Leader Blues

Friday, August 08, 2008

SPORTS>>AAA rejects proposals to re-merge top classifications

By JASON KING
Leader sportswriter

The governing body of the Arkansas Activities Association rejected a proposal to group 6A and 7A athletic programs together into more geographically-centered conferences on Tuesday.

The proposal, presented by Conway Athletic Director Buzz Bolding in regards to 6A and 7A football, received 60.4 percent of the required 67 percent of votes needed to pass, despite receiving an overwhelming 18-0 pass recommendation from the AAA board of directors earlier this summer.

The new arrangement would have cut down on travel costs and travel time for many schools, but it also would have made all 32 teams in the two classifications playoff-eligible with 16-team postseason brackets for each of the 7A and 6A classifications. Seeding would have been determined by the AAA.

Although the plan was rejected, officials at the Arkansas Activities Association maintain that combining classifications is “still a possible solution.”

Proposals and results of voting were as follows:

Proposal 2: 6A & 7A Conferencing: Failed – For 6A and 7A schools the AAA Board shall assign 4 conferences consisting of 6A and/or 7A schools with 8 schools per conference for regular season conference play in high school volleyball, basketball, soccer, baseball and softball. Conference assignments in these sports will be determined by the AAA using geographical considerations to reduce travel expenses and travel time as much as possible for regular season play.

Conference schools with volleyball, basketball, soccer, baseball and/or softball teams must complete the round-robin schedule in the conference assigned by the AAA to qualify for state tournament play.

At the end of the regular season, all schools with volleyball, basketball, soccer, softball and baseball teams will qualify for either the 6A or 7A state tournament and be placed in a 16-team state tournament play-off bracket or system.

Schools will compete in the 6A or 7A state tournament in volleyball, basketball, soccer, baseball and softball based on AAA classification-enrollment numbers that are used for all other sports.

Play-off seeding procedures for the 6A and 7A state tournaments in volleyball, basketball, soccer, baseball and softball will be determined by the AAA. All other sports other than volleyball, basketball, soccer, baseball and softball will compete within the AAA assigned 6A or 7A classification following current AAA scheduling and play-off rules. (For – 5, Against – 39)

Proposal 5: 6A Football Classification: Failed – The largest 32 schools. For football-only Class 6A schools shall compete for championship in two divisions. (For – 99, Against 65, required 2/3 vote).