NORMAN — Beginning in 2014, Norman High and Norman North may no longer compete in the same football classification alongside each other.
Of most impactful consequence, made possible by a far-reaching decision to split Class 6A football into two divisions based on enrollment, is one that could affect the Tigers and Timberwolves when the new system goes into effect.
Under the new arrangement, Class 6A will be split into two divisions, with the top 16 schools based on enrollment being placed in one and the other 16 below that.
Each division will be comprised of two districts, with one of the four districts having just seven teams because U.S. Grant was recently given independent status by the OSSAA. The top four teams in each district will advance to the playoffs, which, though a round shorter than the previous bracket, will still begin immediately following the end of the regular season.
The arrangement was approved Thursday over another that would have kept the district arrangement as is, but then broken the class off into two playoff brackets based on attendance.
The vote was 25-5, with Tulsa Union abstaining and another school not voting. Based upon a previous OSSAA decision, retaining the old format was not an option.
Both Norman schools voted in favor of the newly-approved system in what Athletic Director Frank Thompson called a unanimous decision.
“When the options came out, we met with district administrators, principals, site athletics coordinators and head coaches and discussed the two options we had,” he said. “We went with the option that we felt was best for Norman public schools.”
Though the Crosstown Clash between NHS and North won’t be affected, it is possible the two schools will no longer be marching toward the same title.
Using 2012 school year numbers, NHS is 16th in the state in terms of average daily membership (ADM), a figure used to determine the average number of students attending school daily, and also the figure the OSSAA uses to determine the athletic classifications of the state’s high schools, from Class 6A to Class C.