HELENA — A total of nine Montana High School Association institutions will reclassify for the 2023-24 academic year, the MHSA announced Wednesday following a regularly scheduled executive board meeting.
Eight schools are slated to move up a classification, according to an MHSA release. Bigfork will jump from Class B to Class A, while Fairview, Chinook, Lone Peak, Darby, Ennis, Park City and Superior will move from Class C to Class B. One school, Forsyth, will move from Class B to Class C.
Tentatively, Bigfork will be assigned to the Northwest A conference for basketball, volleyball, track and field, football, wrestling, golf and tennis, and to the Northern A division for soccer.
Fairview will play in District 2B for basketball, volleyball and track and field, Class B Division 1 for golf, and will remain in the Eastern division for Eight-Player football.
Chinook will be assigned to District 1B for basketball, volleyball and track and field, and Division 1 for golf. Chinook will remain in the Northern division for Eight-Player football, and the Eastern division for B-C wrestling.
Lone Peak will move to District 5B for basketball, volleyball and track and field, Division 3 for golf, and remain in the Eastern division for soccer, the Southern division for Eight-Player football and the Southwest division for B-C tennis.
Darby will play in District 6B for basketball, volleyball and track and field, Division 3 for golf, and remain in the Southwest division for tennis and the Western division for Eight-Player football.
Ennis is assigned to District 5B for basketball, volleyball and track and field, and Division 3 golf. It will remain in the Western division for softball and the Southern division for Eight-Player football.
Park City will move to District 4B for basketball, volleyball and track and field. It will remain in Division 2 for golf and in the Southern division for Eight-Player football.
Superior is slated for District 6B for basketball, volleyball and track and field, and Division 3 for golf. It will stay in the Western division for wrestling, the Western division for Eight-Player football and the Northwest division for girls’ tennis.
Forsyth, the only school moving down, will join District 4C for basketball and track and field, District 2C for volleyball, and the Eastern division for golf, wrestling and Eight-Player football.
The MHSA noted in its release that district and division assignments for 2023-24 are tentative, with final action on realignment expected in November.
As for the MHSA’s newest sport, baseball, the MHSA announced that it will form an “ad hoc” master scheduling committee when it has a final tally on the number of schools that will play in the spring of 2023. The committee will then look at options and schedule the first year of baseball according to the schools participating and their geographic regions.
The MHSA is expecting to have a final count on baseball-playing schools following statewide May school board meetings.
The MHSA also announced Wednesday that it has approved dropping boys powerlifting as a sanctioned sport due to lack of interest from member schools. It also approved extending the Class B-C tennis season by one week. The B-C tournament will be held on the same weekend as the other spring state championships beginning in the 2022-2023 academic year.
Also, the following 2023-24 state championship events were awarded to various sites:
State AA golf (Billings), State A golf (Sidney), cross country (Kalispell), volleyball (Bozeman, all-class), swimming (Great Falls), wrestling (Billings, all-class), State AA basketball (Missoula, boys and girls), State A basketball (Butte, boys and girls), State B basketball (Billings, boys and girls), State C basketball (Great Falls, boys and girls), State B golf (Shelby), State AA tennis (Bozeman), State AA softball (Belgrade), State A softball (Billings), State B-C softball (Billings), State AA-C track (Great Falls).
Sites for the 2023-24 state events for baseball, C golf, A tennis, B-C tennis and A-B track and field have yet to be decided.