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AHSAA changes date for all-star game, says promotion will improve

MONTGOMERY- A restructured player format and a date change for the North-South All-Star football game was approved Wednesday in Montgomery by the Central Board of the Alabama High School Athletic Association.

The Board, in a called meeting to consider several matters, voted unanimously to move the playing date from July during the All-Star Sports Week to the week prior to Christmas Day and to invite high school juniors, beginning in December 2004. A possible date for this year would be Tuesday, Dec. 21. The site is yet to be determined.

This annual all-star event is conducted by the Alabama High School Athletic Directors&Coaches Association and the AHSAA.

The North-South football game scheduled this July during All-Star Sports Week will be played using seniors. The all-star games in the other sports will continue to be played during the Sports Week in the summer.

“This would be a great way to promote high school football,” said Ken Blankenship, Director of the AHSADCA. “The athletes would be in good physical condition immediately after football season and the juniors selected would be very interested in playing in the game. In past years many of the selected seniors have pulled out of the games because they reported to their college or university for the summer session.”

The proposal had already received a unanimous recommendation from the AHSAA Coaches’ Football Committee.

In other Board action, the Board discussed the District 2 proposal to change region play to area play for all classes because of the travel involved in several regions of some classes. The Board voted 10-1 to postpone any consideration for championship program format changes until the proper time, a year before the beginning of the next classification period that begins in the fall of 2006.

The Board also heard a presentation from Allen McBride, Association of Alabama Camps, concerning an upcoming legislative bill, the School Start Date Act of 2004. If enacted, this bill would specify a date, ranging from Aug. 19 to 21 and varying from year to year, as the earliest date that academic instruction may begin in public elementary and secondary schools. Upon passage, the law would become effective with the 2004-05 school year.

–AHSAA–