MONTGOMERY – The Alabama High School Athletic Association Central Board of Control unanimously approved Tuesday the classification for member schools for the school years 2020-21 & and 2021-22. The classification will once again classify member schools in seven classes.
The action came during the Central Board’s December meeting at the AHSAA Office. Re-classification, conducted every two years, is based on average daily enrollment numbers for the first 20 school days after Labor Day. Public schools provide those figures to Alabama State Board of Education (ASDE). Member private schools supply the same enrollment information for their schools or school systems to the AHSAA.
The AHSAA functioned with a six-classification system from 1984 to 2014 and have been grouped in seven classifications ever since. The schools were grouped in a four-classification system from 1964-1983 and a two-classification system from 1947-1964. Prior to 1947, the AHSAA had just one classification system.
The 2020-21 & 2021-22 classification football alignment places the 32 largest high schools in the new Class 7A. The remaining six classes are divided with 59 football-playing schools in each class. The Central Board also approved the sports alignments for the other fall sports volleyball, cross country and swimming. The winter sports alignments will be announced following the end of the basketball season, and the spring sports alignments will be announced following the conclusion of the spring sports playoffs.
The Competitive Balance factor assigned to member private school teams have been applied to the fall sports alignments and will be applied after the winter and spring sports seasons for the remaining sports. Three private school football programs (Mars Hill Bible, Mobile Christian and UMS-Wright) reached the Competitive Balance threshold during the current classification and will move up one class from their current classification. Two schools bumped up in the first Competitive Balance application (Madison Academy and St. Paul’s Episcopal) did not meet the threshold to remain in the higher class during the current classification period and will drop back one class to 4A and 5A, respectively in the new classification period.
Of the eight school volleyball programs that moved up a class for the current classification period, three (Bayside Academy, Providence Christian and Saint James) earned enough points in the Competitive Balance formula to move up another class in the upcoming two-year period. Three (St. Luke’s Episcopal, Madison Academy and St. Paul’s Episcopal) will remain in the same class and two (Decatur Heritage and John Carroll Catholic) did not meet the threshold and will move down one classification to 1A and 6A, respectively. Four schools (Athens Bible, Westminster-Oak Mountain, Montgomery Academy and Faith Academy) are moving up for the first time due to Competitive Balance, and McGill-Toolen Catholic, which is dropping from 7A to 6A due to enrollment, will see its volleyball program remain in 7A due to the Competitive Balance points earned.
“I want to thank the AHSAA staff and Central Board for the hard work they put in to develop the reclassification plan that was approved,” AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese said. “This is something that must be done every two years. It was a challenging task, but everyone worked together to find the best solution as we move forward.”
Central Board president Keith Bender said he wanted to thank the member schools for their input and patience throughout the reclassification process. “On behalf of the Central Board of Control and our member schools, I want to thank Mr. Savarese and his staff for their tireless efforts. I also want to thank our Central Board for their commitment and dedication to providing first-class athletic programs to all our student-athletes as well as making decisions that are best for all of our member schools.”
The reclassification enrollment and alignment data and for the sports of football, volleyball, cross country and swimming can be found at www.ahsaa.com. The direct link is: