our office or to call an official up and have them change it when he calls our office because once you leave the field, the decision is final."

Several proposals regarding scheduling options also passed, including a proposal to allow an option of 20 games and one tournament for girls softball at the high school level.

For a complete list of this year's proposals, people may visit

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