Virginia high school basketball state champions history

Virginia high school basketball state champions history DEFAULT


This list of Virginia High School League state high school basketball champions from Hampton Roads includes James Blair of Williamsburg, which won the Group II championship in 1965. It also includes state championships for schools that were members of the Virginia Interscholastic Association and its predecessor leagues.


2004 Group AAA Woodside

2004 Group A Surry

2003 Group AAA Woodside

2001 Group AAA Salem of Va. Beach

2000 Group AAA Granby

2000 Group AA Bruton

2000 Group A New Kent

1999 Group AAA Princess Anne

1997 Group AAA Hampton

1995 Group AA Nansemond River

1993 Group AAA Bethel

1992 Group AA Nansemond River

1992 Group A Sussex Central

1991 Group AAA Bayside

1990 Group AAA Bayside

1989 Group AAA Hampton 1987 Group AAA Indian River

1987 Group A Suffolk

1986 Group AAA Booker T. (Norfolk)

1985 Group AAA Booker T. (Norfolk)

1983 Group AA JFK (Suffolk)

1978 Group AAA Ferguson

1977 Group AA Forest Glen

1974 Group AA JFK (Suffolk)

1973 Group A West Point

1969 Group I-A Hampton

1969 Group II Suffolk

1968 VIA Group II Booker T. (Suffolk)

1967 VIA Group I Norcom

1967 VIA Group II Booker T. (Suffolk)

1966 VIA Group II Booker T. (Suffolk)

1965 VIA Group I Booker T. (Norfolk)

1965 Via Group II Booker T. (Suffolk)

1965 Group II James Blair

1965 Group I-A Wilson

1964 Group I-A Newport News

1964 VIA Group II Booker T. (Suffolk)

1963 VIA Group I Crestwood

1962 VIA Group I Crestwood

1961 Group III West Point

1961 VIA Group I Norcom

1961 VIA Group II Booker T. (Suffolk)

1960 VIA Group II Booker T. (Suffolk)

1958 Group I-A Newport News

1958 VIA Group I Booker T. (Suffolk)

1957 Group I-A Newport News

1956 Group I-A Newport News

1956 Group III King William

1955 VIA Group I Norcom

1954 VIA Booker T. (Suffolk)

1952 Group I-A Newport News

1952 VIA Norfolk County

1951 Group I-A Newport News

1950 Group I-A Granby

1949 VIA Booker T. (Norfolk)

1947 Group I-A Granby

1943 Class A Newport News

1942 Class A Newport News

1939 Class A Hampton

1939 VIAL Phenix

1938 Class A Newport News

1936 VIAL Phenix

1935 Class B South Norfolk

1931 Class A Newport News

1929 VIAL Huntington

1928 Class A Wilson

1927 Class A Maury

1926 Class A Maury

1925 Class A Maury

1925 Negro HS Huntington

1925 Class C Cradock

1924 Negro HS Huntington

1923 Class A Maury

1921 Class A Maury


2004 Group AAA Princess Anne

2002 Group AAA Princess Anne

2001 Group AAA Hampton

1994 Group AAA Salem of Va. Beach

1992 Group AAA Phoebus

1987 Group AA York

1986 Group AA York

1985 Group AA Franklin

1982 Group AAA Deep Creek

1981 Group AA Franklin

1979 Group A New Kent

1976 Group AAA Phoebus

1927 Unclassified Wilson

1923 Unclassified Great Bridge

Sources: Virginia High School League, Marshall Johnson and Daily Press research

Published correction ran Tuesday, March 22, 2005.A list of state high school basketball champions in Sunday's Sports section omitted Surry County, which won the 2004 Group A boys state championship. (Text corrected.)


