GHSA prepared to vote on radical ‘4/8′ reclassification plan on Monday

The GHSA’s Executive Committee will have the opportunity to vote on a radical reclassification plan for the state’s high schools on Monday.

On Sunday, the Reclassification Committee voted 7-5 to present what is dubbed the “4/8 plan” to the full board on Monday in Macon. Under the proposal, the state’s existing five classifications would be reduced to four, and there would be two state championships per class for an overall total of eight.

“I really don’t have a clue yet, and this sounds really strange after all these years, about how the [Executive Committee's] 50 members are going to vote on this,” Dr. Ralph Swearngin, the GHSA’s Executive Director, told the AJC on Sunday.

“Even with Sunday’s discussion, there does not appear to be any consensus. People who are for the ‘4/8′ are for it for a couple of reasons. People that are against it are against it for a couple of reasons. There appears to be nothing clear-cut that we’ve seen that is going to solve all the problems.”

The idea behind the “4/8 plan” is to allow member schools to play teams closer in proximity during the regular season and closer in student enrollment during the playoffs. For example, Class AAAA may have 100 schools in it, with 50 largest and smallest split up for the playoffs to compete for Div. I and II state championships in each sport. Some have expressed worries with the logistics with increasing to eight state championships, such as 16 overall championship games for girls and boys basketball.

“I think the people behind ‘4/8′ are going to spend more time at Monday’s presentation explaining how to work around some of the difficulties and problems associated with this plan,” Swearngin said. “It will be interesting to see how everything goes.”

The Executive Committee has three options: Approve, deny or table the proposal for further research. If passed on Monday, the new classification structure would take effect in the fall of 2012.

– Michael Carvell

109 comments Add your comment

figures

March 20th, 2011
6:44 pm

one more stupid idea from the educators in Georgia….

figures

March 20th, 2011
6:45 pm

Why don’t they just call it what it is…they want to separate private and public schools…period.

Dontavius Supremo

March 20th, 2011
6:54 pm

Sounds stupid to me; I just don’t see the need. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

Asheville Dawg

March 20th, 2011
6:54 pm

That’s how they do things in North Carolina. STUPID is what it is. Let’s see “we are the class AAAA division two Champions”. Doesn’t even sound right. Boo to the GHSA if they go to this inane system.

Brent

March 20th, 2011
6:59 pm

Just a bad idea. Proponents argue less travel thus less time out of class and less travel expense for schools. I seriously doubt that would happen. Whatever the outcome it just means more watered down championships especially in individual sports like wrestling and track. All we need to do is tweak the current system.

Brent

March 20th, 2011
7:01 pm

I just hope that the powers that be in the GHSA read all the blogs to see how unpopular this proposal is.

Tim Stillwell

March 20th, 2011
7:04 pm

They do something very similar in Tennessee. It is very confusing. However it will save on transportation cost and may renew some older rivalries that have been done away with by some districts population growth.

glw

March 20th, 2011
7:27 pm

I agree 8 champions are too many.

I would prefer that keep it at 5 classes.

Put the 48 largest teams in 5A, and divide them equally into 6 team regions.

In classes 2A-4A increase the regions from 8 to 16, this would eliminate sub regions and allow schools to cut down on travel costs as most regions would consists with from 4 to 8 teams and the non region games could be played against rival schools in different classes.

Class 1A could stay with 8 region for football and maybe increase for other sports.

oh man its them again

March 20th, 2011
7:32 pm

OK It goes on the thought that in the same AAAAA classification you still have a 2000 student seperation in schools competing against each other. Transportation costs are getting outragous and schools will either have to dump non-profitable sports like golf, tennis, track, lacross, etc etc. the only two sports that make any money for a school are football and basketball. It makes a ton of sense to limit the transportation between schools especially in the south part of the state. Even in metro atlanta some schools have to travel over an hour to play region games. I don’t think it is the private school issue and just making one more classification makes more sense. OR make a southern and northern state champ and than have them play each other

Geeeezzzz

March 20th, 2011
7:34 pm

The members of the GHSA board must take the wonderlic with anybody making over 10 being disqualified. They are just DUMB. No other explanation is possible. If they are going to have 8 champions, why don’t they just have 8 classes.

