Championship factor introduced

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Missouri to eliminate private school multiplier

For years, private high schools in Missouri had a 1.35 multiplier assessed to their student enrollment counts when it came to athletics in order to maintain a balance in competitive events.

That is about to change, thanks to the passage of a new bylaw that erases the multiplier and replaces it with an item called the championship factor.

In May, the members of the Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA) passed the proposals on the 2019 annual ballot.

Starting in the 2020-2021 school year, private and charter schools will begin with their raw enrollments, with single-sex school enrollments doubled. Then the individual sports within those schools will be moved up classifications using a points system based upon postseason accomplishments over a six-year period.

Proposal 10 passed with 294 votes in favor and 133 against.

Instead of a blanket 1.35 multiplier for all private schools, it assesses postseason success of each activity and adjusts the classification of those activities accordingly.

The MSHSAA board of directors has the final say and will iron out the details at its meeting in September. The way the proposal was explained at meetings throughout the state over the last year was something like this: A district title is worth one point. Quarterfinal victories are worth two, semifinal wins are worth three and state championships are worth four. The points are not cumulative. A state champion receives four points, not a total of 10 for its victories along the way.

The points accumulated over the six-year period determine whether the private or charter school’s team moves up one classification or two. No team will move up more than two classifications from its raw enrollment. The board of directors will determine how many points move a team up one classification or two when it meets in September.

What makes the new proposal different is the length of time applied to the postseason points. Some states set it at two years. The Illinois High School Association adopted a similar “success advancement” factor before the 2014-2015 school year that uses a four-year window.

A potential drawback to those time frames is one talented class of athletes can come through a school, rack up a significant number of points, then graduate, only to leave the next several classes paying the freight for prior achievement.

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