Major changes could be coming to high school sports in Louisiana

By By Warren Arceneaux / American Press

LAFAYETTE — A trio of proposals that

would change the way schools are classified will headline the agenda at

next week’s Louisiana

High School Athletic Association convention.

The agenda was discussed Wednesday at an area meeting at the Clifton Chenier Center in Lafayette.

Two of the proposals, including one

written by former South Beauregard principal Marlin Ramsey, would separate select and

non-select schools for the playoffs. Under the Ramsey proposal,

the split would occur in all sports that are classified. Under

the second proposal, it would only occur for football.

The third proposal would classify football seperately from other sports, allowing for more uniformly-sized football districts

and smaller districts for other sports, to limit long trips for midweek games.

The Ramsey proposal was tabled until

this year at last year’s convention. The proposal would define schools

as select or non-select

based on admission policies. Select schools would be defined as “a

public or non-public school that has an admission policy

to select the students who attend the school. Select admission

schools shall include all non-public, charter, university lab

and magnet schools. Dual-curriculum schools that include at least

33% of their enrollment as select admission students who

don not live in the designated attendance zone shall also be

included as a selct admission school.”

The second select/non-select proposal lowers the threshold to 25% of the enrollment to earn the “select” school status.

In both proposals, select and non-select schools would play each other and be placed in the same districts during the regular

season. For the playoffs, select schools in Classes 3A, 4A and 5A would go into the Division I playoffs, those in Classes

1A and 2A would go into Division II playoffs, while non-select schools would play in the current 1-5A classes.

The status of Washington-Marion, which

has a dual-enrollment policy, is up in the air. Depending on the number

of students

attending the school from outside the attendance zone and which

proposal calling for a split — if either one does — is passed,

the Charging Indians could be either a select or non-select

school.

St. Louis would be in the Division I playoffs, Hamilton Christian in Division II.

Other items to be considered include a

change in the format of the Class 5A baseball playoffs. The regional and

quarterfinal

rounds of the playoffs would become a best 2-of-3 series rather

than a single game, and the state tournament would consist

of four teams, down from the current eight. The proposal also

includes restrictions on the amount of innings a pitcher could

throw. Pitchers would be limited to 10 innings per game or round

in the playoffs. Pitchers throwing four or more innings in

a game would not be allowed to pitch in the team’s following game.

St. Louis principal Ted Nixon submitted

a proposal that would create a power rating system to seed the soccer

playoffs. Currently,

coaches from qualifying teams vote to seed the teams.

Nixon said the proposal would bring soccer in line with other sports. Football, basketball, volleyball, baseball and softball

all use the power rating system.