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Declining Numbers Impacting Competitive Balance


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2 hours ago, Muda69 said:

Wow, somebody struck a nerve..................

Quality over quantity, every time.  Unfortunately the P/P zealots on this forum don't see it that way.  They want their continued string of patsies, especially during tournament time,  to beat up on in order to cement their hegemony.

 

No nerve, just found it a weak argument, given that I have three school affiliations ... two public and one P/P ... and two conference affiliations ... and there's only a single P/P in both of those conferences ... listed on my account, and I get tagged for the P/P school as if somehow that negates everything else. 

Also, the issue has nothing to do with even competitive balance or anything else.  I don't see why ANY TEAM should have to not field a team because someone put in an arbitrary minimum number to force them out.  Whether or not a school decides to field a team or not should be the sole decision of that school and their constituency.  I'm not sure of the NFHS rules about minimum number that you can have on the field at a time, but about the only time I could the the IHSAA stepping in and telling a school no dice, or anyone for that matter, is if they have less than 11 on the team.

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26 minutes ago, foxbat said:

No nerve, just found it a weak argument, given that I have three school affiliations ... two public and one P/P ... and two conference affiliations ... and there's only a single P/P in both of those conferences ... listed on my account, and I get tagged for the P/P school as if somehow that negates everything else. 

Also, the issue has nothing to do with even competitive balance or anything else.  I don't see why ANY TEAM should have to not field a team because someone put in an arbitrary minimum number to force them out.  Whether or not a school decides to field a team or not should be the sole decision of that school and their constituency.  I'm not sure of the NFHS rules about minimum number that you can have on the field at a time, but about the only time I could the the IHSAA stepping in and telling a school no dice, or anyone for that matter, is if they have less than 11 on the team.

Exactly.

School officials and coaches are going to have a much better grasp on their OWN program over some blowhard on a message board who loves to yell, "CONTRACT, CONTRACT".

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9 minutes ago, foxbat said:

Also, the issue has nothing to do with even competitive balance or anything else.  I don't see why ANY TEAM should have to not field a team because someone put in an arbitrary minimum number to force them out.  

What if that "someone" is the IHSAA?  Sure your school could have that 11-member football team but you would be banned from participating in the IHSAA football tournament.    

And it most certainly has to do with competitive balance.  And safety.

 

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Perhaps the IHSAA should allow schools to petition DOWN a class?  At least for a cycle.  I think of schools like Crawford County (0 - 12 or 13) and Pike Central (1 for 35?) who have had no postseason success.  Crawford has now dropped to 2A but were 3A for awhile and has never won a postseason game in its history.  Pike has been solidly 3A but only once in the early 2000's have won a single 3A tournament game.

They both field teams in the 20-30 player range.   I'm not going to agree to a forced minimum standard to play varsity football.  That is a local decision.  

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I guess what I'm not seeing in this argument, and others have alluded to it as well, is how, other than via cosmetics does forcing schools to not field a team increase competitiveness in the overall scheme of things?  It would be somewhat different if we had a system like Texas where you don't pick your schedule or your conference.  In Indiana though, it would seem that competitiveness is somewhat more tied to choice, although there are some with some limitations given ideological or geographical issues.  For example, I believe I've seen a few Linton folks, and I'll let them correct me if I'm wrong, indicate that one of the reasons that they left their old conference and became more independent was because of competitiveness, or more specifically, lack of competitiveness.  They used their legs to increase their competitiveness.

One issue that concerns me of the talk in competitiveness is that I suspect that there are schools that have football not for the level of competitiveness that some folks are wanting to reach for the state, but as an extra-curricular activity for their kids just like band, dance, chess club, robotics, science club, etc.  For schools that have the ideology of football being an activity to keep kids off the streets and give them options or just something else to do, would not the rug be potentially pulled out from under their feet if the idea of having such an activity is tied to having to win sectionals?  As a general reminder, if I recall correctly, someone posted that roughly 7-8% of kids that play high school football will never play football again beyond their senior year.  It would seem that, if that number holds true, competitiveness can certainly be part of the equation, but seems harsh to make it THE PART of the equation that is the thumbs-up or thumbs-down component that comes from a source that is external to the school.

