By Gord Bowes, News staff
The provincial high school sports championship structure is being changed.
Starting with the 2015-16 school year, the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations championships will have only three levels of competition.
A decision on the new classifications will be made at the annual meeting in April, said Doug Gellatly, OFSAA’s executive director.
Declining enrolment, particularly in rural schools, in the province is a driving force in making the move, he said. There have also been problems in the past getting enough schools to step forward to host championships in all divisions of all sports.
“We have a committee looking at the proposal,” said Gellatly. “We’re going to take a look at what the enrolment numbers look like … and what the breakdown might be.”
Gellatly said enrolment is projected to rise in five to six years and OFSAA may look again at four divisions.
Schools are currently grouped into four levels, starting with single-A for schools with up to 500 pupils. Double-A is for schools with enrolment of 501 to 900 and triple-A schools have 901 to 1,250 students.
Quad-A, which is currently for schools with enrolment of more than 1,250, will be dropped after next year. It was introduced 14 years ago.
At the Hamilton Catholic board, Bishop Ryan, Cardinal Newman and St. Jean de Brebeuf and St. Thomas More all have more than 1,250 students. The Hamilton public school board has just two quad-A schools — Westmount and Westdale. They are also the only two quad-A schools in the Southern Ontario Secondary Schools Association, which includes Niagara schools.
Jeff Wright, athletics convenor for the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board, said the change won’t greatly affect his board because all teams play in one division during the school season.
“There’s nothing we really have to do to prepare for it other than make sure the teams are aware it’s going to happen,” he said.