Virginia High School (Virginia)

High school in Bristol, Virginia, United States

Virginia High School

1200 Long Crescent Dr





United States

Coordinates36°36′55.6″N82°10′42.7″W / 36.615444°N 82.178528°W / 36.615444; -82.178528Coordinates: 36°36′55.6″N82°10′42.7″W / 36.615444°N 82.178528°W / 36.615444; -82.178528
School typePublic, high school
School districtBristol Virginia Public Schools
SuperintendentDr. Keith Perrigan
PrincipalMr. Ronnie Collins
PrincipalVice Mr. Brad Harper
PrincipalVice Dr. Jan Huffman
Enrollment670 (2019-20)[1]
Color(s)  Black and   Orange
AthleticsBaseball, Basketball, Cheerleading, Cross-Country, Football, Golf, Soccer, Softball, Swimming & Diving, Tennis, Track, Volleyball, Wrestling, eSports
Athletics conferenceClinch Mountain District
Region D
RivalJohn S. Battle High School
Tennessee High School
Abingdon High School
Feeder schoolsVirginia Middle School
WebsiteOfficial Site

Virginia High School is a high school located in Bristol, Virginia. In 1999, Virginia High started offering the Tri-Cities area's first International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme.[2] Classes from the Advanced Placement program are also offered to help students who are headed to college. A career and technical wing was added to the main school building to help students who wish to go into a trade straight from high school. Courses offered for this path include: culinary arts, cybersecurity, engineering and manufacturing, coding, business, horticulture, auto-mechanics, building trades, and nursing.

Activities include: athletics, academic teams, Spring Festival, and Queen of Hearts. The Spring Festival is an event where students can showcase talent and art combined with a beauty pageant to choose Mr. and Miss Virginia High. The Queen of Hearts Program is an event every February where students at Virginia High, Bristol Tennessee High School, John S. Battle High School, and Abingdon High School compete to raise money for the American Heart Association.[3] Virginia High offers competition on academic teams via the Virginia High School League Scholastic Bowl and Southwest Academic Conference (SWAC). Forensics, robotics, literary magazine, yearbook, and drama are other way for students to showcase their speech and intellectual abilities.


From 1914 to 1953 Virginia High School was located on Piedmont Avenue in the building that now houses Virginia Middle School.[4][5] This original building designed by Clarence Kearfott[6] is listed with the National Register of Historic Places and as a Virginia Historic Landmark.[7]

In 1954, Virginia High School started classes in its current building on Long Crescent Drive which was designed by architect A.L. Aydelott of Memphis, Tennessee.[8]



Virginia High has been to 12 state baseball championship finals and won 7 championships (more than any other active VHSL school) as detailed below. Virginia High plays baseball at Devault Memorial Stadium which it shares with the Bristol State Liners.

YearWinning TeamLosing TeamClass
1981 Virginia4Colonial Heights 0 AA
1983 Virginia1Mills E. Godwin0 AA
1985 Midlothian10Virginia 7 AA
1986 Waynesboro2Virginia 0 AA
1992 Virginia4Harrisonburg3 AA
1993 Virginia1Turner Ashby0 AA
1996 Virginia7Nansemond River2 AA
1998 Dan River5Virginia 4 AA
2010 Rappahonnock7Virginia 4 A
2014 Virginia7Strasburg 2 2A
2015 Virginia16Lebanon 8 2A
2018 Page County5Virginia 4 2A


Virginia High plays football at Gene Malcolm Stadium which is adjacent to Devault Memorial Stadium. The original venue for football was Bristol Municipal Stadium which was shared with Tennessee High School. Virginia High has won AA state football championships in 1927 and 1933. The Bearcats won the Division III, Region IV Championship in 1987 under head coach Paul Wheeler, who coached the Bearcats from 1984-1990 and 2011-2012. The current head coach is Michael Crist, who was hired in 2013. In first season as head coach, Crist led the Bearcats to a 6-6 record, which featured a 1st round-upset against traditional power Gretna (45-40) and a 37-34 triple-overtime loss to Richlands in Round 2 of the 2A playoffs.

