NCHSAA votes to expand classifications in 2025-26: What it means for Wilmington

The NCHSAA voted unanimously Wednesday to increase its number of classifications from four to eight, starting with the 2025-26 school year.

Currently, teams are put into one of four classifications based on averaged daily membership (ADM) numbers from the previous year. The ADM will still determine which classification teams fall into, but those options are now doubled.

The reason for the change, a recommendation delivered by Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools Athletic Director Erica Turner, is to give the association room to grow. Four schools were approved for addition to the NCHSAA for the next school year — American Leadership Academy (Clayton), Jackson Day School (Charlotte), Phoenix Academy (High Point) and Summit Charter Academy (Cashiers) — pushing the number of schools in the association to 440. Because of a bylaw that prevents more than 64 schools per classification, increasing classifications will increase the number of teams that can be added to the NCHSAA. An eight-class NCHSAA would allow for 55 schools per class.

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Realignment and new classifications will be based on ADM numbers from the 2024-25 academic year.

The Wilmington area currently has four teams in the top 55 based on ADM — Laney, Hoggard Ashley and Topsail, which would mean the schools would play in the 8A classification if those numbers hold. New Hanover, North Brunswick and West Brunswick would fall into the 7A classification based on current numbers. South Brunswick would be 6A, Trask would be 4A and Pender would be 3A.

This article originally appeared on Wilmington StarNews: Where do Wilmington-area teams stand after NCHSAA reclassification?