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Old 10-15-2019, 09:24 AM
 
1,010 posts, read 3,598,452 times
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I’m trying to learn a little about how high school football in Georgia works.
Where I grew up (Massachusetts) there is the college football-style conference format. Your high school is in a conference with a bunch of nearby schools. You play your conference opponents as well as some out-of-conference teams. There are a ton of elite private high schools also in MA and they typically play each other (not public schools).

Out of curiousity I was looking at Georgia HS rankings and I’m really confused. I see classes like 7A, 6A, 5A, etc. Are these considered conferences? Is higher always better? What determines your level- is it your school size? If you dominate your class, do they send you upwards? I know GA produces a ton of Division 1 talent...are these players mainly coming from a specific class?

And how are schedules set? Do you play your same nearby schools every year? Does county have any bearing (e.g. do Gwinnett schools mostly play other Gwinnett schools)? Is there a big rivalry between metro ATL schools and schools out in rural counties? Do private schools play public schools often?

Appreciate any insight!
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Old 10-15-2019, 10:41 AM
 
30,068 posts, read 27,748,417 times
Reputation: 10860
Quote:
Originally Posted by Go Blue 99 View Post
I’m trying to learn a little about how high school football in Georgia works.
Where I grew up (Massachusetts) there is the college football-style conference format. Your high school is in a conference with a bunch of nearby schools. You play your conference opponents as well as some out-of-conference teams. There are a ton of elite private high schools also in MA and they typically play each other (not public schools).

Out of curiousity I was looking at Georgia HS rankings and I’m really confused. I see classes like 7A, 6A, 5A, etc. Are these considered conferences? Is higher always better? What determines your level- is it your school size? If you dominate your class, do they send you upwards? I know GA produces a ton of Division 1 talent...are these players mainly coming from a specific class?

And how are schedules set? Do you play your same nearby schools every year? Does county have any bearing (e.g. do Gwinnett schools mostly play other Gwinnett schools)? Is there a big rivalry between metro ATL schools and schools out in rural counties? Do private schools play public schools often?

Appreciate any insight!
The "A" system is based on school size, not how good the team is. And no, you don't move to a different classification based on how good you are.

The numbers refer to "regions," which are similar to conferences. They are usually geographically based, although there may be exceptions. Schools compete for region championships, which move them into the statewide playoff system. Most schools also play several non-region (non-conference) games.

Not all private schools participate, although most of the larger ones do. They play against public schools as well, and they are also put into their geographic regions.

Division I players can come from all conferences. Larger schools tend to have more players, of course, but some smaller schools have outstanding programs and produce a lot of Division I talent. (Marist, Woodward, for example).
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Old 10-15-2019, 12:01 PM
 
14,398 posts, read 23,064,673 times
Reputation: 5123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Go Blue 99 View Post
I’m trying to learn a little about how high school football in Georgia works.
Where I grew up (Massachusetts) there is the college football-style conference format. Your high school is in a conference with a bunch of nearby schools. You play your conference opponents as well as some out-of-conference teams. There are a ton of elite private high schools also in MA and they typically play each other (not public schools).

Out of curiousity I was looking at Georgia HS rankings and I’m really confused. I see classes like 7A, 6A, 5A, etc. Are these considered conferences? Is higher always better? What determines your level- is it your school size? If you dominate your class, do they send you upwards? I know GA produces a ton of Division 1 talent...are these players mainly coming from a specific class?

And how are schedules set? Do you play your same nearby schools every year? Does county have any bearing (e.g. do Gwinnett schools mostly play other Gwinnett schools)? Is there a big rivalry between metro ATL schools and schools out in rural counties? Do private schools play public schools often?

Appreciate any insight!

Peruse and review this:

https://www.ghsa.net/2019-2020-region-alignments

It should give you an overview on how things are done.


In a nutshell...
1. Divisions are based on school size.
2. Within a division size, regions are developed by geography and proximity.
3. With private schools, their sizes are weighted to compensate for their larger catchment areas and recruiting abilities.
4. In some sports within the single-A division, they create separate divisions for public and private schools in order to foster equity and fairness.


I hope this helps.
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Old 10-15-2019, 02:54 PM
 
695 posts, read 499,591 times
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When I was in high school, the highest classification was 4A. They have since added 3 more classifications to create better parity and to give more schools a chance to make the playoffs which of course generates more revenue. I think they also adjust classifications every 3-5 years due to enrollment changes.

Below were the alignments for 2016-2018. I believe they realigned some schools mid-cycle due to big changes in enrollment. For instance, in 2019 Morrow moved from 5A to 6A and Jonesboro moved from 6A to 5A.

2016-2018 Alignments with school attendance numbers:
https://www.ghsa.net/sites/default/f...or_2015-17.pdf

A school can always request to play up a classification. I think Valdosta did play-up to stay in the highest classification for football. I think SW Dekalb still plays-up a class. Also, some schools play-up to reduce travel or stay in the same classification as a rival.

The general ranges for each class are:

7A: Over 2,100 (48 schools)
6A: 1,700-2,100 (58 schools)
5A: 1,400-1,700 (58 schools)
4A: 1,100-1,400 (53 schools)
3A: 800-1,100 (58 schools)
2A: 500-800 (63 schools)
1A: Under 500 (117 schools)

Last edited by PTC Dad; 10-15-2019 at 03:15 PM..
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Old 10-15-2019, 09:35 PM
 
Location: Columbus, GA
948 posts, read 425,484 times
Reputation: 640
Quote:
Originally Posted by PTC Dad View Post
When I was in high school, the highest classification was 4A. They have since added 3 more classifications to create better parity and to give more schools a chance to make the playoffs which of course generates more revenue.

The additional classes has a lot more to do with the population of Georgia basically doubling in size since the 80s/90s than it does for generating more revenue. There are more than a 100 new high schools competing in the state than there were in 1999.
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