Other sports[edit]

Virginia High has won two state II boys' basketball championships in 1916 and 1927.[9] Virginia High won boys' state AA cross-country championships in 1979 and 1980 and girls' AA cross-country championships in 1980 and 1981.[9] Virginia High won state AA boys' tennis championships in 1977 and 1980.[9] The school won girls' outdoor track championships in 1978, 1980, and 1981.[9] The school's boys soccer team also won the Clinch Mountain District championship in Spring 2008 and have repeated again in Spring of 2009. The girls soccer team in 2008 not only won the Clinch Mountain District championship but advanced to the State semi-final game before falling. In 2009, the girls finished the regular season undefeated, winning the regular season and tournament championships.

Academic competition[edit]

Virginia High competes in the Southwest Academic Conference (SWAC) and VHSLScholastic Bowl. The all around team is coached by all of the coaches. Virginia High holds SWAC championships in Math (2005–2007), Science (2003, 2004, 2006, 2009), and Social Studies (2001). Virginia High School discontinued SWAC Competition after the 2009 season.

In VHSL Scholastic Bowl competition, Virginia High finished fourth in Region D, second in the Clinch Mountain District in 2011-12; and they were Clinch Mountain District Regular Season and Tournament Champions in 2012-13, placing 4th at the Region D Tournament.

Music education[edit]

Virginia High has been awarded the Virginia Music Educators Association Blue Ribbon School for Music: 2004, 2007, 2009, 2016, 2018, 2019.[10] The VHS Chorale earned straight Superior ratings at District VII Choral Assessment for the 14th consecutive year as of 2019.[11]

Notable alumni[edit]

  • Justin Grimm - Pitcher at the University of Georgia and currently a Relief Pitcher with the Kansas City Royals. Won the World Series with the Chicago Cubs
  • Kevin Barker[12] - Professional Baseball Player, All-American at Virginia Tech (1996)
  • Bobby Carter, Tennessee State Senator
  • Gene McEver - All-American Football Player at the University of Tennessee (1929), College Football Hall of Fame Inductee[13]
  • Beattie Feathers - NFL Running Back (1934–40) & College (University of Tennessee) Football Hall of Fame Inductee,[14] First Professional Running Back to rush for over 1,000 yards in a single season
  • Thorton "Bean" Stringfellow- Atlanta Braves Minor League (1985–89) & Virginia Tech Baseball Pitcher
  • Gene "Pappy" Thompson - Sports Writer, Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame & Virginia Sports Wall of Fame[15]
  • William Wampler - U.S. House of Representatives (1953–83)
  • William C. Wampler, Jr. - Class of 1977 - Current Virginia State Senator[16]
  • Ian Frye - University of Virginia placekicker (2012-2015), Lou Groza semi-finalist, 2d Team All-ACC
  • Alex Walls- University of Tennessee Place Kicker (1999–2002), All-American (2001)
  • Darryal Wilson - University of Tennessee Wide Receiver (1979–82), 2nd Round Draft Pick by New England Patriots (1983)
  • Carl Brown, Ph.D.- Director, Grand Valley State University Speech Lab; National Outstanding Communication Consultant (2013)
  • Greg Barrett - American nonfiction author, screenwriter, public speaker, and former newspaper and wire journalist
  • Crystal Hurd, Ed.D.- Author, public speaker, musician, and researcher. (1997)
  • Aaron Cole- Rapper, songwriter.


