IHSAA Proposes Socioeconomic Factor in Classifications

MepoDawg#

Varsity
Oct 29, 2012
1,835
256
83
Mediapolis
Per the release.

Socioeconomic factor for IHSAA football classifications advances to membership vote

BOONE, Iowa – An amendment to the Iowa High School Athletic Association’s Articles of Incorporation to include a socioeconomic factor into football classifications has advanced to a vote of the membership to begin next week.

A recommendation from the IHSAA’s classification committee last week to adopt a classification model similar to one currently used by the Minnesota State High School League – reducing 40 percent of a school’s free or reduced lunch count from their annual enrollment to determine their final classification number – was approved by the Board of Control on Monday.
Classifications in Iowa high school athletics are currently determined solely by enrollment. If approved, the socioeconomic factor would apply to IHSAA football starting in the 2023-24 school year.
“I want to commend the IHSAA classification committee, the board of control, and the IHSAA staff for their important work on this study and resulting recommendation,” IHSAA executive director Tom Keating said. “Our schools have asked us to consider socioeconomic factors in classification and the IHSAA, after much study and discussion, is pleased to offer such a strategy.”

The IHSAA’s staff, board, and classification committee considered numerous models and possibilities for classification over the last several years, including a two-year run as a joint committee alongside the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union. Last week’s recommendation from the committee’s member school administrators was the first proposing an adjustment to how school enrollments are quantified for sports classifications.

“The overwhelming majority of communication regarding concerns with competitive equity referenced football,” Keating said. “Additionally, football is the only sport in which the regular season is scheduled by the IHSAA. In all other sports, individual schools, through conference affiliation or their non-conference opponents, determine their own regular season schedules. We will continue to study other sports to determine if this model should be applied.”

A vote on the amendment to adopt this classification model will be sent to member schools via email. If approved, the amendment must be submitted to the Iowa State Board of Education for approval. If that is approved, the IHSAA would then implement the recommendation and model for 2023-24 football.

More information on this process and a form for questions will be available in direct correspondence with IHSAA member schools.

Classification Information​

The proposed model adjusts the IHSAA classification number for all participating schools by factoring school district free/reduced lunch (FRL) percentages into the state-provided BEDS (grades 9-11) enrollment.
For the IHSAA’s classification number, FRL percentages must be submitted through the Department of Education or a school’s BEDS enrollment will not receive an adjustment.
How: Reduce a school’s BEDS enrollment by 40 percent of its district’s FRL percentage.
Example: A school’s BEDS enrollment (9-11) for the upcoming school year is 1,000. The district’s FRL percentage is 37%.
  • 1,000 – (0.40 x [1,000 x 0.37])
  • 1,000 – 0.40 x 370
  • 1,000 – 148
  • IHSAA classification number: 852

Voting Information​

Voting will be conducted via email, with information sent out by an IHSAA staff member to all member school superintendents.

Voting will begin on Friday, December 16.
Voting will end on Thursday, December 22.
Administrator email addresses will be through the most updated school entries from the IHSAA database on Bound. Each member high school receives one vote, with school principals receiving ballots for AA schools (largest 64 by enrollment) and district superintendents receiving ballots for A schools (all others).
 

PNation

Varsity
Aug 15, 2010
2,475
451
83
I wonder if this would cause Mt Pleasant to end it's sharing agreement with Danville? Danville has an enrollment around 160 so it could be the difference between 3A and 4A for Mt Pleasant.
 

IGo42

Freshman
Sep 10, 2019
209
87
28
I could be wrong, but I wouldn't think parochial schools would have free & reduced lunch subsidized by the state. Therefore their BEDS number wouldn't change with this amendment. This could finally be an equalizer many have been asking for for years. I read on here all the time that "Catholic schools should play up a class" or "Catholic schools should play in their own division".

I just randomly picked 2 schools with similar BEDS numbers (1 private, 1 public), CR Xavier 460 and Webster City 447.

