View From the Press Box: 5/30

Dion Clisso

By Big changes coming to Missouri
Posted: June 2, 2019 - 9:10 AM

For the last two decades there has been a lot of talk about private schools vs. public schools on both sides of the state line.

In the early 2000s Missouri instituted a multiplier for private schools in an effort to “level the playing field” in terms of competition in sports. That meant that each private school’s enrollment was multiplied by 1.35 and that new number was used to determine what classification the school would be placed in for each sport. That multiplier began with just private schools but was then expanded to charter schools in 2010.

In the past decade there has been talk of a success multiplier meaning if a school wins at a high rate it would be moved up a classification. There has been a lot of discussion and now Missouri has acted on that talk.

The member schools of the Missouri State High School Activities Association recently voted to drop the 1.35 multiplier and go with a success multiplier starting with the 2020-2021 school year. The rule will go in with another change in regard to the size of the classifications related to enrollment, but more on that later.

MSHSAA will now take into account a school’s success over the previous six years. There will be a formula based on a “Championship Factor, which re-classifies non-public and charter schools based on a point system connected to advancement in districts and the state series over a six-year period.”

In the past I have been anti-success rules because I felt you ended up penalizing a future group that may not have had the talent of a past group. That being said using a formula that goes back six years with district and state success may make that more equitable. It will be interesting and I’m glad I’m not the one charged with the research and implementation.

So what does this mean? Well for football, which is what we cover here at PrepsKC, I don’t know how many schools it will affect. CBC, Rockhurst, DeSmet and SLUH can’t go any higher than Class 6. In Class 5 Vianney has won two of the last three championships and Chaminade has made some noise but over the six-year period I don’t know if that formula is enough to prompt a move up.

In Class 4 MICDS has been consistently good but has only one state championship appearance in the last few years. Class 3 has Trinity and Cardinal Ritter but they both are on 3-4 year runs that could continue but you never know. Class 2 features Lutheran North as the powerhouse but their recent success has yet to garner any titles.

While the effects on the five biggest classes may seem small one class and school that could be almost a lock to be moved up is Valle Catholic in Class 1. The Warriors are one of the most successful football programs in the state and have won five state titles since 2010 and played for two more. I would expect them to move up.

So that is my 30,000 feet view of the first change. The other new by-law addresses the classification system. Starting with the 2020-2021 school year a school cannot be placed in a classification with a school or schools that are more than two times bigger in enrollment. So A has 150 students it can’t be in a class with a school that has 301 students.

While I think this could have a big impact on other sports up to and including an increase in classifications, for football I don’t know if it will. There are already six 11-man classes along with a growing 8-man class.

As it is now based on the current classifications only four schools currently in Class 1 (Slater, Concordia, Wellington-Napoleon and Santa Fe) fall below that threshold. With more schools going to 8-man the landscape of Class 1 could look very different after the 2019-2020 school year.

Change is coming and it will be very interesting to see how it affects football in the Metro and throughout the rest of Missouri. I’m sure football fans in Kansas are watching closely to see how the new rules play out as well.