Photo courtesy Ted Melton / actionsportspix.smugmug.com
Football Bucs 2013 state title 20
A new classification for Alabama high school sports will see Hoover and Spain Park sharing rivals in 2014.
According to the Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA), Class 7A was created this month following a bi-annual review of enrollment. The new alignment, which will take effect in fall 2014 and last a minimum of two years, saw 32 schools of the state’s largest schools regrouped into four Class 7A Regions.
Spain Park High and Hoover High are now Class 7A, Region 3 alongside Hewitt-Trussville, Mountain Brook, Oak Mountain, Thompson, Tuscaloosa Co. and Vestavia Hills.
“The seven-classification system will allow more student-athletes to participate in championship events and more will experience first-hand what it means to play in some of the best venues in our state,” AHSAA Central Board of Control President Lamar Brooks said in a release on ahsaa.com. “With the addition of an extra championship game, revenues should increase, which will mean much-needed additional money for all schools through the AHSAA revenue sharing program.”
The release states AHSAA has functioned with a six-class system since 1984. The seven-class system allows the organization to group schools more closely by enrollment. This is projected to prevent disparity, as was the case in 2013 when Spain Park’s nearly 1,500-member student body was in the same class and region as Chelsea High that has approximately 800 students.
The classification change will apply to all sports, which the AHSAA reports will reduce the need for nine-team regions in football and five-team areas in sports like basketball, volleyball, baseball and softball.
The remaining six classes were divided to include 60 schools in 6A, 61 in 5A, 60 in 4A, 60 in 3A, 58 in 2A and 58 in Class 1A. A total of 23 schools currently do not participate in football championship play and will placed in the re-classification system based on their reported enrollment numbers.