 

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11 minutes ago, Muda69 said:

What if that "someone" is the IHSAA?  Sure your school could have that 11-member football team but you would be banned from participating in the IHSAA football tournament.    

And it most certainly has to do with competitive balance.  And safety.

 

If that's what the IHSAA wants to do, that's their call for the tournament.  I would still be against it.  Frankly, I would hopefully expect the IHSAA to create a seeded tournament and have a winning record requirement long before they excluded a team because they had the minimum number to play by the rules.  And let's not lose track/focus that the proposed number for keeping a team out of season play and not just tourney play was proposed at 22 for 1A, 25 for 2A, 30 for 3A ... etc.  11's an extreme; not near to the norm that is actually what spurred the discussion in the first place.

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1 hour ago, Footballking16 said:

This isn't hard to get. You can make a compelling case in every single year the award has been given that someone deserves the award over the winner. There's been one or two years where I thought there was an unanimous, no brainer winner. The fact that the award has gone to a large class, Indy area winner more than 60% of the time, reveals the bias in the award. 

I can make a case that in 2008 1A Nick Zachery from Sheridan deserved the award over 5A Morgan Newton from Carmel.

I can make a case that in 2005 4A Luke Schmidt from Jasper and 5A James Aldridge from Merrillville deserved the award over 5A Dexter Taylor from Warren Central who wasn't even the best back in his own backfield.

You could theoretically do this for every year if you truly wanted too. Point remains that when in doubt, the award more times than not goes to a player from Central Indiana who plays in one of the largest two classes. That's the bias in the award. 

Now we are cooking with peanut oil.....now we are tracking.  Appreciate the examples.

Not sure I would call a school in Hamilton County outside of Central Indiana....maybe class size was more of a factor or bias in 2008, since both people are from Hamilton County.  I'll study the 2005 players you mentioned.

Yes, we agree that any year there will be debate among winners and those that are runner-up...but that is regardless where they are from.  And that happens with Heisman winners, pro MVP's, etc.  As we know, in most years it can be razor thin differences between winner and runner-up.  It will be debated this year.  Offensive stats vs all-around player.  

You and I differ to the extent voting coaches are biased and the reason for their bias.  (assuming they are truly influenced)  The Kiser win over Bell is one of the most hotly contested...and led to a change in voting process.  Assuming bias, it had nothing to do with metro Indy location....that bias was small school voting going 10-0 in both 1 and 2A.  In that case, the bias was size and size mattered.  (in this case smaller)

I don't believe you can state that because 60% of the winners since 1992 came from Metro Indy means automatic bias and the IndyStar is the reason.  The most populated schools, with the largest rosters and the best overall programs come from central Indiana.  I think there would need to be much more study about those individual Indy metro winners before that claim of bias is made and the IndyStar is the reason. (was there a truly more deserving individual?)

But as you said, we don't have to agree...thanks again for the examples...something to chew on

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One thing that hasn't been discussed is the environment and culture of school administration when it comes to competing.

All schools want to win, but some won't pursue the resources needed to win.  Many adults don't wish to put the time and effort into what is needed to win.  They love have the shirt on Friday, but not willing to put in the effort the other days of the week.  

Many kids have other things in their lives competing with football.  Many do not want to "waste" their time not being properly prepared for the games.

You can't fool kids, and many of them leave.

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30 minutes ago, foxbat said:

If that's what the IHSAA wants to do, that's their call for the tournament.  I would still be against it.  Frankly, I would hopefully expect the IHSAA to create a seeded tournament and have a winning record requirement long before they excluded a team because they had the minimum number to play by the rules.  And let's not lose track/focus that the proposed number for keeping a team out of season play and not just tourney play was proposed at 22 for 1A, 25 for 2A, 30 for 3A ... etc.  11's an extreme; not near to the norm that is actually what spurred the discussion in the first place.

