In last week’s column, I briefly discussed the incorporation of the new football playoff and championship system that will begin this season. This week, I wish to expand on that topic to fully explain the new adjustments.
Each January, the Louisiana High School Athletic Association (LHSAA) and its many member-schools gather for an annual convention in Baton Rouge, La. At this convention, any member-school principal has the opportunity to propose rule changes to the LHSAA Handbook that will in turn be voted on by all member-school principals.
This past January, member-school principals voted to designate member schools as “select” admission schools and “non-select” admission schools. Select admission schools are those that have an admission policy to select students who attend the school, including non-public, charter, university lab and magnet schools. Additionally, dual-curriculum schools that include at least 25 percent of their enrollment as select admission students who do not live in the designated attendance zone are also considered select admission schools. Non-select admission schools are those that have a designated attendance zone. The vote regarding select and non-select admission schools only affects the sport of football.
The rule change does not affect the regular season as all schools remain in their respective classes and districts. For playoff competition, non-select admission schools will compete in Classes 5A, 4A, 3A, 2A and 1A while select admission schools will move into Divisions I, II, III and IV. The initial vote resulted in two select admission school divisions; however, the LHSAA Executive Committee further split the divisions into a total of four categories. Division I includes select Class 5A schools, Division II includes select Class 4A and Class 3A schools, Division III includes select Class 2A schools and Division IV is made up of select Class 1A schools.
The 2013 LHSAA-State Farm Prep Classic Football Championships will now feature nine total championships for each class and division and will take place December 12 – 14, 2013 in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, a. Divisions I, II and III will compete in their state championships Thursday, December 12 while Classes IA, 2A and 3A will play on Friday, December 13. Finally, Division IV and Classes 4A and 5A will vie for their titles Saturday, December 14.
For a complete listing of each state football class and division, please visit our website at www.lhsaa.org, select General News and then 2013 Football Playoff Classifications & Divisions. Feel free to contact the LHSAA Assistant Executive Director B.J. Guzzardo at firstname.lastname@example.org or 225-300-4204 with any questions or concerns about this new system.
As always, the LHSAA is looking forward to this new school year and to working with all of our member school principals, coaches and athletic directors in continuing to train our student-athletes in going “Beyond the Game” to excel both on and off the playing field.