Copyright 2018 The Florida Times-Union
Florida Times-Union (Jacksonville)
The Florida High School Athletic Association is holding its athletic directors advisory committee meeting Wednesday, the next step for a reclassification policy that could dramatically reshape the sports landscape in the Sunshine State.
The FHSAA is inviting athletic directors and coaches from across Florida to the meeting, scheduled for 9 a.m. Wednesday at the Robert W. Hughes Building in Gainesville.
Although the committee is scheduled to take up a wide range of business, the most prominent point on the agenda is the seventh one: discussion on the reclassification proposal that would use a rating system, rather than enrollment, to determine classifications beginning in the 2019-20 school year.
Sports affected would be boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball and girls volleyball.
The FHSAA has cited diminishing attendance at state tournaments and a rash of recent blowouts, even in state semifinals and finals, as reasons for the proposed change.
The proposal would set up a system of six divisions for each of those seven sports, beginning with a top division of the highest-ranked 64 teams in each sport. The second division would comprise the next 64, with the third through sixth divisions split up equally.
The FHSAA has planned to use the MaxPreps rating system as its criterion for determining the classifications.
The reclassification plan would also eliminate districts as they currently exist in the seven sports.
Although the committee has only advisory powers and does not have the authority to formally ratify policies, its recommendations often carry significant weight.
This year's changes to the high school football season, increasing the number of playoff qualifiers in Classes 1A through 4A and adding five points for losses in the point system, were both endorsed by the advisory committee in January before the FHSAA board of directors voted to approve the measures.
It's expected that the proposal would go before the board of directors Sept. 24, with a vote likely in October.
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