BOISE, Idaho — Conferences around the Gem State will look very different come next fall.
During Tuesday's regularly scheduled board meeting in Lewiston, the Idaho High School Activities Association announced they have made final decisions regarding the 2020-2022 classifications.
DENIED (schools will be required to move up in classification)
- Murtaugh (1A DII to 1A DI)
- Compass Charter (1A DI to 2A)
- Shelley (4A)
- Emmett (4A)
- Idaho Falls (5A)
- Skyview (5A)
APPROVED (schools will stay in their current classification)
- Canyon Ridge (5A to 4A)
- Caldwell (5A to 4A)
- Nampa (5A to 4A)
- Sun Valley Community School (2A to 1ADII)
- Castleford (1A DI to 1A DII)
- Clark Fork (1A DI to 1A DII)
Per IHSAA, schools with at least 1,281 students are considered "5A."
Schools like Nampa and Caldwell, who are currently competing under the "4A" umbrella (between 681-1280 students), are supporting student populations of 1,475 and 1,453, respectively.
Both were approved to remain in 4A for 2020-2022.
Skyview, which is home to 1,336 students, petitioned to move back down to 4A, but was denied by the IHSAA, meaning they will have to compete in 5A for at least two more years.
There are two schools set to open in the next two years in southern Idaho: Swan Falls High School in Kuna is expected to open in the fall of 2020, and Owyhee High School in the West Ada School District is expected to open in the fall of 2021.
In Gem County, there are approximately 690 students who attend Emmett High School, which currently competes in 4A, but petitioned the IHSAA to compete in 3A (320-639 students).
However, that petition was denied by the board.
"We were very disappointed in the board's decision," Emmett High Athletic Director Gavin Watson said. "We felt that by meeting the competitive equity standards set by the IHSAA, we had a strong case. I'm worried [about] the well being of our athletic programs as we will continue to face SIC competition with enrollment numbers near or over the 5A threshold."
Emmett can petition again in 2021.
In the Magic Valley, Murtaugh High School is currently a 1ADII school (1-84 students), the smallest classification in the state.
With 91 students, the Red Devils petitioned to stay in their current classification but were denied.
Beginning fall 2020, they'll compete in 1ADI (85-159 students).
"We accept the IHSSA decision and look forward to moving up. We will miss our current conference but look forward to competing with our new conference of Oakley Raft River Lighthouse Glenn’s Ferry Shoshone and Murtaugh," said Murtaugh Athletic Director Todd Jensen.
Four schools petitioned (and were subsequently approved) to move up in classifications:
- Greenleaf Friends (from 1A DII to 1ADI)
- Priest River (from 2A to 3A)
- Kellogg (from 2A to 3A)
- Coeur d'Alene Charter (from 2A to 3A)