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Postseason success will not impact where high school football teams compete

Published: Friday, Aug. 29 2014 1:35 p.m. MDT

MIDVALE — Whether a football team wins or loses will not be a factor in which region or classification it competes.

Instead, the group that decides the regions in which schools compete in extracurricular programs and athletics chose to increase the number of schools considered for manual placement.

The process for 2015-17 realignment will begin in November after this year’s population numbers are released by the state. In the past, if a school fell within 3 percent of the cutoffs between classifications, it was eligible to manually move up to a larger division or down to a smaller division, depending on the desire of the school’s community and the needs of the rest of the state’s schools.

Those schools — considered “bubble schools” — are allowed to make a presentation to the BOT in a public hearing before any decisions are made. That is not an option for other schools.

This year, that percentage will increase to 5 percent, allowing officials to consider moving schools for some of the reasons that concern board members but don’t impact enrollment numbers.

There are a number of factors traditionally considered when the Utah High School Activities Association’s Board of Trustees assigns schools to classifications. Among those factors are enrollment numbers, proximity to competitors and traditional rivalries.

Last spring, the BOT, which consists of school board members from each region and principals from each classification, agreed to consider a couple of proposals submitted by coaches and administrators that see perennial success as a factor that should be considered, as well. They argued that success was often impacted by socioeconomic factors because the wealth of a student population influences whether students participate in after-school athletics, as well as whether they have access to the same development programs and equipment.

The BOT held a hearing on the subject Wednesday night, then voted Thursday morning not to use success as a factor when aligning schools in football regions and classifications. The proposal was only being considered for football, as it’s aligned separately from all other sports and activities. It’s also considered the one sport where population and participation numbers really hinder or help a school succeed.

Twitter: adonsports EMAIL: adonaldson@deseretnews.com

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