Class 4A high schools vote to split into two divisions for five sports

The 64 teams in Class 4A voted to split into two divisions for five sports, effective this school year for all sports but football. Football will split into two divisions in fall 2014.

The Kansas State High School Activities Association announced Tuesday the proposal passed with 42 yes votes, 22 no.

Before Pratt principal Steve Blankenship, one of the architects of the proposal, heard the news, he was looking through results of surveys he had sent earlier in the year to 4A schools.

“This is something I’ve looked at for five years, gathering information on, sent surveys out,” Blankenship said. “ It’s human nature to be nervous about it.

“I’m very relieved. I’m happy that this is done and over to be honest with you. It’s been a stressful year talking about this non-stop. I’m just happy that this is a positive result and that we can move on with what we should be doing and serve our kids.”

Class 4A will be split in half, with the 32 largest schools in Division I, the 32 smallest in Division II. There will be separate postseasons for volleyball, basketball, softball, baseball and football.

Volleyball is the first sport that will be affected, and the KSHSAA executive board must quickly put into place a new sub-state system, as well as find a state site.

Blankenship said it is possible 4A will follow the sub-state model already used in Class 6A and 5A, which have 32 teams.

“If they follow the model that 5A and 6A have, there’s nothing to event,” Blankenship said. “The hurdle will be finding a state site.”

The primary reason for introducing the proposal was because of the disparity between the biggest schools (729, Highland Park) and the smallest (258, Rock Creek and Frontenac). The disparity is much larger than in 6A, 5A, 3A or 2A. Class 1A has a bigger difference between its biggest and smallest schools, but it already split into Divisions I and II for volleyball and basketball.