The Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) is an organization whose purpose is to organize sports competition for high schools in Florida. It is a member of the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS). Florida uses NFHS contest rules in its sports.
The Florida High School Athletic Association was founded on April 9, 1920 by a group of 29 high school principals which met on the University of Florida campus in Gainesville. The organization was founded as the Florida High School Athletic Association. The name was changed to Florida High School Activities Association in 1951. The name was changed back to Florida High School Athletic Association in 2002.
The 29 schools who became charter members were: Summerlin (Bartow), Clearwater, Mainland (Daytona Beach), Seabreeze (Daytona Beach), DeLand, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Gainesville, Duval (Jacksonville), Osceola (Kissimmee), Columbia (Lake City), Lakeland, Leesburg, Suwannee (Live Oak), Miami, Ocala, Orlando, Putnam (Palatka), Pensacola, Plant City, Quincy, Seminole (Sanford), Ketterlinus (St. Augustine), St. Petersburg, Leon (Tallahassee), Hillsborough (Tampa), Hardee (Wauchula), West Palm Beach, and Winter Haven.
The first Constitution limited membership to public schools. However, in 1930, it was amended to open membership to private and parochial schools as well.
In 1951, the member schools voted to change the word "athletic" to "activities" in the organization name so that non-athletic activities such as music and student council programs would also receive proper supervision at the state level.
The Association was incorporated in 1962.
In 1996 the FHSAA adopted regulations permitting students enrolled in home education programs to participate in interscholastic activities. The regulations would later allow future Heisman Trophy quarterback Tim Tebow to participate in high-school football; similar rules adopted later by other states would thus be called the "Tebow rule".
In May 1997, the Florida Legislature recognized in statute the FHSAA as the governing body for interscholastic athletics in Florida, provided the Association comply with the provisions of a legislatively mandated revamping of its governmental structure.
The name was changed back to Florida High School Athletic Association in 2002. As of August 2007, the FHSAA has a membership of 748 schools.
The FHSAA oversees the following sports:
- Basketball (Boys)
- Basketball (Girls)
- Cross Country
- Soccer (Boys)
- Soccer (Girls)
- Swimming & Diving (Boys& Girls)
- Tennis (Boys& Girls)
- Track & Field (Boys& Girls)
- Volleyball (Girls)
- Weightlifting (Boys)
- Competitive Cheer
- Flag Football (Girls)
- Volleyball (Boys)
- Water Polo (Boys)
- Water Polo (Girls)
- Weightlifting (Girls)
As in most areas, high schools compete in sports in two types of division. One, because of logistical and geographical constraints, is necessarily local. That is, large schools play small ones in the same area. There are four geographical regions each subdivided into four districts to reduce travel time and expense for conference play.
A second level of division is made based on school population and is statewide. Eventually, schools with the best records in this type of division will meet each other for seasonal playoffs to determine the state champion. This classification is calculated every two years, and provides schools the opportunity to appeal their classification based on certain factors, primarily transportation expense. There are as many as eight classes (in the case of football), numbered from 1 to 7, based on population, with the largest schools in 7A for football only. There is a 1A rural and a 1B urban, completing the total of eight classifications.
Class AAAAAAA (7A)
| Class AAAAAAA (85 schools)
Class AAAAAA (6A)
| Class AAAAAA (85 schools)
Class AAAAA (5A)
Class AAAA (4A)
Class AAA (3A)
FHSAA's All-Century Team
The FHSAA's All-Century Team was selected in December, 2007, to celebrate 100 years of high school football in the US state of Florida. It was selected by a panel of Florida high school experts. The Florida High School Athletic Association lists the 34 greatest high school football players in state history. In conjunction with selecting the All-Century team, the FHSAA named an All-Century Coaching Staff.