FHSAA Action Item in the Agenda
05/29/2021 1:30:22 PM
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Guess they heard us and came up with a compromise. Starting 2023 only 9-12 grade students will be allowed to compete as Varsity. Schools with 6-8 can use them for JV but since they are not counted in the populations they cannot be used as Varsity athletes. [url=https://fhsaa.com/documents/2021/5/28/53.pdf]FHSAAAction Item[/url] If I read it correctly...should it be approved... In the 2021 season 7th and 8th graders be allowed to compete as Varsity but not 6th graders 2022 season just 8th graders 2023 Middle Schoolers will not be allowed to compete as Varsity
Guess they heard us and came up with a compromise. Starting 2023 only 9-12 grade students will be allowed to compete as Varsity. Schools with 6-8 can use them for JV but since they are not counted in the populations they cannot be used as Varsity athletes.

FHSAAAction Item

If I read it correctly...should it be approved...
In the 2021 season 7th and 8th graders be allowed to compete as Varsity but not 6th graders
2022 season just 8th graders
2023 Middle Schoolers will not be allowed to compete as Varsity
05/29/2021 3:05:22 PM
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@raycer131 Sounds great! That should be true for all the private AND public schools that have had this option for years.
@raycer131

Sounds great! That should be true for all the private AND public schools that have had this option for years.
05/29/2021 3:16:11 PM
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@RayRodriguez Agreed...this is a solid middle ground to not count them in the populations and allow them to participate. Just not on the Varsity teams. Also allowing those that competed last year to still continue, but not any incoming 6th graders.
@RayRodriguez
Agreed...this is a solid middle ground to not count them in the populations and allow them to participate. Just not on the Varsity teams. Also allowing those that competed last year to still continue, but not any incoming 6th graders.
05/29/2021 4:27:29 PM
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SO they are not giving them the option of counting them in population and using them? If that is the case, you just killed a bunch of programs. SMH
SO they are not giving them the option of counting them in population and using them? If that is the case, you just killed a bunch of programs. SMH
05/29/2021 5:21:30 PM
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@coachbutler Unless I missed something or another option to choose. The action item is to change the rule to No MS athletes in Varsity HS sports. Since it technically violates the 4 year eligibility rule. ***do not shoot the messenger just what it states***
@coachbutler
Unless I missed something or another option to choose. The action item is to change the rule to No MS athletes in Varsity HS sports. Since it technically violates the 4 year eligibility rule.
***do not shoot the messenger just what it states***
05/29/2021 7:34:31 PM
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@coachbutler Something I had not considered too much because I am not aware of any teams that would not exist if they could not have MS members. But that would be a true shame if it does happen and not sure why this is an issue now after so many years being the way it has been
@coachbutler

Something I had not considered too much because I am not aware of any teams that would not exist if they could not have MS members.

But that would be a true shame if it does happen and not sure why this is an issue now after so many years being the way it has been
05/30/2021 8:05:00 AM
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Hopefully the decision makers realize that many schools have and need MS runners. It's good for the sport, the school, and the athlete. This letscrunners compete up to their abilities. If a school doesn't want to count MS, they can phase them out as mentioned; others, let them be counted and let them run! Look at 1a and 2a and see that MS runners are a foundational component of many varsity teams.
Hopefully the decision makers realize that many schools have and need MS runners. It's good for the sport, the school, and the athlete. This letscrunners compete up to their abilities.
If a school doesn't want to count MS, they can phase them out as mentioned; others, let them be counted and let them run!
Look at 1a and 2a and see that MS runners are a foundational component of many varsity teams.
05/30/2021 6:47:09 PM
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@MarkRP I feel in my heart of hearts I want to agree with you and just let kids run... But there are 3a and 4a schools that can't find a full team for XC or other sports...those schools don't have MS age kids as backups (we all need to understand this is not XC specific also). HS sports with 4 years of eligibility and maybe it should be just that. Ready for the hate...but it is HS sports maybe just maybe it should be for HS student athletes only. So it's not an issue... Though my true feelings though are count the kids make the numbers right let them play.
@MarkRP
I feel in my heart of hearts I want to agree with you and just let kids run...

But there are 3a and 4a schools that can't find a full team for XC or other sports...those schools don't have MS age kids as backups (we all need to understand this is not XC specific also).

HS sports with 4 years of eligibility and maybe it should be just that.

Ready for the hate...but it is HS sports maybe just maybe it should be for HS student athletes only. So it's not an issue...

Though my true feelings though are count the kids make the numbers right let them play.
05/30/2021 7:12:08 PM
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@raycer131 A little difference between a school of 2000 kids not being able to field a team and a school of 200 not fielding a team without middle schoolers. If you cant field 5 guys or girls in 3a or 4a, you have bigger problems to worry about than a little 1a school using middle school kids.
@raycer131 A little difference between a school of 2000 kids not being able to field a team and a school of 200 not fielding a team without middle schoolers. If you cant field 5 guys or girls in 3a or 4a, you have bigger problems to worry about than a little 1a school using middle school kids.
05/30/2021 7:22:53 PM
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@coachbutler I agree yet it happens regularly to some schools. How many district results have we complained about in the past when advancing was based on completed teams. The larger schools run Into the problem of too many kids trying out for the major sports then getting cut and too late to join or be ready to compete in another sport effectively. I still say just count them all let them run.
@coachbutler
I agree yet it happens regularly to some schools. How many district results have we complained about in the past when advancing was based on completed teams. The larger schools run Into the problem of too many kids trying out for the major sports then getting cut and too late to join or be ready to compete in another sport effectively.

