35 distinct commenters provided a total of 39 comments.

A/SComment was accepted and supports the proposed policy
A/CComment was accepted and resulted in changes to the proposed policy
NComment was not accepted
§127-3-6 6 Coaches
2019-05-09 19:28:11Tim Bongiovanni
High School Volunteer
Charles Town WV
Allow volunteers to coach at a secondary school even though they coach a travel sport of the same grade or grade lower. Under certain conditions it can still maintain the integrity of providing no bias to certain players. The conditions are outlined below:  
1. A coach that coaches at the same grade or one grade behind for a travel team is not allowed to be a head coach for a school team.  
2. The coach must be a volunteer  
3. The volunteer coach should not get paid  
3. The volunteer coach is not allowed to have input into the school team selection  
4. The volunteer coach must go thru all the State mandated certification training (if they are not a teacher)  
The fact that a coach who coaches travel teams is oftentimes is a more qualified coach then the school coach, not all the time but some of the time. Sometimes the school coach is a teacher that coaches because they need the extra money and the schools know that. So they are usually selected to coach. But if you allow the travel coach to help coach it helps the players learn proper techniques, prevents injury, and it can also help the teacher that is coaching to learn from them. If they are allowed to volunteer you will know they are really there to help all players and coaches, not groom travel ball players if it is approved with the above conditions.  
Just to identify what our surrounding states does when it comes to this:  
Virginia has a rule where you can coach up to 50% of your travel team IF they go to the same school that you coach at.  
Maryland has a rule where you can coach up to 60% of your travel team IF they go to the same school that you coach at.  
Pennsylvania does not have any rule in place to prevent this  
Travel sports are everywhere and the state is assuming that players will leave their travel teams to join a coach at a different club. There are several variables that are taken into account when it comes to that assumption:  
1. The players love the travel club they play for and most time it is in a different school district.  
2. Commuting: Travel players travel oftentimes up to an hour to go to a specific travel club. There are rules in place that prevents transferring of players to different high schools  
Bottom line if a coach wants to volunteer at the school level they should be allowed to. All they want to do is help players get better and this rule is preventing this from happening.
2019-05-09 19:40:20Nicole Winston
Martinsburg WV
Iíve been coaching for the last 5 years and it is harder to find people who want to coach. Limiting coaches to certain age groups because they canít coach their age group if students also do travel/off season sports is ridiculous. You have people who are willing to coach but the restrictions limits them. I feel as though you are punishing good coaches by the rules that are already in place.  
2019-05-09 20:19:38Jay Sine
Charles Town WV
Coaches who are dedicated to a sport should not be prevented from coaching same level players due to coaching off season in areas such as travel sports. Teachers who have no idea of the game should not be put in those positions just to fill a void when a qualified coach applied. It limits players who are not able to fully develop skills year round. The schools should want the most qualified candidate in the position period. Do what is right for the sport and give them appropriate coaching staff!!!  
2019-05-10 09:16:52Metina Bongiovanni
Coaching rules in this state really need to be revised. Both MD and VA have a % rule of players that their coaches can coach in the off season and PA has none. I know some think this helps the players, but it does not. This vastly limits the coaching pool available for school coaches as off season coaching can be more lucrative, competitive and offer more flexibility and less political drama. Many times coaches will only choose off-season coaching if given a choice. Having the option to have high-quality trained coaches in the schools, not only provides for better players, better teams and more revenue for schools given high participation rates for winning teams, thus more entry admissions into sports activities. The rules don even offer the protections that they are meant to. Most coaches know how to get around the rules if they really want to and the "pressure" to play for them in the off season is always still there even though said coach is not coaching their age. AND when violations are reported, there are no punishments. I just ask that the coaching rules of coaching same age and one below be looked at to see if this is really in the best interest of the players and the development of WV school athletic programs. Winning isn everything, but setting sports teams up for failure is a travesty.  
2019-05-10 14:48:03Eddie Summerlin
State sports follower
Romney WV
I feel that all coaches should be hired with a 3-5 year right to dismissal by the school for team performance.  
§127-3-9 6 n Game Officials
2019-05-10 14:48:03Eddie Summerlin
State sports follower
Romney WV
Possibly pay the Refs more money to get more of them interested in Refereeing.  
§127-3-10 Classification
2019-05-10 09:15:45Sean Meddings
Wayne County BOE
Genoa WV
I am in total agreement with the four class proposal. I am glad that the WVSSAC is finally seeing that something has to be done with competitive balance for sports in this state. I think the way they broke this down is the most fair way to do this. Thank You WVSSAC for doing this proposal for the small public schools around this state.  
