IHSAA makes changes to sectionals

INDIANAPOLIS — A new success factor point system, as well as Elkhart Central and Elkhart Memorial consolidating into one school will have an impact on the high school football state tournament assignments in Class 6A and Class 5A for the next two years.

The IHSAA Executive Committee approved the changes on Monday and it severely impacts several Elkhart County schools.

For the 2019 football season, the local Class 5A sectional will have Elkhart Central, Elkhart Memorial, Concord, Mishawaka and South Bend Adams. Goshen, which was originally in the sectional, now moves to a sectional with Fort Wayne schools Dwenger, North and Northrup.

When the two Elkhart schools combine in the fall of 2020 and the new Elkhart High School playing in Class 6A, Goshen returns to the local sectional with Concord, Mishawaka and Adams. Elkhart will be in the 6A sectional with Penn, Chesterton and Portage.

The modification to the tournament success factor voted on at the April 29 IHSAA meeting, lowered the number of points needed (from 3 points to 2 points) by a school already playing in a higher classification to continue playing in that same class for another two years. Schools that win a regional championship in a single season or a sectional championship in consecutive seasons would remain in the higher class. The rule previously had required three points to continue in that higher class.

With that rule change, Fort Wayne Snider will remain in 6A and Indianapolis Cathedral will remain in 5A for the next two football seasons. Snider has been assigned to 6A, Sectional 3, while Cathedral will play in 5A, Sectional 13. Both schools had expected to drop a class this fall.

Both Cathedral and defending state champion New Palestine will be based in the south region for 2019 and '20.

With Elkhart High in Class 6A in 2020, Zionsville will move from 6A to 5A for one year in 2020.

Under the past landscape, Valparaiso would have split time between 6A and 5A, but will now spend both years in 5A, Sectional 9, where they could see two-time defending regional champion Michigan City.

Another school affected is Carmel, which will compete in 6A, Sectional 4 in 2019 and 6A Sectional 5 in 2020. The Greyhounds will be in the north region this fall, but will have to come through the south in 2020.

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