Board expands classifications in team sports, creates rural division

GAINESVILLE - The Florida High School Athletic Association Board of Directors voted today to create a rural classification in most sanctioned team sports, and to increase the number of classifications in sanctioned team sports. 

The reclassification plan for football renames Classes 1A and 1B to reflect the new 1A rural and 1A urban designations.  Tentative districts will be available online in December, allowing for final Board of Directors approval of appeals during the January 2011 meeting.

In baseball, basketball, softball and girls volleyball, the existing six-class structure was augmented by Class 7A and the rural classification.  Boys and girls soccer added Class 7A for a total of six classifications.  For a breakdown of the classifications by school population numbers, click here.

“When the FHSAA originally went up to six classifications in team sports in 1999, we had 517 member schools, with 480 of those playing team sports.  Now that we have 670 member schools and 650 of those in team sports, the number of teams in individual districts is too large,” said Executive Director Roger Dearing.  “Moving to eight classifications allows for fewer teams in each district, which allows for more flexibility in scheduling for the season.”

In other action, the Board of Directors:

  • Approved the appointments of the individuals for the specified terms as presented to fill the non-expired or vacated seats on the Representative Assembly: Heidi Michaels, athletic director, Anclote (Holiday), Public Schools Division 13; Ebony White, athletic director, Mount Dora, Public Schools Division 14; Carlos Ochoa, athletic director, Hialeah Gardens, Public Schools Division 29; Lisa Eaves, athletic director, Rocky Bayou Christian (Niceville), Private Schools Divisions 1-2; Matthew Olesnevich, athletic director, St. Francis (Gainesville), Private Schools Divisions 5-6; Linda Gomez, athletic director, Community Christian (Melbourne), Private Schools Divisions 9-10; Jacqueline Patsche, athletic director, Gifford Middle (Vero Beach), Middle Schools Section 3.
  • Ratified the Florida School Boards Association’s appointment of Mr. Mike Pressley, Glades County School Board, to the Section 3 School Board Member seat on the Representative Assembly.
  • Ratified the Florida School Boards Association’s appointment of Ms. Diane Smith, Volusia County School Board, as the school board representative on the Public Liaison Advisory Committee.
  • Approved a one-time only contribution to the Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) to help defray costs regarding a newspaper suing the AIA over the streaming and video rights (among others) of the athletic association.
  • Approved a new policy on mandatory use of seatbelts and safe driving for the Employee/Board Member Handbook.
  • Approved a new policy on conflict of interest for the Board of Directors Member Handbook.
  • Endorsed bylaw proposals from the Executive Director for consideration and possible adoption by the 2011 Representative Assembly.
  • Denied endorsement of bylaw proposals from two member schools for consideration and possible adoption by the 2011 Representative Assembly.
  • Approved a recommendation of the Baseball Advisory Committee and the Athletic Directors Advisory Committee to allow the pitcher to be listed as P/DH on the line-up card.
  • Heard a report on FHSAA recognized and sanctioned sports versus club sports.
  • Heard a report on Bylaw 9.2.4 – Policy 22 and Policy 36.

About the FHSAA
The Florida High School Athletic Association is the governing body for interscholastic athletics in Florida. It has a membership of more than 770 middle and senior high schools, and sponsors postseason competitions to determine the official state high school champions in 30 different sports. The 16-member FHSAA Board of Directors is the executive authority of the Association.

Contact for media:
Laurel Ring
Public Relations Specialist, FHSAA
(352) 372-9551 ext. 170
lring [at] fhsaa [dot] org

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