If Xavier doesn't have free & reduced lunch then their number would stay 460, but a team like Webster City would factor in FRL. I have no idea what WC's free & reduced lunch percentage is, but let's just say it's 28% (447 x .28 = 125) (125 x .4= 50 students) So Webster City wouldn't be 447, they'd actually be 397 for a BEDS number.

The private schools and affluent communities will stay at/near their actual enrollment numbers and the lower socioeconomic schools will have their BEDS numbers lowered.
 
Last edited:
Jan 16, 2018
23
5
3
Great work, MathGuy. I did the same thing this afternoon and come up with very similar results. You made the math look much easier. I must have used different building FRL data.

If this passes, I would think they would have to use high school data and not district wide. For example, Liberty’s FRL numbers are much lower than the district.

At least in the top two classes, it really accomplished nothing. Liberty gets bumped up and a couple other high FRL schools might swap places. More schools would benefit if they took top 32 in the largest or top 2 classes vs 36.

Why would they divide the schools into the top 64 schools into AA and the rest into A? Perhaps signaling top 32 in each class or is it to simply designate who will cast the vote for each school, building principal or superintendent?
 
  • Like
Reactions: MathGuy12

Pinehawk

All State
Sep 16, 2003
12,741
697
113
This should help drive up demand for the free and reduced lunch benefit, and will encourage families and schools to stay on that assistance program.
 
Dec 19, 2019
6
3
3
I honestly think they would accomplish more by creating a separate Urban league where teams from Council Bluffs (2), Sioux City (West and North, 2), Des Moines (5), Waterloo (2), Cedar Rapids (Jeff and Wash, 2), Ottumwa, Marshalltown, Davenport (3), Burlington, Muscatine, etc and get to 32 teams who would get to play against teams which historically have the same challenges the others do. That's where the potential impact would be greatest.
 
  • Like
Reactions: makelovenotwarud

woodsiding

Freshman
Jan 1, 2012
271
50
28
Pleasant Valley12649.310.0931216.9

Wow, less than 1% free reduced lunch rate! I had no idea PV was that kind of rich.
 
Dec 2, 2003
23
5
3
I could be wrong, but I wouldn't think parochial schools would have free & reduced lunch subsidized by the state. Therefore their BEDS number wouldn't change with this amendment. This could finally be an equalizer many have been asking for for years. I read on here all the time that "Catholic schools should play up a class" or "Catholic schools should play in their own division".

I just randomly picked 2 schools with similar BEDS numbers (1 private, 1 public), CR Xavier 460 and Webster City 447.

If Xavier doesn't have free & reduced lunch then their number would stay 460, but a team like Webster City would factor in FRL. I have no idea what WC's free & reduced lunch percentage is, but let's just say it's 28% (447 x .28 = 125) (125 x .4= 50 students) So Webster City wouldn't be 447, they'd actually be 397 for a BEDS number.

The private schools and affluent communities will stay at/near their actual enrollment numbers and the lower socioeconomic schools will have their BEDS numbers lowered.
Private schools do have FRL. It is a surprise to people that some private schools have lots of poorer kids. (I have no idea regarding Xavier.) Look at the percentage of students getting STO money at a school and you get some hint of the income profile of the students. Not perfect, but give you some direction of how many FRL students there would be. A couple of years ago a Catholic elementary school in Dubuque had such a high percentage of students FRL eligible (>75%) the Federal Government put everyone in the school into the Free Lunch program. Was easier administratively.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Pinehawk

privateer13

Freshman
Oct 15, 2008
416
29
28
I doubt that this will have any impact. The schools that will move down won't be competing at a higher rate.
 

mtdew_fever

All District
Jul 14, 2004
5,640
320
83
I could be wrong, but I wouldn't think parochial schools would have free & reduced lunch subsidized by the state. Therefore their BEDS number wouldn't change with this amendment. This could finally be an equalizer many have been asking for for years. I read on here all the time that "Catholic schools should play up a class" or "Catholic schools should play in their own division".

