Posted Online: June 16, 2014, 8:45 pm

IHSA delays implementation of 'success factor' one year

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By Daniel Makarewicz,

More photos from this shoot
Photo: Gary Krambeck/
Alleman's Kylee Dorsey runs between two United Township defenders during a Western Big 6 Conference football game last October at the Soule Bowl. The Pioneers will not be bumped up to Class 5A this fall after the IHSA decided against implementing its "success factor" until the 2015-16 school year.
The IHSA announced on Monday its "success factor" involving non-boundary schools will not take effect until the 2015-16 school year. When it was implemented in February, the changes originally would have started this fall.

After digesting the ruling, Alleman athletic director Steve Smithers said it provided more questions than answers. Until the IHSA releases its classifications for the 2014-15 school year later this week, Smithers still is unsure how Monday's announcement changes things.

However, he is relieved the "success factor" is delayed a year.

"I give them credit for taking a step back and getting input," Smithers said.

The "success factor" applies only to non-boundary schools. Under it, a program that has lost its 1.65-multiplier waiver and meets a certain success criteria will be forced to move up a classification. There was a formula and point system used to determine it for bracketed and non-bracket sports.

Based on the initial release, football was Alleman's only sport that would face the "success factor." The Pioneers would have been bumped up to Class 5A since it was the 2010 and 2012 Class 4A state runner-up.

That will not happen this fall.

"I just completed my ninth year. In the majority of those years, I've dealt in some way or another with the IHSA changing policies when it comes to non-boundary schools," Smithers said. "I hate to see programs be punished for recent success when you have a new set of students who had nothing to do with it."

In a news release, IHSA officials elected to delay the implementation so it could get more feedback and provide more education.

The board of directors also amended the language of the "success factor." Schools that won two state trophies over a four-year span originally would be subject to the policy. One of those trophies now must be won in the two most recent school years for a school to be bumped up.

Still unknown to Alleman is how the multiplier will affect some of its classifications next year. Smithers said cross country, basketball and girls' soccer are the sports that could change. Alleman, as of now, will lose its softball multiplier waiver, pushing it to Class 3A next spring after winning the Class 2A state title two weeks ago.

Until everything becomes official, Alleman will continue playing the waiting game and adjust when it's over.

"It's a shame that every year we have to go through some form of change. Rarely is it good," Smithers said. "I'm going to remain hopeful and confident that clear heads prevail."

Other action from the board during Monday's meeting:

-Approved a recommendation to accept hosting proposals for the boys' and girls' basketball state tournaments. The hosting cycle will be from 2016 through 2020, with the board announcing the results of the proposals in March.

-Approved a recommendation to extend the girls' golf state meet at Red Tail Run Golf Course (Class A) and Hickory Point Golf Club (Class AA) in Decatur. The extension runs through the 2019 meet.

-Recommendation to form a sub-committee consisting of members from the administrators advisory committee to review the "Grouping and Seeding of State Tournament Series." The committee will review the use of a sub-sectional formats statewide in bracketed team sports and football playoffs.

Advisory committees approved the following:
-Teams accumulating 25 or more yellow cards in a soccer season will not be allowed to participate in the postseason.

-The Class 2A and 4A contests in the state basketball tournaments will start at 6 and 7:30 p.m. Coaches also will received their full allotment of five timeouts.

-Adding two additional mat strips to the cheerleading state finals.