According to a source close to the story, the Missouri State High School Athletic Association advisory board has recommended splitting schools into two classes for swimming to accommodate the large number of schools in the state.
The advisory board has made a recommendation splitting the girls into two classes, with the 48 largest schools in one class, and the remaining schools in the other. As of now, there are 128 schools in the MSHSAA offering women’s swimming, which is why the suggestion was brought to light.
After hearing that they were in the works to divide the girls schools into two classes, a petition was created to try and get the boys schools divided as well. There has been tons of support thus far, however the advisory board will be waiting to see if the decision for the boys split will be voted in this spring.
As of now the proposition is to have the boys split into two classes with the top 36 schools in one class, and the remaining schools in the other. The recommendation will now be moved to the MSHSAA board, who has the right to approve or reject the advisory committee’s recommendations.
The advisory committee is also proposing a change to the state meet in order to reflect the division of the schools. Their suggestion is to run it on the same weekend, spread out over three days, with one class finishing Friday morning, and the other finishing Saturday evening.
The proposition includes changes to qualifying standards to match the two classes. As of now, the plan is to have qualifying standards for the two separate classed to be the same. There will be both an ‘A’ and ‘B’ qualifying standard with 32 available spots in each event per class.
Swimmers who don’t meet the required standards will be entered with consideration times, and will be added to the meet to fill up available spots if needed. On the occasion that there will be more than 32 automatic qualifiers, more heats will be added to accommodate the athletes.
Under this plan, the qualifying standards will be created in March. After the first year of competing with the new adjustments, the standards will be changed to reflect the separate classes based on performance data at next year’s state meet.