At this time last year, there was some serious talk that come realignment (earlier this month) the UIL would implement a Class 6A in Texas sports.
Other states, such as Oklahoma, have a Class 6A but Texas never has as Class 5A has always been the top of the roost in Texas interscholastic sports.
UIL director Charles Breithaupt was interviewed by the good folks at the Amarillo Globe-News recently in regards to Amarillo Tascosa getting stuck in Class 5A in a district that will force them to travel 4,000 miles to complete a district schedule, which is insane. Sidenote: As a West Texas son, I never want to hear people complain about traveling to Wichita Falls.
Anyway, in the interview, Breithaupt also addressed the possibility of an addition of Class 6A, which would change the current landscape pretty drastically.
On the chances of adding a Class 6A in the next realignment:
“I actually saw it happening last time. I tell you why I think it has more of a value now We are already crowning six state champions in basketball and six in football, times two, when you count Six-Man.
“If we tweak some numbers I think we can do some good things in balancing our conferences again. That would be getting back to a reasonable amount of teams in our conferences. I say that because we have 250 teams in 4A and 245 in 5A. If we could look at reducing those we might not have the issues we have now in the current alignment.
“What we have been trying to do is stretch the middle instead of bringing from the top to the bottom. We would have to add more schools to the smaller conferences and reduce the numbers in the top conferences. I think we have enough schools to do that now. We were close last time to passing a 6A conference alignment. I think it has more merit now.”
On the number of schools that might compete in Class 6A:
“With the numbers of schools we have playing football and basketball, and that number is right at 1,200 football and more than that for basketball, I think you could say 200 per conference. It will matter what our school superintendents think about equity. How many schools is a valid state championship? Is it 50, 100, 200?”
A reclassification would likely mean Denton, Guyer and Ryan would all be Class 5A, while a school like Lake Dallas would remain at the Class 4A level. Class 6A would be reserved for schools like Allen, the Plano schools, and just as a shot in the dark, any school with an enrollment above, say, 3,000 or so? Maybe 3,500?
It was almost a certainty last year that this would happen at this past realignment but talk died down suddenly. It sounds like 2014 could be a different story.