The 30-member Hall of Fame Selection Committee of the Louisiana Sports Writers Association annually conducts a two-month review process before electing no more than eight new members of the Hall of Fame.
A standing ballot, typically including more than 100 candidates, is supplemented each year by new nominees.
Nominations can be made by the public as well as by members of the LSWA.
Athletes, coaches and other sports figures are selected according to categories and criteria established long ago by the LSWA.
To be eligible for consideration, athletes must have competed for at least two years at the varsity level in high school or college in Louisiana. Athletes who gain fame in Louisiana at the college or professional level are also eligible candidates.
Coaches and nominees in other categories such as sports administration are eligible for membership if they are Louisiana natives who gain fame outside the state, or if they are out of state but gain fame while working in Louisiana.
Other basic criteria require sports figures to be retired or inactive in their discipline for at least three years before they can be considered.
Athletes in lifetime sports, such as golf, become eligible when they reach the age of 50, even if they remain active.
With rules refined in 2003, coaches and administrators become eligible once they turn 60, even if they remain active.
Rules prevent a majority of the selections coming from any one sports category.
The discussion of Hall of Fame candidates never stops among LSWA members, especially among the selection committee members. It's a common topic in press rooms and on road trips for the state's sports media, with the formal process now beginning with a committee meeting at the annual LSWA convention in July.
The selection process moves forward with confirmation of credentials for new nominees. Then the selection committee's screening panel reviews the entire list of candidates, new and returning, and using electronic mail and teleconferences, pairs them down to 30 semifinalists.
The full selection committee reviews all candidates, and if there are any nominees who have not made the semifinalists lists, they may become finalists if seven committee members request their addition to the final ballot.
The finalists are set and the entire committee will gather on the last weekend of August for a spirited discussion and election process. The elections for the Distinguished Service Award in Sports Journalism and the Dave Dixon Sports Leadership Award are conducted electronically after discussion at the selection committee meeting.
Announcement of the induction class will be made during the holiday season with plans to hold a formal announcement party, perhaps in conjunction with a major state sports event. If you have a candidate to nominate, it's easy to do. Biographical material on nominees should be mailed to Doug Ireland, Executive Director, Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame, Prather Coliseum, NSU, Natchitoches, LA 71497, or sent to firstname.lastname@example.org via email. The deadline to nominate new candidates each year is July 15. Supporting materials, especially for nominees not in high-profile sports categories, is helpful.
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