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Sunday, March 27, 2016

Board Wants OFSAA Rule Changed

Owen Sound | by John Divinski  

Bluewater Board wants OFSAA to change rule for students transferring school.

If a student moves from one secondary school to another in Bruce and Grey, they will not be allowed to play sports for a year that was played in the previous school.

The Bluewater District School Board has voted to have that provincial policy changed.

Trustee Dave Mason says the little known policy comes from the Ontario Federation of Student Athletic Association (OFSAA).

Mason says the idea of the ruling was to eliminate schools recruiting elite sports players in order to stack a team, but the blanket ruling also affects students who aren't and never will be, sports stars.

Mason says the ruling tends to restrict overall mental and physical health rather than encouraging it.

The trustee says if there is a problem, then it's likely being caused by the adults in the system and any change shouldn't be "on the backs of the student athletes."

As it turns out, Bluewater student trustee Morgan Liverance, who enjoys sports but doesn't classify herself an elite athlete, has been a victim of the policy.

After her Grade 9 year at Bruce Peninsula, she transferred to St. Mary's in Owen Sound.

Because the move was her choice, she was denied the opportunity to play sports such as basketball, volleyball and track and field.

After an appeal, she was allowed to take part in track and field.

Liverance is now back at Bruce Peninsula, attending Grade 12 classes.

Mason doesn't know if his motion will result in any change but his recent talk with OFSAA wasn't encouraging.

He says in talks with the group, he was shown the policy and told it is what it is without further discussion.



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