TullyRunners -  Article


Some Info Regarding the 2011 Proposed Cut-Off Numbers for Four Classes

by Bill Meylan (June 15, 2011)


Background ... In early May 2011, the NYSPHSAA voted to change Cross Country from the existing five-class enrollment divisions (AA, A, B, C, D) to four-class enrollment divisions (A, B, C, D).  The voters were the respective Section Directors.  The meeting minutes have not been published (as yet), so the reason for the change is not available ... I have been told that some people thought cross country was "over-represented" at the State Meet (meaning too many kids were running at States) ... also, a change to four classes would save money ... I tend to like four classes because it shortens the time spent at sectionals and States by about an hour (others will disagree).

The Proposed Cut-Off Numbers ... The table below shows the Proposed, Existing and 2003 Cut-Offs numbers (for comparison, four classes were used in 2003):

 Proposed Cut-Offs           Existing Cut-Offs             2003 Cut-Offs
 Class A ... 911 - up        Class AA ... 1025+            Class A ... 911 - up 
 Class B ... 470 - 910       Class A ... 645 - 1024        Class B ... 518 - 910
 Class C ... 260 - 469       Class B ... 425 - 644         Class C ... 318 - 517
 Class D ... 0 - 259         Class C ... 256 - 424         Class D ... 0 - 317  
                             Class D ... 0 - 255

Where Did the Proposed Numbers Come From?? ... The Proposed Cut-Offs (and associated info) were graciously sent to me by Chuck Wiltse (the Boy's State Cross Country Coordinator) ... The individuals involved in the conference that finalized the proposed numbers were Chuck Wiltse, Marbry Gansle (the Girl's State Cross Country Coordinator), Todd Nelson (NYSPHSAA, Assistant Director) and Robert Stulmaker (NYSPHSAA, Assistant Director).

The actual numbers were apparently derived by Todd Nelson ... the data is based on the latest stats provided to the NYSPHSAA by 583 respective school Athletic Directors (I assume these are the schools that run cross country) ... The proposed numbers will be presented to the NYSPHSAA Central Committee in August for ratification ... Those involved in finalizing the proposed numbers believe they will make the most equitable and fair competition with four classes.

The proposed class cut-offs are based on 583 schools ... The following data and table were provided to show the Proposed Class Cut-Offs by numbers, percentages and by section:

               Number of    Percent
                Schools     by Class
  A   911-Up      146        25.04%
  B   470-910     162        27.78%
  C   260-469     152        26.07%
  D   0-259       123        21.10%

  Section I Section II Section III Section IV Section V Section VI Section VII Section VIII Section IX Section X Section XI
Class A 23 11 14 5 15 12 0 24 10 0 33
Class B 24 19 15 7 20 26 2 26 10 2 12
Class C 18 24 23 12 22 21 5 4 12 5 5
Class D 4 17 24 17 35 11 2 0 7 3 3
Total 69 71 76 41 92 70 9 54 39 10 53

Looking at the Proposed Numbers ... The one stat that jumps out is the lower number of schools (and percentage) in Class "D" ... Effectively, Class "D" is remaining the same in the four-class division as it was in the five-class division (0-259 vs. 0-255), and the other classes are being reapportioned ... According to the info provided, "If we went with our traditional 25% split in schools, we would have 146 class D schools with over 85% in sections 2,3,4 and 5; Todd’s proposal lessens that number down to 123".

I am definitely surprised ... I thought some statistical "weighting" might occur, but I thought the weighting would occur with Class "A" due to the large enrollment numbers per school ... Surprised that the weighting occurred in Class "D".

More Statistics (My Own) ... I admit it - I'm a Statistics Geek ... First off, it is relatively easy to support a wide range of potential cut-off numbers with statistics ... The first "unofficial" proposed numbers sent my way were quite a bit different than the above "official" numbers, but they were easy to support with statistics ... It all depends on criteria ... For example, "consider just complete teams??", "consider incomplete teams??", "weight the statistics??", etc.

Criteria ... (1) It seems the NYSPHSAA is considering all schools that run cross country (regardless if the school has just one runner or many runners ... a school with one runner is equal to a school with many runners) ... (2) apparently, there is a "traditional 25% split in schools" (when four classes are involved) ... (3) weighting can occur.

Ignoring the "weighting" criteria (because it's subjective) ... I decided to collect statistics for school participation at the 2010 XC sectionals ... these stats cover both boys & girls teams ... they include incomplete teams and then count and classify the incomplete teams.

History repeats itself ... A good way to predict the future is to look at the past ... So how many NYSPHSAA schools actually ran at the 2010 sectionals meets by section and class?? ... Some "dog-work" and counting yields the following table:

Total Number of Schools at Sectionals 2010 by Section & Class:

  Class AA Class A Class B Class C Class D Total
Section 1 16 15 12 12 4 59
Section 2 13 10 17 19 13 72
Section 3 12 7 14 18 20 71
Section 4 4 4 9 12 14 43
Section 5 10 16 16 17 30 89
Section 6 10 14 18 13 10 65
Section 7 0 0 4 3 3 10
Section 8 17 26 9 4 0 56
Section 9 10 6 8 9 6 39
Section 10 0 2 2 4 3 11
Section 11 21 14 5 5 2 47
Total 113 114 114 116 105 562

Count considers schools at sectionals (note - Section 8 count uses conference championships because Section 8 likes to be different) ... Boys and/or girl schools considered ... Note: the Total school count of 562 is actually is bit too high (by about a half-a-dozen or so) because a few schools were double-counted since the respective boys & girls teams from these schools competed in different classes ... For example, Section 10 had only ten schools, but total count is 11 (Canton girls were Class A and Canton boys Class B); I wanted total class counts as a stat to see the actual number of schools that competed in each class.

