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Game Changer

New Rules Change Rams Rank
The+IHSAA+logo
Courtesy of IHSAA
The IHSAA logo

Next fall, the Indiana High School Athletic Association will change how schools are sorted into their classes for athletic competition. 

At a meeting in the summer of 2023, the IHSAA Board of Directors looked at how schools were divided into classes and how schools are changing how they are sorted by enrollment. In the fall of 2024, there will only be four classes, 1A-4A, for all Varsity sports.

The IHSAA will be staying as a four-class system; it has been a four-class system since class sports started in 1997. They will base these classes on enrollments in schools for a more fair chance for competition. 

Currently, schools are divided only by enrollment. The IHSAA looks at the number of kids in a school and determines where they fall based on a chart. For example, the PHS enrollment puts Paoli in class 2A. But next year, where Paoli is placed will not only be based on enrollment but also the enrollment of other schools.

“Before, it was all based on the numbers. Schools that they wanted to class to have tournaments to be, even now they are going with percentages, uh, to help even out the classes and sectionals more. (Class) 4A will be the top 20%, 3A will be the next 25%. Two A will be the next 25% after that, and 1A will consist of the bottom 30%,” said Athletic Director Darek Newkirk. 

Newkirk believes the most significant impact has been in the smallest class. 

“There’s been an influx of small schools being added. Your charter schools, your parochial schools, your private schools. So they have impacted (Class) 1A, I would say the most,” said Newkirk.

The change may impact schools around Paoli, but it likely will not change Paoli’s class. 

“Schools that are in 4A right now might be in 3A. If you’re on the borders of any class, depending on the percentages,” said Newkirk. “You could bump up or down Paoli. We will probably stay in 2A. That’s just my guess.”

Not only will the change address the large influx of smaller schools, but it will also address an uneven playing field at the top. 

“When you talk about the top 10 schools in the state (by enrollment), you have Carmel and Ben Davis with 4,000 to 5,000 students. And then let’s take Bedford with 1400. They’re in the same class. So they’re trying to even out the classes a little more,” said Newkirk. 

The IHSAA’s final determination of what class the Rams will compete in next school year will be determined in the spring.

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Andrew Kumpf
Andrew Kumpf, Sports Staff
I Andrew Kumpf am a Senior and I love sports.
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