More changes coming

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

MSHSAA adopts new classification guidelines

High school sports fans across the state will see an expansion of classes, thanks to the passage of a new amendment by a 376-51 vote, to the bylaws of the Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA).

In the fall of 2018, Jason West, MSHSAA communication director, spoke to the Monett Kiwanis and said an exploratory committee had been formed to look at making the classification formula more equitable.

“The underlying rationale is trying to get schools of closer enrollment to each other participating in each class,” West said. “What will happen is, based on the number of registrations there are for a particular sport, a percentage of the smallest registered enrollments will be Class 1. For the remaining classifications, it will be based on a 2.0 ratio, which means the largest school in that class will be no more than double the size of the smallest school in that class. If the smallest school in that class is 400 enrollment, then the largest school in that class won’t be over 800.”

The new classification rules would only apply to teams playing baseball, basketball, football, soccer, softball and volleyball.

All other sports will continue to work under the current classification model.

According to West, the number of Class 1 schools will be determined by the number of total registrations within that sport while trying to maintain an equitable spread of teams in each class.

“One of the secondary things we will be looking at is still trying to maintain some sort of balance as far as the numbers inside each classification; making sure Class 6 doesn’t have 50 schools and Class 5 has 32,” West said. “That is going to be the big takeaway that some sports might have more classes than they currently do, but also within those classes, you aren’t going to have a school of 1,300 competing against a school of 585.”

Basketball will likely see the biggest classification change.

Wheaton could potentially fall back to Class 1.

Football will be close, but it is not expected they would add a class in the initial cycle. However, West could not rule out that possibility.

Cassville’s chief football rival in Monett played its first football season as a Class 4 school. The Cubs were the sixth smallest school in an enrollment range of 556 to 990.

Appleton City, Bishop LeBlond, Liberal, Rich Hill and Drexel all voted to move to 8-man football. St. Joseph Christian co-opted with Northland Christian to move to 11-man.

Small school football teams still have until August to declare if they want to play 11-man or 8-man.

Factoring in enrollment fluctuations of Class 1, 2 and 3 schools, the Cubs are right on the Class 3 and 4 bubble.

Beginning the 2020-2021 season, fans should see some stability brought to the yo-yo effect of what classification the football Cubs receive. All other sports at Monett are likely not see a class change.

Cassville could potentially see a basketball classification change, but will not know for sure until 2020.

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