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Prep sports: Football success could determine future classifications
Prep football » High schools seek a magic realignment formula.
First Published Jun 04 2014 04:42 pm • Last Updated Jun 04 2014 10:46 pm

Midvale • If a narrow majority of the Utah High School Activities Association’s executive committee has its way, success or failure of prep football teams in state tournaments could determine which classification they play in beginning in 2015.

The board voted 9-7 Wednesday to send the football realignment proposal to the group’s board of trustees, which will have the final say on the two-year realignment process when it meets June 12.

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The action was partially a response to complaints from schools from poorer areas with low graduation rates who asked that those factors be figured into the realignment equation.

In the past, which league and classification a school plays in was largely determined by its number of students, though travel costs and time away from school were used in special cases.

"The bottom line [schools are asking] is, ‘Can we compete?’ " said Rob Cuff, UHSAA’s executive director.

Under the new formula, which would be used first for football on an experimental basis if adopted, the realignment committee would utilize a four-year average of success in a state tournament. Using points and a complicated mathematical formula, schools could lose or gain students based on that success average.

It would be possible for a school to play football in one classification and all other sports in another. Judge did that last season.

Duchesne principal Stan Young was critical of the proposal, saying it penalized success.

Duchesne’s football team has won four straight 1A titles and has a 47-game winning streak.

Under the proposal, enrollment figures for football alignment will be adjusted based on state tournament qualification and success in state tournament play. The maximum enrollment adjustment possible would be 15 percent of the school’s established enrollment.

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If adopted by the board of trustees, any school with a classification enrollment plus or minus five percent of the school with the highest enrollment for classification willl be considered tied in enrollment for the purposes of classification assignment.

The current six-class system for football and five classes for other sports would be retained.

In other prep news coming out of Wednesday’s meeting:

• The committee recommended that the 2014 prep football season open with a single game on Thursday, Aug. 21, between Duchesne and Layton Christian that would be televised on KJZZ.

• If the Pac-12 schedule allows, the Class 3A boys’ and girls’ basketball tournaments will be held at the University of Utah in 2015.

• Cuff anticipated that the UHSAA may need a policy regarding transgender athletes.

• While fall revenue from all sports was up $65,000 from the previous year, basketball and wrestling tournament revenue was down. Swimming and drill team saw increases in revenue.

• While the number of boys’ soccer ejections dropped during the second half of the season, there were 125 this year, up from 119 a year ago. There were 36 ejections in baseball and five in softball, which saw only coaches and no players ejected.

• UHSAA is considering a two-day girls’ golf tournament, similar to the boys’.

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