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 2015-16 school year have been announced, with enrollment breaks for postseason tournaments set up by divisions posted to each sport’s page on the MHSAA Website.
Classifications for the upcoming school year are based on a second semester count date, which for MHSAA purposes was Feb. 11. 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 2015-16, there are 750 tournament-qualified member schools with 187 schools in both Class A and Class B, and 188 schools in both Class C and Class D.
Effective with the 2014-15 school year, schools with 875 or more students are in Class A in MHSAA postseason tournament competition. The enrollment limits for Class B are 420-874; Class C is 213-419; and schools with enrollments of 212 and fewer are Class D. The break between Classes A and B decreased seven students from 2014-15, the break between Classes B and C decreased four students, and the break between Classes C and D is two students fewer than the current school year.
The new classification breaks will see 13 schools move up in class for 2015-16, while 17 schools will move down.
Schools recently were 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. 25, 2015.
A complete list of school enrollments used to determine classifications for the 2015-16 school year can be found on the Enrollment & Classification page of the MHSAA Website.
Here is a complete list of schools changing classification for 2015-16. (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
South Lyon East
Moving Down From Class A to Class B
Moving Up From Class C to Class B
Grand Rapids West Michigan Aviation Academy
Jackson Lumen Christi
Warren Michigan Collegiate
Moving Down From Class B to Class C
Detroit West Side Academy
Moving Up From Class D to Class C
Burton Madison Academy
St. Ignace LaSalle
Moving Down From Class C to Class D
Highland Park Renaissance Academy
New Postseason Eligible Tournament Schools in 2015-16
Brighton Charyl Stockwell Preparatory
Detroit Cornerstone Health & Technology
Detroit Public Safety Academy
Detroit Westside Christian Academy
Grand Rapids Hope Academy of West Michigan
Enrollment Breaks by Classes – 2015-16
(Number of schools in parentheses)
Class A: 875 and above (187 schools)
Class B: 420 – 874 (187)
Class C: 213 – 419 (188)
Class D: 212 and below (188)
The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership by more than 1,400 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.
PHOTO: Haslett, this season's Class B girls basketball runner-up, will play in Class A for the 2015-16 season.