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The "success factor" has been put on hold.
On Monday, the Illinois High School Association board of directors voted to wait until the 2015-16 school year to implement the success factor criteria and changes to the enrollment multiplier waiver for non-boundaried schools.
Among the programs affected by this vote is Montini football, which has reached five consecutive state finals, winning four. Now the Broncos likely will stay in Class 5A.
"We're still business as usual," Montini coach Chris Andriano said. "We'll prepare like we always do. ... We were actually kind of looking forward to 6A."
Still, the success factor and multiplier changes had been approved by the board in February, and the latest change caught some off guard.
"A little bit surprised," was the reaction of Jim Prunty, who recently resigned as St. Ignatius athletic director and was on the committee that came up with the changes. "The committee spent a lot of time, a lot of energy making the recommendations.
"I don't know if anybody thought it would be postponed a year."
In a statement released by the IHSA, board president and Wauconda principal Dan Klett said: "The Board believes that the changes approved ... in February will help maintain competitive balance in the state. However, conversations with school personnel in our respective districts led the Board to believe that more education and feedback was needed before implementing these changes."
The board also approved a tweak to the success factor, which will bump teams up a class if they win two state trophies in a four-year span. The change requires one of those two trophies to come within the previous two seasons for the team to be subject to the criteria.
Prunty, who attended Monday's board meeting, had hoped to get the board to consider limiting the success factor to bracketed team sports such as basketball, football, baseball, softball and wrestling. As written, it applies to non-bracketed sports as well.
"I just feel it's apples and oranges," Prunty said. "You have to win regionals, you have to win sectionals [in basketball]; in cross country, you just have to qualify [by placing in the top five]. I tried to make the case for them not to be part of this process."
Also, the board voted to create a committee to review how teams are matched in the bracketed team sport playoffs. Football coaches, especially those at larger schools, have pushed to seed the classes on a 1-32 basis instead of two 1-16 brackets or a 1-16 and two 1-8 brackets.