By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
Classifications for Michigan High School Athletic Association elections and postseason tournaments for the 2018-19 school year have been announced, with enrollment breaks for postseason tournaments 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. 14. 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.
Beginning with 2018-19, traditional classes (A, B, C, D) will be used only for MHSAA elections and football playoff purposes – in 11-player to determine opponents’ point values, and in 8-player to determine if schools are eligible to compete in the MHSAA Playoffs (only Class D teams may participate in the postseason). All other sports’ tournaments will be conducted with schools in equal or nearly equal divisions, including volleyball and girls and boys basketball postseasons for the first time.
To determine traditional classifications, after all counts are submitted, tournament-qualified member schools are ranked according to enrollment and then split as closely into quarters as possible. For 2018-19, there are 747 tournament-qualified member schools with 186 schools in Class A, 188 schools in Class B, 186 schools in Class C and 187 schools in Class D.
Effective with the 2018-19 school year, schools with 885 or more students are in Class A. The enrollment limits for Class B are 398-884, Class C is 194-397, and schools with enrollments of 193 and fewer are Class D. The break between Classes A and B increased four students from 2017-18, the break between Classes B and C decreased eight students, and the break between Classes C and D is nine students fewer than the current school year.
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 division, that school would be moved up.
Schools have the option to play at any higher division 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.
The divisions and qualifiers for the MHSAA Football Playoffs will be announced on Selection Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018. Visit the respective sport pages on the MHSAA Website to review the divisional alignments for all other MHSAA-sponsored tournament sports.
Among teams that will be playing in new divisions in 2018-19 are four reigning MHSAA champions. The Macomb Lutheran North girls golf team will move to Division 4 after winning Division 3 this past fall. The East Grand Rapids girls swimming & diving team will move into Division 3 after winning Division 2 in the fall, while the Flint Powers Catholic boys soccer team will play in Division 2 after winning Division 3 this past season. Flint Powers Catholic’s girls soccer team, the reigning Division 3 champion playing in that division again this spring, will also move into Division 2 for the 2019 season.
A complete list of school enrollments used to determine classifications for the 2018-19 school year can be found on the Enrollment & Classification page of the MHSAA Website.
The new classification breaks will see 22 schools move up in class for 2018-19, while 15 schools will move down. (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
New Boston Huron
Moving Down From Class A to Class B
Battle Creek Harper Creek
Farmington Hills Harrison
Moving Up From Class C to Class B
Detroit Henry Ford
Detroit Jalen Rose Leadership Academy
Detroit School of Arts
Wixom St. Catherine of Siena
Moving Down From Class B to Class C
Dearborn Advanced Technology Academy
Moving Up From Class D to Class C
Big Rapids Crossroads Academy
Hope of Detroit Academy
Wyoming Potter’s House Christian
Moving Down From Class C to Class D
Saginaw Michigan Lutheran Seminary
Saginaw Nouvel Catholic Central
New Postseason Eligible Tournament Schools in 2018-19
Dearborn Heights WISE Academy
Pontiac Arts & Technology Academy
Taylor (created from a merger of Taylor Truman and Taylor Kennedy)
Enrollment Breaks by Classes – 2018-19
(Number of schools in parentheses)
Class A: 885 and above (186 schools)
Class B: 398 – 884 (188)
Class C: 194 – 397 (186)
Class D: 193 and below (187)
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.