I will say they are consistant, consistantly stupid.

Educatedbeyond theirintelligence...

March 20th, 2011
7:36 pm

Enter your comments here

Well known...

March 20th, 2011
7:38 pm

DON”T EXPECT ANY COMMON SENSE FROM THE GHSA! They don’t have any.

glw

March 20th, 2011
7:41 pm

yeah I know a big issue is the disparity between the largest to smallest schools in 5A, but there is no way to fix that problem. What do you do, put only the schools with 2500 in a class by themselves? Then if you do that, then you have in the region below it, schools with 2400 students competing against schools with say 1500? there is no way to fix the problem. Let’s be real, only so many kids can compete at any one time. While the larger schools have a larger talent pool to choose from, not sure it gives a clear and distinctive advantage over other schools in 5A

ecu1996

March 20th, 2011
8:17 pm

I live in North Carolina and I always thought the playoffs were a joke in football. But now that the GHSA is thinking about doing it I;m in shock. I thought the GHSA took there football playoffs serious. This would be a horrible move for GA.

Vince

March 20th, 2011
8:20 pm

That is too many champions, but something must be done.

It doesn’t make any sense for schools such as Mountain View, in Gwinnett, with 1800 students to be in a region with schools like Mill Creek, with an enrollment of 3800.

somebody else

March 20th, 2011
8:21 pm

Why don’t we just stop keeping score and let everyone call themselves state champions? You learn at least as much from watching someone else be crowned state champion as being crowned yourself.

Seen it before

March 20th, 2011
8:21 pm

State of Texas does the two division championships across 5 (A-AAAAA) classifications for football only. All other sports fall into the 1A–5AAAAA classification championships only. It works and no one complains when they win a div 1 or div 2 championship. When you are fat and old like me, all you remember is that you were state champion.

yo

March 20th, 2011
8:22 pm

This makes a LOT of sense and I’m all in. This will come the closest to sloving the problem with the lack of AAAAA schools in South Georgia thus they can compete with other AAAA in the area and then compete in the playoffs with the schools their on size. Thus a Valdosta would be able to compete in the AAAA 2nd division (where they belong) and a Lowndes would be able to compete in a AAAA 1st division (where they belong). A super region would cause Lowndes and Camden to have to be in a region with teams from Atlanta………BAD IDEA.

Honest Ingine

March 20th, 2011
8:22 pm

Why dont they just call it North Georgia State Champion, and South GA state champion, thats what its going to work out to be.

DaveDawg

March 20th, 2011
8:23 pm

Just create a 6-A for the mega-sized schools, if that’s the biggest problem. Leave the rest alone, please.

westlakeclassof10

March 20th, 2011
8:25 pm

IF i did the class i would with put the teams that won the most games an all sports in one class and

Pope UGA XXIII

March 20th, 2011
8:36 pm

Here you have proof of why georgia ranks 49th in educational
performance. Who on earth thought up something like this ?
Nothing wrong with adding a 6-A classification, but this 4/8
reclassification plan will cause a lot of problems

guwinster

March 20th, 2011
8:43 pm

If they do this, will they prevent teams from playing up?

gvf

March 20th, 2011
8:50 pm

The state govt will threaten to take over if they don’t get there way. Please dont surrender.

mgdawg

March 20th, 2011
8:57 pm

I like the classifications how they are now, minus the private schools. Private schools shouldn’t be allowed to play in ghsa, but if they are they should do like the used to and make them play up in a higher classification to counteract recruiting, which we all know happens. Yes recruiting probably happens at public schools also, but atleast it isn’t as blatant as private schools.

I really don’t mind the idea, but call it what it is, 8 classifications. I don’t see the point in saying there are 4 classifications split in two. Sounds like you’re just trying to make something sound cool while all it is doing is making it sound worse.

Delbert D.

March 20th, 2011
9:01 pm

New Jersey had a North and South champion for each classification back in the late ’70s; don’t know if they still do it that way.

Dr. John Trotter

March 20th, 2011
9:01 pm

Where’s Bill Fordham when we need him? What about William A. Screws? Or, wasn’t the other man’s name Sam Burke? What is going on, guys?

