The Georgia High School Association this week made significant changes as to how playoffs will be structured for most Class A sports.
The changes will impact Commerce High School directly during the next school year, with the new format splitting post-season brackets for the GHSA’s smallest public and private schools.
Regular region schedules will remain relevant, said CHS’ principal and athletic director Donnie Drew. Winners will earn automatic playoff bids. What are being called “power rankings” will determine the schools that are awarded the remaining 16 playoff slots open to private schools and the remaining 16 slots dedicated to public schools. Formerly, 32 teams total advanced to the playoffs in Class A in major sports.
“I don’t believe that things will be too much different during the regular season for football, softball, basketball and baseball,” Drew said. “All schools will be trying to win the region in order to secure an automatic spot in the state playoffs.”
CHS’ wrestling and swimming teams will continue having combined playoffs as well those schools with gymnastics, soccer, lacrosse and riflery. The reason for the disparity, Drew said, is the limited number of teams competing in those sports.
Cross country, track and field, golf, tennis, literary and one-act play will have separate post-seasons, but the teams will be put into larger geographic areas rather than regions, a part of the plan Drew did not favor.
As a member of the GHSA’s executive committee, he voted on the matter during a meeting held Monday. He is expecting some hiccups as the system is put into place next year.
“Some of this will be ‘learn as we go’ type stuff,” he said.