How to Reclassify in High School? Everything You Need to Know

2022-03-08

The game of basketball is as revolutionary of a sport as there is. Student athletes are getting increasingly better and more athletic with every generation. What it takes to play at the next level keeps getting harder.

This idea of reclassification, or doing a post graduate year, has become more popular in the last decade, but has been around forever.

Today, we are going to zone in on the idea of reclassifying. 

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What is Reclassification in High School?

The reclassification, or reclassing,  of an athlete refers to the change in graduation year (most often to change it back).

Suppose a child is born in 2006 and his high school graduation date is 2024. He is the ´class of 2024.´ If the child gets reclassed, then his graduation year would be 2025, or the ´class of 2025.´ He has been reclassified or ´admitted´ to a different class.

What does it mean to reclassify?

Reclassifying means that a person repeats the same year of school.

Essentially holding themselves back, but by their own power. So say a freshman this year is on pace to graduate in the year 2026 (Class of 2026). If after this school year they want to reclass, they would then be a freshman again next year and graduate in 2027 (Class of 2027).

This used to have a stigma around it from people who weren´t involved in sport. That stigma is still kind of there. But reclassifying has become more popular, and therefore less of a negative view on it. 

How do you reclassify?

There are a lot of benefits that come from reclassifying.

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I speak from experience. My brother is 7 years older than me and he did it. I did it as well. And my dad wanted to do it while he was in high school, but didn’t.

Over the next few minutes we are going to explain to you some of the most important talking points about reclassifying. Keeping you guys informed on rules, reason why or why not to reclass, when you should reclass, and how to go about it. 

Tips to Reclassify in High School

Every state has different rules on this subject. So, I can speak of what happens with Pennsylvania, but if you live outside of Pennsylvania we suggest you look at the rules in your state. The last thing we want is for you to make a decision and the player be punished in their last year of athletics, or punished by the NCAA (Ncaa rules). 

In PA you have 4 years(calendar years) to play 4 years (athletic seasons) of said sport, in this case basketball. So if I start high school in the year of 2022/23. I have until 2026/27 to play 4 seasons of basketball. 

There are ways around this though. If you play high school and you transfer to a prep school, this rule does not apply to you. 

Can you transfer from High School to Prep School?

Yes.

For instance, I was a freshman at my home town school. After freshman year I transferred to a prep school in state and reclassified(I did my freshman year again). I played at my prep school for 4 years (I gained an extra year).

My senior year (5th year) I wasn’t allowed to play in public school sanctioned games. And, we weren’t allowed to compete in the PIAA(public schools in PA) state tournament. But we have our own tournament among prep schools in PA, so that didn’t matter anyway. 

Another example was my brother, he stayed in public schools throughout high school. But we moved after his 8th grade year and he did 8th grade again(reclass). But during his second 8th grade year he was not allowed to compete in school events. If he did this would have messed with his eligibility his senior year of high school.

But like I said, different states have different rules. You need to stay informed so that you aren’t ruining the future of yourself or your child. 

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Why Reclassifying was good for me?

Reclassifying was a blessing to me!

That’s not the case with everyone, but for me and my brother it was. Reclassifying doesn’t make you worse or any less of a student. And it’s certainly not cheating. But what it does is help mature the student athlete.

If it is done properly helps in all aspects of life. You get another year to grow into your body before your eventual opportunity to play in college. You get to get ahead in school. Don’t retake the same classes but move on to the more advanced stuff and in your last year start to build up your college credits. 

Reclassifying could help a lot with recruiting

It gives you more time to refine your skills and become more athletic. The combination of the two makes for a better recruit, therefore it should help your recruitment. 

Why would a High School Player Reclassify?

Some people need more time to mentally mature before they move onto high school or college. Others, started school at a young age and all reclassing does is put them back with kids their age.

And most just do it to look more appealing as a recruit. And I want you all to realise there is nothing wrong with that. A better chance at a scholarship and free education could change someone’s life. Why wouldn’t you do it? 

The why isn’t always good for everyone. 

Sometimes you can’t reclassify due to your age and eligibility. Perhaps, you want to stay in the same grade as friends and you’re okay graduating and going to do a post grad year somewhere. And a lot of the time you’re okay with where you’re being recruited and you want to start college already! Good for you. 

At the end of the day you have to do what’s best for you and your family. 

When can you reclassify in High School?

You want to do this right before high school or at the beginning of high school. This will help coaches know exactly what year you plan on graduating and scout you accordingly. 

Can you reclass as a Senior?

VISAA Rules Prohibit Reclassification of Students who Have Started Their Senior Year. Although, a  student athlete may choose to reclassify (repeat a grade level) and not lose a year of eligibility, provided they are full qualifiers after the first 8 semesters of High School. 

What I tell my student athletes is ¨The earlier the better¨. When you do it later sometimes it can become confusing and coaches need to recruit certain positions for certain years. So reclassing later could hurt your recruitment. 

It also helps you get adjusted for everything that is to come.

How to reclassify down in High School?

When you reclass make sure that you keep everything the same. Take the same classes you would have taken if you didn’t, and if you’re able play up(or at your normal age group) in aau. This will continue to push you to become a better player. 

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Also if you’re in states that limit how many years you can play, it’s a far better scenario to reclass early and know you have to sit out and then sit out a younger year(like 8th or 9th) than to do it later in high school and sit out a valuable year(like 10th,11th, or 12th).

My personal experience: Seek for advice

If you’re seriously looking to do this you need to talk to your counsellors, teachers, and coaches. They should have all the answers for you and will be able to put you in the best spot to succeed.

Another serious route to take is to go to prep school. It’s very common for people to reclassify in prep school and the process is super easy and you don’t really miss anything.

This is what I did and when I started to attend my prep school I just told them when I wanted to plan on graduating and that was the end of that. 

Conclusion 

Reclassifying is great!

But it’s not necessarily great for everyone. And It’s not something you or your family should be ashamed of. It’s becoming common and if there is a chance it helps your recruitment I hope that it works. 

No matter what you do, always work as hard as possible. Because if you reclass and you don’t work that hard then it is essentially a wasted year. Don’t waste the year, use it.

Better yourself both on the court and off. 

We will talk again in a couple of days but for now...#BringYourAgame