In the 2013-14 school year, the Virginia High School League (VHSL) implemented a new classification system, which revamped the way the state’s high schools are positioned for athletic competition and increases the number of state championship titles.
High schools were divided into six classes – Group 1A to Group 6A – based on enrollment, with two regions in each class. Groups in our part of the state were divided into North and South regions — there is no longer an Eastern Region. High schools move into conferences at the postseason level to determine who advances to the regional tournament. District tournaments are longer be used for advancement.
The 11 high schools in Virginia Beach, which vary in enrollment size, are divided into two different classes. This means it is now possible for two Virginia Beach high schools to win state championships in the same sport in the same year if they are in different classification levels.
This change was voted on by the VHSL to ensure that schools in the Western part of the state play teams of like size rather than facing opposing schools markedly larger than them to avoid excessive and costly travel.
What does this mean for the Beach District?
The Beach District still exists and continues to handle determining eligibility status at the district level. All Beach District schools continue to play each other in the regular season and Beach District champions are still crowned based on regular season records. Beach District Championship Tournaments still occur in cross country and cheerleading.