KSHSAA director discusses fairness of school sports classification system

Capitol Bureau

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Eight high school football teams were crowned champions this past weekend. But there are some people wanting to change the system in place for high school sports in Kansas.

Some school administrations are going to the Kansas State High School Activities Association saying private schools are winning an unfair amount of championships.

In Class 4A, Bishop Miege, a Catholic school near Kansas City won its sixth straight state championship. Some administrators said public schools are at a disadvantage.

There are 354 high schools that are a part of KSHSAA. 327 of them are public schools, while 27 of them are private.

Executive director for KSHSAA, Bill Faflick said this is something the association has been aware of for a while.

“If you just measure the number of championships earned compared to the percentage of private schools in the association, the percentage of championships won by those private schools exceeds the percentage of participating private schools,” Faflick said.

Currently, the association classifies each school by the number of students it has. Possible changes could make private schools play in a higher class than what their enrollment is.

“We have a big state and the diversity of the state is a true benefit to Kansas but it also causes us to move deliberately, there is a very vocal facet of our state that believes that something needs to happen relative to the private school’s success,” said Bill Faflick, executive director for KSHSAA.

Possible solutions could include moving all private schools up to higher classes, moving teams that win more to higher classes, or move struggling schools to lower classes.

Earlier this year the board of directors at KSHSAA voted down a proposal that would have created a new league solely for private schools. To make a change like this, legislators would have to pass a new law that would allow it.

Faflick said there are superintendents, principals, and leagues that have come to KSHSAA urging for some type of change. But administrations in other parts of the state don’t believe it is a problem

“Any issue that is important to our member schools is important to this association, we don’t shy away from any of the opportunities to get better,” Faflick said. “But we also have to remember, we want to get better with what the majority of our schools want.”

Faflick said he is fairly confident that the board of directors will have an opportunity to vote on whether to make a change in the near future. He said KSHSAA officials are traveling to schools across the state to get the opinion of administrators in each school.

Faflick also stressed that winning may be important to teams, but that the ultimate goal of high school sports is to enrich the learning that takes place in schools, by connecting kids, providing new experiences, and working as a team.

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