The GHSA Executive Committee approved several changes earlier today that will significantly change Peach State prep athletics for years to come.
In Class A, the opportunities to make the playoffs will improve as the number of playoff teams is increased 50%, from 16 to 24 in both public and private brackets. Ranked by power ratings, teams 9 through 16 will host teams 17 through 24 in what has been a bye week in recent years. Those winners will then travel to play teams 1 through 8.
With a working title of "The Big 44", the new largest classification will include the largest schools in the state. Most of those are from the greater Atlanta area. Adding that seventh class will reduce the number of schools in Classes AA through AAAAAA to about 60 each. Due to geography, some regions may not have four teams to send to the state playoffs. In those situations, the power rating system will be used to complete the brackets.
Another change will affect those schools that have more than a handful of students attending that live outside the county where the school sits. If 3% of their student body are from outside the school's county, they will be moved up a class. This does not affect teams in Class A or Class AAAAAA.
All changes take effect with the 2016-17 school year, and affect more than just football.
Story: Macon Telegraph: GHSA adds Big 44 class, expands Class A playoffs