ROCKPORT — The Maine Principals’ Association voted Thursday to return to the two-thirds qualifying percentage for tournaments in sports that use Heal points.

Qualification had been 50 percent of the field for the last two years.

The vote was made at the principals’ spring conference at the Samoset Resort in Rockport. Surveys were sent out to high school athletic directors earlier in the year asking their opinions on two-thirds qualification. After reviewing the responses, the MPA’s Interscholastic Management Committee endorsed the two-thirds plan. The principals vote was 44-9 in favor.

Qualification percentages have varied through the years. It was 50 percent for years until it was voted to have open tournaments (every team makes it) 10 years ago. That didn’t work as there were severe mismatches in the early rounds and also some low-ranked schools decided not to participate at all. A compromise of two-thirds was adopted after the failed open tournament concept.

But then came the economic downturn and school superintendents were concerned about the extra transportation costs associated with more teams making the tournament. So the MPA adopted the 50 percent rule.

“It was actually found out that travel costs were more with 50 percent of teams making the tournament than with two-thirds,” said Thornton Academy athletic director Gary Stevens.

“With 50 percent making the tournament, Heal points are at more of a premium. There were some teams traveling long distances because teams in their area wouldn’t play them because they knew it would be a loss,” he said.