Several updates to the TSSAA Bylaws were made over the past six months that will take affect in July for the start of the 2020-21 school year. The changes were voted on at the two previous meetings of the Legislative Council. We are asking the administrations of all TSSAA and TMSAA member schools to carefully review the changes and provide a copy to everyone involved in athletics at the school.

The Legislative Council, which is made up of twelve administrators from member schools, is the governing body of the TSSAA that has the authority to make changes to the Constitution and Bylaws. Council members are school administrators — four from each Grand Division of the state — elected for three-year terms. The Council ascertained the sentiment of the membership toward such changes at the regional meetings in each Grand Division of the state in November of this past year where proposals were discussed by school principals.

Be reminded that the TSSAA Board of Control’s mandated heat, lightning, and concussion policies apply to every sanctioned sport during practice and games. The TSSAA Sports Medicine Advisory Committee reviews and updates these policies annually. The state law concerning “Cardiac Arrest” must also be followed at all times. This information is always available on the TSSAA.org website. It is vital that every administrator and coach have copies of these policies and understand their importance. They must be followed at all times in all sports whether indoors or outdoors.

What follows is a summary of the Bylaw changes and where they can be found in the TSSAA or TMSAA handbook. An updated version of the TSSAA and TMSAA handbooks will be available on our website prior to member schools receiving the 2020-2021 printed copies. When they become available, the updated handbook should be used to conduct coaches’ meetings.

Article II, Section 23 (All-Star Games) of the TSSAA Bylaws

This rule has been removed from the Bylaws. The change means that administrators and coaches will not have to worry about an underclassman playing in an All-Star Game after their season is completed.

Article I, Section 6 (Cooperative Programs) of the TSSAA Bylaws

This rule has been changed to state that two schools may request to form a cooperative agreement if one of the schools has not had the program the last two years. The old rule required the school to not have the program for five years before requesting to co-op.

Article II, Section 13 (Ineligible Transfer Students) of the TSSAA/TMSAA Bylaws

The section making students ineligible for twelve months in all sports if they transfer a second time in their career has been removed.

Article IV, Section 8 (Sports Calendar) of the TSSAA/TMSAA Bylaws

This change increases the number of student-athletes coaches are allowed to give individual instructions to per day during preseason and offseason from three (3) to five (5) in baseball and softball. The number in football, girls’ soccer, and soccer has been increased to six (6).

Article IV, Section 8 (Sports Calendar) of the TSSAA/TMSAA Bylaws

This change states the Dead Period will start on Monday morning at 12:00 a.m. and end two weeks later on Monday morning at 12:00 a.m. during the same weeks designated by the Bylaws. This delays the Dead Period by 24 hours which allows school personnel to bring their players home from camp on Sunday. Now they will not be required to leave on Saturday before the Dead Period begins. The upcoming 2020 dead period has been adjusted according to this directive.

Article III, Sections 7 and 9 (Student-Athletes and Coaches Ejected for Unsportsmanlike Conduct) of the TSSAA/TMSAA Bylaws

An addition to these bylaws states that schools who have not submitted their “Confirmation of Sportsmanship Meeting Form” by the end of the sports season in which the violation occurred shall be subject to a $100 fine.

Article I, Section 9 (Coaches) of the TMSAA Bylaws

This change states that the annual registration fee for non-faculty coaches at the middle school level will be $25.00 per coach