Tag Archives: IHSAA

Three-class soccer for Indiana

Prov state champs

Providence was an immediate beneficiary of the two-class system when introduced in Indiana in 2011, winning the Girls’ State Class A title in its inaugural year. The Pioneers will remain in Class A of a three-class structure when it commences in the fall.

New classifications released today

The Indiana High School Athletic Association last month approved adding a third class to boys’ and girls’ soccer, based on school enrollment, and today it released the new classifications.

The decision was made by the IHSAA’s executive committee (17-2) in February after 806 individuals – including principals, athletic directors, and boys’ and girls’ head coaches – were surveyed on the idea. Some 72 per cent of respondents (581) favored the additional class.

Soccer has been in a two‐class format since 2011, and was a single-class structure from 1994‐ 2010.

Last fall, 299 boys’ and 266 girls’ teams entered the state tournaments and more are expected for next season. The new sectional assignments will be announced in May.

Below you can find today’s released classifications for the next two years.

Boys Soccer Classifications 2017-19

Girls Soccer Classifications 2017-19


A Q&A with IHSAA Commissioner Bobby Cox

Below is the full version of the Q&A with Indiana High School Athletic Association Commissioner Bobby Cox, which appeared in The Evening News & Tribune yesterday.


The high school soccer season kicks off next week across Southern Indiana, and with it come more changes both on and off the field.

On it, we will see the elimination of the “soft red” card in an attempt to improve sportsmanship.

In one of three changes being introduced by the National Federation of State High School Associations Soccer Rules Committee, a second yellow card will not only disqualify a player, but the team will not be permitted to substitute for him or her.

Off it, we have seen the introduction of the two-class system by the Indiana High School Athletic Association in 2011.

Then, a few weeks ago, a new two-year tournament success factor was approved for all team sports, including soccer.

It involves an accumulation of points by which a school will move up a class based on tournament-series performance during that time.

Success achieved during the 2011-12 and 2012-13 school years will be used to determine classifications in 2013-14.

So we thought it would be a good time to put a few questions to IHSAA Commissioner Bobby Cox about recent changes and how the organization believes they will affect the fifth-most popular sport at the high school level.

Cox commenced in his new role in 2011, having served as assistant commissioner since 2000 administering the sports of football, boys’ golf, boys’ and girls’ track and field, and wrestling.

He is a graduate of Carmel High School and spent 21 years as a teacher, coach and athletic administrator in the Carmel Clay Schools.

Kick It: There has been a bit of a shake-up in numerous high school sports in Indiana coinciding with your appointment as commissioner, including soccer which saw the introduction of two classes in 2011. How do you feel the new structure has fared so far and what kind of feedback have you had on it?

Bobby Cox: The change to two classes in soccer was motivated by the soccer coaches’ association after several years of surveying their membership and a growing level of support during that time to classify the tournament. After year one, I feel the tournament went well. As our membership continues to polarize with regard to enrollment, I feel that two classes will serve soccer well.

KI: You are quoted as saying the introduction of the two-year tournament success factor “will prove to enhance the team-sport experience” across the disciplines that it will affect. How do you see it enhancing the experience in soccer?

BC: As more schools add soccer to their sport offerings, the opportunities that the success factor will provide will extend to soccer.  Obviously that will increase should soccer move to three or more classes in time. … Additional classes in soccer will come when the number of schools that offer the sport increases. Our by-laws provide that when 75 percent of the membership (currently at 408 full-member schools) is participating in the sport, a third class may be created and when 95 percent of the membership participates, a fourth class may be added.

KI: So while there were 292 boys’ teams involved in postseason competition last year (around 72 percent), the girls total of 252 teams (62 percent) would need to increase by around 54 programs for a third class to be considered. So when do you foresee a three-class structure, based on growth projections?

BC: You are correct.  Both genders would need to achieve the 75 percent threshold to consider three classes. Given the current financial climate at our member schools and a growth rate of less than three schools annually, I do not foresee three classes in soccer for quite some time.

KI: So is it fair to say then that the “opportunities” that the success factor will provide to the sport in the immediate years will be minimal while it remains as a two-class sport?

BC: Obviously there will not be as much movement of schools when there is only two classes as opposed to four or six.

KI: Wouldn’t this therefore give credence to the criticism that the success factor might work with sports with three or more classes, but won’t work as well — maybe even be detrimental — for those who might have to make a potentially big “jump up” in soccer? (For example, Providence, winners of the inaugural Class A girls’ state title and therefore already accumulating four points when you take into account 2011-12, could be taking on schools with up to 10 times as many girls in 2013 should they win at least regional this fall and rack up the six-point total.)

