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Cleveland Central Catholic’s Antwon Lillard, right, drives to the basket against Defiance’s Jordan Scott during the fourth quarter of the Ohio High School Athletic Association Division II championship basketball game Saturday, March 28, 2015, in Columbus, Ohio. Defiance beat Central Catholic 49-45 in overtime. (AP Photo | Jay LaPrete)

Court Says Catholic School Can Challenge Competition Rules

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – The Ohio Supreme Court is keeping the door open for a court challenge of reforms aimed at leveling the playing field for public and private school sports teams.

The court on Tuesday ruled that a Hamilton County judge can properly consider a challenge by a Catholic school athletic league to “competitive balance” rules implemented by the Ohio High School Athletic Association.

The rules addressed the athletic dominance of private schools, which can draw student-athletes from a larger geographic area.

The Greater Catholic League Coed Division and Roger Bacon High School sued to challenge a new formula that reclassifies teams for state tournaments beyond enrollment numbers.

The athletic association had argued that the courts couldn’t interfere to change a bylaw voted in by member schools.