  1. ^"Search for Public Schools - School Detail for VIRGINIA HIGH". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved October 20, 2020.
  2. ^Virginia High School
  3. ^Virginia High School Queen of Hearts
  4. ^J. Daniel Pezzoni (September 1996). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory/Nomination: Virginia High School"(PDF). and Accompanying photo
  5. ^Virginia Middle School History
  6. ^Philips, Bud (2008-07-27). "Architect's Buildings Still Stand in Bristol". Bristol, VA: Bristol Herald Courier. Archived from the original on 2008-08-02. Retrieved 2008-07-27.
  7. ^VIRGINIA LANDMARKS REGISTER NATIONAL REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES Updated Through DHR June 19th, 2008 and NPS June 27th, 2008 Announcements
  8. ^Gilbert, Daniel (2008-06-28). "Former Bristolian's Statue Made International History in 1955". Bristol, VA: Bristol Herald Courier. Archived from the original on 2011-08-14. Retrieved 2008-06-28.
  9. ^ abcde"VHSL Record Book"(PDF). Archived from the original(PDF) on 2008-04-10. Retrieved 2008-04-23.
  10. ^Virginia Music Educators Association. "Blue Ribbon Award". Virginia Music Educators Association. Retrieved 20 October 2020.
  11. ^"BVPS News". Bristol Virginia Public School. Retrieved 20 October 2020.
  12. ^Kevin Barker Statistics - The Baseball Cube
  13. ^Gene McEver at the College Football Hall of Fame
  14. ^Beattie Feathers at the College Football Hall of Fame
  15. ^Stone, George, Sonya A. Haskins. (2005). "Bristol (TN) (Images of America)." Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 0-7385-4167-2
  16. ^Virginia High School 2008 Graduation Agenda

External links[edit]

