Four-class proposal for high school sports across West Virginia

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PUTNAM COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) — High school sports could be seeing a major change in West Virginia during the next few years.

The proposal is up for public comment for the next 30 days before the West Virginia Board of Education votes on it.

Currently there are three classifications for high school sports to balance competition: A, AA, AAA. The West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission is proposing another class: AAAA.

The classifications have always been based on school enrollment, with A being the lowest and AAA being the schools with the highest enrollment.

With the WVSSAC's new enrollment guidelines, there would be more deciding factors in the rank.

"One is enrollment of the school, another is economic factor, which is broken up into things like median income of that county, and then there is a location factor, meaning how close you are to the county seat," Winfield High School Principal Bruce McGrew said.

Winfield High School would be one of the schools most impacted by this proposed changed. At this time, the school is classified as a AA, and this new proposal could bump them up to the new category of AAAA.

"No disrespect to those who developed it and proposed it, but it's not fair," McGrew said. When Winfield was last categorized as an AA school, they had 847 students enrolled. Currently, they have 815.

The proposal is up for public comment for the next 30 days before the State Board of Education votes on it.

If this passes, the changes would start in 2021. The first two years would serve as a trial period for boys and girls high school basketball.

Virginia switched from a AAA class system to a 5A system a few years back.

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