CLINTON — A new classification has been added for MHSAA schools.

The Mississippi High School Activities Association and its executive committee voted 12-1 to create a new seventh classification that will take effect in the next reclassification cycle which is the 2023-2024 school year.

The new classification system will include 24 schools in 7A, 6A and 5A with four regions and six teams in each region in these classifications and four teams out of each region will make the playoffs. Only difference is the football playoffs for these three classifications will start a week after the playoffs start in Class 4A, 3A, 2A and 1A.

There will be an average of around 42 schools that will be in Class 4A, 3A, 2A and 1A. There will be eight regions in these classifications with five teams in each division. The same playoff format will be intact for all sports.

It is remains to be seen which schools move up and down. The enrollment numbers used for reclassification won’t be released until the next reclassification cycle begins (2023-2024).

MHSAA Executive Director Ricky Neaves said the move will increase a more balanced competition.

“I’m happy to have the vote behind us and to see where this goes,” Neaves said. “We know where we are headed in the future and gives us time to plan our venues for our state championships.”