(Renton, WA) The final phase of the WIAA state high school re-classification process is coming to an end this weekend and final action by the Executive Board is expected by no later than Monday. 

As this piece is being written on Saturday morning the board is hearing appeals from schools that are seeking a change in what level they are slated to play. Those schools seeking to move up do not have to appeal and they are allowed to move, for example, from 2A to the 3A level. Schools only need to request the move and they are granted that action.

Schools can seek a move down say from 3A to 2A but they need to show why this should be allowed and they present their cases through the appeals process. Schools need to show reasons why they should be allowed to move down such as a large portion of their population are highly unlikely to be participating in sports such as  a high level of low income students, specials needs, english as a second language or an outside force such as a major employer closing especially in a smaller community which will directly impact student count that may not have been included in the official count.

Schools can also ask to drop down in Football only. This is a different set of criteria the schools must present and additionally they get input from the league they would drop down into to see if the move would be welcome. For example, in one league 2 teams were appealing to drop from 2A to the nearby 1A league and one of the teams received unanimous support from the 1A league and they split on the other school. We have been told the one with total support has since dropped their appeal to the 1A league but the other school was still seeking to drop down in football only.

When all the appeals are completed the WIAA will then take a look at how many schools are in each classification. One of the goals of the WIAA was to drop the number of schools in 3A specifically so they can get away from the 20-team tournament format and down to the more famalier 16-team format.

The WIAA already re-adjusted the levels to each classification to the following:
4A 1201+
3A 900-1200
2A 450-899
1A 225-449
2B 105-224
1B 1-104

This move still did not get the 3A level down far enough for a 16-team tournament and after opt-ups it still was a 20-team format. So after the appeals process the WIAA board will take another look at where it all shakes out and they could still make another level adjustment to get the 3A down to the needed level. 

WIAA officials have said they believe the board will do all they can to get 3A to the 16-team format but they don’t believe they will make drastic moves that will unfairly hurt schools just to get to that result and if it simply does not work to get 3A down they will make their decision based on what’s best for the schools first. These are emotional issues and likely there will be those unhappy with what the final result but this process is coming to an end regardless by Monday.

Once the process is finalized this will allow schools, leagues and districts to finalize their leagues and schedules for next year.


By paulb

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