FB: IHSAA to add sixth class, 'tourney success' factor
June 23, 2012By E. Shawn Aylsworth of Hoosier Authority
The IHSAA Executive Committee has approved a portion of an Indiana Football Coaches Association proposal to add a sixth classification to the football state tournament beginning in 2013-14.
The Committee also voted in favor of a two-year “tournament success factor” in each team sport (baseball, basketball, football, soccer, softball, and volleyball), an accumulation of points by which any school would move up one class based on tournament series performance during that time.
Those decisions, along with another that will see the IHSAA Girls Basketball State Finals return to Terre Haute for a second consecutive year, highlighted the committee’s final monthly meeting of the 2011-12 school year June 21.
Members of the IFCA had presented a multiple-part proposal to the IHSAA Executive Committee at its February meeting, with the Committee then opting to table the proposal for continued study during its March gathering. In brief, it included adding a sixth competition class, seeding the top two teams in each sectional, and adding a four-year “tradition factor.”
The Executive Committee voted 13-5 to adopt the sixth class but rejected 17-1 seeding the sectionals as well as the four-year tradition factor (by unanimous 18-0 consent). Instead, the Committee voted 16-2 to go with a similar proposal written by IHSAA Commissioner Bobby Cox calling for a two-year tournament success factor in each team sport, not just football.
On a sport-by-sport basis, schools will earn one point for a sectional championship, two points for a regional championship, three points for a semistate title, and four points for a state title. The maximum number of points a team can earn in a single year is four points. Should a school earn six points or more during a specified two-year period – for instance two state championship appearances – that school would compete in the next-higher enrollment class for the ensuing two seasons.
Tournament success achieved during the 2011-12 and 2012-13 school years will be used to determine classifications in 2013-14.
With regard to the sixth class, the current Class 5A will be split in two – the largest 32 schools by enrollment making up Class 6A, schools ranking 33-64 going to Class 5A. Each team in those classes would have a bye week to start state tournament play and begin in what is currently the sectional semifinal round.
The remaining schools will be evenly distributed between Classes 4A, 3A, 2A, and A, and they will continue playing in a six-week tournament format.
The new classifications will be announced this coming winter, followed by the sectional assignments.
“I am extremely encouraged by the vision and valor of our Executive Committee in making these progressive decisions on behalf of student-athletes in the Hoosier state,” said Cox. “It is my belief that these changes significantly address competition issues in football and will prove to enhance the team sport experience across all other disciplines.”