A Pulaski County Judge denied a Bryant injunction against the Arkansas Activities Association that would have kept the school from competing in a different conference for the 2014-16 classification cycle.
On Wednesday, Judge Mary McGowan dismissed Bryant’s claim that moving to the 7A/6A-Central from the 7A/6A-South would not cause irreparable harm. The Hornets would now face much more travel in the Central than in the South.
Because of the decision, Bryant will join Alma, Conway, Greenwood, Little Rock Catholic, Little Rock’s Mount St. Mary’s Academy, Russellville, Siloam Springs and Van Buren in the Central.
Northside and Southside will move to the 7A-West, which becomes an all-7A conference with Siloam Springs leaving. With Bryant exiting the South, that league now becomes an all-6A as Little Rock Hall and Parkview move there from the Central.
This now sets the 7A and 6A conferences for the start of the 2014-16 cycle this fall.
This will lead to several positive changes for how teams make the postseason. First, the power ratings will no longer be used in 7A and 6A. Second, 6A will now only take the top six in playoff sports (football, volleyball, basketball, soccer, baseball, softball) instead of taking all 16 teams as it has done the past three seasons.
In the blended 7A/6A conferences, the only games that will count toward the postseason are games against teams in one’s own classification — 7A vs. 7A and 6A vs. 6A.
In 7A, the West will take six teams to the postseason while the Central and East will take three teams each. In 6A, the South will take six teams while the Central and East, just like in 7A, will take three teams as well.
For Van Buren, it means competing against Bryant, Conway and Catholic/Mount St. Mary’s for three 7A-Central spots. Alma and Greenwood will compete with Russellville and Siloam Springs for three 6A-Central postseason spots.