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Year Team W-L SR DR
2018Manchester 15-0  1   1
2017Westfield 15-0  1   1
2016Westfield 13-2  1   1
2015Westfield 14-1  1   1
2014Ocean Lakes 15-0  1   1
2013Centreville 15-0  1   1
2012L.C. Bird 14-0  2   1
2011Oscar Smith 14-1  1   1
2010Battlefield 13-2  2   1
2009Thomas Dale 12-2  7   6
2008Oscar Smith 15-0  2   1
2007Westfield 15-0  1   1
2006Osbourn 14-0  1   1
2005Oakton 12-2  1   1
2004Landstown 14-0  1   1
2003Westfield 14-0  1   1
2002C.D. Hylton 13-1  1   1
2001James Robinson 12-1  1   1
2000Centreville 12-2  3   2
1999C.D. Hylton 14-0  1   1
1998 C.D. Hylton  14-0  1   1
1997 James Robinson  14-0  1   1
1996 Chantilly  13-1       
1995 Indian River  10-2       
1994 Annandale  14-0  1   1
1993 Annandale  13-1       
1992 Pulaski County  12-2       
1991 Halifax County  14-0  1   1
1990 Gar-Field  12-2       
1989 West Potomac  14-0  1   1
1988 Hampton  8-1       
1987 T.C. Williams  14-0  1   1
1986 Hampton  12-2       
Highland Springs 15-0  3   1
Highland Springs 14-1  2   1
Highland Springs 14-1  2   1
Highland Springs 14-1  2   1
L.C. Bird 13-2  5   1
L.C. Bird 15-0  2   1
Lake Taylor 15-0  1   1
Phoebus 13-2  5   1
Phoebus 15-0  1   1
Phoebus 15-0  1   1
Phoebus 15-0  1   1
Stone Bridge 14-1  2   1
Phoebus 13-1  2   1
Hampton 13-1  2   1
Meadowbrook 13-1  5   1
Hopewell 13-1  5   1
Phoebus 14-0  2   1
Phoebus 13-1  3   1
Heritage (NN) 14-0  1   1
Culpeper County 14-0  5   2
Hampton  13-1       
Hampton  13-0       
Hampton  14-0       
Hampton  13-1       
Patrick Henry(A)  14-0      1
Norcom  14-0      1
Bethel  12-2       
Woodrow Wilson  14-0      1
West Potomac  12-2       
Woodrow Wilson  14-0      1
E.C. Glass  14-0       
Courtland  13-1       
Thomas Edison  9-4       
Woodgrove 11-2  10   1
Salem 13-2  8   1
Salem 13-1  7   1
Salem 13-0  6   1
Lake Taylor 15-0  3   1
Dinwiddie 15-0  6   1
Briar Woods 15-0  7   1
Briar Woods 14-1  22   1
Briar Woods 13-2  17   1
Broad Run 14-0  10   1
Broad Run 14-0  15   1
Amherst County 14-0  12   1
Amherst County  13-1  25   1
Salem 14-0  18   1
Salem 13-1  15   1
Powhatan 14-0  20   1
Heritage(Lyn) 13-1  38   1
Lafayette 11-2  19   1
Salem 10-4  35   3
Salem 14-0  13   1
Salem  14-0       
Spotsylvania  10-4       
Salem  12-2       
Amherst County  12-2       
Spotsylvania  11-3       
Rustburg  13-1       
Richlands  14-0      1
Spotsylvania  13-1       
Tabb  13-1       
Blacksburg  9-4       
Park View(St)  14-0       
Tabb  14-0       
Tazewell  12-2       
Heritage(Lyn) 14-1  11   1
Hopewell 11-4  40   4
Blacksburg 10-5  61   5
Magna Vista 13-2  35   1
Magna Vista 14-1  38   1
Northside 14-1  22   1
Brookville 14-0  8   1
Brookville 14-0  26   1
Poquoson 13-1  36   1
Northside 12-2  27   1
James Monroe 13-1  27   1
Monticello 13-1  51   1
Richlands 14-0  58   1
Turner Ashby 12-2  46   1
Gretna 14-0  33   1
Gretna 14-0  29   1
Liberty(Bed) 10-4  70   4
Harrisonburg 11-3  44   1
Rustburg 12-2  45   1
Brookville 11-3  48   1
Nottoway  13-0       
Gate City  12-2       
James Monroe  13-1       
Graham  12-2       
Handley  14-0       
Jefferson Forest  12-2       
Jefferson Forest  14-0       
Nottoway  13-1       
Rustburg  14-0       
Graham  13-1       
Martinsville  13-1       
James Monroe  14-0       
James Monroe  11-3       
Graham 14-1  34   1
Appomattox 14-1  31   1
Appomattox 15-0  26   1
Appomattox 15-0  28   1
Glenvar 14-1  61   1
Giles 15-0  68   1
Goochland 13-2  97   1
Gretna 13-2  44   1
Gate City 12-2  65   1
Essex 14-0  87   1
Gretna 13-1  74   1
Gretna 14-0  64   1
Goochland 14-0  94   1
Giles 13-1  69   1
Manassas Park 14-0  83   1
Gate City 14-0  88   1
George Wythe(W) 13-1  78   1
Washington & Lee 12-1  86   1
King William 12-2  107   1
Madison County 10-3  90   1
Powell Valley  14-0       
Powell Valley  14-0       
Powhatan  12-2       
Powell Valley  14-0       
Powell Valley  12-2       
Giles  14-0       
Lunenburg  14-0       
Sussex Central  12-2       
Powell Valley  14-0       
Powell Valley  13-1       
Lexington  11-3       
Lunenburg  14-0       
Lunenburg  13-0       
Riverheads 13-1  63   1
Riverheads 12-2  96   1
Riverheads 13-1  66   1
Galax 11-4  114   3
Altavista 15-0  59   1
Altavista 14-1  76   1
George Wythe(W) 14-1  116   1
Clintwood 13-2  103   1
Riverheads 13-1  103   1
Altavista 13-1  97   1
Franklin 12-2  86   2
Buffalo Gap 14-0  89   1
Riverheads 13-1  95   1
William Campbell  11-3  98   1
Franklin 13-1  104   1
Sussex Central 14-0  81   1
William Campbell  14-0  46   1
Bath County 11-1  121   2
Riverheads 14-0  105   1
Surry 13-0  99   1
Surry  12-2       
Appalachia  13-1       
Appalachia  11-3       
Bath County  12-2       
Appalachia  12-2       
Middlesex  13-1       
Appalachia  13-1       
William Monroe  13-1       
King & Queen  12-1       
Appalachia  9-5       
Jonesville  9-5       
Parry McCluer  12-2       
Parry McCluer  10-3       

Virginia High School League

The Virginia High School League (VHSL) is the principal sanctioning organization for interscholastic athletic competition among publichigh schools in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The VHSL first sponsored debate and also continues to sponsor state championships in several academic activities.

