FORT WAYNE — The IHSAA decision to tie postseason success into athletic classification has generally been met with approval by high school coaches.
The IHSAA announced Friday that points will be awarded for postseason titles over a two-year period and programs will be moved up a class for two years if a certain number is accumulated.
“The tradition factor element has some possibilities of creating some new postseason rivalries and some pretty interesting matchups,” Snider football coach Kurt Tippmann said.
Tippmann was part of the Indiana Football Coaches Association committee that recommended the IHSAA use the postseason help determine what class teams compete in. But the IFCA wanted the scoring system to be over a four-year period.
“It creates a longer picture of success and traditional success,” Tippmann said. “It is not to punish a program that may just have a great two or three classes in a row come through the school, and that is when they are successful. To punish those kids that come after, we thought may not be necessarily be what we were after.”
The idea of being punished for short-term success stems from how the system works.
Teams will be awarded a point for each postseason title it collects. That means teams receive a point for sectional, regional, semistate and state titles.
A team can obtain a maximum of four points in a season. When a team collects six or more points over two years, it will move up a class. The IHSAA will start rewarding points this season and teams would step up a class based on success in the 2013-14 school year.
If the system had already been in place, Bishop Luers’ football team would have moved up to Class 3A because it won the last three 2A state titles.
Knights football coach and athletic director Matt Lindsay said he is fine with the two-year window.
“I think two years is always a better reflection, the impact is going to be mostly on the young men that are in your school right then and not so much down the road,” Lindsay said.
Canterbury’s Scott Kreiger said he wished the time frame to collect points was longer. Kreiger will coach the boys basketball team this season after leading the Cavaliers’ girls program to four Class A titles in the last five years.
Based on that success, the Canterbury girls could have moved to Class 3A if the team won on the same level in 2A.
“If you are going to call it the ‘tradition clause,’ you don’t build a tradition in two years,” Kreiger said. “Two years, you might get hot. You may have one good class or a couple of good classes back to back. Then those kids graduate just in time to move that sport up a class with maybe a group of players who are not going to be able to compete as well at that level.”
While Kreiger doesn’t agree completely with the point system, he said he doesn’t think it was made to punish private or parochial schools like Canterbury.
“If you look at that statistics, the schools that would most likely be a small number of private or parochial schools. So that is a pretty easy argument to make,” Kreiger said. “At the same time, most coaches, I think are just about competing. We just want to play. So whoever you put out in front of us, that is who we are going to go after.”