Tell me what 'open enrollment' means for sports. Can anybody go to this school? What are the residency requirements?
Yes, students can go to any school that will allow them. The catch is athletic eligibility. If they are a freshman no restrictions, if they are a sophomore or older and never played sports they can usually get waivered, If they make a bonified move they will have full eligibility, if there is a hardship they have to appeal to IHSAA Board.
Does it make sense that open enrollment schools should have play in a more competitive division?
Open enrollment allows any student to attend a school, whether or not they live in district. If the school is at capacity, they can turn down out of district kids even if they are open enrollment. As it relates to sports, an out of district student may attend a school and play on that school's teams but if the student has played varsity at another school they have to sit out a year unless the previous school releases them to play. The loophole is that if the student provides an in district address they don't have to sit out the year. I have seen where the student has a relative that lives in the district and they just use their address to establish in district status. I've also seen more shady ways of getting around the rule to establish in district status. The rule only keeps honest people honest.
Yes. Open enrollment means you can go to the school of your choice. Not sure where you have to live to attend though.
Quite a while back District 91 in Idaho Falls had open enrollment. It didn't last long though. After Clair E. Gale Middle School close that kind of made the open enrollment null and void.