GHSA votes to expand classifications

Published 5:48 pm Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Georgia High School Association (GHSA) last week voted to expand school classifications from the current five to six, beginning in the 2012-2013 school year.

According to an article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, it was pointed out that Atlanta area schools made the expansion vote close, voting 15-0 in support it. There were 26 votes in favor and 24 votes against.

A second proposal, called the 4\8 plan, proposed reducing to four classifications and subdividing into two state tournaments per classification for the playoffs. That proposal failed by a 35-15 vote.

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Under the new format, beginning in the 2012-2013 school year, the GHSA’s 433 member schools will be divided into six classifications of between 60 and 70 schools each, with exception of Class A, which projects to have 90 to 95 schools because of 25 non-football playing members.

If not appealed in a future meeting, the new format will take effect in August 2012.

Using old enrollment numbers, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution forecasts that Bainbridge High School could be in a AAAAA region with Valdosta, Northside-Columbus, Lee County, Houston County and Hardaway. Houston County plays in Warner Robins, while Hardaway shares a stadium with Northside-Columbus.

Based on enrollment numbers, Valdosta would have been in AAAA currently but chose to stay in AAAAA with their archrivals, Lowndes County.

The AJC forecasts that Thomas County Central High School, which is currently in Region 1AAAA with the Bearcats, would be placed in a Class AAAA region with Monroe and Westover of Albany, Crisp County (Cordele), Cairo and Americus-Sumter County.

Teams will be reclassified and placed into regions after new enrollment data is released in October 2011, said BHS Head Football Coach Ed Pilcher, who is on the reclassification committee. Pilcher, who is also the former head coach at TCC, voted for the 4/8 plan.