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BLOOMINGTON — The Illinois High School Association Board of Directors on Wednesday approved going to a two-class system in boys and girls tennis beginning with the 2016-17 school year.

In a survey of IHSA member school official representatives this fall, more than 76 percent (203) of 265 respondents favored adding a second class. The IHSA has 338 member schools with a tennis team. The state series in 2014-15 included 311 schools in girls tennis and 293 in boys tennis.

“Our membership provided valid reasons for and against expansion, which the Board weighed carefully, but ultimately the survey reinforced that our schools would like to see a second class added,” IHSA executive director Marty Hickman said.

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The smallest 50 percent of participating schools will be in Class A and the other half in Class AA. Based on 2014-15 entries, cutoffs would have been 1,378 for girls and 1,427 for boys.

The state final will have the same total number of qualifiers (128) as in the one-class era, with 64 singles and doubles players qualifying in each class. The 32 total sectionals in the one-class system will become 16 Class A and 16 AA sectionals.

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Sports Editor

Sports editor for Lee Enterprises Central Illinois.

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