Cartersville and two Paulding high schools could be moving to higher enrollment classifications for competitive sports next year under a reclassification plan released Tuesday, Nov. 5.

East Paulding and Paulding County High will move from Class 5-A to Class 6-A and join South Paulding, which will remain in Class 6-A under the tentative plan by the Georgia High School Association.

Hiram will be the lone Paulding school in Class 5-A, while North Paulding will remain in Class 7-A.

Cartersville moved from Class 4-A to Class 5-A.

However, Cass and Woodland remain in Class 5-A and Adairsville in Class 3-A.

The GHSA is the main governing organization for high school sports in Georgia. It separates its member schools into seven classifications based on school enrollment, with 7-A the largest and 1-A the smallest.

Every few years, it reclassifies the schools and they go up or down in classification because of enrollment gain or loss.

However, the GHSA this year adopted a formula for calculating enrollment that was designed to address what some say are the competitive advantages private schools and city school systems enjoy because of their abilities to gain students not normally available to county schools.

The formula increased the enrollment numbers for some private and city schools to have them compete against larger schools than they would have done previously.

GHSA’s plan released Nov. 5 moved up such traditionally athletically powerful Metro Atlanta private schools as Blessed Trinity, Greater Atlanta Christian and Woodward Academy; and city schools Calhoun and Carrollton.

Cartersville moved up to Class 5-A but likely would have done so anyway without the formula because of enrollment gains since the last reclassification in 2015, according to the online publication Georgia High School Football Daily.

The plan remains tentative because schools can appeal the new enrollment numbers. The GHSA likely will divide the schools into regions in December, the online publication reported.

GHSA sports include football; baseball; softball, volleyball, wrestling, gymnastics, cheerleading; and boys and girls basketball, soccer, track and field, cross country, lacrosse, swimming, tennis, riflery and wheelchair sports.

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