NCHSAA reclassification process leaves some schools wondering, how?

Kaitlyn Mullins

The NCHSAA realigns conference dynamics every four years, to remain consistent in all manners that the organization aims to protect and abide by. The principles that they wish to assist in consist of core ideas that translate universally and are intended to assist in the development of athletics throughout the state. Of these, the ones that ironically are open to interpretation are “fair-play”, “fair competition”, and “integrity”. The recent decisions from the 2018 rearrangement process immediately and continue to turn heads. Two schools are notably transparent with their reputes in the decision making of the council, which include Southwestern Randolph High School and Tuscola High School of Haywood County.

Southwestern Randolph was looking to move from the 3A Mid-Piedmont Conference down to a more reasonable conference that suits the population of their school in the 2A division. SWR’s school includes a current number of 1,070 registered students, which is the lowest amount in the Mid-Piedmont Conference. Schools surrounding SWR for example Asheboro high school have 1,360 registered students and the Randolph County average including these two schools is 712 students. The Cougars are in a conference where the average student total is 1,300 students. These numbers raise an extremely clear issue that the school administration has already caught onto. The pond is significantly larger for the competition and SWR is forced to fish for answers with limited resources to encourage high-class recruits to attend their school.

With the renovation of how the NCHSAA scales their decision with the new 20-30-30-20 format meaning twenty percent of the schools that are apart of the organization are assigned to 4A, the next thirty recede to 3A, the next thirty falls to 2A and the remainder are apart of 1A. Perhaps with it being a new setup and other details that have not been worked out yet, it could take a little time for the cracks with this new classification structure to be molded. The immediate impact seems to be some schools are in a clear disadvantage for resources to keep up with the likes of their counterparts. Numbers show that this downward trend in attendance will not reverse anytime soon.

If the school alignment process is based solely on ADM (Average Daily Membership) excluding possible geographical barriers; it seems clear that the alignment process should go chronologically.  It raises a hint of suspicion that Tuscola with an ADM of 974 could even be considered with the likes of T.C. Roberson who has an ADM of 1,644. The next realignment process could see even more controversy. The last cycle received twice as many appeals and with the new structure freshly implemented it will be important to keep tabs on how certain schools perform for the next duration.

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