By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
Classifications for Michigan High School Athletic Association elections and postseason tournaments in traditionally classified sports (A, B, C, D) for the 2014-15 school year have been announced, with enrollment breaks for postseason tournaments set up by divisions posted on the MHSAA Website.
Classifications for the upcoming school year are based on a second semester count date, which for MHSAA purposes was Feb. 12. The enrollment figure submitted for athletic classification purposes may be different from the count submitted for school aid purposes, as it does not include students ineligible for athletic competition because they reached their 19th birthday prior to September 1 of the current school year and will not include alternative education students if none are allowed athletic eligibility by the local school district.
After all the counts are submitted, tournament-qualified member schools are ranked according to enrollment, and then split as closely into quarters as possible. For 2014-15, there are 749 tournament-qualified member schools with 187 schools in Class A, B and C and 188 schools in Class D.
Effective with the 2014-15 school year, schools with 882 or more students are in Class A in MHSAA postseason tournament competition. The enrollment limits for Class B are 424-881; Class C is 215-423; and schools with enrollments of 214 and fewer are Class D. The break between Classes A and B decreased 11 students from 2013-14, the break between Classes B and C decreased five students, and the break between Classes C and D is nine students fewer than the current school year.
The new classification breaks will see 21 schools move up in class for 2014-15, while 26 schools will move down.
Schools were recently notified of their classification. MHSAA Executive Director John E. "Jack" Roberts said schools may not subsequently lower their enrollment figure. However, if revised enrollment figures should be higher and indicate that a school should be playing in a higher class, that school would be moved up.
Schools have the option to play at any higher classification for a minimum of two years, but must exercise the option by April 15 for fall sports, August 15 for winter sports and October 15 for spring sports.
MHSAA tournament sports that will be conducted in traditional classifications for 2014-15 are Basketball and Girls Volleyball. Football will use traditional classifications to determine playoff points.
Sports which will compete in nearly equal divisions are: Baseball, Bowling, Girls Competitive Cheer, Lower Peninsula Cross Country, Lower Peninsula Golf, Ice Hockey, Lacrosse, Lower Peninsula Soccer, Skiing, Softball, Lower Peninsula Swimming and Diving, Lower Peninsula Tennis, Lower Peninsula Track and Field and Wrestling.
Visit the respective sport pages on the MHSAA Website to review the divisional alignments.
The divisions and qualifiers for the MHSAA Football Playoffs will be announced on Selection Sunday, Oct. 26, 2014.
A complete list of school enrollments used to determine classifications for the 2014-15 school year can be found on the Enrollment & Classification page of the MHSAA Website.
Here is a complete list of schools changing classification for 2014-15. (Note: This list does not include schools opting up in class/division for tournaments, which can be found on the Administrators page of the MHSAA Website under Enrollment and Classification):
Moving Up From Class B to Class A
Moving Down From Class A to Class B
Detroit Denby Tech & Prep
South Lyon East
Moving Up From Class C to Class B
Detroit Benjamin Carson HS for Science & Medicine
Detroit Consortium College Prep
Detroit Henry Ford Academy School for Creative Studies
Hamtramck Frontier International Academy
Moving Down From Class B to Class C
Detroit Plymouth Educational Center
Grand Rapids Wellspring Prep
Jackson Lumen Christi
Mason County Central
Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central
Ypsilanti Arbor Prep
Moving Up From Class D to Class C
Detroit University YES Academy
Traverse City Grand Traverse Academy
Moving Down From Class C to Class D
Detroit Universal Academy
Detroit Winans Academy of Performing Arts
Flint International Academy
Kimball Landmark Academy
St. Ignace LaSalle
Three Oaks River Valley
New Postseason Eligible Tournament Schools in 2014-15
Inkster Peterson Warren Academy
*Detroit Public Safety Academy will become tournament eligible in 2015-16.
Enrollment Breaks by Classes – 2014-15
(Number of schools in parentheses)
Class A: 882 and above (187 schools)
Class B: 424 – 881 (187)
Class C: 215 – 423 (187)
Class D: 214 and below (188)
The Representative Council of the Michigan High School Athletic Association began examining several topics during its Fall Meeting, Dec. 1 in East Lansing – including start and end dates of the winter calendar, possible new transfer rule exceptions and emerging sports – that will shape its work during the winter and spring meetings of this 2023-24 school year.
Generally, the Council takes only a few actions during its Fall Meeting, with topics often introduced for additional consideration and action during its meetings in March and May. The Council did take three actions this time as part of larger conversations expected to continue over the next six months.
The Council joined staff discussion on the start and end dates of winter seasons and the possibility of moving up both, which was among topics surveyed as part of the Update Meeting poll completed by administrators during the MHSAA’s annual presentations across the state this fall. Staff will prepare a recommendation for Council to review at a future meeting regarding the 2025-26 school year and beyond.
MHSAA staff also provided a variety of transfer rule issues encountered over the last year, and Council discussed the possibility of adding transfer rule exceptions related to military transfer families, fulltime school employee transfers and students returning from a sports academy or prep school and seeking immediate eligibility. The Council did adopt a change for multi-high school districts (with at least three high schools) that include both boundary and non-boundary schools that more clearly defined where students at those schools have immediate eligibility.
The Council also discussed possible new and emerging sports, including proposals for MHSAA sponsorship received by the water polo and field hockey governing bodies and an anticipated proposal to add boys volleyball to the MHSAA Tournament lineup.
Several more conversations regarded MHSAA postseasons:
- The Council reviewed the work of the Football Task Force and considered a staff recommendation to have the Football Committee in January discuss possibly capping enrollment of Division 8 11-player schools at 250 students to incentivize schools within that group to play 11-player instead of switching to 8-player.
- MHSAA staff have identified four areas requiring financial increases – MHSAA Tournament officials fees, host schools compensations, manager honorariums and team reimbursements for Finals participants – and the Council discussed the importance of including these when the MHSAA Audit & Finance Committee meets in February to begin the 2024-25 budgetary process.
- The Council also discussed recommendations from the MHSAA Sports Medicine Advisory Committee addressing possible requirements of emergency action plans and AEDs at MHSAA Tournament sites.
The Fall Meeting saw the appointment of Wyoming Godfrey-Lee Schools superintendent Arnetta Thompson and Freeland Middle School principal Jennifer Thunberg to two-year terms to the 19-person Council, the first terms for both. The Council also reelected Scott Grimes, superintendent for Grand Haven Area Public Schools, as its president; Brighton High School athletic director John Thompson as its vice president, and Vic Michaels, director of physical education and athletics for the Archdiocese of Detroit, as secretary-treasurer.
The Representative Council is the legislative body of the MHSAA. All but five members are elected by member schools. Four members are appointed by the Council to facilitate representation of females and minorities, and the 19th position is occupied by the Superintendent of Public Instruction or designee.
The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership by more than 1,500 public and private senior high schools and junior high/middle schools which exists to develop common rules for athletic eligibility and competition. No government funds or tax dollars support the MHSAA, which was the first such association nationally to not accept membership dues or tournament entry fees from schools. Member schools which enforce these rules are permitted to participate in MHSAA tournaments, which attract more than 1.4 million spectators each year.