The New York State Public High School Athletic Association Central Committee on Wednesday approved seven sports to increase up to six classifications, starting in the 2023-24 school year.
The sports of boys’ and girls’ basketball, boys’ and girls’ soccer, volleyball, baseball and softball all will add a classification. The number of classes in all other sports will not change.
Starting in the 2023-24 school year, baseball, softball, boys’ and girls’ basketball and boys’ and girls’ soccer will be eligible for a sixth classification – AAA – pending approval from each sport’s committee.
Current Class AA schools would become Class AAA schools and Class D will remain the same.
Under the current system for boys’ basketball and girls’ soccer, the state’s 75 largest schools compete in Class AA and the 100 smallest compete in Class D. That leaves 187 schools each for Classes A, B and C in basketball and 161 in each of those three classes for girls’ soccer.
The six-classification system for boys’ basketball and girls’ soccer would move the largest 75 schools to Class AAA, and the 100 smallest would remain in Class D. In basketball, Classes AA, A, B, and C would have 140 schools each and 121 each in girls’ soccer.
Using this year’s BEDS numbers as an example, Newburgh and Pine Bush would be Class AAA in boys’ and girls’ basketball, boys’ and girls soccer, baseball and softball. The cutoffs for volleyball were not available. Valley Central and Wallkill would be in Class AA.
Marlboro would be in Class A. Highland would remain in Class B, while Chapel Field would remain in Class D.
The new proposal would result in additional NYSPHSAA expenses, but could see additional revenue from ticket sales, merchandise and National Federation of State High School network viewership.
The NYSPHSAA’s ad-hoc Classification Committee first proposed this in Spring 2021 looking for a way to, according to NYSPHSAA officials, “provide more equity amongst all NYSPHSAA championship sports and greater opportunities for students to experience a NYSPHSAA championship.”
The committee was established in the Fall of 2020 because of concerns from NYSPHSAA membership about the process of establishing classification cutoff numbers.