Mythbusters: Multiple-class state tournaments beneficial to kids

  • Article by: DAVID La VAQUE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 24, 2013 - 6:46 AM

Sports fans tend to cling to long-held beliefs about their teams, for better or worse. This week, we are exploring five of them to determine whether fact or fiction rules the day. Today: Multiple-class high school tournaments.

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bear_32Jul. 24, 13 8:48 AM

Has multiple classes really helped small schools? Class 1A hockey has been dominated by private schools, not really helping the small public school. High school football and basketball tournements have become unwatchable (check attendance numbers). Ears used to perk when you said "we went to state"...now people yawn. Should Notre Dame drop down so they can better their chances at a national title? The MSHSL can juggle all they want... Hill Murray and Roseau will continue to play big boy hockey.

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sblakeupJul. 24, 13 9:02 AM

David, without arguing the overall point of your piece, I take exception to the (IMO, invalid) comparison you make in your last paragraph between NCAA competition levels and different high school classes. They are horses of different colors. High schools are classified by enrollment, colleges and universities are not. D-I (and sometimes I-AA), D-II and D-III) designations are based on the specific numbers of athletic scholarships the schools are permitted to award (which in the case of D-III is zero). Students select colleges and universities for a host of reasons (location, cost, programs of study, athletic programs) that (again, IMO) do not typically enter into decisions regarding high school attendance. Do some students select schools based on reputation, location, quality of academic programs and athletics? Of course some do, but my guess is that most high school students attend the public schools in the districts/towns where their families live.

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metaltesterJul. 28, 1311:49 AM

as a high school football player from Blue Earth. I can tell you its no fun to make the 1990 semi finals only to end up matched up to a school big enough to field both a separate offense and defense when we all had to play both sides of the ball...you just cant possibly keep up. Yes, there are many classes now and that seems silly...but it is for a reason. Basketball is really the only sport that could do a single class anymore. In basketball, 1 or 2 really good players can carry a team a long way...no so in the other team sports.

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tulibeeJul. 29, 13 9:25 PM

Bear_32 is dead on but didn't take it far enough. The perecentage of private schools participating in all class A state tournaments is much higher than the perecentage of private schools in the state. IMO the private schools should have their own state tournament funded with their tuition money. I've often wondered how the town of New Ulm can field 2 state tournament bound softball teams in the same season without recruiting by Cathedral HS.

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brightonjimJul. 31, 13 1:26 PM

Bear_32 asked if multiple classes really helped small schools in hockey. The answer is resoundingly YES! While private schools have won most of the titles, Class 1A hockey has allowed small school hockey to continue to exist. Without Class 1A, you would have had many small schools drop hockey altogether because their chance to compete would be virtually nil. Since the addition of Class 1A, places like Little Falls, Sauk Rapids, Albert Lea, Princeton, Hutchinson, Chisago Lakes and Silver Bay have made state tournament appearances. And it's led to a rebirth of hockey on the Iron Range, albeit on a smaller scale. Believe me, none of that would have happened without Class 1A.

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