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Feb, 2015

Cincinnati CYO Update

Many of you are probably (and hopefully) interested and concerned with the status of the Cincinnati CYO Sports’ leagues.  A meeting of Parish Booster heads was held on January 26th at All Saints School.  A summary of the event is listed below.

Follow-up meetings are scheduled for Feb 16th and Feb 23rd to discuss – and decide on the future of the girls’ sports of basketball and volleyball.  A decision will be made after the Feb 23rd meeting concerning which time of the year each will be played - fall or winter.

There is also a meeting scheduled for March 9th to discuss the future of boys’ basketball and volleyball.

We will keep you informed as best that we can.  For more details, please plan on attending the next SH Booster Meeting scheduled for Tuesday, February 17th at 6:30pm.

Gerry Betsch, AD

Ben Niesen, Booster Pres

A continuing shift to single sport leagues
More than 6,000 Catholic grade school boys and girls basketball and volleyball players will shift league affiliation in 2015-16 following the recently announced dissolution of the Catholic Youth Organization, Inc., commonly known as Cincinnati CYO.

Over 125 area Catholic youth sports leaders met Monday night at All Saints parish in Montgomery to discuss the changing landscape of Catholic youth sports in Greater Cincinnati.

The meeting was hosted by the Archdiocese of Cincinnati Catholic Youth Athletics Commission.

The Commission’s focus was not to make immediate changes, but rather to bring together league representatives, grade school Booster Presidents and other school representatives in one room to begin face-to-face dialogue and plan next steps.

“We have not had this group together in more than 20 years,” Commission member Greg Tankersley told the audience.

The Archdiocese of Cincinnati last ran the day-to-day youth sports operations in 1981. Since then, the void has been filled by non-profit groups throughout Cincinnati. After limited interaction with youth sports for decades, the Archdiocese is re-engaging with area leaders. However, the Commission stressed multiple timesMonday that they do not want to run leagues themselves in the future.

The Cincinnati CYO ran leagues for basketball and volleyball teams throughout most of Cincinnati (excluding Hamilton and the West Side of Cincinnati which have their own catholic youth leagues).

In previous years, the Cincinnati CYO also was the home for football, track and field, and other leagues.Football and track and field broke off from Cincinnati CYO and formed their own leagues.

While no decisions have been made, it appears a shift to single sports leagues is the likely fate for the the hundreds of basketball and volleyball teams left behind by Cincinnati CYO.

What could happen for basketball?

A potential scenario for basketball would be forming two or more other leagues throughout Cincinnati that mirror a current model on the West Side of Cincinnati. The Western Basketball Conference (WBC) is a league consisting of 18 West side parishes. The WBC model was discussed at Monday's meeting. Potentially, there could be an East side version and one for the Central or Northern schools in the city as well.

There is a possibility all the leagues could go under the umbrella of the WBC, which already has structure in place. Or, the WBC may just offer guidance to help basketball coordinators from other parts of the city to set up their own leagues.

The WBC offers basketball for grades 10-12 as well and state affiliations. Cincinnati CYO stops after ninth grade.*  (sic: This is wrong.  The Cinti CYO currently offers high school boys basketball for grades 9 through 12.) This potentially opens the door for more participation around the city in basketball for older ages.

Controversial decision coming for girls basketball and volleyball

One often-debated topic in recent years was the Cincinnati CYO league hosting a girls basketball league in the Fall and volleyball in the winter. The basketball season typically ran from early September through early November. Volleyball would begin in early January and conclude in March.

In many other areas, the seasons were reversed: volleyball in the fall and basketball in the winter.

There were plenty of discussions among schools to switch the seasons but nothing ever happened.

When the Cincinnati CYO announced in December it would discontinue, this debate jumped to the forefront.  The Archdiocese of Cincinnati Catholic Youth Athletics Commission immediately polled the participating schools asking for their opinions on whether to keep the current seasons or make a switch.

“There was zero percent consensus,” Tankersley said at the meeting.

Sports coordinators and booster presidents from area grade schools will meet in the next 14 days to discuss a path forward for those sports. They expect to have a final decision for next year’s season in late-March or early-April.

Other items

·         The Commission wants consistency across all the sports and leagues. It published a 44-page document in March outlining expectations. Going forward, all teams up to and including Grade 5 will be classified as “instructional” teams. Children will be expected to have roughly equal playing time, a departure from the CYO basketball expectation of each child playing one continuous quarter. Another change coming for that age group: a limit of two in-season tournaments. This has some schools frustrated fearing this will adversely affect tournaments, which often help fund youth athletics at the parish level.

·         In recent years, Catholic youth sports had become so decentralized that no one had an up-to-date database of Booster President and Sports Coordinators from schools around the city.

·         Parish sponsored sports such as soccer, cheerleading and golf compete in non-Catholic leagues. The Commission has no control over those leagues but is encouraging schools to ask the leagues to respect items outlined by the Archdiocese, including not scheduling games on Sunday’s before noon.

·         The Commission met two weeks ago with Catholic-affiliated league leaders from around the city. It formulated 13 proposed best practices for the formation of leagues. Among the best practices were transparency to finances, strong and up-to-date communication methods, and a voting process on elections of positions, rules, team placement done by participating parishes and organizations. School representatives took time during Monday’s meeting to review the list and make suggestions, which were collected by the Commission.


The 43 Cincinnati area schools and parishes that will be affected

All Saints



Cardinal Pacelli


Cincinnati Christian Schools

Good Sherphard Montessori

Guardian Angels

Immaculate Heart of Mary

Mercy Montessori

Mother Teresa


Our Lady of Grace

Royalmount Academy

Sacred Heart Fairfield

The Seven Hills School

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

St. Bartholomew

St. Bernadette

St. Cecilia

St. Clement

St. Columban

St. Francis DeSales

St. Francis DeSales (Lebanon)

St. Gabriel

St. Gertrude

St. James (Wyoming)

St. James (White Oak)

St. John (West Chester)

St. John Dry Ridge

St. Louis

St. Margaret of York

St. Mary School

St. Max

St. Michael

St. Nicholas Academy

Sts. Peter & Paul

St. Susanna

St. Thomas More

St. Ursula Villa

St. Veronica

St. Vincent Ferrer

St. Vivian

Contact Us

Sacred Heart Boosters

400 Nilles Rd. 
Fairfield, Ohio 45014

Phone: 513-858-4215
Email: [email protected]

Sacred Heart Boosters

400 Nilles Rd. 
Fairfield, Ohio 45014

Phone: 513-858-4215
Email: [email protected]
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