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 Coaches Association Considers Proposal to Add Class to State Football Playoff Format

August 13, 2008 - The Indiana Football Coaches Association is in early stages of surveying its members about the potential of adding a sixth class to the current high school football playoff system.

If such a proposal is acceptable to the majority of the schools, the IFCA then plans to submit a formal proposal to the Indiana High School Athletic Association.

Some coaches have been calling for a change to the system for a few years, primarily because of the enrollment disparity between the smallest and largest of the Class 5A schools. Ben Davis is the largest school and has an enrollment of 4,495. Jennings County is the smallest Class 5A school and has an enrollment of 1,511 students.

Additionally, there are an increasing number of schools who are adding football. The state’s Class football alignment is based on 320 total schools, with 64 in each class, and everyone automatically getting into the playoffs.

Football programs are starting up at Bowman Academy, Marshall, Monroe Central, Silver Creek and possibly more in the near future. IFCA officials said that would throw off the count, primarily in Class A, and affect the number of games played during the tournament.

The proposal would create a 32-team Class 6A. That would also require a change to the IHSAA bylaw that mandates the number of schools per class be divided equally. The current five-class setup has 63 teams in Class 5A, 4A and 3A, and 64 in Class 2A and A.

Assuming, with the new football programs starting up, the schools number 322 at the time of the change, removing the biggest 32 to form Class 6A would then place 290 in the remaining five classes, or 58 in each. That would have little impact in 2A, other than perhaps moving the biggest 12 or so schools into 3A because the newest football-playing schools would all be participating in the smallest class.

Indianapolis Ritter, Park Tudor, Sheridan, Hagerstown and North Decatur could face the possibility of being pushed up into Class 2A. Knightstown’s class status would not change.

 

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