Bangor High School's Emmie Streams (No. 3) drives to the hoop with Cheverus High School's Jaelyn Jensen (No. 1) in pursuit during the Class AA semifinals at the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland on Feb. 22, 2023. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

A five-class proposal for high school basketball that makes Class AA a statewide division and adjusts enrollment cutoffs was approved Monday by the Maine Principals’ Association classification committee and members of the basketball committee.

After nearly three hours of executive session, the members of the committees returned to the public meeting and the five-class proposal was approved by the committee. The proposal is headlined by Class AA, including schools with an enrollment of at least 825 students while also becoming a statewide class.

The classification committee will meet at 9 a.m. on March 16 to hear any appeals.

Class D will include schools with enrollments up to 129 students, followed by Class C (130-314), Class B (315-584) and Class A (585-824).

read more on reclassification

The committee also approved teams with a four-year average win percentage of 25 percent or less to petition down during a reclassification cycle. The approved motion also separates boys and girls basketball teams, allowing both to move up and down independently from one another.

The committee, MPA Executive Director Mike Burnham and Assistant Executive Director Mike Bisson stayed in executive session for close to three hours hashing out the proposal.

Class AA, by the enrollment parameters, will include Massabesic, Scarborough, Windham, Noble, South Portland, Deering, Edward Little, Oxford Hills, Portland, Bonny Eagle, Sanford, Bangor, Thornton Academy, Lewiston and Cheverus, which traditionally plays in the highest enrollment conference.

With the winning percentage drop down in effect, Noble and Massabesic would drop to Class A in boys basketball and Deering would drop to Class A in girls basketball.

Hampden Academy would move from Class AA to Class A due to enrollment size.

“The bulk of the conversation was Class AA,” Bisson said. “Where is that cut off number? Ultimately they came back with an 825 with a smaller Class AA. There has been a sentiment that the quarterfinal games at the higher seed don’t feel like tournaments and ultimately we feel like we can get a statewide tournament that both North and South play in Portland and can all get in a tournament venue.”

“One of the charges from the basketball committee was to have a viable tournament in each division,” Bisson added. “We wanted to try to get 11 or 12 in each division and I think that’s what ultimately led to the statewide AA.”

Class D was the other class that got a lot of attention.

“The first piece of action was the motion to approve placing down teams that have a less than 25-percent win percentage,” Bisson said. “That helps put some teams in D South. They felt keeping that number at 129 for D, they now have a viable tournament with three teams moving down. It’s by gender so it won’t be perfect. As you work up through the process, trying to keep as few teams moving as possible. Trying to keep it as consistent as it is to this current classification.”

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Adam Robinson

Adam Robinson is a native of Auburn, Maine, and graduate of Husson University and Edward Little High School. He enjoys sports, going on runs and video games.