For several years now the 4A classification schools in the state of Kansas have been begging and asking for a change to their classifications because of schools with 199 students competing against schools with 532 on the far reaches of the spectrum. While from the pure number aspect this may not represent as big a gap as what 5A and 6A experience, the number in students more greatly impacts smaller schools because of the pool of students to pull talent from is much smaller.
Class 4A has argued for several different changes including splitting class 4A in half and adding another championship much like what class 1A did. Class 1A got this done but because they were dealing with 100+ schools not 64. The Kansas State High Schools Activities Association did not see the validity in this idea but did recognize that something may need to be done.
This next month KSHSAA will hold their regional meetings and one of the questions posed to the schools in classes 4-3-2-1A will be “Should the KSHSAA modify Rule 5-2-1, regarding the classification of schools in Classes 4A, 3A, 2A, and 1A….” The change would be to move the 16 smallest 4A schools down to 3A, 16 smallest 3A schools down to 2A, and the 16 smallest 2A schools down to 1A. Class 1A schools would be offset due to schools consolidations and closures (which is a sad thing to say but true).
While I think this the KSHSAA finally came up with an idea that seems to make the most sense to help out 4A, who may benefit the most is Class 2-1A football.
The most recent two-year classifications for football came out on Tuesday and there are just 41 schools playing in class 2-1A. 41 schools! And 19 of those are under 100 kids in classes freshmen through junior making them immediately eligible for for 8-Man football and several if not all have already discussed the possibility of playing 8 -Man.
Cutting the number of 4A schools will not only benefit 4A but help keep 2-1A football viable. Even if half of the 19 schools drop in the next two-year cycle it would just leave 32 schools in 2-1A. 16 more schools help keep the competition level at a higher pace in class 2-1A.
The only holding point on this issue actually has nothing to do with football. It will be all other sports and more specifically the 1A class. The move of dropping 16 schools from each class 4A on down will mean that 1A will play with 109 to 111 schools depending on the sports. For some sports this won’t be a huge deal since 1A basketball and volleyball are already split into two divisions. Class 1A ultimately hold the key to what may happen in this deal.
But for one, I vote a big YES to the modification question…not that my vote counts. I hope that all the schools 4A down through 1A will look at the greater good in this vote, because I personally think it will help 4A the least, though they will get what they wanted all along.
From a guy that grew up in a small town and still loves small town football, Thanks class 4A for saving 2-1A football!…if the vote passes.