AHSAA Approves Change to Regional Basketball Tournament Format

MONTGOMERY, AL -- The Alabama High School Athletic Association Central Board of Control approved a change in basketball championship play for the coming school year, voted to add bowling as a championship sport beginning with the 2015-16 school year and also voted to make the NFHS online heat acclimatization course a requirement of all coaches beginning in 2014-15. The actions were taken Tuesday at the Spring Central Board meeting at the AHSAA Office.

The board voted to change the current regional basketball playoff schedule from a one-week tournament to one that would be played in parts of two weeks beginning with the 2014-15 season.

The new format became necessary after the seven-classification format was approved, requiring more days to complete the regional tournament.

“The current schedule didn’t allow enough time between rounds of the basketball playoffs,” said Executive Director Steve Savarese. “The new schedule provides for our schools some much needed space between the completion of the region tournament and the start of the state tournament.“

The change will also allow schools more flexibility with area tournament play. Schools can elect to play girls’ area tournaments between Jan. 31 and Feb. 6 and boys’ area tournaments any time between Jan. 31 and Feb. 7. If areas cannot agree on the dates, the girls’ default dates will be Feb. 2, 4 and 6 and boys’ default dates will be Feb. 3, 5 and 7.

Sub-region play for Classes 1A-6A will be Monday, Feb. 9 for girls and Tuesday, Feb. 10 for boys. Class 7A will not have a sub-regional round.

Regional tournaments will be played between Wednesday, Feb. 11 and Thursday, Feb. 19 allowing scheduling flexibility with host sites. The state tournament coaches’ meeting will be held on Saturday, Feb. 21 and the state tournament will be played as previously scheduled Monday-Saturday, Feb. 23-28 at the BJCC Arena in Birmingham.

Bowling was approved as an emerging sport for the 2014-15 school year and will become a championship sport in 2015-16, giving member schools time to develop their bowling programs. Bowling will be established as a winter sport.

The Central Board of Control approved a recommendation from AHSAA Medical Advisory Board Director Dr. Jimmy Robinson to require the free NFHS course – A Guide to Heat Acclimatization and Heat Illness Prevention – as part of the Coaches’ Education certification requirements beginning with the 2014-15 school year. All coaches will be required to take the online course.

Central Board President Lamar Brooks of District 2 and Vice President Mike Welsh of District 6 were re-elected to serve as officers for the 2014-15 school year.

The AHSAA Legislative Council also voted on 19 legislative proposals submitted by member schools for 2014 and ratified three.

The Legislative Council voted 31-1 to amend the current eligibility waiting period from five days to two for students who become certified as eligible once they have been submitted online by the principal.

Passing 24-8 was a proposal to amend the second paragraph of the current “Defining a School” section of the Junior High/Middle School bylaw to allow member junior high/middle schools to participate in interscholastic contests with junior high/middle schools with any combination of seventh, eighth and/or ninth graders.

The Council also approved unanimously (32-0) granting a special 25-year pass to any member of the AHSADCA after they complete 25 years as a member of the organization, regardless of positions held at a member school. This includes assistant coaches, head coaches, principals, assistant principals or athletic directors. The required 25 years of service can include any combination of service years in the aforementioned positions.

Passage of a legislative proposal requires a two-thirds vote of the 32-member council.

In other board action Tuesday:

§ Discussed current state legislative issues with Board president Lamar Brooks and appointed a committee to study the issues more closely.

§ Approved Cornerstone Schools of Alabama as a high school member of the AHSAA.

§ Approved Highlands School of Birmingham as a middle school member of the AHSAA.

§ Approved the 2013 Super 6 audit, the 2014 Final 48 audit, Super Section and State Wrestling audits and indoor track financial report.

§ Approved the projected expenses for the 2014 NFHS Summer Meeting in Boston.

§ Approved the 2014-15 Calendar of Events, 2014-15 Sports Calendar and five-year Sports Calendar.

§ Approved ticketing partnerships with Huddle, Inc., and Preptix, an e-ticketing vendor.

§ Heard an update from AHSADCA Director Alvin Briggs concerning the 2014 Summer Conference and All-Star Sports Week in Montgomery July 20-25.

§ Set June 18, 2014 as the date for new Central Board Member Orientation.

§ Set dates for future Central Board meetings – July 30, 2014, Oct. 22, 2014, Jan. 21, 2015 and April 14, 2015.


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