I still say just count them all let them run.
05/30/2021 8:22:06 PM
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It will be interesting to see this play out if approved. There is a very wide disparity in how middle school programs are run in 6-12 schools. Some 6-12 schools have just one coach for all kids... others have separate programs where some times a kid or two is brought up. Other don't allow kids to be brought up at all. Some schools districts don't even have middle school programs.
It will be interesting to see this play out if approved. There is a very wide disparity in how middle school programs are run in 6-12 schools. Some 6-12 schools have just one coach for all kids... others have separate programs where some times a kid or two is brought up. Other don't allow kids to be brought up at all. Some schools districts don't even have middle school programs.
05/30/2021 8:27:26 PM
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@mbecker Not to mention the disparity could be year to year. Some years have no need for the MS athletes other years might have 2 or 3 that are good enough and even other years that you are forced to move them up.
@mbecker
Not to mention the disparity could be year to year. Some years have no need for the MS athletes other years might have 2 or 3 that are good enough and even other years that you are forced to move them up.
05/30/2021 9:35:01 PM
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I coached 1A girls XC and track for 4 years and our HS started in 9th grade. While a “touchy” subject, many many schools we competed against had diminutive 6th, 7th and 8th grade girls that were light as a feather and ran 18-20 minute times effortlessly (good for 1A). Look back on the last 15 years of State Championships in girls 1A and 2A, dominated by schools with a 6-12 structure. By 9th grade, as girls have “matured” and gained weight, many are at a disadvantage for a couple of years as they adjust to their new bodies. Particularly in 1A and 2A, where many schools had 6 through 12, those of us with 9-12 were at a distinct disadvantage. The difference isn’t nearly the same with boys as they typically just get stronger and faster. The rule is a good one, particularly to level the playing field (esp. on the girls side and esp. 1A-2A)
I coached 1A girls XC and track for 4 years and our HS started in 9th grade. While a "touchy" subject, many many schools we competed against had diminutive 6th, 7th and 8th grade girls that were light as a feather and ran 18-20 minute times effortlessly (good for 1A). Look back on the last 15 years of State Championships in girls 1A and 2A, dominated by schools with a 6-12 structure. By 9th grade, as girls have "matured" and gained weight, many are at a disadvantage for a couple of years as they adjust to their new bodies. Particularly in 1A and 2A, where many schools had 6 through 12, those of us with 9-12 were at a distinct disadvantage. The difference isn't nearly the same with boys as they typically just get stronger and faster. The rule is a good one, particularly to level the playing field (esp. on the girls side and esp. 1A-2A)
05/30/2021 9:50:06 PM
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@Maxybear365 Thank you for that perspective one I had not considered prior.
@Maxybear365
Thank you for that perspective one I had not considered prior.
05/31/2021 1:16:35 AM
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Here are some interesting statistics... Girls XC Statistics 1A9 Districts (8 teams) -Only 6 out of the 8 teams could field a team -All 6 teams utilized MS kids to field their teams 1A2 Regionals (12 Teams) -8 of the 12 teams had 2 or more MS kids to field their teams -6 of the 12 teams had 3 or more MS kids to field their teams (In this case, only 6 of the 12 teams would qualify to participate) 1A States (15 Teams) -14 of 15 teams had at least one MS kid on their team -9 of the 15 teams had 2 or more MS kids to field their team -4 of the 15 teams had 3 or more MS kids to field their team -Last 4 girls teams that finished at 1A states averaged 23-24 min in their team average -These stats are only relevant for the most competitive teams in 1A. Apart from the top 15 teams in the state, like region 1A2, it is likely that over 50% of the private school's xc teams require MS kids to field a team. Unless the option to number the middle school kids is not considered, the overall 1A state team 5k average will likely be in the middle to high 20's and the eradication of most 1A schools will likely occur. This being the case, with so few small schools participating in 1A, perhaps FHSAA will have no choice but to consolidate 1A and 2A.
Here are some interesting statistics...

Girls XC Statistics
1A9 Districts (8 teams)
-Only 6 out of the 8 teams could field a team
-All 6 teams utilized MS kids to field their teams

1A2 Regionals (12 Teams)
-8 of the 12 teams had 2 or more MS kids to field their teams
-6 of the 12 teams had 3 or more MS kids to field their teams
(In this case, only 6 of the 12 teams would qualify to participate)

1A States (15 Teams)
-14 of 15 teams had at least one MS kid on their team
-9 of the 15 teams had 2 or more MS kids to field their team
-4 of the 15 teams had 3 or more MS kids to field their team

-Last 4 girls teams that finished at 1A states averaged 23-24 min in their team average
-These stats are only relevant for the most competitive teams in 1A. Apart from the top 15 teams in the state, like region 1A2, it is likely that over 50% of the private school's xc teams require MS kids to field a team.