I'd rather see the creation of voluntary 6-man or 8-man format before the establishment of an exclusion scheme to tournament access. Some arbitrary number would be required for qualification purposes, but maybe there'd likely be more football being played in places where they can't play now. 

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1 hour ago, foxbat said:

One issue that concerns me of the talk in competitiveness is that I suspect that there are schools that have football not for the level of competitiveness that some folks are wanting to reach for the state, but as an extra-curricular activity for their kids just like band, dance, chess club, robotics, science club, etc.  For schools that have the ideology of football being an activity to keep kids off the streets and give them options or just something else to do, would not the rug be potentially pulled out from under their feet if the idea of having such an activity is tied to having to win sectionals?  

Football is by far the most expensive extra-curricular sport/activity offered by high schools, is it not?  Shouldn't the community expect some return on such an investment? 

What kind of civic pride is enabled by saying "well our high school football team is currently on a 25 game losing streak and have lost those games by an average of 28 points a contest,  but they have good looking uniforms and the kids seem to have fun playing!" ?   No, such thinking is just wearing rose-colored glasses.

 

5 minutes ago, PDB26 said:

I'd rather see the creation of voluntary 6-man or 8-man format before the establishment of an exclusion scheme to tournament access. Some arbitrary number would be required for qualification purposes, but maybe there'd likely be more football being played in places where they can't play now. 

Meh, 6-8 man is not "football".  Better to go with a co-op scheme where two or more schools join forces to field a 11-man team, like in Illinois.

 

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19 minutes ago, PDB26 said:

I'd rather see the creation of voluntary 6-man or 8-man format before the establishment of an exclusion scheme to tournament access. Some arbitrary number would be required for qualification purposes, but maybe there'd likely be more football being played in places where they can't play now. 

I like the idea, but I'm not sure if Indiana is culturally ready or if there's enough critical mass there to make it viable.  I've lived in Oklahoma and Texas and 6-/8-man flies there fairly well.  There's a level of football involvement there that spans traditional 11-man ball that I just don't think permeates Indiana the same way.  Also, football is not the primary sport of Indiana, so expansion into other derivatives of the sport may not fly here.

Oklahoma has two classes of less-than-11-man ball, 8-man, and there are roughly 80 teams competing there.  Texas has about 160 teams or so in 6-man ... and that's just the public schools.  

There may, however, be something to your idea in the schools that don't tend to make it to the IHSAA radar screen or to teams that struggle in the traditional IHSAA-format for 11-man.  I wonder how many Indiana schools there are that are rural or perhaps smaller private/parochial with under say 80 students.  When I lived in Oklahoma, the vast majority of teams that were in what is called Class-C had total school sizes of like 70 or less kids. 

 

13 minutes ago, Muda69 said:

Football is by far the most expensive extra-curricular sport/activity offered by high schools, is it not?  Shouldn't the community expect some return on such an investment? 

What kind of civic pride is enabled by saying "well our high school football team is currently on a 25 game losing streak and have lost those games by an average of 28 points a contest,  but they have good looking uniforms and the kids seem to have fun playing!" ?   No, such thinking is just wearing rose-colored glasses.

 

No argument in any of that, but I note in your presentation the words "community" and "civic" ... which hits exactly with the argument that I've been making.  It would seem to be something that THE COMMUNITY should make the call on.  If a community wants the ROI, then that's their call to make.  Schools do these pretty much every year when they fire a coach that isn't cutting it for THEIR desire of competitiveness or results or decide to do a bond for a stadium build or renovation, etc.  Again, have no issues with the idea that a community might decide it's too expensive or they aren't winning enough or they are winning state or they aren't beating their cross-town rival every year ... we are in agreement there.  Matter of fact. if there was a MANDATORY requirement in teh state of Indiana that you had to have a football team, then I'd be in complete agreement with you.  Nonetheless, in the state an COMMUNITY has the ability and responsibility to determine ITS OWN level of participation, competition, or even whether they even want to play the game at all.  It should be the COMMUNITY'S choice.

