Next week all MHSAA member high schools will receive their Enrollment Declaration Forms which they will complete on Feb. 10 and return promptly to the MHSAA office.  It is on the basis of this count that schools will be placed in classifications and divisions for the 2010-11 school year.

Michigan is generally credited for being the first statewide high school association in the nation to separate schools by size for interscholastic athletic tournaments.  Now, every state high school association does so for at least some of their sports.

Michigan is among a minority of states that reclassifies schools for sports on an annual basis, which provides more accuracy to what is still an imperfect system:  this year’s enrollments make next year’s classifications and divisions.

Girls gymnastics has a single classification, while boys and girls basketball and girls volleyball continue to have schools placed in four classes.  Every other MHSAA tournament utilizes some form of the “equal divisions” concept; that is, placing approximately the same number of schools that actually sponsor the sport in each of two, three or four divisions.

Because of the physical nature of soccer, that sport places the smallest 20 percent of member schools in Division 4 and spreads the remaining schools equally across Divisions 1, 2 and 3.

In football, the 256 qualifying schools on Selection Sunday are divided into eight divisions, with the largest 32 schools in Division 1 and the smallest 32 schools in Division 8.

That basketball and volleyball are treated one way, soccer another, and other sports in other ways is a result of the preferences expressed by the majority of those schools sponsoring those sports.

The classifications and divisions for 2010-11 will be released to MHSAA.com on approximately April 1.

Posted in: Classification


# John
Friday, January 22, 2010 3:10 PM
With the advent of 8 Man Football, it will be harder to find 32 teams in Division 8 worthy of qualifying for the playoffs, and teams with under 100 students playing 11 man will be playing teams with double the enrollments.
# Adam
Friday, January 22, 2010 6:21 PM
I'd like to see the MHSAA use the equal divisions for Basketball and Volleyball, too.

Also, equalize the 4 Soccer divisions; the business about the physical nature of the sport was certainly true 10 years ago, but with the increase in the number of schools playing it, it is no longer a safety concern to have another 5% of the membership in Division 4, and it would relieve some of the pressure on the tournament format, which is running out of room to accommodate further growth.
# christianparkes92@hotmail.com
Sunday, January 24, 2010 8:14 PM
Manistee Catholic Central, a school with well under 100 students and is staying 11 man, plays four Class C schools (Saugatuck, Montabella, Vestaburg, Mancelona) and two Class D schools within spitting distance of Class C (Onekama/Bear Lake co-op, Brethren) in 2010. Their past two seasons, they have gone 17-3 with two conference titles.
# John
Monday, January 25, 2010 10:36 AM
Yes christian that is true, however when it comes to the playoffs, you cannot compete against tcsf, mcc, and other Class C schools with declining enrollments. The hardest part is the elimination of JV and Freshman Football. I think division 8, should only have 16 teams.

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