(6-16-18) The summer continues to be a busy one for issues facing the battle of Public vs Private. Two states are very active right now, West Virginia and Alabama.

The Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) issues has already reached the court after a member school, St. Paul’s Episcopal, filed a lawsuit to stop a new competitive balance plan that has been put into place along with the long-time multiplier already in place.

St. Paul’s response to the the AHSAA response from June 15th:

St. Paul's Response

St. Paul’s has argued that competitive balance – in addition to the long standing 1.35 student multiplier in place since 1999 is unique to Alabama and results in a double penalty for many private schools.

Not so fast, since Illinois (Illinois High School Association) already has a plan in place that incorporates a multiplier and a success factor that is used only for private schools,  Alabama is not the first and only state in the US to have that practice.


IHSA By-Law 3.170 requires a 1.65 multiplier be applied to the enrollment of every non-boundaried school. Waivers of the 1.65 multiplier are granted to individual sport and activity programs on a yearly basis. A sport or activity program at a particular school is not eligible for an automatic waiver for the current school term if, over the course of the previous four school terms, the program (as a team) has accomplished any of the following:

  •    1. Won a state tournament trophy.
  •    2. Qualified for the state final tournament (the final weekend of play).
  •    3. Accumulated four points based on highest title attained each season (sectional title=2, regional title=1).

All other sport and activity programs are granted an automatic waiver of the 1.65 multiplier.

Success Adjustment

A non-boundaried school that has won two trophies in the same class over the past four school terms, and at least one trophy in the past two school terms, is subject to the success adjustment. Individual sports programs are moved up one class that meet those indicators. Plus those successful sports also have the multiplier added to their enrollment numbers.

On June 11th the AHSAA lawyers responded to the court action:

AHSAA conclusion

The results of this court’s rulings on June 22nd will be looked at by many private schools around the country, the decision could change the landscape of what we see taking place today. Public vs. Private is a long way from being resolved in US high school sports.

Alabama’s Competitive Balance Plan

ahsaa cbplan