The Kansas State High School Activities Association has changed the classification groupings and now
that we’re through the Fall season, everyone has had a chance to see how they impact our various
activities programs. These changes have been a few years in the making and they’ve created questions
for many since we’re experiencing it for the first time.
To summarize the changes, football classes and playoff systems were changed, as were all other activities. Football is
treated differently from other activities, as it always has been. This is primarily because football districts are built on a
two year, home and away cycle. In Class 6A, 5A, and 4A there are now 32 teams in each class. 3A and 2A each have 48
teams. A 1A eleven-man football class was created. Eight-man football schools are still divided into two divisions. For
all other activities, there are 36 schools in 6A, 5A and 4A. There are 64 schools in 3A and 2A, while 1A has 118. For
these activities the KSHSAA reduced the number of classifications by removing the 4A divisions and the 1A divisions.
So what does this mean for Cheney? Well, generally, Cheney was and still is a 3A school for all activities. For football
purposes, enrollment of grades 9-11 is counted every other year. Cheney is the second smallest 3A school with an
enrollment number of 183 in those three grades. Essentially, the bottom half of 4A football schools (32) became 3A
schools for football. In all other activities, Cheney is ranked 33 of 64 in terms of enrollment with 231 in all four grades.
Essentially, the twenty smallest 4A schools from the previous system are now 3A schools. More specifically, each
activity will see some change, whether it be the playoff format or simply the teams that we are accustomed to seeing.
Cross Country, Debate, Game Day Cheer, Wrestling, Scholars’ Bowl, Track & Field and Forensics – The format remains
the same. The level of competition increases as the larger schools (20) that came down into 3A are more likely to have
Football – The most change came to football with classification change and playoff format change. There are now
eight districts of six teams each in 3A. This means that your final five games are pre-determined by KSHSAA and they
are the District games. The top four teams from each District advance to the playoffs in Week 9 of the season. After
Week 9, only 16 teams will remain in the playoffs which allows for a weekly bracket to be played out with the State
championship game on Thanksgiving weekend. No longer will 3A football teams have to finish their season on a
Thursday, play a playoff game on a Tuesday, then another playoff game five days later on a Saturday.
Golf – The format for Regionals and State remain the same, but the number of schools per classification is different
because of the number of schools that offer golf. The breakdown is 6A - 36, 5A - 36, 4A - 40% of remaining, 3-2-1A -
60% of remaining. In our recently completed season, we saw in increase in the number of full teams at Regional,
making State qualifying more competitive.
Volleyball, Basketball, Baseball and Softball – The format remains the same. The change will be seen in the teams that
we play. Recently our Sub State tournaments would feature mostly league schools, however, schools like Conway
Springs, Garden Plain, and Independent are now 2A schools.
Bowling – It will remain the same as there are only two classes, 6A and 5-1A.
Music Festivals – The size of schools will change, but since we receive a rating and are not in direct competition with
other schools, there is no change in format.