Friday, Dec 13, 2013
SIRR Ohio Volleyball Bumped to Class 3A
WSIL -- The IHSA has thrown a curve ball into many southern Illinois school's postseason plans. New enrollment classifications mean certain teams will be playing in different classes once the playoffs start.
"Imagine a school of 531 playing a school of 1411," Benton volleyball coach Tony Phelps said. "That's not equitable at all, I think it's just totally wrong."
New enrollment classifications released Wednesday are putting schools such as Benton in a bind. Starting this fall, classes for volleyball, baseball, softball and basketball will be determined by dividing enrollments into fourths. It's a change from last year, when 27 percent of schools were in 1A and 2A, while 22 percent were in 3A and 4A. In volleyball, the cutoff line between 2A and 3A is 530 kids, meaning all River-to-River Ohio schools will be bumped to 3A.
"Fair or not, that's just the way it is and we're going to have to deal with it and do the best we can," Phelps said.
Murphysboro volleyball coach Mike Layne is also upset.
"It makes sense on paper but when you look at it and see the disparity between your 2A being 255 kids to 530 kids and your 3A shooting up to 531 to 1411, that's a pretty big jump when you're playing schools three times your size."
Layne is thankful the IHSA is trying to make it fair but disagrees with the latest changes.
"It seems like it's fair for the bigger schools and it's fair for the smaller schools but the middle schools get kind of left in limbo."
Both coaches say despite the differences, moving on is key.
"It just pushes us to try and get better and work harder and stay focused that we're in control of ourselves," Layne added.
"We're not going to cry," Phelps said. "We're going to go play volleyball and do the best we can."
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