Major FHSAA Re-Classifications announced!

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Some big changes in the district assignments were announced by FHSAA yesterday.  The roster of FHSAA schools has grown considerably and we suspect it will still grow as more South Florida teams join the FHSAA.  FloridaLacrosseNews.com reported on the move by the FHSAA to bring the teams comprising the SFIA either into the FHSAA or into full compliance with the “club” rules.  You can read that article here. 

The number of teams assigned to districts has grown from 89 in the 2011 season to 94 for the upcoming 2012 season.  This number will more than likely not change.  This is due to the rule that mandates a year of Independent classification for teams who join the FHSAA.  The number of Independent FHSAA teams (not assigned to a district and therefore not eligible for Post-Season play) grew from 9 in the 2011 season to 17 for the 2012 season.  That’s a big change considering five of last year’s independents are now assigned to districts and the other four have apparently withdrawn their programs.  So this is 17 new independent teams. 

The overall number of Districts has also grown.  There are now 16 boy’s lacrosse districts for the 2012 season, up from 15.  What this means is that there will be no “byes” in the play-offs next season.  Everyone must go through two rounds.  The interesting thing about the 16 Districts is that next year some of them will get huge.  The FHSAA only does reclassification every other year.  Next year, most of the 17 unassigned schools will be eligible to join districts.  So the current number of 16 districts will absorb them, possibly creating some very large districts. 

One thing that remains unchanged is lacrosse’s status as a “recognized” sport as opposed to a “sanctioned” sport.  As a “recognized” sport we will continue to have a very different post-season structure than other sports.  Most notable is the fact that only the district champions advance to the regional play-offs.  A less obvious side-effect of our “recognized” status is that lacrosse’s official “post-season” begins with our district play-offs.  So FHSAA regulates our district play-off rules.  This includes roster size as well as the fact that the top-four seeds advance to the district play-offs.  Those decisions are made at the district planning meetings for other sports.  In many sports the district play-offs include all teams in the districts.  In addition, post-season “stats” begin accumulating in district play-offs, unlike other sports where the wins and losses in district tournaments are counted as regular season games. 

The formula for determining when a sport moves from “recognized” to “sanctioned” is very complicated and appears to be somewhat subjective.  But it’s fairly clear that as long as large densely populated sections of the state remain unaffiliated with FHSAA, like Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties, we will not achieve “sanctioned” status. 

Here is rundown of the new districts. 

District 1 – Remains unchanged.

Chiles

Leon

Lincoln

Maclay

District 2 – Big changes to district 2.  It has gone from a single 10 team district to two 5 team districts. 

Episcopal

Paxon

Robert E. Lee

Stanton

Wolfson

District 3 – The other half

Atlantic Coast

Bolles

Fletcher

Mandarin

Sandalwood

District 4 – St. Augustine joins what was District 3 last year, making this a 7 team district.

Bartram Trail

Creekside

Fleming Island

Menendez

Nease

Ponte Vedra

St. Augustine

District 5 – Other than a name change from District 4 to district 5 this one remains unchanged.

Buchholz

Eastside

Gainesville

Oak Hall

P.K. Yonge

District 6-Last year’s District 5, otherwise unchanged.

Father Lopez

Flagler Palm Coast

Lake Mary

Matanzas

Seminole

Winter Springs

District 7 – Big changes in Central Florida.  District 7 look’s a little like last year’s district 6, with the addition of Winter Park and Trinity Prep.  Lake Brantley already had a rising Oviedo team to deal with but the addition of Winter Park to their district really changes things.

Hagerty

Lake Brantley

Lake Howell  

Lyman

Oviedo

Trinity Prep (from District 10)

Winter Park (from District 10)

District 8 – District 8 is the District 7 from 2011.  Other than the addition of brand new Lake Minneola, it remains unchanged.  Newly opened public schools are not required to do a year of Independent before district assignment.

Apopka

East Ridge

Lake Minneola (new school)

Ocoee

Wekiva

West Orange

District 9 – This is another completely overhauled district in Central Florida. 

Bishop Moore (from District 9)

East River (from Independent)

Edgewater (from District 9)

Lake Highland Prep (From District 9)

Timber Creek (from District 10)

University (from District 10)

District 10 – Wow! Could 2012 be Boone’s year? Major changes here with a completely revamped District 10.

Boone

Dr. Phillips

First Academy

Freedom

Lake Nona

Olympia

Windermere Prep (from Independent)

District 11– Same name and teams as last season.

Holy Trinity Episcopal

John Carroll

Melbourne Central Catholic 

St. Edward’s

Vero Beach 

District 12– This is last year’s district 8

All Saints’

Berkeley Prep

Cardinal Mooney

Tampa Catholic 

District 13 – This is District 12 from the 2011 season with the addition of Bishop Verot who played as an independent last season.

Barron Collier

Bishop Verot

Community

Golden Gate

Gulf Coast

Immokalee 

Lely

Naples 

Palmetto Ridge

District 14– Some pretty big re-shuffling in South Florida.  District 14 is made up of three schools from the 2011 district with the addition of Coral Springs Charter, who played as an independent in 2011, and St. Andrews.

American Heritage

Coral Springs Charter 

North Broward Prep

Pine Crest

St. Andrew’s

District 15 – New district comprised of spinoffs from the old District 14

American Heritage

Archbishop McCarthy

Cardinal Gibbons

Pembroke Pines Charter 

St. Thomas Aquinas

University School

District 16 – This is last season’s District 15 with exception of Mater Academy.  We are waiting on more information from Mater Academy to find out if they have withdrawn their program or if this is an oversight. 

Belen Jesuit

Coral Shores

Gulliver Prep

Immaculata-LaSalle

Miami Country Day 

Palmer Trinity

Ransom Everglades

Independents – This is a huge group of Independents for the 2012 season.  As we stated above, most of these schools will be absorbed into existing districts for the 2013 season.  Expect this list to grow as more teams from the old SFIA bring teams into the FHSAA.  In a previous article which you can read here InisideFloridaLacrosse.com reported on the move by FHSAA to bring the South Florida teams either into full compliance with the “club” rules or to join the FHSAA.  It looks like many of the privates have chosen to join the FHSAA.  While this is great for the FHSAA, it will certainly change complexion and the validity of the SFIA. 

Benjamin (North Palm Beach)

Boyd Anderson (Lauderdale Lakes)

Calvary Christian (Fort Lauderdale) 

Dwyer (Palm Beach Gardens)

Estero 

John I. Leonard (Greenacres)

Jupiter Christian 

Jupiter 

King’s Academy (West Palm Beach)

Pine School (Stuart)

Pope John Paul II (Boca Raton)

Providence (Jacksonville)

South Plantation 

St. Stephen’s (Bradenton) 

Suncoast (Riviera Beach) 

Taravella (Coral Springs)

Trinity Catholic (Ocala)