The Georgia High School Association meets Monday (Aug. 17) and will be considering a proposal to expand the state’s classifications for athletics from seven divisions to eight. The addition — if the proposal is approved — will be what has been called The Big 44. It will be comprised of schools in the top 10 percent of enrollment.
The reclassification plan also includes a multiplier formula similar to what was in effect for the larger private schools from 2000 to 2008. The proposed multiplier would apply to any school with open enrollment that accepts 1 to 3 percent of its enrollment from outside its own county. The exact percentage has not yet been determined.
That formula could again impact larger private schools as well as city school systems with open enrollment. The plan has basically been sponsored and presented by GHSA reclassification committee members Dave Hunter (Brookwood) and Earl Etheridge (Savannah).
Under the proposed plan, the single-A classification will remain unchanged except for the expansion of its current playoff format. The proposal includes an expansion of the private A and public A playoff brackets from 16 to 24 teams.
Between the Big 44 and the two single-A divisions, there would be five classifications comprised of approximately 58 to 64 schools. The GHSA has 454 member schools with 419 that play football. The Big 44 plan would mean eight different state championship divisions and would go into effect with the 2016-17 school year.
The reclassification plan is on the agenda for discussion at the GHSA’s committee meetings Sunday and would go before the full executive committee membership Monday.