Should Whether a High School is Public or Private be Considered When Creating Sports Divisions? [Poll]
Not all schools were happy with the results, but it was more surprising to hear that "alignment was affected by public schools not wanting to play parochial schools".
Should whether a high school is public or private be considered when creating sports divisions?
With the addition of Spring Lake and Fruitport, the O-K Conference will have 50 teams beginning in the fall of 2016.
Eight of the teams in the O-K Conference are private schools: Calvin Christian, Catholic Central, Grand Rapids Christian, Holland Christian, NorthPointe Christian, South Christian, Unity Christian and West Catholic.
The O-K Conference currently has eight divisions with six schools in each division. Starting in fall of 2016, there will be six divisions of seven schools and one division with eight schools.
The new divisions are roughly based on size with the biggest three divisions (Red/Black/White) having no parochial schools. The other four divisions have two parochial schools each.
The O-K Conference Handbook talks about using student population rankings and geography when determining divisions, but there appears to have been other factors.
West Catholic Athletic Director Dan Rohn said, "concerns were voiced at the OK Conference meeting of principals, superintendents, and AD’s, indicating the alignment was affected by public schools not wanting to play parochial schools."
It's almost impossible to find a perfect alignment when setting divisions for so many schools. Geography and enrollment are important considerations.
Should any other factors be considered?