It's regional tournament weekend for most high school sports, and state weekend for boys tennis.

It's regional tournament weekend for most high school sports, and state weekend for boys tennis.

Don't tell anybody, but there are some private schools represented.

The tournaments are going on as scheduled, so that must be a good sign.

That the most recent competitive balance proposal failed by 19 votes May 16 wasn't a huge surprise. That 191 schools did not vote was an intolerable show of apathy toward a referendum so important to the future of prep sports in this state.

That this process of finding supposedly needed "balance" will continue seemingly ad nauseum is almost as bad.

Studies repeatedly have shown that around 40 percent of Ohio High School Athletic Association state championships are won by the 17 percent of schools that are private. That means public schools win 60 percent of the titles. While nothing is perfect, balance is going to be impossible to achieve, if we ever figure out exactly what that is.

Were the system truly broken, we would have no public-school champions in any sport because all the premier athletes would be attending their neighborhood private schools.

So let's stop beating the tattered drum. Let's stop ridiculing private schools such as DeSales, Hartley, Cleveland St. Ignatius and Cincinnati Moeller because their teams dare to win sometimes, just like everyone else.

Sure, it'd be intriguing to see the likes of DeSales, Hartley and Watterson in Division I for all sports, which might have happened with the multiplier system included in the most recent and failed proposal. For the most part, those schools' teams already play a bevy of Division I schools to see top-notch competition and prepare for the postseasons in which they sometimes roar through schools their own size or slightly smaller.

The easiest, laziest "argument" for separation is that private schools recruit. That thought usually disregards an important factor -- tradition.

Not athletic tradition, but family tradition.

For many families, sending children to private schools doesn't come from a desire to win championships. Lots of families whose children attend our area's private schools aren't the first of their relatives to do so, or even the first of their siblings.

Who is anyone to tell a family they can't send their children to private schools? It's their money and their belief system.

Is that to say going purely for sports does not happen? Of course it does, but not as much as you'd think.

Other states have toed a harder line than Ohio, including Texas. Until 2003, no private schools competed in the University Interscholastic League, their equivalent of the OHSAA, because most non-public schools there belong to the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools. But that year, on the heels of their leagues disbanding and TAPPS complaining that the two had become too large to compete against other member schools, Dallas Jesuit and Houston Strake Jesuit sought and gained entry into the UIL.

A condition of their joining was that both would compete in Division 5A, the highest possible classification.

It took seven years for either school to win a state championship. In the 2010 5A boys soccer final, Dallas Jesuit edged Strake 1-0 in a shootout. Neither school has won a state title since.

Of course, the chances of private schools winning the majority of state titles in Texas are nonexistent. It hasn't happened here yet, either, but some want you to think that it has.

If the public-private separatist movement insists on keeping the course here, why not take it a step further?

Why not tell tennis players from Columbus Academy, New Albany and Upper Arlington they can't play the game year-round because it gives them an advantage over schools where players might not pick up a racket until practices begin, if not after?

We could dismantle the four-field softball complexes at Pickerington Central and Pickerington North because it gives those schools an unfair advantage in playing host to the district tournament every year.

Ridiculous notions? Of course. But in the end, how are they any different?