Big news from Topeka, Kan., this past week for high school sports.
The Kansas State High School Activities Association announced 2011-12 classifications for both football and non-football sports.
First of all, the news will not change things in Wyandotte County that much.
Bonner Springs will be 4A in football next year, but that's it. The other eight schools in the county will have the same class as they did last year.
Looking at the classifications and enrollments for the non-football sports, the 4A level boggles the mind. The enrollment range for the 64 schools in 4A is 258 students to 717 students.
That's one wide enrollment range for one of the largest classes in the state.
Sure, there are wide enrollment ranges in both 5A and 6A.
But in a class that has a floor of 258 students, the wide-range is worth wondering about. It's not good for schools like Basehor-Linwood, Bonner Springs, Sumner Academy and Piper to play smaller 4A schools in Western Kansas and Central Kansas.
It's a joke, if you think about it.
Here's a few ideas:
1. Move up the top 16 teams in 4A and bump them up to 5A. Both 4A and 5A would have 48 schools. The sub-state brackets would have to be different, but it would make for a more competitive 5A class and a more reasonable 4A class. Again, look at this comparison. Bishop Ward's enrollment under the criteria used by KSHSAA is 331 students. They play Bonner Springs twice a year in basketball. Bonner Springs enrollment this year? 709. Oh - and they're both in the 4A classification level. Bonner Springs should be 5A in basketball or....
2. Move the bottom 16 teams in 4A to 3A. Under this proposal, 3A would now have 80 teams. That would be too big, but 80 3A teams makes a lot more sense than 64 teams in 4A. It's a lesser of the two evils.
3. The 48-48-64 idea. The population of Kansas has increased by 200,000 people over the past five years. That means there are more students, so bump teams up. Move the top 16 teams in 5A population wise up to 6A. Move the top 16 4A teams to 5A and move the Top 16 teams in 3A to 4A.
The 4A class is a real head-scratcher in the state and really a pain to deal with.
The above ideas have flaws in them, but the current structure of 4A that KSHSAA approved of this week needs to be improved.