BC: I do not see any detriment to a 1A school that has experienced a level of success necessary to move up to 2A soccer, other than it will be more difficult to win and that is exactly what the program is designed to accomplish.

KI: Are you concerned about schools trying to take advantage of the changes to enhance their chances of success in future years (not making any real effort to perform when moved up a class, for example)?

BC: It is rare to see a school participate in an IHSAA tournament series event and not give their best efforts.  My sense is that if Providence High School’s girls’ soccer team moves into 2A girls’ soccer in 2013-14, they will bring everything they have to the tournament.

KI: There are those that believe private/parochial schools should have their own state tournament because they can recruit from the entire local area and are already in an advantageous position as a result. Is this something the IHSAA has looked at?

BC: The public/private/parochial debate has raged on since the initiation of the multiple-class system in team sports. A proposal to divide the IHSAA membership into public and private divisions was introduced into the Board of Directors agenda this year. The proposal failed and rightfully so. … While private and parochial schools have certain advantages, public schools also possess advantages as well. All these varied advantages are now being addressed by implementing a success factor. At the end of the day, some people are only concerned with what schools are winning IHSAA state championships and those people want to feel as if their school has a fair opportunity to be successful. Thus, we are addressing success.

KI: Other than class changes, has the IHSAA discussed future improvements or alterations to soccer as it grows in popularity?

BC: The executive committee has approved the staff to secure a new location for our state championships. We are looking into options and will name a new state finals venue in August.

New two-class sectionals “most welcome and overdue”

While the imminent introduction of two class soccer for Indiana high schools has had its critics around the state, the concept has had a warm reception locally, described by one area head coach as “most welcome and overdue.”

In February, the IHSAA announced new classifications in six sports for the next two academic years.

And last week, it approved recommendations by realignment committees responsible for placing member schools into sectional groups. The soccer committee was made up of 12 principals and athletic administrators.

For the first time, soccer will be spilt into two classes this fall. Schools with an enrollment at 755 or higher will participate in Class 2A, and those below this figure will play in Class 1A.

In total there are 32 sectionals in boys’ and girls’ Class 2A, and 32 also in boys’ Class 1A. Class 1A girls will see 16 different sectionals.

The area’s Class 2A boys’ and girls’ sectionals will feature the same five schools — Jeffersonville, New Albany, Floyd Central, Jasper and Corydon.

New Albany boys’ head coach Dutch Vigar said he feels the sectional will be “very competitive and tough.”

“Jasper traditionally has a very strong team,” he said.  “We have not played them for one or two years but prior to that, they had a better win-lose record against New Albany than we did against them.  I feel Jasper will be considered one of the top teams in the sectional.” 

The Bulldogs’ girls’ coach, Julie Deuser, said she is looking forward to the new sectional line up.

“I have always heard that Jasper has a competitive program, so I think their addition will make the tournament a lot more interesting,” she said.

Boys’ Class A, meanwhile, will see schools from the area in two different five team sectionals. Sectional 59 will comprise Charlestown, Henryville, Austin, Salem and Trinity Lutheran, while Sectional 60 will see Christian Academy of Indiana, Providence, Rock Creek, Silver Creek and North Harrison battle it out.

The boys’ tournament will then have a two-game format at both the regional and semi-state rounds in both classes.

On the girls’ side in Class A, there will be a large seven team Sectional 45 tournament featuring Charlestown, Christian Academy of Indiana, Providence, Silver Creek, Rising Sun, Southwestern and Switzerland County.

Following sectionals, the girls’ tournament will have a two-game regional championship in 2A and a one-game regional in Class 1A. The semi-states will be a two-game format in both classes.

The tentative format for the tournament series will be voted upon during the IHSAA Executive Committee meeting on June 23.

If anyone could call themselves “big winners” in relation to the restructuring, it would be have to be Providence girls, whose head coach Dave Smith feels more changes are forthcoming.

“In my opinion, it is a most welcome and overdue change for our sport,” said Smith. “I also believe this is not the end of the progression, as I look for soccer to have three and eventually four postseason classes, based on enrollment, in the coming years.”

Of the 32 sectional girls’ winners in last season’s IHSAA tournament, only two – Providence and Evansville Mater Dei — will contest in the new Class 1A. State semi-finalist Guerin Catholic from Noblesville has opted to play up one class, the only school to do so in any sport.

Smith said that Charlestown, Silver Creek and CAI are all programs on the rise, but that the Pioneers have a “good shot” at doing well.

