The idea of adding a sixth class for high school basketball in Maine has been floated to two different groups, but after receiving tepid interest will likely be shelved.

Dick Durost, executive director of the Maine Principals’ Association, said an increasing number of Class C basketball schools, particularly in the North region, prompted the MPA’s Classification Committee to discuss the possibility of a sixth class.

That idea was put forward to the advisory Maine Basketball Commission on Thursday night and then again Friday to the MPA Basketball Committee.

“We just shared that (a sixth class) was one of many things we’re discussing,” Durost said. “My reading today of the Basketball Committee is that there is not much interest in pursuing that. I think the general tenor was, we only recently expanded from four classes to five and we do only have 151 high schools in the state, and at what point would we begin to water down the recognition of a state championship.”

Maine added a fifth class, called AA, for its largest basketball-playing schools prior to the 2015-16 season.

Class C, for schools with enrollments between 130-324, has the greatest number of teams. The North region had 20 for both boys and girls, while in the South there were 16 boys’ and 21 girls’ teams this past season.

Durost noted a sixth class would have added to an already crowded tournament schedule at the neutral sites in Bangor, Augusta and Portland.

“That was part of the conversation. It’s a special experience for our teams and fans to be at those three sites, and you’re right, at what point would we be too crowded?” Durost said, adding that one or two snow days already wreaks havoc with the schedule.

Maine’s next two-year cycle of classification will begin with the 2019-20 school year. Significant discussions about reclassification will begin this fall when up-to-date enrollment figures are available.

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