LHSAA votes to expand playoff split to other sports for 2016-17

LHSAA votes to expand playoff split to other sports for 2016-17

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - On Friday, the members of the Louisiana High School Athletic Association (LHSAA) voted 182-120 to not only continue the select/non-select playoff split but also expand it to basketball, baseball and softball.

According to the organization, select schools are defined as "all non-public, charter, university lab and magnet schools" as well as "any dual-curriculum schools that include at least 25 percent of their enrollment as select admission students who do not live in the designated attendance zone."

The earlier vote reversed an announcement made less than two weeks ago. On January 15, LHSAA Executive Director Eddie Bonine said the split was coming to an end because the athletic organization did not follow constitutional procedure when voting on the post-season format in 2013. That procedural error was found on January 7.

"I truly believe that the decisions that were made today was in the best interest of the individuals with whom voted for that and put it in place and I think that overall will have a positive effect for the organization," Bonine said.

The principals' vote means there will continue to be nine championship football games. Before the split, there were five classes with five championship games.

For basketball, baseball and softball, select schools will be divided into five divisions to make for 12 championships in those sports.

Many High School principal Normal Booker authored the proposal and said he was relieved that the other members sided with his point of view on competition equity.

"We've worked hard to try to come up with a possible solution to the many problems that we have heard and I think this is a step in the right direction," Booker.

However, not all in attendance shared that view.

"I'm disappointed that we have divided further, I don't think there is anything to be gained by division," said John Curtis, athletic director at John Curtis High School. "Obviously that was not the sentiment today. I think they put a lot of people, especially women sports in the select division in a very difficult position "

The new playoff split change will go into effect July 1, 2016.

The LHSAA also approved pay raises for officials and the move to go back to determining eligibility based on attendance zones instead of parish lines.

The following is the break down of individual votes for both the football playoff split and expanding the split:

Copyright WAFB 2016. All rights reserved.