“No question, the new system will create opportunities for more of the 1A schools to advance in postseason,” said Smith. “What is most exciting is that, now, the albatross of having to play schools with enrollments of 2,000 additional students, as was the case when we played Columbus North last October on the road to Indianapolis, has been removed.”

The downside, he added, is fewer local rivalry games in the tournament, and more travel because of the distance between schools.

“But there are always pros and cons,” he said. “I applaud the IHSAA for their forward-thinking move on this issue.”


Tentative format for the 2011 girls’ and boys’ soccer tournament series. The proposal will be voted upon during the IHSAA Executive Committee meeting on June 23.


Boys Tournament Series – Class 1A and Class 2A

Sectional (at 32 sites)

4 Teams – October 5, 7, or 8

5-6 Teams – October 3, 5, 7, or 8


Regional (at 8 sites)

4 Teams – October 13, 15

Semi-State (at 2 sites) – both classes at each site

4 teams – October 22

Semi-finals – 10:00am, 12:00pm

Finals – 6:00pm, 8:00pm

State Final

Class 1A, October 29, 12:30pm

Class 2A, October 29, 7:00pm

Girls Tournament Series – Class 1A and Class 2A

Sectional Class 1A (at 16 sites)

6 Teams – October 4, 6, 8

7-8 Teams – October 3, 4, 6, 8

Class 2A (at 32 sites)

4 Teams – October 6, 8

5-6 Teams – October 4, 6, 8

Regional (at 8 sites)

Class 1A – 4 Sites

2 Teams – October 15

Class 2A – 4 Sites

4 Teams – October 12, 15

New Indiana realignment plans announced


The IHSAA’s executive committee has announced the new two class soccer sectional realignment for 2011-12 and 2012-13. For comment/reaction, don’t miss next Tuesday’s Kick It in The Evening News & Tribune.

Boys’ soccer realignment

Girls’ soccer realignment

Top 10 Moments of 2010

Here are our some of our top moments of 2010 – some local, some not so, and in no particular order of preference. If you have anything to add that was memorable for you, please add. A very, merry Christmas to all, and have a kicking new year!



The goal that united a nation: Landon Donovan celebrates the injury time winner against Algeria.

The World Cup: As to be expected, there were many highlights within a rather large highlight as South Africa hosted the World Cup.  Spain emerged as winners for the first time in the nation’s history, after beating the Netherlands in a somewhat dour final. Top U.S. moment was Landon Donovan’s dramatic injury time winner against Algeria, which sent Bob Bradley’s men through to the last 16, where they lost to Ghana in overtime. Another star to make the headlines was Paul the oracle octopus, who predicted correctly all of Germany’s seven encounters and the final itself. Alas, Paul departed for the great sea in the sky after he died in October.


Two class soccer: The moment that the IHSAA announced in May that high school boys’ and girls soccer would be divided into two classes come the fall of 2011 was the moment that certain smaller schools started dreaming of long post season tournament runs and maybe even a state title. The cut off point for the revamped tournaments – to be based on school enrollment – will be known in the spring following the next classification realignment.

Casey Marlin (center) scores against Floyd Central. Photo by Ronda Trimbe.

OT Pioneer winner: Providence’s overtime clincher against the Highlanders in the sectional semi-final is so far one of the best goals I’ve seen since covering local girls’ high school soccer. It was rather apt that it was superbly finished off by Casey Marlin, who broke all manner of records in her junior year (top all-time Providence scorer at 59; most goals in a season with 29), but it was the searing 60 plus yard run by defender Leah Mattingly, leaving a number of Floyd Central players in her wake, and her delivery to Marlin, that made the goal special. Providence went on to win sectional and bowed out at regional to eventual state finalist Columbus North, coached by Jeffersonville’s Mike Spock.


Save clinches regional for Jeff: Jeffersonville goalkeeper Cauldon Feldhaus dove to his left to stop Cameron Hensley’s shot, giving the Red Devils a 5-3 penalty kick victory over Trinity Lutheran for the team’s third regional championship, and first since 2005. “To be honest, I totally guessed,” said Feldhaus. The Red Devils (18-2) lost to Washington at semi-state.


School shocks in Louisville: Soccer powerhouses St Xavier and Sacred Heart, both winners of boys’ and girls’ Kentucky state titles respectively for the past three years, crashed out of their respective tournaments on the very same night. Minnows Louisville Collegiate tamed the Tigers, while DuPont Manual overcame the Valkyries on penalties in a game played over two evenings. Collegiate would later lose to Central Hardin the quarterfinals, while Manual made it to the final four, where it lost to eventual winner St Henry.

Bulldogs do it again.