I still can’t even get the Division 1A and 1AA stuff straight. I still read where the reporters will write, “Bowl Championship Division (formerly known as Division 1AA).” Heck, I probably screwed it up there. Who can keep up with these changes? I know that it must be about the money.

Would Wright Bazemore and Nick Hyder understand it? I don’t, even after reading the article. Mr. Phillips, would Herschel Walker understand it? You coached him, didn’t you? Herschel’s a smart man. Let’s see now…Moultrie (uh, I mean “Colquitt County”) is the Region AAAAA, Division II State Champions. Well, Tift County must be better because they won the Region AAAAA, Division II State Championship. Isn’t this how it would work, Earl Anderson?

If Oliver Honeycutt at LaGrange with his teams forever wearing those black high tops would have gone for it, then maybe I could live with it. Or, what about Coach Cavan of the old Robert E. Lee Institute right there in Thomaston? Pig Davis of Columbus High? Sumpter Blackmon of Jordan? Coach Henderson of Willingham/Mt.DeSales/ClarkeCentral? Larry Campbell of Lincoln County? Buck Godfrey of Southwest DeKalb? Coach Waymon Creel of Lakeside/Westminster? If you can or could have sold this plan to these gentlemen, then perhaps I could go along with it. Ahhhh, would Corky Kell have approved of this plan if he were on the GHSA Board? Or, Bud Theodocian? Jim Hughes of Colquitt County and Arnold Jr. High in Columbus? (Couldn’t resist Arnold because it’s my old school!) Sam Burke…oh, I already dropped his name. Sorry. O. K. William Screws. Now I don’t think that Mr. Screws would have put up with any nonsensical plan. So, if you think that William A. Screws, former Chairman for GHSA Board, would have gone along with this new organizational plan, then let’s go with it. The Screws Plan. Yes, I could go along with The Screws Plan.

I think the Committee ought to pay attention to people like Dr. Ralph Swearngin. I think that they probably have a good handle on the logistics and so forth. It sounds from reading the article that Dr. Swearngin is not the instigator behind this new plan which passed the Committee with flying colors (7 to 5). With this much lack of consensus, it might be wise to table any new action. When the natives get restless, sometimes the professional staff gets stampeded! Life is full of surprises. I am sure that the GHSA will survive this as well. Hey, we survived New Coke, didn’t week. I grew up with the Classic Region 1-AAA. GHSA had classifications C, B, A, AA, and AAA. I liked that alignment. But, it changed, and we still play high school football, basketball, etc., in Georgia! GHSA, I love Georgia high school sports! You are doing a good job! Now let me go walk some of that big lunch off! You guys have fun.

The Screws Plan. Name if after William A. Screws, a great school man and sports advocate in Georgia. He passed away a couple of years ago. I knew him since I was a young kid, and I am sure that he would not mind the new plan being named after him. If a school feels that it got screwed, just remind them that is The Screws Plan. If you knew Mr. Screws, I think that you would realize that he would appreciate the irony! It was a rough and tough gentleman who had a heart of gold. His students and teachers of Jordan Vocational High School (his own alma mater, by the way) adored Mr. Screws, long time assistant principal and principal of JVHS and long time board member with GHSA.

Southern

March 20th, 2011
9:01 pm

Once again, the GHSA messes with something that really is fine just the way it is.

Dr. John Trotter

March 20th, 2011
9:04 pm

I meant to say that Tift County won 1-AAAAA, Division I, not Division II. The point is that people will be confused will judge Division II as less than Division I.

CB

March 20th, 2011
9:09 pm

Liberals in the teachers unions!

Dr. John Trotter

March 20th, 2011
9:17 pm

CB, That’s just one of the hats that I wear! Ha! I am tempted to call you a wrestling fan, but I won’t insult you, OK?

