Florida High School Athletic Association

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Florida High School Athletic Association
FHSAA logo.png
Map of USA highlighting Florida.png
FormationApril 9, 1920
Legal statusAssociation
Headquarters1801 NW 80th Blvd.
Gainesville, FL 32606
Region served
748 schools
Official language
Executive Director
George Tomyn
Main organ
Executive Committee
AffiliationsNational Federation of State High School Associations
$5,200,500 (2016–17 budget)[1]

The Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) is an organization whose purpose is to organize sports competition for high schools in Florida. It is a member of the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS). Florida uses NFHS contest rules in its sports.


The Florida High School Athletic Association was founded on April 9, 1920 by a group of 29 high school principals which met on the University of Florida campus in Gainesville. The organization was founded as the Florida High School Athletic Association. The name was changed to Florida High School Activities Association in 1951. The name was changed back to Florida High School Athletic Association in 2002.

The 29 schools who became charter members were: Summerlin (Bartow), Clearwater, Mainland (Daytona Beach), Seabreeze (Daytona Beach), DeLand, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Gainesville, Duval (Jacksonville), Osceola (Kissimmee), Columbia (Lake City), Lakeland, Leesburg, Suwannee (Live Oak), Miami, Ocala, Orlando, Putnam (Palatka), Pensacola, Plant City, Quincy, Seminole (Sanford), Ketterlinus (St. Augustine), St. Petersburg, Leon (Tallahassee), Hillsborough (Tampa), Hardee (Wauchula), West Palm Beach, and Winter Haven.

The first Constitution limited membership to public schools. However, in 1930, it was amended to open membership to private and parochial schools as well.

In 1951, the member schools voted to change the word "athletic" to "activities" in the organization name so that non-athletic activities such as music and student council programs would also receive proper supervision at the state level.

The Association was incorporated in 1962. While the association's charter had never specifically excluded non-white student participation, none actually participated until 1967, when all-black Gibbs High School not only participated in basketball but won the state championship.[2] In 1968 the FIAA disbanded. The FHSAA has never comprehensively incorporated the achievements of the black high schools into their record books.[3]

In 1996 the FHSAA adopted regulations permitting students enrolled in home education programs to participate in interscholastic activities. The regulations would later allow future Heisman Trophy quarterback Tim Tebow to participate in high-school football; similar rules adopted later by other states would thus be called the "Tebow rule".

In May 1997, the Florida Legislature recognized in statute the FHSAA as the governing body for interscholastic athletics in Florida, provided the Association comply with the provisions of a legislatively mandated revamping of its governmental structure.

The name was changed back to Florida High School Athletic Association in 2002. As of August 2007, the FHSAA has a membership of 748 schools.[4]

In 2017, the association adopted a points method of ranking football teams for state championship playoffs. Points are awarded on the basis of wins, and losses, opponents records, and past playoff records.[5]

Sports programs[edit]

The FHSAA oversees the following sports:[6]

Sanctioned sports[edit]

Recognized sports[edit]

Competitive classifications[edit]

As in most areas, high schools compete in sports in two types of division. One, because of logistical and geographical constraints, is necessarily local: large schools play small ones in the same area. There are four geographical regions for most sports, each subdivided into up to 16 districts,[7][8] typically four for larger school classifications and two for smaller school classifications, to reduce travel time and expense for conference play.

Another level of classification is made based on school population and is statewide. Eventually, schools with the best records in this type of classification will meet each other for seasonal playoffs to determine the state champion. That classification is calculated every two years for each sport and provides schools the opportunity to appeal their classification based on certain factors, primarily transportation expense. There are as many as eight classes, from 1A to 8A, based on population, the largest schools compete in 8A.[9]

For 2019-20,[10] the schools were classified based upon the total number of high school students, as follows:

  • Class 8A - 2,406-4,799
  • Class 7A - 2,009-2,404
  • Class 6A - 1,663-1,993
  • Class 5A - 1,169-1,648
  • Class 4A - 752-1,153
  • Class 3A - 384-749
  • Class 2A - 56-376
  • Class 1A - 100-600

Bracket 1A is specifically identified as "Rural".

Previously in 2017-8, the brackets were:

  • Class 8A - 2,332-4,492
  • Class 7A - 1,939-2,331
  • Class 6A - 1,593-1,938
  • Class 5A - 1,115-1,592
  • Class 4A - 681-1,114
  • Class 3A - 291-680
  • Class 2A - 1-290
  • Class 1A - 1-600

Class 1A-4A are no longer broken down into districts. Their "districts" are listed as "Independent". These teams are eligible to compete within the FHSAA State Series.[7]

FHSAA's All-Century Football Team[edit]

FHSAA's All-Century Team was selected in December 2007, to celebrate 100 years of high school football in Florida. It was selected by a panel of Florida high school experts.[11] The Florida High School Athletic Association lists the 34 greatest high school football players in state history. In conjunction with selecting the All-Century team, the FHSAA named an All-Century Coaching Staff.[12]


  1. ^ "FHSAA Board of Directors Meeting". FHSAA. Retrieved 1 December 2016.
  2. ^ Damron, David (13 May 2004). "50 Years Of Integration 5th In A 9-part Series". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 23 February 2016.
  3. ^ Niebuhr, Keith (24 April 2001). "Lost but not forgotten The athletic history of pre-integration black schools is missing from state record books". Retrieved 27 November 2017.
  4. ^ "About the FHSAA". Fhsaa.org. Retrieved 2012-05-29.
  5. ^ McCallum, Brian (October 5, 2017). "Cocoa, MCC, Palm Bay, Viera in line for high seeds". Florida Today. Melbourne, Florida. pp. 1C. Retrieved October 6, 2017.
  6. ^ "Sports & Programs". FHSAA.org. Retrieved 2015-11-13.
  7. ^ a b "FHSAA.org - Football State Series Assignments". www.fhsaa.org. Retrieved 26 March 2019.
  8. ^ McCallum, Brian (March 19, 2019). "FHSAA reclassifies winter sports". Florida Today. Melbourne, Florida. pp. 2B. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
  9. ^ "FHSAA Classes". FHSAA. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
  10. ^ "FHSAA.org - FHSAA Announces Football Classifications For 2019 and 2020 Seasons". www.fhsaa.org. Retrieved 26 March 2019.
  11. ^ "FHSAA announces 33-member All-Century football team". FHSAA.org. Retrieved 2012-05-29.
  12. ^ "FHSAA announces coaching staff for All-Century football team". FHSAA.org. Retrieved 2012-05-29.

External links[edit]