Council approves out of season training by coaches

March 3, 2017 by Jose Garcia, AZPreps365

The Arizona Interscholastic Association’s legislative council voted to allow coaches to work with their student athletes outside of the AIA’s season of sport.

The measure passed by a 39-5 vote Friday during the legislative council’s annual meeting. For football, helmets and shoulders pads are the only equipment that may not be used during out of season training.

Also, according to the new bylaw, the AIA will not have regulations concerning coaches coaching their own school teams outside of the AIA defined season of sport. The new bylaw goes into effect July 1.

An amendment to move the start of spring football from the 44th to 43rd week of the AIA’s calendar and hold 18 spring football practices in one month was accepted as part of the new out of season measure. The new spring football rule goes into effect immediately.  

The following legislative council agenda items were also approved Friday:

Athletic directors and coaches must now attend an AIA Athletic Director and Coaches Information meetings once a year.

The meetings will provide training, bylaw review, fiscal in-service and legislative updates. The meeting for the athletic directors also will provide ADs an opportunity to talk about issues that affect them.

The first meeting for the ADs will be held in August at the AIA’s office and will be videotaped for those who can’t attend.

The first meeting for the coaches will be held in July and will also be videotaped.

--The private, parochial, BIA or Public Schools bylaw shall now read: All member schools shall meet all applicable staff certification requirements.

--To help reduce the number of cancelled games, the council approved to fine a school if it cancels a contest without both schools agreeing to do so. A school can appeal a fine within 10 days of the cancellation.

The council also approved another measure to help dissuade schools from cancelling schools. Schools can now form a junior varsity ‘B’ team with freshmen and sophomores.   

--The ADs of home contests will be responsible for reporting the scores of games before 9 a.m. the day after contests.

--The 6A Conference Overall Excellence Award will be named after Dr. Harold L. Slemmer. A school from each of the six conferences will also be eligible to receive the Glen Treadaway Award for Outstanding Sportsmanship.

The AIA’s executive board will determine the criteria and selection process for the sportsmanship award.

--The board unanimously adopted the baseball Pitch Smart Guidelines as emergency legislation. The new guidelines will keep a pitcher from exceeding a daily maximum number of pitches, per the Arizona Pitch Smart Guidelines.

--To comply with the rules of the National Federation of State High School Associations, “non-varsity” was added to the 15-run rule for softball and baseball. The rule now reads: A non-varsity (baseball and softball) game shall end any time after four innings (at the discretion of the losing coach) or after 3 ½ innings when a team is 15 or more runs behind and has completed its turn at bat.

--The legislative council voted to table the new equipment sanitation requirements to allow the Wrestling Committee to review the requirements.

--In wrestling, freshmen, junior varsity and varsity programs can now schedule at least five invitationals instead of four. Schools will continue to schedule no more than 12 varsity meets.  

--Articles 19-31 will be referred to as Policies and Procedures instead of sport bylaws. An auditor had suggested that the AIA make the change because the sport bylaws are more policies and procedures than bylaws.

Two agenda items aimed at the enrollment status of international students and allowing them to compete on varsity only after completing four semesters did not pass.

About legislative council

The legislative council adopts and amends the AIA’s bylaws annually. It’s the legislative authority in all matter pertaining to the interscholastic activities.

The council is comprised of 48 representatives from six conferences and the Arizona School Boards Association. On Friday, 43 of the members were present during the annual meeting.

Twenty-nine votes were needed to approve or deny a council agenda item.  

Executive director report

During his 18th and final report to the legislative council, Dr. Harold Slemmer, the AIA’s executive director, gave a 10-minute presentation on how the AIA is advocating for its members through its partnerships.

More than 100 successful projects, from IT support to robotics, have benefitted from the AIA’s sponsorships, Dr. Slemmer said. In April, the AIA will give a more detailed report to the conferences about its sponsorship deals, said Dr. Slemmer, who is retiring this year.   

AIAAA report

Arizona Interscholastic Administrators Association’s executive director executive director Joni Babst encouraged the legislative council’s administrators to attend both the state and national administrators conferences this year in Arizona during her presentation.

The 35th annual AIAAA conference will be held in Prescott from Sept. 9-12. Arizona’s high school athletic administrators can begin to register for the state conference on May 1.

From Dec. 9-12, Phoenix will host the 40th annual national administrators conference at the Phoenix Convention Center for the first time.

Babst said the goal is to hopefully have 2,200 administrators attend the Phoenix convention. The other goals for the convention are to mentor middle school athletic directors, recruit about 200 volunteers and get Arizona’s high schools to send their athletic administrators to both conventions this year.

Administrators can reach Babst at if they have any questions. On Dec. 10, Xavier Prep will be hosting a party from 6-10 p.m. for the administrators that will be attending the national conference.

The keynote speaker for the national convention will be Arizona State athletic director Ray Anderson. For athletic directors, AIAAA distinguished service and hall of fame nominations are needed, Babst said.

Scholar athlete nominations also are being requested. Send the scholar athlete nominations to Tayler Coady ( or Jessica Garcia ( of the AIA.

Finalists take questions

After Friday’s legislative council meeting, the three finalists for the executive director post, David Hines, Dr. Anna Battle and Mike Sivertson, took turns answering questions from legislative council members.

The next AIA executive director will be announced during the March 20 executive board meeting.   

Before the Q & A with council members, Hines, Dr. Battle and Sivertson briefly talked to about being a finalist.

Hines: “Honestly, I’m real honored to be part of the three. To tell you the truth, we have three real good candidates. I’ve had a chance to work with the association for nine years. I’ve been able to see the perspective of our entire state. I would just love to have an opportunity to continue working with our state as we move forward.”

Dr. Battle: “I am extremely excited to have an opportunity to even be one of the nominees selected. I trust the board will make a decision that’s best on behalf of the association. If selected, I believe that I will do a fabulous job to serve the wonderful people (administrators), students and families.”

Sivertson: “It’s a great honor to be considered. I’m excited to engage in this process and communicate what I would do in terms of providing leadership from this position. Arizona is a great state with a storied history. We are in a great position at this point and would be glad to continue and lead in the capacities that help promote the partnership we have with the schools, to help develop our young people and continue to move forward.”