Déjà vu for New Albany: It  was a case of déjà vu as New Albany, for the second successive year, beat rival Floyd Central on penalties after a scoreless encounter. The Highlanders had gone through the entire season unbeaten, securing the Hoosier Hills Conference along the way.


CAI forces shootout: Beaten 6-0 by the Pioneers during regular season, Christian Academy of Indiana was in no mood for a repeat result. Following a 1-1 tie after overtime, and penalty kicks tied at 3-3 with just one shot remaining for both teams, CAI goalkeeper Tyler Stumler’s effort dramatically hit the crossbar and sped downwards, but was adjudged not to have crossed the line when it bounced off the turf. Ben Orem made no mistake with the last penalty, sending the Pioneers to the championship game, where they lost to Jeffersonville.


Providence wins . . .oops, no it doesn’t! Those who witnessed it said they had never seen anything like it before. With just 20 seconds left, and the game tied at 3-3, Providence took the lead when Pierce Crawley notched his hat-trick. However, Pioneer celebrations were short-lived. In fact, they lasted as long as it took Jennings County’s Matt Flora to kick the ball from the restart at the halfway line perfectly into upper left hand corner of the net to tie proceedings at 4-4.

Eh, where?

US loses World Cup bid: Matching the disappointment of the U.S. losing to Ghana at the World Cup was the awarding of the 2022 tournament by FIFA to Qatar. At one stage considered a strong favorite, the U.S. bid (which included the Colts’ Lucas Oil Stadium as one of the possible venues) lost out to the Persian Gulf nation the size of Connecticut amid allegations of a corrupt selection process driven by oil money. Bah, humbug. Russia won the right to host the 2018 World Cup.

UofL final fling: One of the best moments of 2010 came towards the year’s conclusion, when University of Louisville reached the NCAA Division 1 championship game for the first time in its history. The Cardinals went into the tournament as No. 1 seeds, and beat Charleston, Ohio State and UCLA (in a 5-4 thriller in the snow) in front of bumper home crowds before traveling to the Men’s College Cup in Santa Barbara, Calif. Ken Lolla’s boys beat North Carolina to get to the final, where it lost to No. 3 Akron, a program Lolla had been in charge of from 1993-2005.
Also . . . There was the announcement of a new adult team  for Kentuckiana in the shape of River City Rovers, which will play in the United Soccer League’s Premier Development League, seen as a shop window for aspiring pros. And then on a wider scale, Colorado Rapids won its first MLS Cup over Dallas; Inter Milan being crowned king of Europe and World Club champion; and there was the interesting acquisition of Liverpool FC by John W. Henry, owner of the Boston Red Sox, following a long and drawn out saga.

Jeff’s Spock aims for State glory with Bull Dogs

The area may not have any direct representation at this weekend’s IHSAA state tournament soccer finals, but one of the coaches has local connections.

Columbus North is coached by Jeffersonville native and former Red Devil Mike Spock, who has been teaching at the school for 11 years.

The Lady Bull Dogs marched on the final four on Saturday with a 4-2 semistate championship victory over Castle. Goal machine Kayleigh Steigerwalt netted a hat trick, giving her a school-record 39 goals for the season.  In the earlier afternoon game, they beat Bloomington North 3-0.

Columbus North coach Mike Spock, a former Jeffersonville player, believes Saturday's IHSAA final four game against Guerin Catholic will be a close affair.

Columbus North also ended the dreams of Providence with a 5-0 regional victory at its home ground last Wednesday.

The Lady Bull Dogs are the only team in either the boys’ or girls’ final four that is not ranked in the top 20.

They will take on No.12 Guerin Catholic (18-3-1) at Kuntz Memorial Stadium, Indianapolis (10 a.m.), while the second semifinal will feature  No. 3 South Bend St Joseph’s (20-1-1) and No. 7 Indianapolis Cathedral (16-3-4). The final takes place at 6 p.m.

“The girls played great on Saturday and we’re excited to be on the way to state,” said Mike Spock.

“We played Guerin in the pre-season, winning 2-0, and at a Labor Day tourney (0-1 loss).  The regular season game certainly means more, but both were close so anyone could win on Saturday.” 

In the boys’ semifinals, the No. 6 Indianapolis Cathedral (19-3-1) will play No. 8 Warsaw (20-2-1), while No. 7 Evansville Memorial (16-4-3) will take on No. 10 Lake Central (19-3), both at 12 p.m. The final is scheduled to follow the girls’ championship decider at 8 p.m.

Memorial beat Washington, conquerors of Jeffersonville 5-0 on Saturday, in the semistate final by a 2-0 scoreline.

Both championship games will be available to view live on www.IHSAATV.org on Saturday evening, starting at 6 p.m.