WIAA votes to change athletics classifications

Representatives for the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association have voted in favor of changing the way schools are classified for athletics.

The Seattle Times reported Monday morning the decision to revert to setting hard caps on the number of schools in each classification, rather than striving for a balanced number of schools at each level.

The assembly also approved an amendment that will use the percentage of the students who qualify for free and reduced lunch at a particular school to drop its enrollment numbers with the goal of leveling the playing field between wealthier and poorer school districts.

According to the Seattle Times, the classifications will break down as follows beginning with the 2020-2021 season:

  • 1B: 1-104
  • 2B: 105-224
  • 1A: 225-449
  • 2A: 450-899
  • 3A: 900-1,299
  • 4A: 1,300 and above

This put an end to the “balancing” of classifications — that is, to have the same number of schools in each classification, or as close as possible. For example, every school with 1,300 or more students will be a 4A school regardless of how many there are.

But schools who exceed the statewide average of 43 percent of students qualifying for free and reduced price lunch will be able to decrease their enrollment figures. For each percentage point a school is above 43, schools can deduct a percentage point of their enrollment up to 40 percent. This only applies to the 1A through 4A classifications and schools cannot drop more than one classification.

— Mark Krulish is a reporter for Kitsap News Group. He can be reached at mkrulish@soundpublishing.com. Follow him on Twitter @MKrulishKDN.

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