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Georgia Independent Athletic Association

MACON — New year, new league name. The Georgia Independent Athletic Association held at press conference Monday morning at the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame.

Clint Morgan, GIAA’s Director of Athletics, said the conference, which was live-streamed on Facebook, was “the start of something special.” Representatives from GIAA schools were in attendance.

Tommy Marshall, GIAA Commissioner, said he couldn’t remember a starting day more exciting than this one over his 45 years in athletics.

“The GIAA will be a premier organization in the southeast going forward,” said Marshall. The conference included videos of midnight madness practice sessions that started the athletic seasons for some GIAA schools.

The GISA succeeds the GISA as Georgia’s private school association. The GISA itself succeeded other private school leagues in 1986, the larger of which was the SEAIS. Tiftarea Academy has had membership in the SEAIS, GISA and GIAA since its founding.

Marshall said the league is a combination “schools coming back, some new schools, schools that have been there all coming together for one purpose: to provide services and class opportunities for student-athletes in our schools.”

One member of the audience asked about the GIAA’s use of MaxPreps, a national website for high school sporting information and scores. Most sports will determine playoffs by power rankings, which are calculated by MaxPreps. “They are a very big partner of ours,” said Morgan.

Morgan said that every school will have a voice in the governance of the GIAA

“If someone has a rule change, a concern of any kind, they bring it before our sports committee,” he said. “We have a sport-specific committee for all sports” who will listen to proposals. From there, it will go to the athletic committee. “That committee decides on whether or not it is something worthy of making it to our heads of school at three different meetings throughout the year.”

No rule can be added or modified unless it is done by the heads of schools, said Morgan. “Every school has one vote,” he added. “Everybody who thinks that the small schools get things or the big schools get things — every school has one vote. That’s how things are done in our association.”

Marshall said there will be sports weekends coming up several sports at the University of West Georgia featuring independent school associations from several southeastern states.

The GIAA will not govern middle school athletics, Morgan said.

Regions have been renamed districts for most of the GIAA. Tiftarea will be in District 3-AAA with Valwood, Brookwood School, Southland Academy, Deerfield-Windsor and Terrell Academy.

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