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15 minutes ago, Muda69 said:

 

v9u8o9ugfq481.jpg

OMG! It's true! - Album on Imgur

 

57 minutes ago, Muda69 said:

Football is by far the most expensive extra-curricular sport/activity offered by high schools, is it not?  Shouldn't the community expect some return on such an investment? 

What kind of civic pride is enabled by saying "well our high school football team is currently on a 25 game losing streak and have lost those games by an average of 28 points a contest,  but they have good looking uniforms and the kids seem to have fun playing!" ?   No, such thinking is just wearing rose-colored glasses.

Participation and attendance is still high at Hamilton Heights following some seasons with less than desirable results. We had 70 players this past year.

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8 minutes ago, foxbat said:

I like the idea, but I'm not sure if Indiana is culturally ready or if there's enough critical mass there to make it viable. 

I like your analysis, and I am also unsure about these variables. I'm really unsure with regard to critical mass and geographic location. I think it's still better than no football, or the IHSAA telling teams they can't play because their team isn't big enough. 

1 hour ago, Muda69 said:

Meh, 6-8 man is not "football".  Better to go with a co-op scheme where two or more schools join forces to field a 11-man team, like in Illinois.

I especially agree that 6-man isn't football on anything but a spiritual level, but I think 8-man and 9-man are close enough to avoid being "not football". 

It's odd, but I might actually prefer alternative formats to co-op teams. Co-op just feels too much like hockey to me. However, I'd be for any scheme that gets more players who want to be on the field on the field.

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2 hours ago, PDB26 said:

I like your analysis, and I am also unsure about these variables. I'm really unsure with regard to critical mass and geographic location. I think it's still better than no football, or the IHSAA telling teams they can't play because their team isn't big enough. 

I especially agree that 6-man isn't football on anything but a spiritual level, but I think 8-man and 9-man are close enough to avoid being "not football". 

It's odd, but I might actually prefer alternative formats to co-op teams. Co-op just feels too much like hockey to me. However, I'd be for any scheme that gets more players who want to be on the field on the field.

I don't know enough about Indiana's inter-/intra-county culture to determine how co-op would fair in the state.  Similar to the issue of whether 6-man/8-man would be welcome enough to fly.

I'm not sure you gain much, in terms of extra teams playing or teams dropping down from 11-man, with 9-man that would pick up teams, but there's a psychological break at 8-man, at least in football circles, that would pick up bodies.  Similarly across small schools.  I have to admit that, even coming from Texas and Oklahoma, where 6-man and 8-man are part of the lay of the land, I've not been partial to it.  Like you said; however, if it provides opportunity for kids to play I'm not one to stand in the way.  I got a chance this last season to see 7-man played at the youth level.  Definitely odd and, having coached 11-on-11 at the youth level for just under a couple of decades, I'm not sure I'd ever select it as my go to.  With that said, the fact that it provided the league a chance to field six teams instead of just three and a half.  It provided some variety for the kids as well as an opportunity to get more reps.  Granted, there's a big difference between youth and varsity, but going to your point, it gets kids involved.  It also probably doesn't hurt as much in also getting kids to eventually get to the higher levels.

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On 12/10/2021 at 10:38 AM, BTF said:

Four pages of this crap and you single out Temptation? What am I missing here?

Keep up the good work DT. You provide 50% of the (good) content on this forum. 

My pleasure.  Im working on the updated contraction watch list.  Will post that shortly with a steaming hot thread title that will get some blood boiling indeed.

