New alignment idea seeks to find equity among classifications

(Ryan Casey/CHSAANow.com)

CHSAA's All-School Summit began on Thursday. (Ryan Casey/CHSAANow.com)

LONE TREE — The classification system in Colorado seems headed for a change.

It's not quite drastic, but the direction CHSAA's Classification and League Organizing Committee (CLOC) is headed is definitely different than the current system. In short, CLOC's idea would give each sport unique enrollment cutoffs which would then be used to divide classifications evenly.

Currently, all sports — save for football and wrestling — use one set of enrollment cutoffs to determine classifications. And those cutoffs are based upon basketball, the sport with the highest participation among CHSAA member schools.

The new approach was first presented to the membership at CHSAA's All-School Summit on Thursday afternoon at the Denver Marriott South.

"It's a philosophical thing right now," Randy Holmen, CLOC's chair and the principal at Holly High School, said at the CHSAA office on Wednesday ahead of the Summit.

And so CLOC is seeking feedback from the membership over the next few months. Still, make no mistake, CLOC seems intent on heading this direction for the next two-year cycle (2016-18).

"This was discussed pretty seriously," Holmen said.

The idea was first hatched at CLOC's most recent meeting in May. One month earlier, wrestling's move to unique enrollment numbers was approved at the Legislative Council meeting. Wrestling wanted to create an even split of teams across its classifications.

This spawned a discussion at CLOC's May meeting, which soon turned to the question of equity among the classification system as a whole.

"The CLOC committee was very open to this" new idea, Holmen said. "Actually, we were really excited to look into it."

(Ryan Casey/CHSAANow.com)

Randy Holmen explains the new alignment idea at the All-School Summit on Thursday. (Ryan Casey/CHSAANow.com)

The current system has been in place for nearly 20 years. It seeks to keep the higher and lower cutoffs of a classification's enrollment figures right around a ratio of 2.2 to 1.

"We've struggled for a couple of years now of how to have equity in our classification system," said Paul Angelico, CHSAA's commissioner. "There is no perfect way to find equity, but our current system may actually work against equity."

So, how to find equity? Like wrestling did, CLOC wants to have an even amount of teams playing in classifications — in each sport.

Every sport would have different enrollment cutoffs for classifications in order to balance the teams. In some cases, schools would have teams playing in different classifications.

However, the change isn't all that drastic. Early projections have shown that 10-12 schools would be affected at the very maximum in certain sports.

"We don't envision this to be a landslide change in any classification," Holmen said. "It can't be. It won't be."

CLOC's next meeting is in November. It is there that the committee will set the structure to be used for the 2016-18 two-year cycle, so any feedback from schools needs to come prior to that meeting.

"Please be active in this," Homen told the gathered athletic directors on Thursday, "because there are going to be some tough decisions to be made."

Implementing the new idea wouldn't require a bylaw change, but it would require the Legislative Council to approve the CLOC report at its meeting in January 2015.

Many details remain to be ironed out — for example, how would play-up and play-down requests be handled? — but those things are likely to be hammered out at CLOC's November meeting.

"There are going to be some real hard questions we're going to have to answer," Angelico said.

Under the new plan, wrestling and football's enrollment cutoffs would not change as they are already unique.

New classification cutoff

Below are projected cutoffs for CLOC's idea of evening out teams among classifications. This chart includes data on teams in each classification for the 2014-16 cycle, as well as the projected number of even teams in a given sport.

For sake of comparison, the current 2014-16 enrollment cutoffs are included, as well.

