Saturday, March 9, 2013

MSHSL Announces New 2013-2015 Sections

The MSHSL announced new sections for the 2013-14 and 2014-15 school years today. I've only looked at the basketball sections. The changes are fairly minimal unless you happen to be 1 of the schools that changed sections...or classes.

Class AAAA

As best as I can tell only 1 school moved into or out of Class AAAA: Chaska moved from 2AAA to 2AAAA. No Class AAAA school moved down to AAA.

But there were some significant changes within AAAA:

Eden Prairie and Edina moved from 2AAAA, where they faced Kennedy among others, to 6AAAA, where they will face Hopkins.

In return Cooper and Wayzata move from 6AAAA to 2AAAA.

Meanwhile, Burnsville moves from 3AAAA to 2AAAA; Cretin-Derham Hall from 4AAAA to 3AAAA; Roseville from 5AAAA to 4AAAA, where they will now mostly face their Suburban East opponents instead of mostly Northwest Suburban foes; and Coon Rapids from 5AAAA to 7AAAA.

If next year's sections were in place this year there would probably be no change in state tournament entries. The only possible change would be if Roseville might defeat St. Paul Central.

Class AAA

In addition to Chaska departing Class AAA (moving upward), the following schools move from AAA to AA:

• Glencoe from 2AAA to 2AA
• Mpls. Roosevelt from 4AAA to 3AA
• Proctor from 7AAA to 7AA
• East Grand Forks 8AAA to 8AA

And these move from AA to AAA:

• Stewartville 1AA to 1AAA
• Worthington 3AA to 2AAA
• Mpls. Washburn 4AA to 6AAA
• Albany 6AA to 8AAA

If next year's sections were in place right now, Red Wing would not represent section 1AAA because it is moving to 4AAA, where it would face not 1 but 2 other state tournament entries--Hill-Murray and New Prague. The Trojans quite obviously would not represent section 2AAA. Runners-up Kasson-Mantorville and Mankato East would be the likely representatives. Who would represent 4AAA remains to be seen. 2 state tournament entries--Richfield and Mpls. Washburn--are both in the new section 6AAA.

Class AA

Class AA loses:

• Kingsland, Southland, Wabasha-Kellogg, United South Central, Kimball--moving down
• As already noted, Stewartville, Worthington, Mpls. Washburn and Albany--moving up

Class AA gains the 4 schools mentioned above from AAA, plus the following moving up from A:

• FAIR, St. Croix Prep and St. Paul Prep joining 4AA
• Prairie Seeds joining 5AA
• Pillager joining 6AA
• Barnum and Mesabi East joining 7AA
• Badger-G-MR joining 8AA

Every section has at least 1 change. Most significant are the exchange of state tournament entry Mpls. Washburn to AAA and Mpls. Roosevelt from AAA to AA, and Braham moving from 7AAA to 5AAA. Changes in state tournament entries would include:

• Minnehaha or Roosevelt replacing Washburn in 4AA
• Providence facing Braham in 5AA
• Esko moving up in 7AA

Class A

Class A loses the 8 schools mentioned above as moving up to AA. If next year's sections were in place right now, there would likely be no changes in state tournament entries, but one possibility:

• Parkers Prairie moves from 6 to 5 where it might challenge Upsala

Girls Summary

So overall the changes are not momentous except to maybe a dozen-and-a-half schools with legitimate state tourney ambitions: Eden Prairie, Edina, Wayzata, Roseville, Chaska, Mpls. Washburn, Mpls. Roosevelt, East Grand Forks, Red Wing, New Prague, Hill-Murray, Simley, Worthington, Albany, Minnehaha, Parkers Prairie, and perhaps a couple more.

The Boys

OK, all of that was based on the girls, but there are very few differences between the girls and boys sections because of boys and girls schools (St. Thomas, Visitation, etc.) and a few different cooperatives. Perhaps the biggest differences are:

• Park Center girls stay in AAA, boys are in AAAA
• St. Paul Central girls are AAAA, boys are AAA
• New Prague girls move to 4AAA, boys stay in 1AAA
• Byron girls are AAA, boys remain in AA
• Kenyon-Wanamingo girls move to 1AA, boys stay in 2AA

Other than that there are a lot of minor differences, but not among schools with strong basketball traditions. I cannot see why any of the boys tournament entries would be any different if next year's sections were in place today.


  1. Hi, I have a few questions that might seem kind of elementary to you but I am still learning about all this.

    1. Are the sections based on location?
    2. Are classes based on school size?
    3. Why are some of them called 1AA even though it has two letter A's? Shouldn't it be 1A or is the number the section and letter A the class?
    5. Why are boys and girls from the same school different classes/sections.
    5. Are section and classes the only thing that identifies the group teams play in? How are they determined?

    I can think of a couple private schools (Delasalle and Maranatha) that should be in more competitive groups. De la salle is probably better than any school in the state. Maranatha could move up to a more competitive group?
    7. Lastly, if champlin, osseo and maple grove are In the same section, why isn't park center? They are not only neighboring towns but three are in the same district.

    Thank you!

  2. I will try to answer as best as I can.

    Yes, classes are based on enrollment and sections on geography. That's the simple answer. But there are exceptions.

    Boys and girls from the same school can be in different sections or even different classes depending on the number and locations of all of the schools that play a particular sport. There are boys-only schools and girls only-schools. There are cooperative teams consisting of more than one school. Sometimes boys and girls in the same school have different arrangements. Maybe the boys team is just the one school while the girls combine with another. All of that throws off the sections and classes, and if a school is borderline between classes or on a geographical border, then the boys and girls can go different directions.

    Some schools choose to go up a class, which you can do. You cannot choose to go down below your enrollment. But I believe that the St. Paul Central girls play up. I am not sure whether the Park Center boys do, too, or if they play above the girls for the reasons mentioned above.

    You might have heard that the St. Thomas boys hockey, after winning 3 straight small school titles, is moving up. Good for them. Whether DeLaSalle or Maranatha should move up is in the eye of the beholder, but the only one that can decide is DeLaSalle and Maranatha themselves. Nobody can make then do anything.

    Technically the classes are AAAA, AAA, AA and A, but people abbreviate those pretty regularly to 4A, 3A, 2A and A. I refer to sections as, say, 4A and 5AA and 7AAA, for example, meaning section 4 class A, section 5 class AA, and section 7 class AAA. If you refer to 4A, it could mean section 4 class A or it could mean class AAAA, so it can be confusing.

    As to Osseo, Champlin, Maple Grove and Park Center...the MSHSL uses a computer program to group schools geographically based on the number of miles of travel among the schools in a section. It can regroup every school in the state an infinite number of ways to find the most efficient groups. If Park Center and Osseo are in different sections, it balances out somewhere else. That's the best I can do to explain what I've heard about that. I'd be pretty sure that no matter how they group 'em, somebody is going to be unhappy.

  3. I knew you were the one who could answer my book of questions. Thank you for taking the time to do so. You're awesome! It all made sense! :-)