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How many high school classifications does your state have?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Johnny Chase, Apr 25, 2011.

  1. Johnny Chase

    Johnny Chase Member

    I've always been curious to see how many classifications each state has for high school athletics. Here in Illinois, there were always two for every sport except football (and smaller sports like bowling had, and still have one), but the IHSA went to four a few years ago and that was a huge deal. In football, there were six up until 2001 when they went to eight.

    I hated the four-class system at first, but it's kind of grown on me. But the eight-class system completely sucks.

    That being said, having applied for a number of jobs, I'd do some research on the schools in the area, and it seems like four classes is basically the minimum, and some states have six or seven for nearly every sport, which just seems ridiculous.

    So, how many does your state have, and do you like it that way?
  2. Rhody31

    Rhody31 Well-Known Member

    Brilliantly, Rhode Island doesn't have classifications; we have divisions that are broken down by a 60-40 rule - 60 percent school size, 40 percent success rate.
    In some sports, there are as many as four divisions; in others, there are three.
    The state took a huge step with the last realignment - it happens every four years - by cutting divisions to three per most sports and having an open state basketball tournament.
    However, there is a serious push for the state to go to a regionalized regular-season schedule, then have an open tournament at the end of the season in nearly every sport.
  3. MartinonMTV2

    MartinonMTV2 New Member

    The biggest problem in Illinois is not the number of classes. It's the Catholic schools that recruit some players and still stay in the lower classes of competition. In basketball, it's 2A.

    That system also leads to Chicago-area schools playing smaller schools early in the sectional round of Class 2A.
  4. HanSenSE

    HanSenSE Well-Known Member

    California's always a hodgepodge. In most team sports where there are state championships (boys and girls basketball, girls volleyball and boys and girls soccer in SoCal), there's five divisions. Most are enrollment based, but some sections are going to a ranking system much like in soccer, where teams move up and down in divisions depending on past performance. Football is still being worked out, since there's no statewide playoff system. Instead there's a five-division bowl system in a North vs. South format, four enrollment divisions and an "open" division for the power schools. Teams are selected by committee. Wrestling and track and field have one division, but cross country is five divisions. Boys and girls golf is a single division as well, but that's run by the state amateur golf association, not the CIF.

    In all the other sports, it's left up to the sections.
  5. TrooperBari

    TrooperBari Active Member

    For the most part, Nebraska breaks its classes into A (the largest, which includes the 28 schools with the highest enrollment), B, C and D. Football, volleyball and basketball are further broken into A, B, C-1, C-2, D-1 and D-2, with both D classes playing eight-man football. Alas, six-man football is no longer NSAA-sanctioned. Sports with less participation have just two or three classes, and swimming has just one, leading to a bunch of co-ops.

    Hawaii has just two classes — Division 1 and Division 2. Enrollment, facilities and location have nothing to do with which division you're in. The AD (presumably consulting with each sport's coaches, but not always) tells the HHSAA prior to the season in which division they want to compete, and it can vary from sport to sport. This can result in two Oahu schools with 1,000-plus enrollments playing for the state title in Division 2, which is mostly populated by rural and parochial schools.
  6. trifectarich

    trifectarich Well-Known Member

    This surprises me. Following the need to be PC, I would have thought states by now would have done away with Class B, C, etc., and used A through AAAAAAAAAAAAAA.
  7. MileHigh

    MileHigh Moderator Staff Member

    And section titles carry a bit more prestige, especially in SoCal. In football in SoCal, I think it's up to 13 sections. Boys and girls basketball, there are 12. It's actually kind of insane, but there are also 600-plus schools just in the Southern Section.
  8. WolvEagle

    WolvEagle Active Member

    Michigan has four for most sports; three for some like swimming. Football, though, is eight, though a standalone division for eight-man football recently was added.
  9. Minnesota just decided to add a Class 6-A for football, so there's seven classifications for that sport (including 9 Man). I'm pretty sure there are four classes for the majority of the other sports, except for hockey, which has two. The new football classification will feature the 28 (I believe) largest schools.

    In New Mexico, I know five classes was the norm. Each class had between 25 and 35 schools, and for most sports, 16 would make the state tournament. So you'd have teams that went 9-13 qualify for state, which always seemed preposterous. But at least more student-athletes felt good about themselves. :)
  10. Shoeless Joe

    Shoeless Joe Active Member

    Ohhhhhh what a mess.
    In Tennessee, the simple answer is 3 - AAA, AA, A (AAA being the largest, and it's all enrollment based), but it's not simple at all.
    For football, you have three during the regular season, then it's broken into six classifications for the playoffs. A becomes 1A and 2A, AA becomes 3A and 4A, AAA becomes 5A and 6A.
    Basketball and baseball are straight forward - three classifications all the time.
    Some sports, because of the number of participants there are two - A/AA and AAA.
    Still others are only one all-inclusive classification.
    THEN, throw in the public (Division I) and private (Division II) divide. In football, DII is broken down further by enrollment to two groups.
  11. fourcorners

    fourcorners New Member

    Pennsylvania uses mostly four classes per sports (A, AA, AAA, AAAA) but some, such as wrestling, use just two classifications, AA and AAA.
  12. gregcrews

    gregcrews Member

    I have actually written columns at two different newspapers about there being too many classes (Kentucky and Oklahoma). In Kentucky there is just one state champ in basketball, which is awesome. It makes the entire postseason noteworthy, and just being one of the 16 teams in the state tournament (played at Rupp Arena) is a lifelong memory. In football, they recently went from four to six classes and it has made the sport worse.

    In Oklahoma, meanwhile, there are seven classes (A-6A and B) in just about every sport (football also has eight-man, which it lists as Class C), and it is overwhelming.

    According to Maxpreps.com there were 228 teams that won boys' state basketball championships in 2010 and 322 football teams.

    State-by-state football champs

    State-by-state basketball champs
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