How prep athletic programs rank statewide in each classification

So I spent a little time this summer updating a project I started back in March when I tried to compare athletic programs in the state by how they placed in state competition.

These rankings include the results from this spring. So this makes a full two-year classification cycle of the 2014-15 and 2015-16 school years.

The scoring system is based on team placing at state and goes as such:

  • 5 points – state champion
  • 4 points – state runner-up
  • 3 points – placed third or fourth
  • 2 points – placed fifth thru eighth
  • 1 point – placed 9th thru 16th

These points were awarded in 15 sports sanctioned by the WIAA. Excluded from the system were tennis, golf, gymnastics and bowling.

Tennis and golf were excluded because team scoring in those sports can be so easily swayed by the success of a single participant.

Gymnastics and bowling were excluded because only about half the schools in the state field teams in those sports.

If you have trouble viewing the document above, I’ve included a link here.

The purpose of this exercise isn’t to show which athletic programs are the most successful in the state, although I’m sure it will be used for that purpose (and that’s fine).

It’s more to show the disparity in relation between enrollment size and relative success.

Noted in these rankings next to some schools, you’ll see classifications (4A, 3A, etc). This indicates schools which will be changing classifications beginning this fall for the classification cycle that begins 2016-2017 and ends 2019-2020. The indication of an “o” (as in 4A-o) indicates an opt-up, meaning the school chose to move up in classification.

You will see there are schools that have enjoyed success in their current classification that are being allowed to move down in classification — Gig Harbor, Snohomish, Columbia River — while there are others that have struggled to find success in their current classification that are being required to move up — Hanford, Hudson’s Bay.

Meanwhile, you have other schools that have dominated their current classification —  Bellevue, Holy Names, Liberty of Issaquah, Sehome of Bellingham,  King’s of Seattle — that are allowed to remain right where they are.

There’s another theory here that does not seem supported by data. That theory is that private schools can dominate their classification.

But we can see here that’s not always true. While there are some private schools that rate high, it’s not disproportionate from public schools. In fact, most private schools choose to opt-up from where their enrollment numbers place them.

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