Private and religious schools and teams of homeschooled students belong to other sanctioning organizations, the largest of which is the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association. Proposals in the Virginia General Assembly to mandate that the VHSL allow homeschooled students to compete for the public high school they would otherwise attend have failed to pass.[1][2]


The VHSL was established in 1913 by members of both the Jefferson Literary and Debating Society and the Washington Literary Society and Debating Union at the University of Virginia to serve as a debating league for the state's high schools. During the 1910s, it expanded to over 250 schools and added championships in oral reading, baseball, basketball, and track and renamed itself the Virginia High School Literary and Athletic League.

After World War II, it adopted other sports and began standardizing officiating practices for high school sports. In 1969, it merged with the Virginia Interscholastic Association, which was a similar organization that had served African American schools around the Commonwealth during segregation. Girls' sports were added around this time. Statewide football playoffs also began in 1970.


The VHSL is headquartered in Pantops Charlottesville and has 308 member schools and conducts championships in 27 different sports. Nearly 200,000 students participate in its activities annually. The VHSL is overseen by an Executive Committee elected from the principals and superintendents of the various Virginia school districts. Day-to-day affairs are handled by the Executive Director and Assistant Directors.

Former classification, basis for regular season competition[edit]

From 1970, the VHSL's member schools were organized into three group classifications based on enrollment: A, AA, and AAA. Each of the three groups were split into four geographic regions, which usually contained three or four districts. District sizes vary and consist of four to eleven teams. The group of schools with the largest enrollments were in Group AAA, the group with the next largest enrollments were in Group AA, and the schools with the smallest enrollments were in Group A. Regional boundaries were different for all three groups as average school sizes vary substantially in different parts of Virginia.

Nearly all Group AAA schools were located in Northern Virginia, Hampton Roads, and Greater Richmond. Group A schools were typically found in rural areas, with the largest concentration in Southwest Virginia. Group AA schools were somewhat more widely distributed than the other two and found in rapidly growing areas like Loudoun County, in and around cities such as Roanoke, Lynchburg, Harrisonburg, and Charlottesville, and in some cities and counties which have a single high school. Unlike many state associations, districts and regions were the same for every sport with few exceptions.

Redistricting and regrouping occurred every two years. Group AAA schools typically had enrollments above 1,500 students, Group AA schools typically had from 700 to about 1,500 students, and Group A schools had fewer than 700 students. Schools could request to play up a group. Several schools in the Richmond and Hampton Roads areas competed in the Central and Eastern Regions of Group AAA instead of Group AA due to a reluctance to travel long distances in the post-season. In Southwest Virginia, some schools with Group A enrollment levels competed in Group AA due to traditionally being part of that group. Lee High School in Jonesville received a special dispensation from the VHSL to play in Group A despite having Group AA enrollment numbers due to being far away from the nearest schools in Group AA and not having substantially more students than large Group A schools.

In football, each region was further split into two divisions based on school enrollment, so statewide champions were determined in Divisions 1 through 6. Divisions 1 and 2 were for Group A with Division 2 being the one for schools with larger enrollments; 3 and 4, the Group AA schools; and 5 and 6, the Group AAA schools. The division format was first adopted in 1986 for football and was expanded in the late 2000s and early 2010s to some other sports in Groups A and AA.

Since the average enrollments of schools varied by region in each group, some schools in one region had enrollments which would have placed them in the different division of another region. Most districts contained members in both divisions of its group, and a single district had two state championship teams on a few occasions. Because of the number of schools choosing to play up, in some years a state championship team from a lower division had a greater enrollment than a state championship team in a higher division.

