March 29, 2013

Extra football division approved

The Maine Principals' Association hopes four classes based on school enrollment will mean fairer competition.

By Tom Chard
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

The Yachtsmen won the Class A title in ice hockey.

Higgins said the school expects a drop in enrollment after the juniors and seniors graduate because they make up the classes with the most students.

While Falmouth will stay in the Western Maine Conference, Kennebunk will move from the Class A Southern Maine Activities Association to the Western Maine Conference even though the Rams will remain Class A in basketball, baseball, softball, soccer, outdoor track, tennis and wrestling.

Kennebunk will drop from Class A football to Class B.

Some of the highlights of reclassifications moves: Cape Elizabeth and Greely, after electing to play up in Class A soccer for years, will move to Class B to reflect their enrollments. Under the new football alignment, the Capers are now in Class C.

"We just felt it was appropriate to play soccer where our enrollment is," said Cape Athletic Director Jeff Thoreck. "I'm happy Greely will be joining us."

Biddeford, a long-time power in ice hockey, will move from Class A to Class B. Biddeford is projected to have an enrollment of 824. The new enrollment figure for that sport for Class A is 860 and up.

In Class A West football, Biddeford elects to play up (Class A) as does South Portland.

Deering, Portland and Cheverus have been moved to Eastern Maine in football to balance the numbers at eight teams each in East and West.

Maine will have a New England qualifier in wrestling. The top four seeds in their respective weight divisions will wrestle off for the right to advance to the New England tournament. In the past, state champions in each weight class were eligible for the New Englands.

"We're going to let the kids decide it on the mat," said Chris Chessie, chairman of the wrestling committee and principal of Wells Junior High.

The qualifying meet will likely be a week after the state meet.

MPA Executive Director Dick Durost said, "The time has come, it's the right thing to do" in speaking for the transgender participation policy.

In Section 12 of the MPA's policy guidelines states: "The MPA is committed to maximizing the opportunities for all students to participate in interscholastic activities or athletics, regardless of their gender identity or expression. At the same time, the MPA is committed to ensuring fair competition and adequate protection of student athletes. The MPA believes that all students should have the opportunity to participate in activities in a manner that is consistent with their gender identity unless such participation would result in an unfair athletic advantage or would present an unacceptable risk of injury to other student athletes."

The MPA also states that a student is eligible to compete on a single-sex team only if he or she is a member of that sex, either as reflected on his or her birth certificate or, in the case of a transgender student, as approved in accordance with Article II, Section 12.

The MPA will have a Gender Identity Equity Committee to resolve issues should they arise.

In determining the last tournament qualifier based on two-thirds of a class, the number will be rounded up when there is a decimal remainder. For example, 11.3333 would be rounded to up to 12 and 12 teams will make the tournament.

For skiing, it was recommended and approved to separate the Nordic and Alpine championships because of the lack of availability of downhill ski areas for races during school vacation.

The Nordic races will remain during February vacation and would take place early in the week. The Alpine races would be held Friday and Saturday of the week following school vacation. When the championships are held in Aroostook County, both Nordic and Alpine will take place during February school vacation.

Tom Chard can be contacted at 791-6419 or at:

Twitter: TomChardPPH


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