Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Football classification ...

The Kentucky High School Athletic Association is looking at football realignment for the 2011 and 2012 seasons, and several area schools could be switching classes, depending on how the KHSAA decides to set up the six-class format.

One proposal is to limit both Class A and Class 6A to 32 teams apiece, which would guarantee those schools a playoff berth, and evenly dividing the middle four classes into around 39-40 schools apiece.

If that is the case, look for Crittenden County to move up to Class 2A, perhaps with Ballard Memorial joining it. That could bump Heath and Caldwell County up to Class 3A, where it appears Trigg County and three-time 2A defending champion Fort Campbell are headed to compete in a district with defending 3A champ Paducah Tilghman.

Graves County could drop to 5A if the big-school class is limited to 32 teams.

There are still plenty of issues to be decided. The KHSAA usually uses two-year average enrollments to determine classification ... so will it use the 2008-09 and 2009-10 figures, which are already available, or wait until the 2010-11 numbers come out this fall.

And the KHSAA must decide what to do with A and 6A. One or both of them could be 32-team classes, or perhaps even 16-team classes because of the enrollment disparities there. The six classes could be evenly divided, as is currently the case. And the KHSAA must decide whether or not to let schools "play up" into a higher division.

If Class A goes to 32 schools, there is a good possibility that Russellville, geographically isolated in Class A, would opt to "play up" as it does now, primarily for travel reasons. If that's the case, does the KHSAA then move a team down to fill the gap?

There were 220 schools that played football last season, and that figure is now 221 as Collins High is formed by the split in Shelby County. That number becomes 222 next year when the new South Warren begins playing a varsity schedule, and 2012 could bring all sorts of changes.

McCracken County is scheduled to open in the fall of 2012, and that is the same year the new Thomas Nelson High is formed by the split of Nelson County. That falls right into the middle of two-year contract cycle, which could wreak havoc on scheduling.