Complete vs. Incomplete Teams at Sectionals 2010 by Section, Class ...

  Class AA Class A Class B Class C Class D
Section 1 B(1) B(1), G(2) B(2)  B(1), G(4) B(1), G(1)
Section 2 G(1) B(1) ,G(1) G(3) B(3), G(4) B(2), G(8)
Section 3 G(1) G(1) G(1) B(3), G(3) B(7), G(8)
Section 4 G(2)   B(1), G(1) B(1), G(5) B(9), G(7)
Section 5 B(1) B(2), G(1) B(1), G(4) G(5) B(9), G(9)
Section 6 G(1) G(2) B(1), G(9) B(3) B(2), G(2)
Section 7       B(1), G(1) B(1), G(2)
Section 8 G(3) B(3), G(3) B(2), G(2) G(1)  
Section 9   B(1), G(2) G(2) B(1), G(3) B(3)
Section 10       B(1), G(1) G(1)
Section 11 G(4) B(2), G(3) G(1) G(1)  
Total B(2), G(12) B(10), G(15) B(7), G(23) B(14), G(28) B(34), G(38)

Note - B stands for Boys, G for Girls; number in parentheses is the number of incomplete teams ... From the table above this table, there were 105 Class "D" schools at sectionals in 2010 ... From this table, 34 of the Boys Class D teams were incomplete and 38 of the Girls Class D teams were incomplete ... In Total, there were 67 incomplete Boys teams and 116 incomplete Girls teams at sectionals ... That's what happened in 2010.

Looking at Fall 2011 ... To approximate the cut-offs based on a "traditional 25% split", I performed the following steps:

(1) Collected the 2011-2012 enrollment classification numbers from the NYSPHSAA web-site (http://www.nysphsaa.org/classification/) ... The enrollment numbers I used are available on my Class Division-Fall 2011 web-page) ... I made some corrections to the data downloaded from the NYSPHSAA (several Section 5 schools were listed as Section 4 schools (e.g. Honoeye Falls-Lima) ... at least, I don't think those schools are moving to Section 4).

(2) Correlate (match-up) every school that competed at XC sectionals in 2010 with their respective 2011-2012 enrollment number.

(3) Add in additional schools that were known to have XC teams in 2010, but did not compete at sectionals ... I found a few ... Primarily, I looked at results from league championship meets (if a school did not compete at sectionals or leagues, excluding them from this exercise seems reasonable) ... For example in Section 3, Carthage and Old Forge did not compete at sectionals, but did compete at leagues, so I added them.

(4) Subtract schools that are known to be dropping XC ... Unfortunately, Unatego (Section 4) is dropping XC and will not be hosting their annual Unatego Invitational.

(5) There are always "considerations" and "uncertainties" in this type exercise ... For example:

 ..... A fair of schools combine to form a single team ... for example, Westhill and Bishop Ludden combined to become Westhill-Ludden and are planning to do so again this coming fall ... their individual enrollment numbers are added together (468+181=649), and for my purposes here, the combined entity is considered for the cut-off split (and the individual schools are excluded) ... Corning East and Corning West combining in Section 4 is another example ... I don't know if the NYSPHSAA does this or not, but my "total school" number (566) is slightly lower than the 583 total used by the NYSPHSAA, and this may be one reason.

 ..... Some of the private schools in the NYSPHSAA have their actual enrollment numbers "ignored" or "doubled" or "something else" by their respective sections ... Section 2 "artificially" raises the classification of a number of private schools by "some method" (apparently one method is no school can be classified lower than the lowest existing team in the league) ... Handling these uncertainties is something of a guessing game ... I approached it in several ways, (a) make my best guess based on 2010 where they will get placed (and approximate a corresponding enrollment), (b) leave the NYSPHSAA enrollment "as is", and (c) exclude these schools altogether ... This leads to slightly different projected cut-offs (but not that much different for this purpose).

Approximated Cut-Offs ... Based on the above methodology, I came up with a total of 566 schools (or combined schools) for consideration ... Applying an even four-class division-split of a sorted list of enrollment numbers and applying my "track & field mentality" of using a "natural break" in numbers, the approximated cut-offs are:

 Class A ... 918 - up   (911 to 926 possible low end)
 Class B ... 501 - 917  (488 to 513 possible low end) 
 Class C ... 299 - 500  (290 to 303 possible low end)
 Class D ...   0 - 298  (289 possible top end)

I used 566 schools ... the NYSPHSAA used 583 schools ... dividing the NYPHSAA 583 numbers into equal 25% sections might well yield divisions vey similar to to my numbers above.

NOTE ... Fairly different cut-offs can be derived by ignoring incomplete teams or by weighting the large schools instead of the small schools, but I doubt the NYSPHSAA will do that .... Based on the proposed cut-offs, the only argument seems to be the weighting applied to Class D.




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