Indiana Public High School Parents’ Perceptions of Interscholastic Competitive Balance


  • Gibson Stoffer Ball State University
  • James Johnson Ball State University
  • Khirey Walker Ball State University
  • Mike Dalgety Ball State University



As part of the educational mission of interscholastic athletics, ensuring competitive balance is a priority of state athletic associations nationwide. Specifically, teams playing within a postseason championship tournament should have a fair and equitable chance to win. Private high schools, in particular, have been the focus of competitive balance scrutiny from public high school stakeholders due to disproportionately high success in many states. Despite much anecdotal scrutiny from public stakeholders, it is not clear how much they know about interscholastic policy or private school characteristics. Therefore, this study set to explore Indiana public high school parents’ perceptions of interscholastic competitive balance through qualitative interview data. Using thematic analysis, five themes emerged from the data influential to competitive balance (location, policy, sport culture, financial resources, and education). Each of these themes was influenced by an omnipresent private school impact, which reinforced a need for additional education of policy and private school characteristics. 

Author Biography

James Johnson, Ball State University

Associate Professor - Sport Administration




How to Cite

Stoffer, G. ., Johnson, J., Walker, K., & Dalgety, M. (2021). Indiana Public High School Parents’ Perceptions of Interscholastic Competitive Balance. Journal of Amateur Sport, 7(1).