Unless the option to number the middle school kids is not considered, the overall 1A state team 5k average will likely be in the middle to high 20's and the eradication of most 1A schools will likely occur. This being the case, with so few small schools participating in 1A, perhaps FHSAA will have no choice but to consolidate 1A and 2A.
05/31/2021 6:28:59 AM
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@raybfree I would think that “ many or most” but not all of the A andAA schools that use middle schoolers do have 9-12 kids on the roster - but those kids run slower and don’t run state series. Having coached at A, AA sndAAAA I agree that It is a huge advantage to work with a kid for 7 years . Even with this rile it will still happen from a training perspective. Back on the 80s there were clear differences between classes as the middle schoolers were far and few between . Not as much these days
@raybfree

I would think that " many or most" but not all of the A andAA schools that use middle schoolers do have 9-12 kids on the roster - but those kids run slower and don't run state series.

Having coached at A, AA sndAAAA I agree that It is a huge advantage to work with a kid for 7 years . Even with this rile it will still happen from a training perspective.

Back on the 80s there were clear differences between classes as the middle schoolers were far and few between . Not as much these days
05/31/2021 9:02:05 PM
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Many good points on the subject, so threading the needle is a challenge 1.let each school choose wether or not they will count MS and have their MS kids run varsity 2.protect the 9-12 HS runners from being bumped by MS runner, and MS can only run HS to field a team; otherwise the MS runners run JV Based on this scenario, a HS girl/boy can run/compete on their varsity team without getting bumped by a 6th-8th grader whose day will come
Many good points on the subject, so threading the needle is a challenge

1.let each school choose wether or not they will count MS and have their MS kids run varsity
2.protect the 9-12 HS runners from being bumped
by MS runner, and MS can only run HS to field a team; otherwise the MS runners run JV

Based on this scenario, a HS girl/boy can run/compete on their varsity team without getting bumped by a 6th-8th grader whose day will come
05/31/2021 9:21:16 PM
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I coach at a 1A High school with no middle school students. The last few years we have ranged from 140 to 180 students, and have definitely struggled some years to fill a team. The vast majority of schools that have been in our district(s) do have middle schoolers. There is no question that there are advantages, for girls' teams in terms of numbers and talent, and for being able to coach the same kids for 7 years, and for middle school kids training with older kids. With that being said, however, I understand the need for middle school kids to fill out teams (I would use them if we had them). So, in my opinion, they should be allowed to compete but should absolutely be counted. For many teams, it would not bump them up anyway, but I'm sure there are teams that are near the upper population limit for their classification, where their middle school numbers would and should move them up to the next class.
I coach at a 1A High school with no middle school students. The last few years we have ranged from 140 to 180 students, and have definitely struggled some years to fill a team. The vast majority of schools that have been in our district(s) do have middle schoolers. There is no question that there are advantages, for girls' teams in terms of numbers and talent, and for being able to coach the same kids for 7 years, and for middle school kids training with older kids. With that being said, however, I understand the need for middle school kids to fill out teams (I would use them if we had them). So, in my opinion, they should be allowed to compete but should absolutely be counted. For many teams, it would not bump them up anyway, but I'm sure there are teams that are near the upper population limit for their classification, where their middle school numbers would and should move them up to the next class.
05/31/2021 9:28:20 PM
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If they count middle school numbers then I bet that bumps Belen to 4a as they list as over 1400 6-12, would love to see a Magoulas Harrison rematch at States on the boys side.
If they count middle school numbers then I bet that bumps Belen to 4a as they list as over 1400 6-12, would love to see a Magoulas Harrison rematch at States on the boys side.
06/01/2021 9:38:51 AM
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I think there are a number of issues at play here. 1. Is it fair that a student who attends a k-12 or 6-12 school get potentially 7 years of participation in high school sports? 2. How to deal with these kids in terms of counting student population. 3. Will barring these kids from high school xc cause a school to be unable to field a program? Regarding point #3. Interestingly, Colorado has a unique solution when dealing with really small schools. Their smallest classification 2A will only score 3 or 4 athletes with the 4th or 5th being the push and a complete team being 6 or 7 runners. (IT has varied the past couple of years). I also think that there is an underlying question as to whether private schools and public schools compete against each other in the State series, which relates back to 1 and 2.
I think there are a number of issues at play here.

1. Is it fair that a student who attends a k-12 or 6-12 school get potentially 7 years of participation in high school sports?

2. How to deal with these kids in terms of counting student population.

3. Will barring these kids from high school xc cause a school to be unable to field a program?

Regarding point #3. Interestingly, Colorado has a unique solution when dealing with really small schools. Their smallest classification 2A will only score 3 or 4 athletes with the 4th or 5th being the push and a complete team being 6 or 7 runners. (IT has varied the past couple of years).

I also think that there is an underlying question as to whether private schools and public schools compete against each other in the State series, which relates back to 1 and 2.

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