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GHSA votes to reduce classifications to six by 2024-25

The Georgia High School Association is going back to six classifications.

The organization's executive committee voted Monday to axe Class 7A and return to six classifications by 2024-25 in hopes of reducing travel time between schools. The GHSA will split Class 1A into two divisions. The board of trustees voted 12-0 last month to recommend the proposal, which passed unanimously. 

Monday's decision will impact several Forsyth County schools, six of which currently compete in Class 7A. 

In November, the GHSA reclassified North Forsyth to Class 6A, where the school's athletic programs will compete beginning this fall. However, the Raiders will likely rejoin county schools Forsyth Central, Denmark, Lambert, South Forsyth and West Forsyth in 2024 when those schools move from Class 7A.

The move is designed to address travel concerns that have grown more dire since 17 schools elected to break from the organization. Pinecrest Academy announced earlier this month its intention to join the Georgia Association of Private and Parochial Schools this fall.

Other motions passed by the committee include:

— Creating a third championship division in lacrosse. The lacrosse playoffs expanded to include a 24-team bracket in Class 1A-4A, a 32-team bracket in Class 5A-6A, and a 16-team bracket in Class 7A.

— Allowing GHSA member private and charter schools to select a public school attendance zone within their county of residence that best reflects their student population.

— Requiring tennis teams to play on hard courts unless both teams agree to play on another court surface.

— Increasing the number of girls wrestling playing dates from six to 20 beginning next school year, while also increasing weight classes in girls wrestling from 10 to 14.