2019-05-10 09:19:56Aaron Smith
Winfield WV
This is PROFILING based on wealth. One of the most irresponsible rules ever. Get ready for the Law suits. Making Winfield High School with 800 students move from AA to AAA to face schools with 2000 students. ASININE!  
2019-05-10 09:21:17Brian Batman
Head Football Coach
Buffalo High School
Buffalo WV
I coach football at one of the schools effected by this proposal. My football team would be negatively affected by this proposal. The school will have to play against other schools who have twice the enrollment. And while I understand that it will happen in other divisions, my school only has 300 kids from which to choose, while bigger schools have more kids from which to choose. There are several school that this proposal will not effect at all, so their opinion should be ruled invalid. The opinions that should be considered would be the schools that are impacted, either positively or negatively. I realize that whenever change is made, there are always people who are unhappy. But speaking from a small West Virginia community, my school will suffer in all athletics. Also, the school I teacher at will also be effected. Since we have been in the big class before, we have seen the effect of this. Playing in the higher class will decrease participation, decrease support, and negatively impact our student culture. I urge you to reconsider this proposal and vote no, for it will effect 2 communities that I spend time in on a daily basis.  
2019-05-10 09:24:08Paul Huston
Long Drain School
Metz WV
Great way to make things competitive. Pilot is a great option to see if will work. I strongly urge approval.  
2019-05-10 09:25:31Shawn Gillispie
Winfield WV
The classification proposal from the WVSSAC is unreasonable and patently unfair to many schools, but especially Winfield High School. This would move Winfield, who has an enrollment of 812 from AA to 4A is ridiculous. It would absolutely cause a collapse of Winfields athletic programs, cause further transfers from students, and would hurt a community that has long supported its kids in athletics and academics. Basing class certification on anything other than enrollment numbers, as it has always been done, is wrong. Using social status, income variations and other economic and social factors is not how this should be done (and honestly is probably not legal). While the SSAC and media state this is a "trial" run for basketball only, everyone knows that is not the case as all sports will move with this once that "trial" is over. Winfield would be asked to compete in the highest classification with schools having enrollments nearing 2000. Winfield would be the smallest, by far, school in the new classification. Winfield would also be the only school to jump two classifications, not because of enrollment numbers, but because of our economic factors, which is wrong and potentially illegal. Using median household income of the county and the number of students on free or reduced lunch has nothing to do with the athletic programs. While I understand that the SSAC is trying to reign in the private schools, this proposal severely hurts many public schools. To reiterate, if you pass the WVSSACs proposal regarding classification based on the factors alleged, it is wrong and will, no doubt, lead to litigation in the near future as it is based on social standing, economic factors, population and prying into private information regarding students on free or reduced lunch, none of which is information relevant to the WVSSAC or athletics. I hope you will see through this attempt by the WVSSAC and vote this proposal down. Sincerely, Shawn C. Gillispie.  
2019-05-10 09:31:21Kimberly Sayre
Hometown WV
I ask that you vote in opposition to this proposal. The students of Winfield High including my child who currently attends and my child who will attend would be negatively effected by this proposal. Winfield High and Buffalo High are both being negatively effected by this proposal due to their location in Putnam County. Winfield High would move up to 2 classes and there would be a large difference in student numbers between them and the next closest school in 4A. While other schools with larger enrollments would still remain in 3A. Buffalo High School would move to 2A and has less than 400 students. While Putnam County has prosperous areas in its county not every student that attends these school have the ability to access the extra training that is part of the reason behind the economic part of the equation. To ask Winfield and Buffalo High to compete with schools that have over double their enrollment is unfair to the students. Since being in the current 2A classification Winfield High has not dominated in every sport but has been competitive with its football team making the playoffs twice. Its girls and boys basketball team each make the state playoffs once. Its cheerleaders being state champions once and state runner-up once. Girls tennis has won twice and boys tennis once. While I could continue it shows that Winfield is in the right bracket currently. If 4A would be introduced, it would then make more sense for Winfield to remain 3A because it would be competing with most of the schools it does now. Again I urge you to vote against this classification change so that the students of Winfield and Buffalo High school remain where they need to be.  
2019-05-10 09:38:28Rudy Moulder
Vice President
Mouldagraph Corporation
Scott Depot WV
I believe Winfield jumping from a AA to a AAAA classification is completely unreasonable.  
Requiring Winfield to compete against schools 2-1/2 times their size will be detrimental to our athletic programs especially (basketball, football, baseball, and softball)
2019-05-10 09:43:29Jordan Toth
Head Boys Basketball Coach
Shinnston West
I would ask that you pass the 4-class proposal and give it a try in basketball first to see the pros/cons. I believe after looking at the structure of the new classifications, this makes the most sense for the greater good of athletics in our state. There will be no reclassification that is going to be perfect and appease everyone. However, this reclassification structure really does take into account fair and balanced efforts to allow each school to have an attempt to compete against alike schools both enrollment wise and socioeconomic wise. As a coach for 15+ years, I would ask that this is given a try in our state in basketball and can be tweaked at a later date if needed.  
2019-05-10 09:55:41Randy Barrett
City of Winfield
Winfield West
Mr. Dolan,  
Iím very concerned about the new proposals that are being considered in reference to the reorganizing of the sports classes in our state. Winfield and Putnam county is the only growing county in this part of the state and whatís being considered could very well stop this growth in our area. I have young families with children moving in the Winfield school district all the time because of our three schools. We are one of the safest cities in the state and the three schools within a mile of each other is second to none in WV. When the young parents move the grandparents come also to be close to their grandchildren. Winfield went to 3A a few years back and struggled in some areas because of the large difference of student ratio compared to the larger populated schools. If this were to happen those people exploring to move or stay in Winfield has to consider the struggles of our athletes in the smallest school in a class due to medium household income and the courthouse being in the middle of the city. Really, that has nothing to do with sports. I have a good working relationship with our schools due to many things but I know they are a major source of growing our city and this isnít good for Winfield or probably many places in the state. Our state is losing population and I donít have the answers for that but adding another class to an already shrinking population makes no since at all. Thanks for your time.  
Randy Barrett  
Mayor City of Winfield  
12448 Winfield Road  
Winfield, WV 25213  
304.444.9386 (C)  
304.586.2122 (O)
2019-05-10 09:56:46Scott Fitzsimmons
Winfield WV
I very much support the 4 class classification system, but I do not like the proposed system of how the schools would be chosen and divided into the four classes. Personally I think if you are going to go with a four class system continue to divided the classes solely off of enrollment numbers alone, because I feel that will make for the most competitive balance in all sports. A prime example of this would be Winfield, in this new proposed system they would be a AAAA school because of county size and the location to the county. So they would be forced to play schools more than double their size just because of the schools location. Where as is it was a four class systems divided like the current three class system they would be playing schools much closer to their sized based off of enrollment giving the just a better chance to actually compete whether the win or lose.  
2019-05-10 10:15:30Teacher
Putnam County Schools
Winfield WV
I believe the reclassification should not take place. This will hurt many students that are wanting to play sports for their school. The way they plan on determining how a school is classified is a terrible way to do it. This way is not fair to schools that are small but are close to the county seat. That should not be a reason to make a school move up a class because of where the school is located. This proposal will keep many students from wanting to play organized sports. We should keep the classification just like it is now. If something isn broken, why would you need to fix it. This will only make it worse.  
2019-05-10 10:24:08Jay Hesse
Teacher / Athletic director
Frankfort High School
Ridgeley WV
I would like to express my support of the proposal by the WVSSAC to change to a four-class system for basketball. As an athletic director, I believe this proposal will create more parity and create a more level playing field across all classifications.  
2019-05-10 12:18:04Kevin Robinson
Golf coach
Winfield High School
Winfield wv
After reading the proposed athletic classification changes for 20-21 I would like to comment. I agree that changes need to be made in the process but I don feel using economic and location metrics should be used to determine a schools classification. The biggest discrepancy I feel is the private schools that are allowed to recruit and pull from any area. They should be in a class by themselves.  
2019-05-10 13:00:49David Baker
Bluefield WV
I think this is a good idea. While I realize WV is a small state the enrollment differences Between the largest and the smallest schools in each class are too great. Urban private schools also have a definite competitive advantage over rural small schools. This is a good first step and a good test to see how this works out. Please pass this proposal.  
2019-05-10 13:18:50Damion Maynard
Winfield WV
I feel as a whole we agree that the re-classification that has been suggested of Winfield High School would have a negative impact on our student and teacher body as a whole. Student involvement in sports and education should be a positive influence on their lives and activities, and reclassifying Winfield into another division where the students would be pitted against other student bodies of much larger scale, may not be the most positive. Please consider this in your classification. If the students are not involved in sports activities, many of them may not be engaged as well in their academic studies due to a lack of motivation.  
