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Letter: While Tennessee and Alabama pass competitive balance rules, GHSA fiddles

The 2016 Georgia High School Association (GHSA) reclassification was supposed to be about improving competitive balance. 


It was about moving Class 2A private schools out of 2A. 

Since reclassification, the eight Atlanta-area private schools in classifications 3A and 4A, representing 7 percent of all schools, won 40 percent of all state titles (23 of 58 competitions). Region 7-4A members Marist and Blessed Trinity won 11 of these. 

Denmark High School, welcome to Region 7-4A.

Beginning in the fall of 2018, Denmark will compete against Blessed Trinity, Chestatee, Flowery Branch, Marist, West Hall, and White County in Region 7-4A. Since 2000, Marist and Blessed Trinity have won a combined 128 state championships. Eighty of these are in 4A. Seventy-seven of these were won by Marist. Since 2000, Chestatee, Flowery Branch, West Hall, and White County have a combined six state championships, of which one was in 4A.

On Nov. 30, 2017, the Alabama High School Athletic Association approved a new competitive balance plan that only impacts private schools. This plan is based on a private school’s success rate by sport in state tournaments and was adopted by a bipartisan group of public and private school administrators. If a private school has significant success in state tournaments during a three-year period by sport, that school will move up a classification in that sport.

On March 14, 2018, the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association (TSSAA) voted to completely split public and private schools into separate divisions. This applies to all competitions. 

Twenty-one years ago, the TSSAA took the first step by placing private schools into a separate division if these schools offered need-based financial aid. The March 2018 TSSAA proposal to completely split public and private schools was submitted by Memphis private school Harding Academy. The proposal passed unanimously and will go into effect during the 2019-2020 school year.

For Georgia 3A and 4A public schools in 2018, it will be wash, rinse and repeat.

Alan Henderson

Watkinsville, Georgia