Wheat Williams

March 20th, 2011
9:18 pm

What does “GSHA” stand for? What is this organization, and what does it do? I came to this page from the home page headline, wanting to find out what the heck a “GSHA” is because I’ve never heard of it before. I read your article and can’t make any sense out of it, because you don’t define the term. Inscrutable headline, inscrutable article, all because the journalist is too lazy to type out the meaning of a four-letter acronym. Doesn’t anybody proofread these days?

vg

March 20th, 2011
9:20 pm

School size disparity among the larger classification schools cause a problem and the private schools dominate the smallest class. This plan would seem to address the competitive issues of school size and the travel time and loss of class time (due to travel) issues. Many people believe that school size doesn’t matter, but when you have a larger pool to select your team from there’s a likelihood that you will find MORE athletes and a good coach will utilize those athletes. It’s an idea that would take some time to absorb, but there are some positives for the kids of the smaller schools in each classification. They would compete for the state championship of the lower division with schools that are similar in size, thus giving them an opportunity to experience the joy of winning a state championship, regardless of how much it seems to be watered down by this plan. At first I wasn’t a fan of the proposal, but as I think about it there are some positives for the kids. We’re all used to having 1 state championship for each classification. If this proposal passes, I’m sure that we’ll all make the necessary adjustments. I’m a Class A person and there are so many discrepancies in that class that could be fixed with this proposal. Class A coaches often complain that no one thinks about their schools when reclassification is done. I don’t think that this plan will affect the perennial participants in the state playoffs, but it will affect those schools that have good teams, but can’t win state championships because of the discrepancy in school size. There may be some adjustments needed for the non money generating sports, but the big 2 (football and basketball) could benefit from this plan. It would generate more revenue for more schools and the GHSA.

guwinster

March 20th, 2011
9:21 pm

If travel costs are such a big issue, then just get rid of the home and away series that they do in almost every sport except for football.

There is a good chance that this proposal will only make some regions bigger geographically. Take Camden for instance…you put together a AAAA region with the big area schools like Camden, Glynn, Brunswick, Ware, Wayne, Liberty and Bradwell, but Camden would be the only school in that region that qualifies as an upper AAAA division school. To balance it out (to have at least 4 uppers and 4 lowers), you would need to add Tift, Lowndes etc., thus increasing travel time. Unless of course they wanted to bump Glynn, Ware and Bradwell into the upper AAAA division, in which case you would have an even bigger disparity in school populations come play-off time.

black1

March 20th, 2011
9:23 pm

get rid of private schools all together. Its Ga High School as in public. or at least make them go by our rules. Well if we had any rules. Move up the private schools to AAA and AA. Then we will see if they win!!!

south ga. possum

March 20th, 2011
9:25 pm

First of all…Get private schools and their recruting machines and money out of GHSA. If they wanna be a private school let them play in the private schools schedule and playoff…they have no business in the GHSA. Making private schools play up one classification doesn’t solve the recruting problems and big money problems associated with the private schools and everybody including GHSA officials knows this to be true. And for re-classification…leave things alone. It would suit me if the GHSA scraped to DOME and go back to the days of old and let these kids play on their own turf and in their own familiar surroundings. We all know this dome thing is all about MONEY..not for what’s best for the programs involved. The old way worked fine, we all had a good time, and it was much more affordable for the average working high school fans. I know this will never happen, because it makes too much sense.

Dr. John Trotter

March 20th, 2011
9:26 pm

@ Wheat: The article was indeed a little difficult to decipher. But, I am sure that Mr. Carvell was almost as confused as the rest of the state will be…should this plan pass. But, as I stated, high school sports in Georgia will survive!

I notice that I am putting off taking a walk. Sometimes blogging is more fun than a barrell of monkeys, especially when you blog under you real name. Verbal duelling, eh?

Dave H.

March 20th, 2011
9:27 pm

Here’s how to thin-out bloated class 4-A and level the playing field in the higher classifications:

5-A enrollment of 1,800 or greater (down from the current number, this would lop about 15 schools off the top of 4-A)
6-A enrollment of 2,500 or greater (this would lop about 15 mega-schools of the top of 5-A)

old school

March 20th, 2011
9:34 pm

All one has to do is see GHSA Management at any State Championship[ event. Bubba, Goober, Ernie, Ralph, Barney, Emmit Howard and Floyd. It is pathetic!!

Ringleader

March 20th, 2011
9:41 pm

The major item is missing from the article…….
It is all about money…….The more teams in the playoffs, the more money by the state association, they get the ticket sales.

Bill

March 20th, 2011
9:43 pm

It bears remindimg that this bunch of “educators”has had Georgia ranked 40 or below in state rankings for decades.

I expect nothing less from this crowd.

Ray

March 20th, 2011
9:43 pm

IF you have to go into a big explanation about state champions etc.. then its probably not a good idea. Are they trying to be as clear as what we see with the NCAA. We all know how they are crystal clear on all of their reasonings.

ATLcracker

March 20th, 2011
9:45 pm

Has any one ever talked about breaking the larger schools into different groups within the school that could play each other? That would ease the transportation problems and solve what I think is one of the biggest problems in the current system – not enough kids get a chance to play. My kids go to a class A sized school. I would guess the participation rate for sports/band/cheerleader/academic teams is close to 80 %. We have 22 boys out of 220 that start for our football team. The big Atlanta schools have those same 22 starters but that leaves 2000 boys who are not starters. No wonder we have so many bored lost kids. Participating in team sports was one of the defining experiences of my life and we are denying that opportunity to most of our children. A school of 2400 could break into 4 pods (call them gryffindor, hufflepuff ,ravenclaw, and slytherin) and play each other. They could play any local pods of 600 size ( a full school of 600 or one of two pods from a nearby school of 1200). Yes, you would have to be sure the players were randomly assigned but that should be easy ( a sorting hat perhaps). You could then pick an all-star squad to play a tournament if you Had to declare some larger grouping championship. You would have to give up some things you might like about the current system but the important thing is more kids would get a chance to play.

ant banks

March 20th, 2011
9:51 pm

well, cobb county or gwinett, i forgot which one is goin’ to a 2 valedictorian and 2 salutatorian program. so 2 championships is consistent with that. it’s turnin’ into recreation league where everyone gets a trophy. don’t want anyone to feel sad.

wonder how long it will take for the ncaa to start havin’ 2 heisman, a heisman west and heisman east. lol

tswan

March 20th, 2011
9:52 pm

this is a great idea – it is exactly what Texas does, and even those of you that think this is stupid, i know want to do things like Texas… ha
actually in Texas, there is a AAAAA-Div.1 and AAAAA-Div.2 champion, and each year it is a toss up which division actually has the better teams. for instance this past year Div. 2 had the stronger teams. Trust me you will get used to it, and will like it because more teams go to the playoffs, more money for the schools, and less travel during the regular season, more rings = all +’s and of course the div.1 teams make fun of the div.2 teams as “small school champion” although it makes no difference. the teams are state champions, kids love it, parents love it. hope the board votes it in.

GwinnettDad

March 20th, 2011
9:52 pm

How about 64 classifications, or 132, or 264? Then everybody can have a State Championship. On first glance, this 4/8 approach sounds as if it was dreamed up by a First Grade Teacher. Everybody gets an award these days, everybody, for after all, nobody is a loser. Boring!

The egos of many high school administrators these days, they simply just can’t leave anything alone. Thus, such an issue gives them something to do, a job justification. Otherwise, many of them don’t have anything else worthwhile to do. Why not concentrate on finding ways to raise SAT scores, instead?

SportsFan31313

March 20th, 2011
9:59 pm

The best way in my opinion isa to add AAAAAA to the Classification and only the Region and Sub Region Champions proceed on to the Post Season Playoffs for all Classifications…..

Bigguy

March 20th, 2011
10:01 pm

Why not have a division “A” champion and a division “1″ champion for all 4 classes? Then nobody feels slighted.

chatham cty

March 20th, 2011
10:02 pm

South Ga possum GHSA stands for Georgia High school association not Georgia Public High school association. it is a private orginazation not public. Ther are private schools that have been in it for 50 years or more. I do think that lowest division that a private school should be allowed is AA.

jacketdad

March 20th, 2011
10:06 pm

This system was put in place in Tennessee two years ago with the same intention of reducing travel. It may have achieved that goal but the playoff system is extrmely confusing with a lot of really questionable seedings occurring. The new plan did try to deal with the private school issue by installing a multiplier formula that multiplied the provate schools student body by 1.6 to determine their classification.