New Format Proposed For State's High School Teams

8:01 AM, Jan 23, 2013   |    comments
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Columbia, SC (WLTX) --- The South Carolina High School League's current classification system features a format with four classifications with football being the only sport that allows for multiple state champions within a given class.

For example, the playoff format in 4A, 2A and Class A features two divisions in each, while the 3A schools have just one state champion in football.

There is a proposal by two prominent head football coaches that would revamp the way not only the playoff format but, more importantly, the entire classification system.

Conway's Chuck Jordan and Barry Harley from Gilbert, both head football coaches and athletics directors at their respective schools, were at the SCHSL offices Tuesday where they presented a proposal to the executive committee.

The plan calls for just three classifications, but two divisions for each and that would apply to all sports, not just football.

Jordan first came up with the plan a little over a year ago and Harley jumped on board because he says the new system would cut down on travel, be fairer to all sports and to the smaller schools.

In terms of travel, Orangeburg-Wilkinson is in a region where they have to make two-hour drives to the Lowcountry.

Jordan says if teams have to make long drives, it should be in the playoffs, not for a regular season game.

The plan will be distributed throughout the state for coaches and athletics directors to examine. Both Harley and Jordan admit there will be some tweaking with the proposal, but they hope that once coaches from all sports get a look at it, the support will grow.

The two coaches will meet again with SCHSL officials in March to see where the proposal stands. If it is eventually approved, it would go into effect in the fall of 2014.


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