New KSHSAA rule change could make competition in high school sports more equal

On June 15th, KSHSAA announced that the bill proposing a change in the classification of high schools has moved forward a step.  

KSHSAA+has+proposed+a+Rule+5+change%2C+which+would+cause+some+high+schools+to+face+division+changes.+If+approved%2C+BVNW+will+potentially+compete+against+St.+Thomas+Aquinas+and+other+new+schools+on+the+regional+and+state+levels.

Remi Nuss

KSHSAA has proposed a Rule 5 change, which would cause some high schools to face division changes. If approved, BVNW will potentially compete against St. Thomas Aquinas and other new schools on the regional and state levels.

Alyssa Gagnon, Sports Editor

KSHSAA is one step closer to changing the classification of some high schools, in order to make the competition level more equal.

So far, this bill, proposing a change in Rule 5: Classification of Senior High Schools, has been approved by both the KSHSAA board and high schools.

If this bill is passed, Blue Valley’s Director of School Administration, Matt Ortman, said that there are three multiplier factors that would determine which schools change classes.

 “First of all, there’s a championship factor so if a school has won multiple state championships over the past five years, if it’s 10 or more [championship wins] then there’s a certain multiplier,” Ortman said. “If its 5-9 [wins], it’s a little bit lower.” 

Along with the championship factor, there is also a socio-economic and geographic factor. 

“If they are at the private schools located around a 5A/6A school population, there’s a little higher multiplier, compared to if they are in a 3A or 4A community or a 1A/2A community,” Ortman said.

If this change is made, schools such as Bishop Miege could move up to 5A, and schools such as St. Thomas Aquinas and possibly St. James would most likely move up to 6A, according to Ortman.

Aquinas has won 5A numerous times, so as much as I don’t want to play against them in 6A for regionals or at the state level, I think it makes sense.”

— Michelle Pothoven

Since 1992, Aquinas’ boys soccer team has won 17 state championships, and the girls team has won 18. The girls’ team is also rated number one in Kansas, and so according to BVNW soccer coach Michelle Pothoven, she understands why St. Thomas Aquinas would move up to 6A.

“Aquinas has won 5A numerous times, so as much as I don’t want to play against them in 6A for regionals or at the state level, I think it makes sense,” Pothoven said.

According to Pothoven, she believes that if this bill is passed it could be a step forward into making a league with just private schools in it.

“I do think that this could be step one into them making the private schools into their own class. Private schools are kind of a different beast, because do they necessarily go out and recruit kids? Not always, but I think that is a factor,” Pothoven said. “I do think they have an unfair advantage compared to the public schools.”

Although this bill has now been passed by the KSHSAA school board, it still has to go through a couple more steps until anything becomes finalized. 

“This still has to go to the State Department, and then it has to go to the legislature so there’s still quite a few more steps before anything would actually be done with this multiplier,” Ortman said.