Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools
The Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools, or TAPPS, is an organization headquartered in the Salado Civic Center in downtown Salado, Texas. It creates rules for, and sometimes administers, almost all athletic and academic contests for non-public high schools in Texas. (Texas, unlike most states, has separate organizations for public and private schools, but public and private schools may schedule each other in competition.)
Activities range from football and other sports to academic and fine arts competitions.
As of 2012 TAPPS organizes competitions for over 200 private schools in Texas.
TAPPS was established in the 1970s in order to coordinate athletic competitions among Christian schools.
In 2010 Iman Academy Southwest, a Muslim school, submitted an application to join TAPPS. TAPPS responded by asking Iman to complete a questionnaire with questions like "Historically, there is nothing in the Koran that fully embraces Christianity or Judaism in the way a Christian and/or a Jew understands his religion. Why, then, are you interested in joining an association whose basic beliefs your religion condemns?" Iman Academy SW did not fill out the questionnaire and the attached application, and TAPPS denied Iman SW admission into the league. Iman SW did not appeal the decision.
In 2012 TAPPS came under harsh criticism after it refused to reschedule a semifinals basketball game scheduled for 9 p.m. on Friday March 2 despite the fact that Robert M. Beren Academy, an Orthodox Jewish school, asked that its players not play on Jewish Sabbath. The school had won the regional championship to advance for their first trip to the semi-finals. An appeal was made by Beren academy but denied by TAPPS under its bylaws set in the 1970s. TAPPS received legal pressure and pressure from Mayor Annise Parker of Houston as well as hundreds of letters. TAPPS eventually relented and allowed the game to be rescheduled under this pressure.
In 2015 a school within the Association (Lutheran High School North) caused controversy by discriminating against one of its students on the basis of orientation finally forcing this student to leave and creating a substantial amount of media coverage.
Like the UIL, TAPPS aligns member schools into districts by geography and enrollment size for various contests. Each contest has a slightly different alignment based on the participating schools, but most follow the same basic framework. The districts are mostly decided behind closed doors by TAPPS every even year, and are an attempt to keep schools within a certain distance of their home town when attending competitions. Like the UIL, the districts are the first progression to the state championship.
Schools are further broken down with a letter classification to separate them from other schools of varying sizes. The purpose is ensure that schools compete only with others with similar size talent pools and resources. TAPPS's general classifications are 1A, 2A, 3A, 4A, 5A, and previously 6A; unlike the UIL, whose official designations are strictly alphabetic, TAPPS officially uses alphanumeric designations for its classifications. The largest schools are classified as 5A (6A from the fall of 2005 until TAPPS returned to 5 classifications for the 08-09 school year), and the smallest are known as 1A. However, TAPPS uses different classification schemes in some other competitions (also by enrollment; lower numbers indicate lower enrollment unless otherwise indicated):
- Fine arts and academic competitions: Standard classifications, except that Classes 1A and 2A are split into one subgroup for music and another for other arts and academics (A similar combining occurs in baseball and softball).
- Football: Divisions I and II for six-man football; Divisions I, II, III, and IV for the 11-man game
- Soccer: Divisions I and II
- Swimming: Divisions I (Class 5A schools), II (Class 4A schools), and III (all smaller schools)
- Wrestling: A single classification, as only 13 TAPPS schools (as of 2005) sponsor that sport
TAPPS includes 8 other sports under the normal 1A through 5A alignments:
TAPPS has released re-alignments for the 2014-2016 period.
- "Administration." Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools. Retrieved on March 9, 2012. "Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools 601 North Main P.O. Box 1039 Salado, TX 76571"
- "Contact Information." Salado Civic Center. Retrieved on March 9, 2012. "Salado Civic Center 601 North Main in Downtown Salado, Texas 76571"
- Pilon, Mary (March 2, 2012). "Before Games, Religious Questions". The New York Times. Retrieved March 9, 2012.
- [Pilon, Mary. "Texas Association Criticized for Ruling on Jewish Team." New York Times. The New York Times Company, 29 Feb. 2012. Web. 15 Feb. 2014.]
- [Pilon, Mary. "In Texas, the Sabbath Trumps the Semifinals." New York Times. The New York Times Company, 27 Feb. 2012. Web. 15 Feb. 2014. <http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/28/sports/jewish-schools-team-refusing-to-play-during-sabbath-loses-trip-to-state-semifinals.html?_r=2&>.]
- [Pilon, Mary. "Game Time Is Adjusted; Jewish School Will Play." New York Times. The New York Times Company, 1 Mar. 2012. Web. 15 Feb. 2014. <http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/02/sports/orthodox-jewish-schools-game-expected-to-be-rescheduled.html>.]
- [Pilon, Mary. "Review of Texas Association Sought." New York Times. The New York Times Company, 23 Mar. 2012. Web. 15 Feb. 2014. <http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/23/sports/review-of-texas-association-sought.html>.]
- Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools
- TAPPS Divisions from website for 2013-2014
- TAPPS Divisions from website for 2014-2016