The proposal to split Class 4A into two divisions for 5 sports has passed its first hurdle. Last Friday, members of the Kansas State High School Board of Directors voted to allow 4A high schools to vote on the issue.
4A high school principals were receiving their ballots in the mail at the end of this week. Initiative proponent Steve Blankenship of Pratt High School received his Friday. According to Blankenship, ballots must be returned before noon on June 3 to KSHSAA. Not long thereafter, KSHSAA will make a public announcement whether the initiative passed.
If a majority (33) of the 4A principals vote in the affirmative, the plan would become effective immediately for all sports involved except for football. With the two-year scheduling that goes on in football, 4A would not begin division play in football until the fall of 2014.
However, if the proposal passes, divisional play would be in effect for volleyball fall 2013, boys and girls basketball winter 2013-14 and baseball/softball spring 2014.
A tentative announcement could be forthcoming earlier if enough schools vote in the affirmative before the June 3 deadline. Blankenship intends to stay apprised of the voting as it proceeds, and if enough schools publicly favor the initiative, a tentative announcement to that effect might be made. However, KSHSAA will not make an official announcement until after the June 3 deadline.
Cautiously optimistic, Blankenship believes his proposal has the support of at least 40 4A schools. “Of course, the smaller schools are in favor of it,” he said. “But there’s no real disadvantage to the larger 4As either. Even the larger schools recognize it’s a good thing. They can see that it will help them too, because the smaller 4As typically dominate some sports, like wrestling.”