I just randomly picked 2 schools with similar BEDS numbers (1 private, 1 public), CR Xavier 460 and Webster City 447.

If Xavier doesn't have free & reduced lunch then their number would stay 460, but a team like Webster City would factor in FRL. I have no idea what WC's free & reduced lunch percentage is, but let's just say it's 28% (447 x .28 = 125) (125 x .4= 50 students) So Webster City wouldn't be 447, they'd actually be 397 for a BEDS number.

The private schools and affluent communities will stay at/near their actual enrollment numbers and the lower socioeconomic schools will have their BEDS numbers lowered.
The private schools should play up or have some type of multiplier. Why?

What % of the private school’s BEDs are Special Ed? Yep, next to nothing. Now compare that to every public school and you will see the clear advantage of the private schools.
 
  • Haha
Reactions: Pinehawk

mtdew_fever

All District
Jul 14, 2004
5,640
320
83
I honestly think they would accomplish more by creating a separate Urban league where teams from Council Bluffs (2), Sioux City (West and North, 2), Des Moines (5), Waterloo (2), Cedar Rapids (Jeff and Wash, 2), Ottumwa, Marshalltown, Davenport (3), Burlington, Muscatine, etc and get to 32 teams who would get to play against teams which historically have the same challenges the others do. That's where the potential impact would be greatest.
So segregate?
 

MepoDawg#

Varsity
Oct 29, 2012
1,835
256
83
Mediapolis
The private schools should play up or have some type of multiplier. Why?

What % of the private school’s BEDs are Special Ed? Yep, next to nothing. Now compare that to every public school and you will see the clear advantage of the private schools.
I don’t think it’s as simple as you believe. Some public schools don’t have that program either while some share (send students to) with neighboring school districts who have the program (facilities, staff etc.) in place.
 

troutstamp1

Freshman
Aug 24, 2007
763
100
43
Your not going to see as many changes as what people think as far as classifacations in the larger schools, remember all classes start from the top down so by the time you get to class A the last of the 11 man game that is where you will see most changes. What this is going to do is force the small school communities to have to chose between 11 man and 8 man. This will not be good for small school communities.
 
  • Like
Reactions: GOPANTHERS23

MepoDawg#

Varsity
Oct 29, 2012
1,835
256
83
Mediapolis
Your not going to see as many changes as what people think as far as classifacations in the larger schools, remember all classes start from the top down so by the time you get to class A the last of the 11 man game that is where you will see most changes. What this is going to do is force the small school communities to have to chose between 11 man and 8 man. This will not be good for small school communities.
For those struggling with participation rates, won’t it help them if they play 8-man? Yes, it’s different, but should help them.
 

troutstamp1

Freshman
Aug 24, 2007
763
100
43
The ones that are bitching the most about getting this incorporated is mainly not about whether they have enough kids its about being able to be competitive aginst the schools your size already in your class. This is not going to help the Des Moines public schools get away from a Dowling or a Valley because they are still going to be in the same class because of their size. But when everything trickles down and you get to the bottom classes thats where it starts to effect. The small schools in class A and I would say 1A typically have between 35 to 40 players and yes some are lower because of maybe a small class back to back. I think the amount of classes for the next cycle will be the same for basically a 2 year trial with this socioeconomic thing then schools are going to have to make some hard decisions.
 

Rose bowl or bust

All Conference
Jul 30, 2003
3,067
28
48
Trout is right, this isn’t going to do a damn thing for the 5A Des Moines teams or the teams like Perry. It wouldn’t matter if Perry came all the way down to 1A…they’re not going to make the playoffs and wouldn’t win too many games. They have to figure out a way to get kids to play the game in their community, and until they do that, they won’t be good.

