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2015-2016, 2016-2017 Competitive Section Assignments

Every two years the MSHSL reclassifies teams into new competitive sections. Every school in the MSHSL reports new enrollments to the Minnesota Department of Education on October 1st. The MDE releases these enrollments in early February and we take our current registrations and rank the teams by enrollment to put them into classes. Changes in enrollment, new programs, and the formation or dissolution of cooperative agreements in the last two years lead to changes in the section assignments. Normally, we try to make as few changes as possible, but every 6 years we are asked to start from scratch. This was a "start from scratch" year.

The Process
  • Class assignments are determined by enrollment.
  • Schools with at least 50% Free and Reduced Lunch can appeal to the Athletic Director Advisory Committee to drop down 1 class in team sports (400 Series Bylaws -Class Competition D.5.h)
  • Prior to the release of the enrollment cut-offs, schools who feel they belong in a higher class can "Opt-Up".
  • Here is a list of the 2015 Opt-ups
  • Section placement is determined by geography. Our schools have asked us to reduce travel as much as possible.
  • Geographic Sections should not overlap (as the crow flies).
  • Sections should be numerically balanced within a class. Within 2 in AA classes, within 4 in Class A.
  • Competitive Success is NOT a factor.
  • In Activities like Skiing, Cross Country, Golf, and Track, both genders are placed in the same section (many share a coach).
  • When assignments were made, the maps of Administrative Regions were used as templates. Regions run the sections so it was important to make sure schools had a voice about tournament formats, dates, locations, etc.

    Every assignment was made by one person, Chris Franson at the MSHSL. Chris is the League's IT person and used the same process for all 7800+ assignments and all 74 maps.
    Once the assignments were complete, many eyes reviewed the assignments to make sure the process was followed according to our Class Competition Policy.
  • It was reviewed by the League Staff Member responsible for each activity.
  • The Athletic Director Advisory Committee spent a day at the League Office reviewing every placement.
  • Our Board of Directors had a workshop where they reviewed the placements and verified that the policy was followed.
    There are no appeals to the placements. There are three ways these could change:
  • A school drops an activity.
  • A new school adds an activity.
  • A cooperative agreement is formed or dissolved.
    If your school or team is not doing one of the above, you will play in the assigned section for the next two years. There are no appeals.

    Section assignments are for the post-season only. Schools can schedule regular season contests as they always have. Section Assignments at times are a big deal to many schools, coaches, and programs and we understand that. Remember 50% of teams lose their first sub-section/section game, only 7% of teams get to go to State and only 1% are State Champions. Winning is fun and creates lasting memories, but so does teamwork, facing adversity, overcoming challenges, being accountable to others, losing with dignity and many other life-long skills that education-based activities give to kids to make them better people and more prepared for their future. Not everyone can win, so hopefully that isn't the only reason Why We Play.

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