Current enrollment cutoffs
Class All sports Wrestling Football
6-man - - 1-75
8-man - - 76-135
1A 1-92 - 136-300
2A 92-240 1-275 301-599
3A 241-600 276-780 600-1049
4A 601-1410 781-1410 1050-1609
5A 1411-up 1411-up 1610-up
Proposed classification system changes
Sport Schools Classes Class 2014-16 schools New cutoff Even split
Baseball 271 5 5A 63 1518-up 54.2
      4A 73 877-1517 54.2
      3A 52 368-876 54.2
      2A 49 140-367 54.2
      1A 34 1-139 54.2
Sport Schools Classes Class 2014-16 schools New cutoff Even split
Boys Basketball 329 5 5A 64 1368-up 65.8
4A 73 618-1367 65.8
3A 64 232-617 65.8
2A 62 87-231 65.8
1A 66 1-86 65.8
Sport Schools Classes Class 2014-16 schools New cutoff Even split
Girls Basketball 331 5 5A 64 1361-up 66.2
4A 74 609-1360 66.2
3A 63 225-608 66.2
2A 63 79-224 66.2
1A 67 1-78 66.2
Sport Schools Classes Class 2014-16 schools New cutoff Even split
Boys Cross Country 229 4 5A 63 1467-up 57.25
4A 72 815-1466 57.25
3A 49 326-814 57.25
2A 45 1-325 57.25
Sport Schools Classes Class 2014-16 schools New cutoff Even split
Girls Cross Country 229 4 5A 63 1467-up 57.25
4A 72 815-1466 57.25
3A 49 326-814 57.25
2A 45 1-325 57.25
Sport Schools Classes Class 2014-16 schools New cutoff Even split
Field Hockey 13 1 Uncl. 13 n/a 13
Sport Schools Classes Class 2014-16 schools New cutoff Even split
Boys Golf 183 3 5A 57 1402-up 61
4A 66 645-1401 61
3A 60 1-644 61
Sport Schools Classes Class 2014-16 schools New cutoff Even split
Girls Golf 148 2 5A 57 1251-up 74
4A 91 1-1250 74
Sport Schools Classes Class 2014-16 schools New cutoff Even split
Gymnastics 37 2 5A 22 1668-up 18.5
4A 15 1-1667 18.5
Sport Schools Classes Class 2014-16 schools New cutoff Even split
Ice Hockey 18 1 Uncl. 18 n/a 18
Sport Schools Classes Class 2014-16 schools New cutoff Even split
Boys Lacrosse 71 2 5A 40 1436-up 35.5
4A 31 1-1435 35.5
Sport Schools Classes Class 2014-16 schools New cutoff Even split
Girls Lacrosse 45 1 Uncl. 45 n/a 45
Sport Schools Classes Class 2014-16 schools New cutoff Even split
Boys Skiing 14 1 Uncl. 14 n/a 14
Sport Schools Classes Class 2014-16 schools New cutoff Even split
Girls Skiing 14 1 Uncl. 14 n/a 14
Sport Schools Classes Class 2014-16 schools New cutoff Even split
Boys Soccer 198 3 5A 61 1368-up 66
4A 72 611-1367 66
3A 65 1-610 66
Sport Schools Classes Class 2014-16 schools New cutoff Even split
Girls Soccer 209 4 5A 61 1521-up 52.25
4A 75 884-1520 52.25
3A 50 396-883 52.25
2A 23 1-395 52.25
Sport Schools Classes Class 2014-16 schools New cutoff Even split
Softball 162 3 5A 61 1517-up 54
4A 67 827-1516 54
3A 34 1-826 54
Sport Schools Classes Class 2014-16 schools New cutoff Even split
Boys Swimming 96 2 5A 51 1467-up 48
4A 45 1-1466 48
Sport Schools Classes Class 2014-16 schools New cutoff Even split
Girls Swimming 133 2 5A 63 1344-up 66.5
4A 70 1-1343 66.5
Sport Schools Classes Class 2014-16 schools New cutoff Even split
Boys Tennis 128 2 5A 56 1330-up 64
4A 72 1-1329 64
Sport Schools Classes Class 2014-16 schools New cutoff Even split
Girls Tennis 146 2 5A 61 1307-up 73
4A 85 1-1306 73
Sport Schools Classes Class 2014-16 schools New cutoff Even split
Boys Track 301 5 5A 61 1407-up 60.2
4A 73 723-1406 60.2
3A 51 248-722 60.2
2A 59 92-247 60.2
1A 57 1-91 60.2
Sport Schools Classes Class 2014-16 schools New cutoff Even split
Girls Track 301 5 5A 61 1407-up 60.2
4A 73 723-1406 60.2
3A 51 248-722 60.2
2A 59 92-247 60.2
1A 57 1-91 60.2
Sport Schools Classes Class 2014-16 schools New cutoff Even split
Volleyball 326 5 5A 62 1402-up 65.2
4A 73 678-1401 65.2
3A 64 273-677 65.2
2A 62 105-272 65.2
1A 65 1-104 65.2