Struggling Football Teams Want 6-Man Option

Oct 22, 2012

Some small high schools in Idaho are having trouble filling their football rosters this fall. But the answer could be found in a proposal to add 6-man football as an option for rural schools.

According to today’s Times-News article, Randy Jewett of the Camas County School District plans to bring a proposal to the Idaho High School Association in December. Other schools that have shown interest in sanctioning 6-man football in Idaho include Murtaugh High School, which had to cut its season short after injuries brought its roster down to six players.

John Billetz is the president of the Idaho High School Association’s board. He says that the idea of a 6-man classification could save some of these football programs. Billetz points to changes in rural population and more extra-curricular activities as reasons behind the desire to have another option.  

“I think it’s probably a combination of a lot of things; I think kids are maybe less interested [in playing football]," says Billetz. "Maybe some kids have decided to go on and do other things like soccer or lacrosse. Kids may be needing to work.”

Right now small schools fit into one of two divisions of 8-man football, depending on student body enrollment numbers. But schools like Camas and Murtaugh fall on the low end of this spectrum, with only 38 students attending Camas and 45 at Murtaugh.

Billetz predicts that the board will move on the 6-man proposal in December, and could vote on it at their next meeting in January. But if the proposal is killed, some small schools in Idaho could go without football next fall.

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