The GHSA executive committee overwhelmingly voted to split public and private schools in every sport of the playoffs in the smallest classification in the state Tuesday morning at the Macon Coliseum.
The split will create separate state championships in Class A, and now gives the GHSA seven state championships overall. The split won by a 36-12 vote with one abstention.
The split will go into effect beginning with the 2012-13 school year.
"I think you watched people from across the state come together and show some unity," Charlton County athletics director Jesse Crews said. "Nobody wanted people to leave."
The vote seemed to ease some of the tension between the GHSA and a group of separatist schools that are considering leaving the league and starting a new organization called the Georgia Public Schools Association. Leaders from the GPSA said they were pleased with Tuesday's vote.
"This is what we've asked for, and I'm happy the executive committee listened," said GPSA leader and Turner County superintendent Ray Jordan.
Jordan and other members of the GPSA stopped short of saying Tuesday's developments killed their organization.
"We're very pleased with this vote, but we'll still meet and see what people are thinking," Wilcox County principal Chad Davis said.
Not everyone in attendance Tuesday left happy. Private school representatives voiced displeasure following the vote.
"We joined the GHSA to play the best and compete with them for championships," said executive committee member Scott Queen, the athletics director at Eagle's Landing Christian. "Now, we won't really know who is the best."
Officials have yet to work out exactly how schools will qualify for the playoffs. The GHSA regions, which were ratified Tuesday morning, will stay intact, with some of the regions containing both public and private schools.
Come back to Macon.com all day for updates.