2019-05-10 13:39:38Bruce McGrew
Winfield High School
Winfield WV
127-3-10 would be detrimental to the students and community of Winfield High School as well as two other Putnam County Schools including Buffalo High School and Poca High School. The proposal on classifications is statistically biased and the economic and location factors are clearly penalizing Winfield High School. West Virginia simply is too small in terms of the number of high schools to have 4 classes. The problem is there are too many schools at the high end of enrollment to force schools that are much smaller to compete with. This proposal is not competitive balanced. Enrollment is the only true factor that drives competitive balance. The location score simply does not have any bearing on athletic competition. The closer you are to the county seat doesn make you have better athletes. The proximity to a city with 10,000 does not make you have better athletes. Looking at championship history in all sports, one can see that many rural schools have a history of having better athletic programs. The economic score is discriminatory towards schools like Winfield High School because competitive balanced cannot be based on the median household income of a county. The number of free and reduced lunch students is a subjective number also as each county submits in two possible ways. If this proposal is such a good one, why are we only using boys and girls basketball for a 2 year period. Why wasn another sport chosen? How can a proposal be passed to put a school with less than 850 students in competition with schools that have enrollments nearing 2000? The concern of this proposal is more than about athletic competition. If a school like Winfield High School with outstanding participation rate in athletics is forced to play against schools of 4A size enrollment, the school culture will be impacted negatively. Less students will participate. Less students participating means less accountability which in turn impacts, GPAs, behavior, school climate, community involvement and overall successful functioning of a school. No matter what classification system is used, the spectrum of enrollments in WV creates an issue. An issue that is only resolved by taking schools with an enrollment of 1100 and above and putting them in a classification of their own. This proposal will have a negative impact on many schools as well as athletic competition overall in the state of West Virginia. The potential for a school to go up two classes in classification due to factors that have nothing to do with athletics simply is not good for students.  
2019-05-10 14:12:06joe douglas sturgill
John Marshall High school
moundsville WV
I believe that the classification into 4 categories should be for all sports. Football is such a mess. Martinsburg at the point and others have over 2000 students and then you have smaller AAA schools with around 1000 students. How can these two compete on a level playing field? The answer is simply they cannot.  
2019-05-10 14:48:03Eddie Summerlin
State sports follower
Romney WV
I am all for the new classification and would like to see this actually take place sooner than later for all sports not just basketball but I am open for the trial period as well.  
2019-05-10 16:04:25Steve Atkinson
Winfield WV
As you know there are only so many students that play sports so why would you consider putting a 800 student school in a 4A division against much larger schools with 2,000 students??? Not even fair to the school, student body and the community. Do the right thing and what is fair to the students.  
2019-05-10 18:59:45Sharon M. Rotenberry
Winfield WV
The proposed system creating 4 athletic classes is unnecessary for WVís population.  
The imbalance is illustrated specifically by comparing Putnam County, (population 50,000 in 4 high schools), to neighboring Cabell County, (population 96,000 in 2 high schools). The new formula matches Winfield High (812 students) with Cabell Midland (1,900 students) and Huntington High School (1,650 students), in the same competitive class due to Winfieldís position as county seat. An addendum prohibiting ANY school from moving up or down more than one class would help to prevent unintended disparity. The current three class system would be more equitable if schools not limited by geography (e.g. private schools) were positioned in the class above their class by population, due to the advantage obtained through avoidance of school district boundaries.
2019-05-11 12:51:17Ann Smith
Scott Depot WV
The reclassification being considered makes absolutely no sense. Factoring in criteria that has nothing to do with the size of a school is bizarre. A schools classification is for the purpose of having comparably sized schools competing with each other for fairness. I will also point out that schools that are designated as the hub of resources services are unfairly penalized because their enrollment is larger than it seems because students come from all over the community to attend, and the nature of the services provided mean those students do not participate in the athletic program. Winfield High School in Putnam County is one of those schools. The proposal puts Winfield competing in a classification with schools twice its size. Winfields athletes won have a fair chance because of this policy. Please reconsider and do away with criteria that has nothing to do with the size of school, such as income and do factor in student population that is not reflective of the size of the community the school serves.  
2019-05-11 23:06:04K Wolfe
fairmont WV
changes to the classification system will bring about more equity for all schools throughout the state. this is a positive step for fairness to all schools  
2019-05-12 09:41:35Jennifer Beam
Scott Depot WV
Mr. Bernie Dolan,  
I am writing today in regards to the proposal by the State School Board to move Winfield Athletics from a Class 2A status to a Class 4A status.  
