AHSAA approves new classification systemPublished 1:31pm Wednesday, January 22, 2014
By Daniel Evans
The Selma Times-Journal
The Alabama High School Athletic Association unanimously approved adding a seventh classification for championship play Wednesday beginning with the 2014-15 and 2015-16 school system.
Many football regions around the state will look completely different under the new system, which takes the biggest 32 schools and puts them into a “super classification” in hopes of evening out competition at the state’s highest level.
The AHSAA has functioned with a six-class system since 1984. Reclassficiation is done every two years and is based on the average daily enrollment numbers provided by the state board of education.
“The seven-classification system will allow more student-athletes to participate in championship events and more will experience first-hand what it means to play in some of the best venues in our state,” Central Board President Lamar Brooks said in a press release. “With the addition of an extra championship game, revenues should increase which will mean much-needed additional money for all schools through the AHSAA revenue sharing program.”
The remaining six classes were divided as equally as possible with 60 schools in 6A, 61 in 5A, 60 in 4A, 60 in 3A, 58 in 2A and 58 making up Class 1A.
Greenville High School will remain in Class 5A, but will move from Region 3 to Region 2.
The Tigers will be in a region with Alabama Christian, Booker T. Washington, Charles Henderson, Rehobeth, Eufaula and Sidney Lanier.
Both Georgiana and McKenzie will remain in Class 1A, Region 2.
The Panthers and the Tigers will be in a region with Brantley, Florala, Kinston, Pleasant Home and Red Level.
“I want to thank the AHSAA staff and Central Board for the hard work they put in to develop the re-classification plan that was approved,” AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese said in a press release. “It was a difficult job, but everyone worked together to find the best solution as we move forward.”
Savarese also said in the press release that the new classification system reduces the need for five team areas in sports such as volleyball and basketball. The need for nine team football regions has also been reduced.
The central board also voted to allow football teams 11 weeks to schedule a maximum of 10 games, which allows schools the opportunity to play a non-region contest the week of Aug. 21-23 and then have 10 weeks to play nine other regular season contests. If schools prefer to play a jamboree game during the first week, the teams would then need to schedule 10 games during the next 10 weeks. The new format should give schools more flexibility on scheduling non-region games.