NOWHERE BUT TEXAS
Nothing quite like the University Interscholastic League (UIL) exists anywhere else in the nation. Created over a century ago to organize interscholastic academic and athletic competitions for primary and secondary schools the UIL has grown into the largest organization of its kind, with more than two million students participating in activities each year.
Every two years the UIL performs their Biennial Reclassification and Realignment process to respond to growth or loss of student population in schools and to allow for new schools to enter into districts to compete in UIL Academics and Athletics.
It’s a long procedure that starts in early November after every Texas high school sends in their current enrollment figures to the UIL, otherwise known as “Snapshot Day.”
Friday, October 30th, the designated “Snapshot Day,” marked the first step for the UIL Biennial Reclassification and Realignment for 2016-2018. The UIL uses those enrollment figures, or the Average Daily Membership (ADM), to determine which schools belong in a certain classification. The ADM, or population of a school on a specific day, then establishes their classifications, which ranges from 6A to A.
CUTOFF NUMBERS RELEASED EARLY
During the classification cutoff process, UIL officials are only looking at numbers. Unlike popular belief, and according to UIL officials, there is no bias shown to one school over another because no school names are attached to their enrollment numbers.
There is new variation that began to the erstwhile blueprint as the UIL now announces the conference enrollment cutoff numbers in December for the 2016-18 alignment. Through the early release of cutoff and enrollment numbers schools and fans can project their rise or fall in classification. This becomes beneficial in scheduling and preparation but schools cannot sign binding contracts for games until after the announcement date of February 1st.
Below are all the new cutoff numbers for the 2016-18 alignment. The enrollment minimum for Class 6A, the largest conference in the UIL, increased from 2,100 students to 2,150.
6A 2150 and above
5A 1100 – 2149
4A 480 – 1099
3A 221 – 479
2A 105 – 220
1A 104.9 and below
1A – 4A Football Division I and Division II Numbers
4A Division I 723 – 1099
4A Division II 480 – 722
3A Division I 319 – 479
3A Division II 221 – 318
2A Division I 158 – 220
2A Division II 105 – 157
1A Division I 59 – 104.9
1A Division II 58 and below
A TRIED AND TRUE SYSTEM
Not only are schools that compete in UIL Academics and Athletics put into classifications according to their “Snapshot Day” enrollment numbers they are then placed into districts. This becomes the most important aspect of the entire process and the most guarded by the UIL…. where a school lands in a district.
People outside of the school business would assume a computer program with some form of analytical and geographical software with algorithms is used to help realign the UIL districts every two years— but that is far from how things are done.
According to my old friend and former UIL Athletic Director Cliff Odenwald the UIL uses an "old system but a true system."
The UIL continues to use maps, pushpins and rubber bands, to align districts in a way that “offers minimal travel.” After the schools have been placed into a classification, by population and not name on a map, the rubber band is then placed around pushpins to draw the geographic boundary of the district.
The UIL uses rubber bands to place around the pushpins of one district to get an idea of how close each school is to the next in a state that spans more than 265,000 square miles. The UIL attempts to make the districts have an even-numbered amount of schools for the 1,400 plus high schools in the state.
The UIL will announce the 2016-2018 realignment and final district placements on Feb. 1st. After the announcement, schools can appeal the UIL's decision and will request to move up in classification and others will appeal to change districts because of travel concerns.
CHECK OUT THE OLD COACH PONDERINGS AND PROJECTIONS
(LINKS BELOW WITHOUT RUBBER BANDS AND PUSHPINS)
THE OLD COACH CLASS 6A PROJECTIONS
CLASS 6A DISCUSSIONS AND OPINIONS
THE OLD COACH CLASS 5A PROJECTIONS
CLASS 5A DISCUSSIONS AND OPINIONS