The Indiana High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) Executive Committee approved two measures that will have a dramatic effect on the prep sports landscape starting in the fall of 2013 at its June meeting last week.
The Committee voted 13-5 to adopt a sixth class in the state football playoffs, a portion of a proposal submitted by the Indiana Football Coaches Association (IFCA). The current schools in Class 5A would be split in half, with the top 32 teams making up the new Class 6A and the bottom 32 remaining in 5A starting in the 2013 season. The 6A and 5A playoffs would begin a week after the start of the tourney for those schools in the other four classes.
New classifications for all schools to take effect in 2013 will be announced this coming winter followed by sectional assignments.
A second proposal made by the IFCA to seed the first round of the sectionals in all classes was rejected by the Committee.
The second major proposal approved by the Committee by a vote of 16-2 was a two-year tournament success factor formula that would bump a school up one class in the sports of football, volleyball, boys and girls soccer, boys and girls basketball, baseball and softball if they met certain winning criteria. Teams in those sports would receive one point for winning sectional, regional, semi-state and state championships. A team earning six or more points over a two-year span would then compete in the next highest class in that sport for the following two seasons.
For example, a volleyball team that wins a 2A state championship, then makes it to the 2A semi-state level the following year, would accumulate six points and be bumped up to Class 3A in that sport for the next two years. After those two years, if the team has not earned six points, they would return to the class which its school enrollment dicates.
Each sport is scored separately, so the tournament success of one team does not affect the classification of any of the other sports in the same school.
Points accumulated during this past school year and the upcoming school year (2012-13) will be used to determine classifications in each sport in 2013-14.
The Committee also voted 18-0 to play the 2013 girls basketball state finals at the Hulman Center on the campus of Indiana State University in Terre Haute. The four state championship games will be played Saturday, March 2, 2013 in the 10,200-seat arena, which hosted last year’s state finals.
The IHSAA also received bids to host the girls state finals from the Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis and the Allen County Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne, site of the 2010 and 2011 state finals.