2013 reclassification, basis for post-season competition[edit]

In the 2013-2014 school year, the former three group classification system was replaced by a six group classification system with Group 1A schools having the smallest enrollments and Group 6A schools having the largest enrollments. Generally, schools which had competed in Group A have been assigned to the new Groups 1A and 2A; in Group AA, the new Groups 3A and 4A; and in Group AAA, the new Groups 5A and 6A. Unlike the former system, the VHSL intends that the group classifications will remain approximately the same size, and schools will not be allowed to compete for a state championship in a group classification above or below the one determined by their enrollment. Regrouping will occur every two years.

Many schools which had competed at the former Group AAA level, particularly in the Central and Eastern Regions, have been assigned to Groups 4A or 3A. To a lesser extent, some smaller schools from the former Group AA have been assigned to Group 2A, a few larger school from the former Group A to Group 3A, and some larger schools from the former Group AA, particularly in Loudoun County, to Group 5A.

The district system largely based on the prior group classifications has been retained for regular season competition and districts may now include schools from different group classifications to maintain local rivalries and minimize travel during the regular season. Some Group AAA and AA districts with few schools and which were geographically isolated from other districts in the same group were dissolved and their member schools assigned to districts of nearby schools with smaller enrollments.

Schools are not required to play a district rival which is at least three group classifications higher. For example, a school in Group 3A is not required to play against a school in Group 6A but is required to play against schools in Groups 5A and 4A. In some cases, no district championship is awarded when there is not a full round robin schedule of all district teams.

Schools have also been assigned to a conference of schools from the same group classification for the first round of post-season competition. There are a total of 48 conferences, designated by numbers in reverse order of the group classification numbers. (i.e. Conference 1 is in Group 6A while Conference 48 is in Group 1A.) Conferences are not uniform in the number of the member schools and almost always include schools in other districts. Only two conferences are composed solely of the members of one district. There are no uniform rules for the seeding of schools in conference competition based on regular season results.

The six groups are not divided into four regions as before. Instead, each group classification is divided into two regions of four conferences each. The two regions are designated North/South in Groups 6A, 5A, and 4A and East/West in Groups 3A, 2A, and 1A. In most team sports, the top two teams from conference playoffs advance to compete in regional playoffs. The top two teams from regional playoffs advance to a final four state playoff competition to determine the state champion.

The conferences are not used for football playoffs in ten of the twelve regions. Instead, the sixteen schools with the most VHSL points from each region compete in the regional playoffs. The exception is that the first three rounds of the playoffs in the South regions in Groups 6A and 5A are split into two sections of two conferences each with eight schools qualifying for the playoffs in each section. The two sectional champions meet for the regional championship in the fourth round.

In Groups 6A, 5A, and 4A, the two regional champions play for the state championship. (i.e. The regional championship game is also the state semi-final.) In Groups 3A, 2A, and 1A, the final four teams are cross-bracketed in the state semi-finals with the higher remaining seed in one region hosting the lower remaining seed in the other region. (i.e. No regional championship is awarded.) This format could allow two teams from the same region to play for the state championship.

  • Class 1A - 475 or less
  • Class 2A - 476-735
  • Class 3A - 736-1,060
  • Class 4A - 1,133-1,540
  • Class 5A - 1,541-1,950
  • Class 6A - 1,951-3,777

Athletic activities[edit]

Athletic activities include the following:

For boys and girls: Basketball, Cross Country, Golf, Lacrosse, Gymnastics, Indoor track, Outdoor track, Soccer, Swimming/diving, Tennis, Volleyball

For boys: Baseball, Football, Wrestling

For girls: Cheerleading, Field hockey, Softball

Boys' and girls' sports will allow members of the opposite sex to participate in some circumstances.

Academic activities[edit]

Academic activities include the following:

Creative Writing, Debate, Drama (one-act plays), Forensics (a variety of individual events), Magazines, Newspapers, Scholastic Bowl, and Yearbooks

Academic activities are coed and not considered varsity athletics by most schools. Academic activities are usually awarded different letters and honors from athletics.