I counted 24 teams from the document above that will now be eligible to move down to 8 man because of this FRL multiplier. Not saying they’ll all move down, but that will destroy class A. You’ll now end up with BEDS OF 123 plying a school with a BEDS of 200. Not going to be pretty in a few years, and then we’ll have to complain about how someone else has it rough and try to figure out a way to “make it fair” for them.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Pinehawk

MepoDawg#

Varsity
Oct 29, 2012
1,835
256
83
Mediapolis
Trout is right, this isn’t going to do a damn thing for the 5A Des Moines teams or the teams like Perry. It wouldn’t matter if Perry came all the way down to 1A…they’re not going to make the playoffs and wouldn’t win too many games. They have to figure out a way to get kids to play the game in their community, and until they do that, they won’t be good.

I counted 24 teams from the document above that will now be eligible to move down to 8 man because of this FRL multiplier. Not saying they’ll all move down, but that will destroy class A. You’ll now end up with BEDS OF 123 plying a school with a BEDS of 200. Not going to be pretty in a few years, and then we’ll have to complain about how someone else has it rough and try to figure out a way to “make it fair” for them.
It will never be perfect and there will always be someone complaining. Might be a reason why a second class of 8-man is added.
 

ronsss

Varsity
Nov 8, 2003
2,991
84
48
i dont really see what pupose this does...other than reduces everyones bed numbers..its useless as far as i am concern.....maybe it would be good in states that have more diverse population
 

MepoDawg#

Varsity
Oct 29, 2012
1,835
256
83
Mediapolis
i dont really see what pupose this does...other than reduces everyones bed numbers..its useless as far as i am concern.....maybe it would be good in states that have more diverse population
What does diversity have to do with it? It’s socioeconomic.
 

PNation

Varsity
Aug 15, 2010
2,475
451
83
I doubt they do this, because too often they don’t fully finish good ideas in my opinion. But 8 man needs to be for schools with actual enrollments under 120, not a reduced number under 120.
 

troutstamp1

Freshman
Aug 24, 2007
763
100
43
It will never be perfect and there will always be someone complaining. Might be a reason why a second class of 8-man is added.
I dont believe that their will be two classes of 8 man this coming rotation but I do think that they will incorporate the socio formula this coming year but will lower the bed cap of 8 man from 120 to probably like 110 -112 hard cap. This will still keep most of the 8 man teams 8 man and yet let in a few more. I do think that most teams in 11 man that would have the 8 man option will stay playing 11 man for the next two years. If they come back and two years and eliminate class A then you may see more teams take advantage of it. I just dont see a ST Ansger or a West Hancock going 8 man when enrollment wise they probably could.
 

Pinehawk

All State
Sep 16, 2003
12,741
697
113
I doubt they do this, because too often they don’t fully finish good ideas in my opinion. But 8 man needs to be for schools with actual enrollments under 120, not a reduced number under 120.
Why should they be exempted from this new rule if it is such a good idea?
Sounds like coaches and the IHSAA think more schools should be eligible for 8 man because of poverty.
 

troutstamp1

Freshman
Aug 24, 2007
763
100
43
Why should they be exempted from this new rule if it is such a good idea?
Sounds like coaches and the IHSAA think more schools should be eligible for 8 man because of poverty.
I really don’t think the focus was on 8 man when this socioeconomic thing came about a few years ago, I think everyone thought by doing this it would help the schools like the Des Moines metro and some of the larger schools be more competitive but basically even this will keep them pretty much in the same class but would probably force a Dowling to stay in the largest class witch they should be anyway. I just think this formula is a two year trial as that’s why you see it only being used for football and not other sports and then if they feel it helps then they make major changes. I just don’t see it getting more kids to play football in any class.
 

