Overshadowed by recent news of IHSA football going to a district scheduling format was a report just a short time earlier that affects many other high school sports.
Last Monday, the IHSA released enrollment classifications for fall sports during the 2019-2020 and 2020-21 school years. This is the first piece of the IHSA's new two-year classification format.
There's a lot to digest when it comes to this change, which replaces year-by-year alterations for teams in multiclass sports.
First off, the IHSA has given school enrollment cutoffs for each of the next two academic years.
In basketball, baseball, softball and volleyball, the cutoffs are: Class 1A, 1-299.00 enrollment; Class 2A, 299.01-697.00; Class 3A, 697.01-1,635.00; Class 4A, 1,635.01 or more.
In soccer, the cutoffs are: Class 1A, 1-697.00 enrollment; Class 2A, 697.01-1,635.00; Class 3A, 1,635.01 or more.
In wrestling, the cutoffs are: Class 1A, 1-788.00 enrollment; Class 2A, 788.01-1,726.00; Class 3A, 1,726.01 or more.
In girls' golf, the smallest half of schools will fall in Class 1A and the other half in Class 2A. In boys' golf, cross-country and track and field, the smallest 40 percent will head to Class 1A, the following 30 percent will sit in 2A and the remaining 30 percent will lie in 3A. The enrollment cutoffs for basketball, baseball, softball, volleyball and soccer all are based, per the IHSA, "on the field from the smallest four-class sport."
That is softball with roughly 600 participating schools.
In four-class sports, this equates to the smallest 27.5 percent of schools falling in Class 1A, the next 27.5 percent going into 2A, the following 22.5 percent slotting into 3A and the remaining 22.5 percent hitting 4A. For three-class soccer, the 1A and 2A groups are combined.
The enrollment multiplier for non-boundaried schools also is seeing change. This concept works like a success factor for public-school teams.
In this situation, an athletic program will have its enrollment multiplied if: 1) It wins a state title at least once in a two-year classification period; 2) For football, it wins three playoff games in a two-year classification period; 3) For golf and cross-country, it achieves any combination of winning of a regional or sectional title and a top-10 state finish a total of four times in a two-year classification period; 4) For other sports, it achieves any combination of winning a regional or sectional title and a top-10 state finish a total of three times in a two-year classification period.
Any of these accomplishments don't necessarily mean a program will jump up a class after a two-year classification period expires, but they do increase the likelihood.