Indoor track to have 4 state title groups

April 28, 2007|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,Sun reporter

The Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association's Board of Control voted yesterday to expand indoor track from three to four separate classifications.

The move, voted upon during the association's semiannual meeting in Ocean City, aligns indoor track with outdoor track by allowing teams and individuals to compete for Class 4A, 3A, 2A and 1A state titles and eliminates the old format of Class 4A-3A, 3A-2A and 2A-1A crowns.

Also, for the second straight year, the board has passed a proposal to move the beginning of the fall athletic season and practices to an earlier date.

The change would move the start of summer practices to the Saturday three weeks before the Friday before Labor Day. The change helps to prevent some of the overlap of playoff games - which often extend deep into November, and for football into the second week of December - with the Nov. 15 start date of winter practices.

The proposal will be sent to the state superintendents and Board of Education.

"This would allow teams to open their seasons on Labor Day weekend every year, whereas, under the current system, the first practices are Aug. 15," association executive director Ned Sparks said.

"It's the same recommendation," Sparks said of the measure the superintendents voted down a year ago, "but we have solicited support from the superintendents prior to endorsing the concept. And based on the feedback, it appears the majority favors it."

The board of control also voted to activate a proposal for the boys and girls state soccer tournaments to implement the use of penalty kicks to resolve ties in state title games, eliminating a format that has resulted in state co-champions after overtime.

lem.satterfield@baltsun.com

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