I cant help myself

Its what I do here

Im much more gentle at The HHF

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On 12/10/2021 at 11:46 AM, oldtimeqb said:

Perhaps the IHSAA should allow schools to petition DOWN a class?  At least for a cycle.  I think of schools like Crawford County (0 - 12 or 13) and Pike Central (1 for 35?) who have had no postseason success.  Crawford has now dropped to 2A but were 3A for awhile and has never won a postseason game in its history.  Pike has been solidly 3A but only once in the early 2000's have won a single 3A tournament game.

They both field teams in the 20-30 player range.   I'm not going to agree to a forced minimum standard to play varsity football.  That is a local decision.  

I would be for this idea.  But would rather see schools be allowed to opt out of the tournament and play one or two more games against other teams that have opt out.

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1 hour ago, superjay said:

I would be for this idea.  But would rather see schools be allowed to opt out of the tournament and play one or two more games against other teams that have opt out.

If that’s the case, why not just go to a playoff qualifier? Add a tenth regular season game, cut the field in half, and the teams that don’t qualify are free to seek out an opponent in a bowl-like scenario to end their season?

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1 hour ago, Footballking16 said:

If that’s the case, why not just go to a playoff qualifier? Add a tenth regular season game, cut the field in half, and the teams that don’t qualify are free to seek out an opponent in a bowl-like scenario to end their season?

Spot on.

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On 12/10/2021 at 11:53 AM, foxbat said:

I guess what I'm not seeing in this argument, and others have alluded to it as well, is how, other than via cosmetics does forcing schools to not field a team increase competitiveness in the overall scheme of things?  It would be somewhat different if we had a system like Texas where you don't pick your schedule or your conference.  In Indiana though, it would seem that competitiveness is somewhat more tied to choice, although there are some with some limitations given ideological or geographical issues.  For example, I believe I've seen a few Linton folks, and I'll let them correct me if I'm wrong, indicate that one of the reasons that they left their old conference and became more independent was because of competitiveness, or more specifically, lack of competitiveness.  They used their legs to increase their competitiveness.

One issue that concerns me of the talk in competitiveness is that I suspect that there are schools that have football not for the level of competitiveness that some folks are wanting to reach for the state, but as an extra-curricular activity for their kids just like band, dance, chess club, robotics, science club, etc.  For schools that have the ideology of football being an activity to keep kids off the streets and give them options or just something else to do, would not the rug be potentially pulled out from under their feet if the idea of having such an activity is tied to having to win sectionals?  As a general reminder, if I recall correctly, someone posted that roughly 7-8% of kids that play high school football will never play football again beyond their senior year.  It would seem that, if that number holds true, competitiveness can certainly be part of the equation, but seems harsh to make it THE PART of the equation that is the thumbs-up or thumbs-down component that comes from a source that is external to the school.

 

It probably costs more to field a varsity football team than all the other extra curricular activities you mentioned combined together.  It simply is a very poor investment for many schools to continue playing varsity football given the results they see on the field.  Why should chronically non competitive  school continue to invest in coaching staffs, equipment, field and facility maintenance, uniforms, insurance, travel, etc when those dollars could be used in an endeavor that benefits a greater portion of the student body.  

I believe there are a good number of schools who would like to drop football but dont due to potential public pushback and football zealots coming out of the woodwork to save their team.  This new generation of school administrators are not football fanatics like their predecessors were.  Most will look at football as just another choice on the athletic menu, not a sport that defines the identity of their respective school.  

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10 hours ago, HHF said:

It probably costs more to field a varsity football team than all the other extra curricular activities you mentioned combined together.  It simply is a very poor investment for many schools to continue playing varsity football given the results they see on the field.  Why should chronically non competitive  school continue to invest in coaching staffs, equipment, field and facility maintenance, uniforms, insurance, travel, etc when those dollars could be used in an endeavor that benefits a greater portion of the student body.  

