The Alabama High School Athletic Association, founded in 1921, is a private agency organized by its member schools to control and promote their athletic programs.
The purpose of the AHSAA is to regulate, coordinate and promote the interscholastic athletic programs among its member schools, which include public, private and parochial institutions. Currently, there are 401 senior high members and 287 junior high and middle school members with more than 75,000 students participating in the program.
Major aims of the AHSAA are to serve the needs of its member schools in conducting their interscholastic athletic programs and to assist member schools in reaching the educational objectives as established by their school systems.
The AHSAA, providing a vehicle which member schools may write their own rules and regulations, determines that schools are abiding by those standards in such areas as student eligibility, contests and championship programs.
Another basic function of the AHSAA is the registration, training and regulation of officials. Only officials registered with the Association are used for contests involving member schools.
The rules-making body of the AHSAA is the Legislative Council, composed of eight district boards made up of four members each elected by member schools in each district. The 32-member Council has the authority to make changes in the Constitution and By-Laws.
The executive board with the final authority in AHSAA matters is the Central Board of Control, consisting of one member of each district board, one board member from each of the four bi-districts, and one representative from the State Department of Education.
The operation of the AHSAA is the responsibility of Steve Savarese and his staff. Savarese became only the fourth full-time executive director August 1, 2007, after the retirement of Dan Washburn, who had served since 1991. He was preceeded by Herman L. (Bubba) Scott, who has served since 1966. The late Cliff Harper was the first AHSAA head in 1948 with the establishment of a State Office in Montgomery. Prior to that, Sellers Stough of Birmingham had served as director on a part-time basis.
The AHSAA joined the National Federation of State High School Associations in 1924. The National Federation, both a service and regulatory organization controlling interstate athletic events, helps the 50 state association members secure the benefits of cooperative action through the pooling and coordinating of ideals of all who are engaged in the administration of high school athletes.
The AHSAA merged with the Alabama Interscholastic Athletic Association in 1968, forming one high school athletic association for the State of Alabama in accordance with a court order relating to athletics.
The AHSAA sponsors state championships programs in 11 boys and 11 girls sports.
1921 — AHSAA organized
1924 — Joined National Federation on Feb. 28
1925 — First state basketball tournament
1948 — State office established in Montgomery
1948 — Cliff Harper became first full-time executive secretary on July 1
1948 — Expanded to two classes for competition
1964 — Expanded to four classes for competition
1966 — Herman L. (Bubba) Scott became executive director on July 1
1966 — First state football playoff
1968 — Merger with AIAA on July 1
1974 — Start of area and region play
1980 — Moved to new state office building in June
1985 — Expanded to six classes for competition
1991 — Dan Washburn became executive director on January 1
1991 — First Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame induction on March 23.
1994 — First basketball state finals
1996 — First Super 6 football state finals
2001 — First baseball state finals
2006 — State Office moves to new facility in East Montgomery on July 1
2007— Steve Savarese became executive director on August 1