During its final meeting of the 2022-23 school year today, the IHSAA Executive Committee approved a rule that changes the way schools are classified in four-class sports. The Executive Committee voted to amend the original rule proposal from the Indiana Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (IIAAA) that would have changed how schools were classified in four-class sports by using fixed enrollment figures. Instead, by a 13-4-1 count, the Committee opted to maintain a percentage-based system and adjusted it to a 20-25-25-30 ratio.
Beginning with the next reclassification cycle, Class 4A will include the largest 20% of schools, Class 3A will be the next 25%, Class 2A the next 25% and Class A the smallest 30% of schools. Since 1997-98, the rule has required equally distributing schools (25%) among the four classes. “The Board of Directors recognized the concerns brought to us by the IIAAA 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. “This change also addresses a desire for schools to be in the same class in baseball, basketball, softball, and volleyball but it also give us an opportunity to adjust those percentages in the future if necessary.” The next two-year reclassification cycle begins with the 2024-25 school year with the certified enrollment figures reported to the Indiana Department of Education from the upcoming school year being used. Those will be released next winter.
Additionally, classifying the four-class sports will be based on the entire membership total and not only those schools participating in a given sport effectively keeping sectional alignments similar across each sport. The original proposal had been submitted by Neidig on behalf of the IIAAA but had been tabled by the Board of Directors for further study at its May 1 meeting and was brought back for action at today’s meeting. Tournament Success Factor Two proposals affecting the Tournament Success Factor (Rule 2-5) that had been tabled in May were also brought back for action. A proposal from Board member and Barr-Reeve Principal Jeff Doyle was approved after being amended. New language requires that a school’s performance and points accumulated in a twoyear span will be looked at annually beginning in 2024-25.
Currently, points accumulated in a specific two-year window determine whether a team moves up or stays up one or more classes. Going forward, data from the previous two years will be reviewed and considered annually before making a determination. A proposal from Yorktown Principal Stacey Brewer that called for schools that were playing in a higher class to drop down a class if they accumulated three points or less and those scoring four or more points to remain in that higher class, failed to receive support.