Clearly this is a biased and discriminatory proposal. Never before has athletic class been based on economic status. It is totally unfair in regards to competitive balance.  
The proposal is statically biased and economic factors are penalizing our student athletes.  
We would be the smallest school in a 4A Class in the state. We only have an enrollment of 812 students. How can it be fair to move us up 2 classes to compete against schools more than twice our size?  
I am asking the school board to please reconsider this proposal. It will be detrimental to all our sports programs and setting up our student athletes for injury and failure.  
Sincerely concerned parents,  
Chris and Jennifer Beam  
235 Mandy Drive  
Scott Depot, WV 25560  
2019-05-12 09:49:47Mike Baldwin
Winfield WV
We believe itís in the best interest of the kids and programs to classify schools solely based on enrollment. The new system would jeopardize healthy competition and athletic symbiosis. We want the programs to be compatible in skill and equality. This seems impossible when the enrollment and talent pool is sometimes 50% greater in other locations. This holds true for all classifications.  
2019-05-12 12:26:09Robert Willard
Winfield Wv
I support going to a 4 class system but using economic status as a classing factor is a bad idea. It will penalize school in high economic status counties because they will be forced to compete with school that have significantly more enrollment. Achievement in sports is not tied to socioeconomic status.  
2019-05-13 09:23:28Eddie R. Dingess
Signal Maintainer
Norfolk Southern Corp.
Fort Gay WV
I firmly agree with the 4 class proposal. With the dominance of the private schools the rural public schools need to be able to compete against schools their own size.  
2019-05-13 11:12:46Gwen Samms
Buffalo HS
Eleanor WV
This is too small of a school to put in AA. You tried this with Winfield with AAA and that didn work out so why try it again with Buffalo. This isn fair to any of our smaller schools. And proximity to county seat makes no sense. Who cares! Being close to the county seat does not make them more able to compete with larger schools!  
2019-05-13 15:46:44Mindy Thornton
Eleanor West
As a parent of 2 students at Buffalo High, I do not support the proposed reclassification of Buffalo High to a AA school. The new rating system is unfair to the Eleanor and Buffalo community as it factors in the county socio-economic status and proximity to both Charleston and Huntington. If you look at the socioeconomic status of the Buffalo area, you will find that the Buffalo median income is around $40000. This is well below anywhere else in the county. This is also an area that is not heavily populated. The classification to AA would be detrimental to athletes as they would be forced to compete with schools almost twice their size and with access to multiple resources that the average student athlete at Buffalo has no access to. Student athletes at Buffalo do not need another adversity to overcome. Please reconsider the new classification process.  
2019-05-13 15:50:35Dr John Brock
Red house Wv
To force a school to compete in sports on a higher level of classification, when there clearly had been no significant change of incoming students not only is insured , but is discrimination!!!! To force Buffalo High School which is clearly a Single A school, to participate at the level of AA against schools that are significantly larger in enrollment, all for the sake of SPORTS is unconstitutional!!!!! Example; force Buffalo High to compete football against Winfield ( which was just recently a AAA school .... is like making the superintendent of Putnam Co schools who is clearly a male in gender...wear lipstick everyday!!!!!! There are enough mental health issues with our youth these days , so your going to add fuel to the fire , and make these kids suffer and seem punished and belittled for your own pleasure? Enough is enough!!!! Let kids be kids !!! I will NOT support this ridiculous endeavor and will certainly pursue any legal action necessary to support my community!!!!!  
2019-05-14 00:11:17Chris Baker
Moundsville West
Four classes in some of the big sports would be a major improvement of the current system.  
For lesser sports, I would go to two classes.
§127-3-13 5 Contracts
2019-05-10 14:48:03Eddie Summerlin
State sports follower
Romney WV
I feel that all coaching contracts should come with a 3-5 year right to dismissal by the school for team performance.  
§127-3-17 1 WVSSAC Tournaments
2019-05-10 14:48:03Eddie Summerlin
State sports follower
Romney WV
I feel that the State tournaments should alternate between different areas to benefit those teams that travel longer distances and not benefit the Charleston WV area teams to give them a somewhat home field advantage.  
§127-3 Appendix 1
2019-05-13 10:23:20Denita Fertig
Buffalo Football
Eleanor WV
I feel this is so unfair and uncalled for, you are hurting the kids at this small schools by doing this. They cant help that the areas they live in a small and poor communities.  
whatever happened doing what is best for the kids.  
so areas like the small schools and believe in what they have.