GAINESVILLE, Fla. – After pausing for a two-week delay regarding the issue surrounding the impending FHSAA reclassification, a decision has finally been made by the FHSAA Board of Directors.

In a special meeting called just to handle the reclassification matter which lasted roughly 90 minutes, the Board of Directors was unanimous in voting for a motion brought up by Chris Patricca of Lee County for a one-year cycle using the 2020 student enrollment numbers.

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The main factor considered to go in this direction that every school district and many private schools that are members have seen different effects as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This was echoed by several speakers who had signed up to speak during the meeting.

As such, the change applies to all sports the FHSAA currently offers.

While much discussion was had by the board between either pausing for one-year or moving forward with reclassification using either the 2020 numbers or an average of numbers going as far back as 2018, it still left a few questions to what things will look like going forward.

One of the biggest questions, which was strongly voiced by Jeff McLean of Merritt Island of what will happen for football classifications, especially in Classes 5A-8A where districts are required per FHSAA policy. It was suggested that to eliminate the district mandate for those classifications would need to go to the Football Advisory Committee for vetting first before the Board of Directors could make a motion on the topic as the meeting called was to serve one purpose only – to address reclassification.

The other change that could come out of this though – reclassification going forward on even years starting in 2022 which would align with neighboring states of Georgia and Alabama. Florida Athletic Coaches Association Executive Director Shelton Crews mentioned that there are 14 counties that border the state line and where schools are known to reach across the state line looking for games, particularly in football.

However, it is unknown right now what the timeline will be in terms of when new classifications for the one-year cycle will be released by the FHSAA, but an estimated timeline could be a couple of weeks starting with fall sports first and then going forward to winter and spring sports.