South Carolina High School League
|Motto||"An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules..."|
|Headquarters||121 Westpark Blvd.
Columbia, SC 29210
|Affiliations||National Federation of State High School Associations|
The South Carolina High School League (SCHSL) is the organization that rules and regulates school athletics in the state of South Carolina. Established in 1907 and based out of Columbia, the SCHSL has 414 member schools as of the 2011-2012 school year, of which 206 high schools and 208 junior high/middle schools compete.
SCHSL sanctions competition in the following sports: softball, baseball, basketball, competitive cheerleading, cross country, football, golf, lacrosse, soccer, swimming, tennis, track & field, volleyball, and wrestling.
The SCHSL operates five classes of competition dependent on the size of a school's enrollment: AAAAA (quin-A or five-A), AAAA (quad-A or four-A), AAA (triple-A or three-A), AA (double-A or two-A), and A. Each class contains eight regions (defined by Roman numerals) with five to eight similarly-sized schools within proximity of each other. The first four regions in each class (I, II, III, IV) are considered "upper state" regions (Upstate and upper Midlands schools) whereas the last four regions (V, VI, VII, VIII) are considered "lower state" regions (Lowcountry, Pee Dee, and lower Midlands schools). Due to smaller budgets at smaller schools, some sports required AA and A to have combined tournaments and championships. Realignment occurs on a two-year basis.
Football at the AAAA level is subdivided into two divisions (I and II). Division I schools are the sixteen largest schools in the state by enrollment, and the division is often referred to as the Big 16. For the 2012-2014 period, the following schools are in the Big 16.
- Wando High School
- Dorman High School
- Lexington High School
- Summerville High School
- Sumter High School
- Boiling Springs High School
- James F. Byrnes High School
- Blythewood High School
- Spring Valley High School
- Hillcrest High School
- Mauldin High School
- Fort Dorchester High School
- Gaffney High School
- Dutch Fork High School
- Ridgeview High School
- Carolina Forest High School
- Conway High School
Big 16 (Division I) and Division II qualifiers compete for their division's respective AAAA state championship, which is held either at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia or Memorial Stadium in Clemson.