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A new twist in class athletics, as the Indiana High School Athletic Association has come up with a new system to determine how schools are reclassified to play during the post-season.

The new classifications were released Tuesday by the IHSAA.

The system, called the “success factor,” determines the classification of a school’s team based on their success in tournament play over a two-year period.

Until now, schools were divided, or classified, solely using enrollment. Now a team’s success at tournament time will also play into whether they move up or down in a class.

It’s a change that came as a way of “leveling the playing field,” says IHSAA Commissioner Bobby Cox. And the change comes, in part, from years of complaints that private schools often dominated championships.

“The success factor is applicable to every school,” explains Cox. “It’s not we’re just picking on private schools. We’re applying this to all member schools and we have public schools and private schools both moving up because of the success factor.”

Here’s how it works.

Teams that, by enrollment, fall into classes of 1A to 4A, will get 1 point for winning an IHSAA Sectional title, 2 points for a Regional, 3 points for winning Semi-State, and 4 points for a State Championship. More than 6 points total in a two-year reclassification period means that team moves up a class.

With every school that moves up, another school must move down a class in that individual sport. The move is temporary. since reclassification takes place on a two-year cycle.

Cathedral, Chatard, and Scecina are among the football programs that were moved up one class in football as a result of the new system.

“I think if a school moves up and there are new opponents,” contends IHSAA’s Cox, “you can have new energy. I think if the same school moves up every year and they’ve won every year, I think sometimes that discourages individuals from coming to games.”

While the reclassification of boys basketball is still to be determined after the current tournament, Cox expects only two programs to be affected.

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