Athletic Classification Changes

Goodhue Athletic Teams’ Classification Changes March 2019

Every two years, the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) establishes the classification of each sport for every school in the state.  This classification aims to put like-sized schools within a class that will compete against each other in section and eventually state tournaments.  To accomplish this, the MSHSL uses a specific set of enrollment data, formulas that account for free & reduced students, and an appeal process to place schools in a class.

The first important number is a school’s MARSS (Minnesota Automated Reporting Student System) number, which is taken in October in even-numbered years.  Basically, it is the number of students that are currently in grades 9-12 enrolled in a school.  Included in this data is the amount of students within those grades that qualify for free & reduced lunch.  The MSHSL then subtracts 40% of free & reduced students to arrive at a school’s official enrollment number.

After these enrollment numbers have been counted and the sport classification cutoffs have been determined, member schools are informed where they will stand for the next 2 years.  There is a process in place where a school may opt-up into a bigger sized class, as well as a process to appeal your designation and drop down to a lower class. In order to appeal, your enrollment must be within 10% of the cutoff or you must have 50% of your students qualify for free & reduced lunch.

This week we officially learned that Goodhue will compete in Class AA in Baseball, Boys Basketball & Girls Basketball for the 2019-2020 & 2020-2021 school years. All other sports remain in Class A as we have been in the past, though we are very close to moving up in several sports. A couple things have gradually happened in Goodhue recently to lead to this, as the High School’s enrollment has steadily climbed by 20 students over the past 4 years, while free & reduced numbers have slowly decreased.  This largely explains how Goodhue’s MSHSL enrollment number went from our currently posted 188 to the new number of 203.

In two years, the MSHSL will repeat this cycle of classification.  Goodhue will likely find itself close to the cutoff in many sports and may again have to deal with some changes, perhaps in additional sports.  These classifications only affect post-season play, and has virtually no effect on a school’s regular season schedule. The process can be lengthy and confusing, but in the end our teams will compete and do their best on the court and field.


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