High School Sports

GHSA tables talks about games with GISA schools

MACON, Ga. — The hopes of some that teams in the Georgia High School Association and the Georgia Independent School Association would be able to play each other is on hold for a while after the GHSA Board of Trustees voted Sunday afternoon to table that proposal for further study.

Legislators Ellis Black from Valdosta and Jay Roberts of Ocilla met with the GHSA to discuss the situation, and the board met afterward and decided to look into the logistics and options.

The board could have approved the proposal and put it up for a vote at this morning’s executive committee meeting, but the recommendation to table it knocked it from the agenda list.

Board member and former Bibb County athletics director Raynette Evans said the discussion was cordial and positive. GHSA executive director Ralph Swearngin said state representative Allen Peake of Macon was invited but couldn’t attend.

The meeting was part of a day’s worth of GHSA committee meetings at the Marriott City Center. The executive committee will meet this morning to vote on a variety of proposals.

The state high school basketball postseason will be different for at least two years, courtesy of the SEC women’s tournament residing at the Arena at Gwinnett for two years.

The GHSA basketball committee voted Sunday for the third round of the playoffs to be played at the home of the higher-seeded team with semifinals to be at centralized sites the week before the finals. The championships will be at a single site — as yet undetermined — with games on that Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

“There are many communities that would be interested,” said Evans, also a member of the basketball committee.

The football committee spent substantial time discussing heat and practice schedule issues and listened to a presentation of results of a heat-related study conducted by the University of Georgia.

The executive committee will vote on establishing a standard statewide policy for determining when it is too hot to practice. That process was accelerated after the deaths in 2011 of two players, Donteria Searcy of Fitzgerald and Forrest Jones of Locust Grove.

The executive committee also will vote on a rating system to determine playoff teams in Class A for football, softball, baseball and basketball. That’s a result of the association splitting Class A private and public schools for the playoffs.

It’s a complex equation involving wins, opponents’ record, a loss differential and power points.

Football committee chairman Earl Etheridge said the school officials involved in that discussion were exemplary.

“I had the pleasure of working with the Class A public and private schools,” he said. “I have to take my hat off to the public and private people with how they worked. I think those people, they really stepped forward and tried to make the situation work.”Swearngin reported to the football committee that the association paid about $598,000 to the schools involved in the state championships at the Georgia Dome.

The football committee also approved raising first-round playoff tickets, and it discussed improving the accounting at home sites in the playoffs so a quicker report on the gates is available.