IHSAA Adds 6th Football Class, Institutes Points System for Stellar Schools
IHSAA Commissioner says moves promote fairness, but not necessarily aimed at private schools
(wibc.com photo from IHSAA)
There will be yet another state championship contest in high school football starting next school year, and another new measure might dampen the dominance of private schools in some sports.
The Indiana High School Athletic Assocaition's Executive Board has voted to add another enrollment class in football - Class 6-A. It will be comprised of the 32 largest schools currently in Class 5-A, with the remaining 32 schools remaining at the 5-A level. The IHSAA will divide the remaining schools evenly into classes 4-A, 3-A, 2-A, and single-A. The new class assignments will be announced next winter and take effect for the 2013-2014 school year.
Also, the IHSAA will create a points system that will apply to all team sports. Schools will accumulate points based on tournament wins over a two-year period. Schools can earn one point for each sectional win, two points for a regional title, three points for a semi-state win, and four points for a state title. However, the most points a team can earn in one year is capped at four points. A school that earns six points or more during a two-year period would move up to the next higher enrollment class for the following two seasons. The IHSAA will assign points from the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons to determine classifications in 2013-14.
IHSAA Commissioner Bobby Cox says the moves are about fairness and giving more student-athletes the chance to compete for championships, along the lines of the newly revived debate over single-class basketball. "Are we returning to an era when we are taking opportunity away from young people or are we going to continue to provide as much opportunity as we can?" Cox rhetorically asked. Last year, seven of the ten schools competing for state football titles were private or parochial schools, but Cox denied that the changes were aimed specifically at those schools.
Rick Streiff, head football caoch at Cathedral High School in Indianapolis, isn't worried about the new rules. "Whatever it is, just line us up, tell us where we're going to go, and we'll go play," Streiff said. Cathedral has won the last two state football titles in Class 4-A, and his team would be forced to move up to Classs 5-A if the new rules were already in effect. "It's not really going to change dramatically some of the teams we have historically played. It's not going to be a huge difference, I think, coming down the road."
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