High school football could be getting a classification face lift in both Utah and South Dakota.
The governing body in each state is proposing an overhaul of its current classification system to address competitive issues raised by their respective member schools.
As reported by the Salt Lake Tribune
, the Utah High School Activities Association has proposed a football-only six classification system. The state's 138 member schools would continue to be grouped by enrollment, but the range between schools in the same classification would shrink. All other sports would stay at five divisions.
"It's definitely a start," UHSAA executive director Rob Cuff told the newspaper. "We've collected input from the member schools, and we're hoping it solves some things and keeps the playing field level."
There still are several steps before the proposal would be enacted for the 2013 season. A public hearing will be held March 21, and the UHSAA is scheduled to meet the following day to review recommendations and vote on any realignment formats. No schools would be placed into any classification until official enrollment figures are received in October.
In South Dakota, the governing body's board of directors has proposed a fourth classification be added to 11-man football. The eight largest schools in the state – Aberdeen Central
, Brandon Valley
, Lincoln (Sioux Falls), Rapid City Central
, Roosevelt (Sioux Falls)
, Stevens (Rapid City)
, Washington (Sioux Falls)
- would make up the new 11AAA division.
As reported by the Rapid City Journal
, the other classifications would be broken down as such: Class 11AA (starting with the ninth-largest school) would be for schools with enrollment of 425 or more; Class 11A enrollment of 424-200; Class 11B enrollment 199 and less. Schools could petition to move up in classification.
The South Dakota High School Activities Association will give a second reading to the proposal at its upcoming Feb. 29 meeting. If approved, the realignment would not start until the 2013-14 school year for its 180-plus member schools.
"Obviously, our board members are going to field a number of phone calls and emails from their constituents from around the state, and it will just be their reaction to those," SDHSAA executive director Wayne Carney told the Journal. "We'll find out what kind of feedback we get when we come to the Feb. 29 meeting."