Pinehawk

All State
Sep 16, 2003
12,741
697
113
This is how they are attempting to show they are doing something. Nobody knows if it really will make it better or worse. But, coaches wouldn't stop complaining, so the IHSAA tried to respond.
But, mostly the same schools will continue to win and lose, so people won't really be happy, and we'll see the loudest coaches ask for something else in a couple of years to help THEIR school win.
 

troutstamp1

Freshman
Aug 24, 2007
763
100
43
This is how they are attempting to show they are doing something. Nobody knows if it really will make it better or worse. But, coaches wouldn't stop complaining, so the IHSAA tried to respond.
But, mostly the same schools will continue to win and lose, so people won't really be happy, and we'll see the loudest coaches ask for something else in a couple of years to help THEIR school win.
I'm not 100% sure this is coming directly from the IHSAA, I'm hearing its coming from above them. No matter what they decide to do the thing they must do in put a hard cap on 8 man enrollment and not let teams get waivers like they have been and Yes I know some of those schools have influence since they are higher ups in the coaches assoc, and I think everyone knows who I'm talking about.
 

IGo42

Freshman
Sep 10, 2019
209
87
28
I was told it was the Iowa Board of Education that told the IHSAA that they had to do something before the next football cycle, not the coaches pressuring the IHSAA.

This won't fix everything for everyone, some programs are still going to be really bad, but that can't be fixed by a FRL multiplier alone. What it will do is cause a little movement for teams near the bubbles between classes, but even if a school has 75% FRL and is near the top of their class in enrollment, this won't take them to a smaller football class. Maybe in 2 years they'll adjust the multiplier from .4 to something like .6, then you'd see even more movement of districts with high FRL.
 

privateer13

Freshman
Oct 15, 2008
416
29
28
At what level can the Metro schools really compete? I think they will really struggle for some wins in 1a. Do we really need to adjust everyone for the large schools so they won't get beat badly by their neighbors. This does sound like doing something to make people feel good about doing something. Maybe they should combine metro schools into one team.
 

KidSilverhair

Varsity
Aug 31, 2008
1,686
295
83
www.thirdandamile.blogspot.com
Cutting/combining programs might be the only real answer to increasing competitive balance. Unfortunately, it doesn’t help access or participation; kids struggling to find the time to practice at their own school (because of family needs or jobs) sure aren’t going to give up even more time and effort to find transportation to practice at a different school.

I do not pretend to have an answer. I do know failing programs tend to get caught in a spiral of decline; the team gets beaten on the field, some players decide it’s not worth their time so they don’t go out for the team, the team gets beaten even worse, more kids abandon the program, etc, etc. Pulling a team out of that spiral is hard, it requires the perfect coach for the specific position and sufficient time to eventually build trust and buy-in from families. I thought Kody Asmus was doing a great job of getting things turned around at Waterloo East, but even then he couldn’t get enough commitment from players/families and moved on to something better … and East has gone through five or six head coaches in the 10 years Asmus has been gone. It’s really, really tough - but maybe trying to give these programs a competitive break isn’t the worst thing.
 

Reasoned

All Conference
Oct 25, 2017
4,212
4,158
113
The reality is, the same schools which are having a difficult time competing on the field versus their “haves” opponents are probably having a difficult time competing in the classroom also. Strong families, strong finances, strong schools begets strong teams…..not always but more often than not.
Edit: Here’s the local papers analysis of what the socioeconomic factors would have done this year to 5A & 4A:
The 4A/5A line:
Iowa City Liberty and Indianola would have moved up to 5A; Des Moines North and Sioux City West would have moved down to 4A.
The 3A/4A line:
North Polk, Adel ADM, Gilbert and Carroll would have moved up to 4A; Glenwood, Webster City, Winterset and Perry would have moved down to 3A.
*yawn*
 
Last edited:

KidSilverhair

Varsity
Aug 31, 2008
1,686
295
83
www.thirdandamile.blogspot.com
Yeah, I don’t think this change is going to earth-shattering in any way. One caveat from the Gazette article - those adjustment numbers don’t include anything from the private schools, so there may be more smaller private schools staying in higher classes pushing a few other public schools down
 

ronsss

Varsity
Nov 8, 2003
2,991
84
48
adm adel will move to 4a regardless, which is great....they will be very good next year, and 3a does not have to contend with em
 

Latest posts