I believe there are a good number of schools who would like to drop football but dont due to potential public pushback and football zealots coming out of the woodwork to save their team.  This new generation of school administrators are not football fanatics like their predecessors were.  Most will look at football as just another choice on the athletic menu, not a sport that defines the identity of their respective school.  

Then why not just let nature take its course?  If ADs aren't fanatics, they'll put more into their other sports.  If communities are waning in their support, then the sport will fall by the wayside.  As for football zealots, you would probably have more of a convincing line in Texas, Florida, and perhaps Ohio, but as folks point out often, in Indiana basketball is king.  Are there football fanatics?  Sure. Are they "coming out of the woodwork" to force a school to spend their money without putting up their own dollars?  Not quite to the extent that you might think and certainly not to the point that there are massive numbers of communities held hostage by a few football folks against the vast majority of the folks who don't want football.

There are two IHSSA schools in the Lafayette and near-Lafayette area that don't field football teams and have put their resources into other areas: Rossville and Faith Christian.  Faith tends to do decent in soccer, but not too well in other male sports.  Rossville has found better success in soccer, basketball, and baseball.  Rossville, in particular, came together as a community and decided across all levels to focus their resources on other sports rather than football.  They actually don't have any decent-sized footprint, if any, in youth football.  There's an example of an AD and an entire community making that decision.

Again, I don't disagree with any of the general ideas that you are proposing ... outside of the IHSAA canning teams over arbitrary numbers.  I just think that it is a decision for local communities to make rather than dictated to them.  In your original proposal, you stated that a team could petition to not play for a couple of years ... I think that's what Noll is doing.  If I'm not mistake, there are schools that have had football, dropped football, and are now reviving football while others have dropped football and left it dropped.  Again, their call, their agency. 

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29 minutes ago, foxbat said:

Then why not just let nature take its course?  If ADs aren't fanatics, they'll put more into their other sports.  If communities are waning in their support, then the sport will fall by the wayside.  As for football zealots, you would probably have more of a convincing line in Texas, Florida, and perhaps Ohio, but as folks point out often, in Indiana basketball is king.  Are there football fanatics?  Sure. Are they "coming out of the woodwork" to force a school to spend their money without putting up their own dollars?  Not quite to the extent that you might think and certainly not to the point that there are massive numbers of communities held hostage by a few football folks against the vast majority of the folks who don't want football.

There are two IHSSA schools in the Lafayette and near-Lafayette area that don't field football teams and have put their resources into other areas: Rossville and Faith Christian.  Faith tends to do decent in soccer, but not too well in other male sports.  Rossville has found better success in soccer, basketball, and baseball.  Rossville, in particular, came together as a community and decided across all levels to focus their resources on other sports rather than football.  They actually don't have any decent-sized footprint, if any, in youth football.  There's an example of an AD and an entire community making that decision.

Again, I don't disagree with any of the general ideas that you are proposing ... outside of the IHSAA canning teams over arbitrary numbers.  I just think that it is a decision for local communities to make rather than dictated to them.  In your original proposal, you stated that a team could petition to not play for a couple of years ... I think that's what Noll is doing.  If I'm not mistake, there are schools that have had football, dropped football, and are now reviving football while others have dropped football and left it dropped.  Again, their call, their agency. 

Given what we have learned about concussion impact on football players, it would be wise for the IHSAA to "nudge" some programs into contraction before somebody really gets hurt, or even killed.  Some small town Indiana schools are putting their young people in harms way, setting back 75 years of football safety progress, by allowing their youth to participate in horrific mismatches.  The Mercy Rule will not revive a dead teenager.  

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34 minutes ago, HHF said:

Given what we have learned about concussion impact on football players, it would be wise for the IHSAA to "nudge" some programs into contraction before somebody really gets hurt, or even killed.  Some small town Indiana schools are putting their young people in harms way, setting back 75 years of football safety progress, by allowing their youth to participate in horrific mismatches.  The Mercy Rule will not revive a dead teenager.  

Link?

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