One Last Point: Stuck with six
Written by Jef Hatch, Pilot staff writer   
March 26, 2013 09:17 pm

The OSAA classification districting committee has made what amounts to a final decision regarding the number of divisions to be had in the Oregon School Activities Association.

While the latest is just sixth in a long line of drafts and ideas, it is the one most likely to stick until the next time they redistrict the OSAA and the one that makes the most sense.

According to the meeting summary provided by the OSAA, the committee had received testimony regarding a five-class system with six classes in football only, but felt that most would be better served with a six-class system.

I agree with the six-class system. I think it provides a more balanced playing field, especially for those schools that would find themselves outmatched when they are at the bottom edge of the curve with regards to student enrollment.

But, I strongly disagree with schools creating programs that allow them to seperate their total enrollment into different groups and dropping in classification groups.

Which is what has happened with Marshfield and, to a lesser extent, North Bend High Schools.

Marshfield has taken the enrollement numbers from their non-traditional education program and seperated them out when they report to the OSAA.

That allows them to drop into the 4A classification and the Far West League with the Bruins, while having the highest enrollment (609 students) of any of the FWL schools, but drawing on the athletes who are in the non-traditional program.

North Bend (375) does it as well, able to draw on the students of Oregon Coast Technology (175) for athletes but not required to report the additional students to the OSAA.

While it fits within the rules for Oregon schools, it seems underhanded and cheap to me that a school like Brookings-Harbor (459) has to compete with what are essentially two 5A schools.

At least the FWL will still have six teams — South Umpqua dropped to the 3A division due to dwindling enrollement.