A little more than a year and a half ago, the Ohio High School Athletic Association made its latest attempt to deal with the ongoing issue of athletes transferring.

We're into year two of the switch in which athletes who transfer no longer sit out the first half of their season but instead become ineligible for the second half of the regular season and the postseason.

Whether or not you think it's been a productive change is a matter of perspective.

Particularly in sports such as basketball, which has only five players in the game at a time, or at smaller schools in other sports, the movement of a player or two can have a significant impact.

About 65 percent of OHSAA member schools voted for the proposal in May 2018, believing it would limit the ability of teams to stack their rosters for the postseason and create super teams, but as the cliche goes, "The more things change, the more they stay the same."

There were nearly a dozen exceptions put in place for athletes who transfer from one district to another to remain eligible for an entire sports season, including when a family moves, and so the number of transfers doesn't seem to be changing much.

Whitehall's boys and girls basketball programs have benefited from the addition of the Mobley siblings, junior Josiah Mobley for the boys team and sophomore Alexia Mobley for the girls squad after both played for Reynoldsburg last season.

Josiah has been averaging 13 points after averaging five last year, and Alexia is a University of Louisville commit who has increased her scoring average from 9.5 to 21.5.

Thomas Worthington also has added two move-ins in juniors Tyrese Hughey and Omari Effiong. Hughey is averaging 12 points after previously attending Licking Heights and Effiong is contributing after previously attending Pickerington North.

St. Charles now has sophomore Josh Whiteside after he played last year for Gahanna, although he is only eligible during the season's first half.

This has nothing to do with the private-public school issue considering sophomore Javan Simmons basically has replaced Whiteside at Gahanna after contributing last year at Hartley.

All of the movement leads to the question of whether it's actually bad for prep sports.

Having players leave can disrupt chemistry and sometimes causes hurt feelings for the team that gets left behind, but it's not always smooth sailing for the program that the player wants to become a part of.

Sometimes athletes need a fresh start or a new situation to help them grow as they approach adulthood.

When Buddy White took over as Reynoldsburg football coach in 2011, one issue he wanted to fix was that so many athletes from the school were transferring to rival programs.

It took years of gradual culture changes -- and more winning certainly helped -- to significantly limit the number of players leaving that program.

With the Harvest Prep football team this fall, the transfer rule made several of its key contributors ineligible at midseason.

The Warriors overcame that adversity to reach a Division VII state semifinal, but it forced a program with already low numbers to have its remaining players stay on the field longer and be subject to higher injury risk.

While changing the transfer rule again might not necessarily be the way to go -- neither is embracing free movement -- the idea that an athlete can create his or her own destiny at another school is as strong as ever.

From a team perspective, when a player leaves one school for another, there are teachable moments for all involved, be it the one that lost the player or the one gaining him or her.

julrey@thisweeknews.com

@UlreyThisWeek