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Missouri teams and nationals 
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Location: St. Louis
Post Missouri teams and nationals
Over this weekend, I learned that, apparently, Missouri teams can't go to more than one national tournament due to the wording of the MSHSAA by-laws? I'm looking at the relevant by-laws, and I'm not sure how one reaches that conclusion, based on the following:

4.4.3, MSHSAA handbook wrote:
Season Limits for Scholar Bowl: No senior high school or junior high school shall participate in an interscholastic scholar
bowl event before the second Friday in October nor later than the date of the MSHSAA District Competition, exclusive of the
MSHSAA state competition, other than the following allowances:
a. A school may participate in an interstate, interscholastic scholar bowl event which may begin no earlier than the
Friday of Memorial Day weekend, only if the school has advanced from a qualifying event that takes place during the
aforementioned season.
b. A school may participate in one interscholastic event following districts and prior to the Friday of Memorial Day weekend.
Such an event shall count as one of the school’s allowable regular season events as per By-Law 4.4.2 (Limits on
Participation) and must meet the travel regulations per By-Law 4.4.4.d.

To me, what this says is that, following districts, there's a period between Districts and Memorial Day weekend, in which you can play 1 extra regular season tournament that counts as a player's 14, and another period after Memorial Day weekend, in which you can play "an interstate, interscholastic" (aka national tournament) if you've qualified for it earlier in the year.

I see no reason for the limitation to 1, unless you're saying the "an" provides the reason for that limitation, in which case that seems like a pretty torturous interpretation of a clause primarily meant to emphasize the fact that teams cannot play nationals unless they've qualified for it at a regular-season tournament. It seems to me that there's a clear reason why "one" is bolded in part b, and not bolded or even mentioned in part a. Later in the by-laws, we see another instance of "one" when schools are explicitly limited to a single one of something:

4.4.4.d, MSHSAA handbook wrote:
A school may participate in any approved interscholastic scholar bowl event within the state during the interscholastic
season. During the season, a school may travel to the site of one out of state tournament or invitational meet per year
beyond 250 air-miles from the perimeter (border) of the state of Missouri, with the date and location to be determined by
the local school administration. All remaining tournaments and invitationals must fall within 250 air-miles from the state

Also looking at the history of that particular bylaw, it seems like it was chosen from among the following options:

  • The academic competition season should end with the state tournament and participation beyond this date should not be interscholastic (participants could not represent their school). (91 votes)
  • Interscholastic academic competition should be allowed to continue into and throughout the summer. (55 votes)
  • A school academic competition team should be allowed to participate in a summertime national interscholastic competition only if the school has advanced from a qualifying event that takes place during the academic year. (130 votes)


the membership is being asked if there is a desire for a change in the definition of the season to allow for any of the following: 1) national interscholastic competition during the summer, 2) summer interscholastic competition in general, 3) summertime competition where a school has advanced from a qualifying event that takes place during the academic year.

Given the other options that were possible, and the fact that the uncountable noun "competition" (as opposed to the countable "a competition") generally doesn't mean a single tournament, it makes it even less likely that an intended meaning of the by-law was to restrict summer competition to a single tournament. Teams like St. Pius X and Ladue have already competed at both HSNCT and NSC in a single year, and according to the by-laws,

5.4.8, MSHSAA handbook wrote:
If any interested party is aggrieved by an opinion or decision of the Executive Director, then such party may appeal through the Executive Director in writing for a review by or a hearing before the Appeals

I wonder if any of the schools who have been contacted regarding this would find it worth appealing to the board of directors, and if so, whether any of the arguments I've mentioned would carry any significant weight.

Mon May 30, 2016 5:10 am
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