IHSAA Executive Committee adjusts 4-class sports, keeps percentage-based system
Pioneer, Rochester girls basketball could drop down a class
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
The IHSAA Executive Committee approved a rule at its meeting Thursday that would be a compromise between the current percentage-based system and a proposal that it tabled last month that would distribute schools by their enrollment for classifying schools in four-class sports.
The committee voted 13-4-1 to maintain a percentage-based system but adjust it to a 20-25-25-30 ratio instead of the current 25-25-25-25 format for the four-class sports of volleyball, girls basketball, boys basketball, softball and baseball beginning in the next classification cycle in 2024-25.
That means that the largest 20 percent of schools will be in Class 4A, the next largest 25 percent will be in Class 3A, the next largest 25 percent will be in Class 2A and the smallest 30 percent will be in Class 1A.
The IHSAA had 405 members covering the most recent reclassification covering the 2022-23 and 2023-24 school years. This means that Class 4A will consist of approximately 80 schools, Classes 3A and 2A will consist of approximately 100 schools, and Class 1A will consist of approximately 120 schools.
Classifications for the 2024-25 school year are based on enrollment figures that the Indiana Department of Education releases. The next release of enrollment figures will be next winter, and sectional realignment will occur in late April or early May 2024.
Among RTC area schools, Rochester would likely drop from Class 3A to Class 2A for girls basketball based on the new classification criteria. (Rochester is in Class 2A for the other four-class sports). Also, Pioneer would drop from Class 2A to Class 1A.
Tippecanoe Valley would stay in Class 3A, and Argos, Caston and Culver would stay in Class 1A.
“The Board of Directors recognized the concerns brought to us by the IIAAA (Indiana Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association) which were the enrollment gap in Class 4A and the smaller schools that were being moved up to a larger class without a significant enrollment change due to new member schools joining the Association,” said IHSAA Commissioner Paul Neidig said in a statement. “This change also addresses a desire for schools to be in the same class in baseball, basketball, softball, and volleyball but it also gives us an opportunity to adjust those percentages in the future if necessary.”
Neidig submitted the original proposal on the IIAAA’s behalf at its May 1 meeting. The IHSAA Board of Directors tabled that proposal and brought it back for action at today’s meeting.
The IIAAA is an association representing school athletic directors statewide.
The IHSAA also approved a proposal that would evaluate a school’s performance per the IHSAA Tournament Success Factor annually instead of in a specific two-year window.
The IHSAA also reported that a proposal that called for schools that were playing in a higher class due to the Success Factor to drop down a class if they accumulated three points or less and those scoring four or more points to remain in the higher class “failed to receive support.”
Schools accumulate two points for winning a regional, three points for winning a semistate and four points for winning a state championship. in the current system.