March 19, 2007
Forsyth- The debate over playing state high school football championship games has been going on for more than ten years.
Supporters of the plan finally succeeded in get the title games under the same venue.
The Georgia High School Association's executive committee voted unanimously on Monday to play the 2008 state championship games at the Georgia Dome.
The committee also approved moving the semifinals, which have been played at the Dome since 1994, to high school stadiums.
The approval comes a year and half after the GHSA executive committee tabled a plan to play the title games at the Dome in 2007 because the measure didn't have the votes for approval.
The GHSA did in August of 2005 approve playing state championship games in 2006 at neutral sites where opponents to playing title games on campus argued it wasn't fair for one team to have home field advantage in the biggest game of the season.
Heavy oppoistion forced the GHSA to scrap that plan in March of last year.
The executive committee returned state championship games to the high schools but with stipulations.
The GHSA also adopted minimum seating requirements and other regulations that schools had to meet in order to host any postseason football game.
The new guidelines angered schools last seasonwhose stadiums didn't meet those guidelines and they had to move early round playoff games to neutral ites.
The executive committee on Monday also removed those seating guidelines for the first two rounds of the state playoffs.
Much of the opposition of moving the state championship games to the Georgia Dome has come from south Georgia especially Valdosta.
Lowndes High principal Wes Taylor, a member of the executive committee, says the move to the Dome was inevitable.
Taylor added that the choice for schools was to play championship games at the Dome or at neutral sites.
Taylor says he believes that the Dome is the best of those two options.
Another point of controversy has been the fact there are no overtimes in state championship football games.
The GHSA executive committee narrowly approved implement the overtime system used in region and state playoff games for the championship games.