South Portland High School basketball fans go wild as their team brings them the gold ball trophy at the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland Monday night, March 6, 2023, after winning the Maine Class AA boys basketball championship game. Troy R. Bennett | BDN Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

A Maine Principals’ Association committee voted last week to approve a new group of basketball classes, finalizing its proposed slate of classes in all sports for the next two years.

There are two more layers of approval: Schools can appeal when they go before another MPA panel on Thursday, and they will be finalized at the group’s spring conference on April 8.

They should stay mostly the same between now and then, including a big and long-awaited change in high-school basketball. Here’s what you need to know.

In basketball, Class AA is split into North and South.

On the girls side, the North region has seven teams, while the south has eight. Boys Class AA, which began in 2015-16 in a shift from four to five basketball classes, has seven in both North and South regions.

This past season, Class AA North had nine teams on both the boys and girls sides. In the South, the boys region had eight teams and the girls had seven, in part because Massabesic didn’t field a team due to lack of players. Massabesic is still in Class AA South.

Other Bangor-area schools dropped down in basketball. Hampden went from Class AA to Class A, while John Bapst boys and girls dropped to Class C. Orono girls basketball as well as Bucksport dropped to Class C while both boys teams stayed in B North.

Football sees a lot of upheaval due to enrollment changes.

Class A will split into two regions with Windham moving from Class B North to A North due to its enrollment being above the 900-student threshold, while Portland moves from B South to A North. Class A North will have six teams, Lewiston, Portland, Oxford Hills, Edward Little and Windham. A South will feature Thornton Academy, Sanford, Bonny Eagle, South Portland, Noble and Scarborough.

The legacy central Maine programs of Cony, Gardiner and Lawrence applied up to Class B North to not drop to Class C due to enrollment being under the 650-899 threshold.

In the Bangor area, Brewer applied down to Class C, as did Hampden.

Eight-player soccer comes to Maine for the first time.

In the North, Katahdin, Schenck/Stearns, Shead and East Grand have joined in both boys and girls soccer. Dexter, Maine School of Science and Math, Ashland, Van Buren, Wisdom and Southern Aroostook are joining on the boys side, while Penquis Valley, Piscataquis and Lee are joining in girls soccer.

In the South, Dirigo, Telstar, Carrabec, Wiscasset, Searsport, Greenville, Rangeley, Valley, Vinalhaven and Greater Portland are joining in both boys and girls soccer. Spruce Mountain boys and Lisbon girls are also joining. All teams in eight-player soccer are subject to change.

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.