Attendance at state finals weekend down with bloated scoring margins


A Scecina defender separates the ball from an EH player during the team's sectional championship game on Nov 2. Scecina will move up to 2A for the next two school years after reaching the state finals in back to back seasons. Mike Brown photo/Daily Reporter.

Mt. Vernon's Anthony Burnett delivers a stiff arm to a Cathedral defender during the team's regional game on Nov. 9, which was won by Cathedral 41-7. Due to the IHSAA tournament success factor, Cathedral will compete in Class 5A for the next two school years. Cathedral has won three straight 4A state championships.

Landscape shifting isn’t limited to college football.

Beginning next fall, five highly successful private school football programs will be forced to compete above their designated class enrollment.

Indianapolis Cathedral (Class 4A), Indianapolis Bishop Chatard (3A), Ft. Wayne Bishop Luers (2A) and Lafayette Central Catholic (A) all won at least their third straight state championship, with the latter two winning their fourth state crown in a row this past weekend at Lucas Oil Stadium.

But thanks to the IHSAA’s new two-year tournament success factor all four of those schools will be bumped up a class next season. The success factor, approved in June, assigns a point system to postseason victories for all sports. Teams earn one point for a sectional title, two for a regional title, three for a semistate title and four for a state title. If a school accumulates six points in a two-year cycle, it receives a bump in class for the next two school years.

The new rule also adds a sixth class for football by splitting 5A in half; the top 32 schools in enrollment will be in Class 6A, the next 32 will be 5A.

The Indiana Football Coaches Association submitted its own tournament success factor to the IHSAA in June, but it was voted down 18-0 by the IHSAA’s executive committee. The executive committee approved commissioner Bobby Cox’s two-year proposal 16-2.

“I like the success factor because it is applicable to the entire membership. It addresses success in specific sports rather than identifying one specific type of member school and randomly moving that school into a different classification,” said Cox, who named the IHSAA’s eighth commissioner in 2011. “My hope is that the success factor will continue what was the initial goal of classification and that was to create a more congruent blend of schools for competition.”

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