The VHSL academic activities season begins in September with a series of journalism education workshops in four cities across the state that is sponsored by Jostens. The VHSL/Jostens Regional Workshops began in 2005 and target both students and advisers of newspaper, magazine, and yearbook publications. The 2007 series included stops in Virginia Beach, Richmond, Roanoke, and Dulles.

This event is followed up by what is referred to as the state journalism workshop, or the Championship Journalism Workshop in October, which is both an educational and recognition event. Held at Virginia Commonwealth University since 1989, the CJW celebrates the results of the newspaper, magazine, and yearbook evaluations that schools submit each June to the VHSL. The two-day workshop offers about 100 classes that are taught mostly by the state's top advisers, but also by college professors, industry professionals, and recognized out-of-state advisers. Since 2005, the awards portion of this event has been held in the nearby historic Jefferson Hotel's ballroom. State champions in newspaper, magazine, and yearbook publications are given an evaluation on their publication known as Trophy Class. Publications that receive five Trophy Class ratings in seven or fewer years are also awarded the Savedge Award for Sustained Excellence, named after renowned yearbook adviser Colonel Charles Savedge. The VHSL also annually awards the Student Journalist of the Year to a deserving senior, which comes with the Savedge scholarship.

The VHSL academic season continues with the Group A and AA One Act Theatre Festivals, traditionally held the first week of December in Charlottesville. Eight schools representing the top two in both district and regional competition present plays that are 35 or fewer minutes in length. Preferably four, but no fewer than three, judges usually consisting of both high school directors and professionals evaluate the performances and recognize both the champion and runner-up school. Also recognized are eight outstanding actors.

In February, the top eight schools that have advanced from regional competition in Groups A, AA, and AAA go to the College of William and Mary for Scholastic Bowl competition. Two four-person teams meet head-to-head in this double-elimination tournament, answering questions in mathematics, science/health, social studies, English, and miscellany (including current events, fine arts, music, entertainment and sports). There are three rounds, including two toss-up rounds where either team may answer and one round of directed questioning toward individual schools. Toss-up rounds consist of 15 questions and directed rounds include 10 questions per team. The champion and runner-up are recognized in each grouping.

The state forensics tournament occurs on a single day in late March/early April and consists of ten individual events: duo interpretation, serious dramatic interpretation, humorous dramatic interpretation, storytelling, poetry interpretation, prose interpretation, foreign extemporaneous speaking, domestic extemporaneous speaking, impromptu speaking, and original oratory. At this tournament, Group A, AA, and AAA competition occur separately, but simultaneously. The top six students in each category and in each group are recognized with the top four earning points toward a team sweepstakes. The team champion and runner-up are also recognized.

Debate is a two-day tournament in April that features four events: Student Congress, Lincoln-Douglas, Public Forum, and Policy. This competition has taken place at Liberty University since 1999. Public Forum, added in 2011, is the newest VHSL debate event. The top four individuals (or two-person policy and public forum teams) earn points toward a team sweepstakes. The team champion and runner-up are also recognized.

The VHSL academic activities season culminates with the judging of creative writing entries announced in mid-late May. In March, schools submit a folder containing six works (2 poems, 2 short stories, and 2 essays) written by six different students. These school folders have traditionally been evaluated by judges at the University of Virginia's creative writing department. Judges award individual awards for the three categories in each group (A, AA, and AAA) as well as an overall school folder winner in each group.

The VHSL also awards the Wachovia Cup for each group to the schools which accumulate the most points across all competitions much like the NACDA Director's Cup for college athletics. There are separate cups for athletic and academic activities.


Districts are geographically-organized groups and may contain schools in varying classifications.[3]


Class 6

  • Region A
  • Region B
  • Region C
  • Region D

Class 5

  • Region A
  • Region B
  • Region C
  • Region D

Class 4

  • Region A
  • Region B
  • Region C
  • Region D

Class 3

  • Region A
  • Region B
  • Region C
  • Region D

Class 2

  • Region A
  • Region B
  • Region C
  • Region D

Class 1

  • Region A
  • Region B
  • Region C
  • Region D


External links[edit]


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