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Contact: John Johnson or Mike Clifford --517.332.5046

Representative Council Approves Divisions In Lower Peninsula Golf, Return To Michigan Speedway For Lower Peninsula Cross Country Finals

EAST LANSING, Mich. - April 3 - Golf in the Lower Peninsula will raise to nine the number of tournaments in which the Michigan High School Athletic Association classifies by divisions of nearly equal number of schools, in action taken at its annual Winter meeting, March 27, in East Lansing.

The Council voted to divide the schools which participate in the Lower Peninsula boys golf tournament into four divisions of approximately 129 schools beginning with the 1998 tournament. Girls golf will expand to three divisions of approximately 65 schools in 1999. The MHSAA Upper Peninsula golf tournaments are unaffected by this action.

The changeover to divisions should make regional and final round play more manageable for tournament hosts. The number of Class A schools had been proportionately higher than other classes, which was another reason cited for the push to more equal divisions.

Other sports which the MHSAA breaks schools sponsoring a sport into nearly equal divisions for tournament play are baseball, softball, boys and girls soccer, Lower Peninsula boys and girls tennis and wrestling.

The Council also approved the recommendation of the MHSAA Cross Country/Track and Field Committee to return to Michigan Speedway near Brooklyn for the Lower Peninsula Cross Country Finals in 1998. The Speedway will be hosting all races in both boys and girls competition in all classes for the third straight year. The Council also directed the MHSAA staff to conduct a survey of cross country schools regarding future options for formats and sites after this year's finals, which will take place on November 7.

Football playoffs also occupied a spot on the Council agenda, with discussion of proposals for expansion and the need for more information to be given to and received from schools on key issues. The Council directed the MHSAA staff to conduct, prior to its May 3-5 meeting in Thompsonville, a survey of all football schools' principals and superintendents regarding their attitudes towards playoff expansion; including advancing the first date of competition for regular season football, and the converting of the ninth regular-season date to a playoff date.

The Representative Council is the 19-member legislative body of the MHSAA. All but five members are elected by member schools. Four members are appointed by the Council to facilitate representation of females and minorities; and the 19th position is occupied by the Superintendent of Public Instruction or designee.

The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership by over 1,330 public and private high school schools and junior high/middle schools which exists to develop common rules for athletic eligibility and competition. No government funds or tax dollars support the MHSAA, which was the first such association nationally to not accept membership dues or tournament entry fees from schools. Member schools which enforce these rules are permitted to participate in MHSAA tournaments conducted in 12 sports for boys and 12 sports for girls which attract approximately 1.3 million spectators each year.