Leading off today:
The NYSPHSAA Executive Committee approved new classification cutoffs for postseason competition in soccer, basketball, baseball and softball during its meeting Friday in Troy.
By a margin of 12-10 in a vote by the two representatives from each of the NYSPHSAA's 11 sections, the Executive Committee set the new classification cutoffs effective next fall as:
- Class AA: 965-up (107 projected schools)
- Class A: 500-964 (169)
- Class B: 270-499 (185)
- Class C: 150-269 (171)
- Class D: up to 149 (162)
Sections 1, 5, 6, 7, 9 and 11 favored the proposal over one that would have placed about 158 schools into each of the five classes.
The numbers had last been overhauled for the 2013-14 school year and have fallen out of the original structure of five approximately equal classes. There are 127 Class AA schools and 189 in Class D in the current school year.
| || Current || Balanced || Unbalanced |
| || || || |
| Class AA || 910-up || 825-up || 965-up |
| Class A || 480-909 || 440-824 || 500-964 |
| Class B || 280-479 || 250-439 || 270-499 |
| Class C || 170-279 || 146-249 || 150-269 |
| Class D || 1-169 || 1-145 || 1-149 |
The Executive Committee also approved the BEDS report by the State Education Department spelling out enrollment data for the respective schools to be used next school year. Release of the school-by-school numbers is pending a handful of corrections and additions.
Approval of the new cutoffs and of the BEDS data allows league officials and schools ADs to get to work on fall schedules.
More decisions: The Executive Committee gave final approval to venues for six sports for future NYSPHSAA championship events. You can catch up on those in our previous blog.
• The baseball committee won approval for a two-year trial of a mercy rule to be added to state tournament games. The 10-run rule kicks in after 4½ innings. Sections will have the option of adopting the rule for their postseason games and allowing leagues to use it during the regular season.
Such a rule had been discussed in the past but took on greater urgency with the implementation of pitch-count rules last spring.
The baseball committee also received an OK to adjust its regional rotation to avoid having sectional champions advance directly to the state semifinals. If Sections 1, 8 & 11 do not have a Class D rep, Sections 2 and 9 would play each other and Sections 7 and 10 would play each other in the quarterfinals. Other sports have made similar adjustments in recent years.
• The Executive Committee approved placing Utica Academy of Science into the Center State Conference in Section 3. The school has been playing as an independent while unsuccessfully seeking membership in a league. The NYSPHSAA constitution gives the Executive Committee authority to act when a sectional athletic council is unable to place a school.
• The girls golf committee received approval to allow sections and leagues to determine a method of maximum per-hole scoring and to remove markers from being able to point out rulings during state tournament competition.
Other meeting notes: Profits from the most recent NYSPHSAA fall championships slipped about 21 percent to $192,065 from the previous year. Weather was an obvious culprit with rain at the football semifinals and snow at the girls soccer final fours in Cortland.
Football attendance at Union-Endicott was only two-thirds what it was the previous year for semifinals at Cicero-North Syracuse.
• A court case that the NYSPHSAA found itself ensnared in -- they tend to get sued quite a bit by people who should in fact be aiming their litigation at the New York State Education Department -- ended late last year with a ruling unfavorable to the plaintiff.
The family of a Horseheads basketball player had sought an additional year of eligibility (see my summary of the filing here) last spring, taking the unusual route of contending in