Arkansas Activities Association releases spring conferences for 2024-26 cycle

The Arkansas Activities Association met on Friday morning to finalize conferences for the 2024-26 spring sports cycle.

A very notable adjustment is Conference 5 in Class 4A splitting into North and South Divisions. Also, Class 4A will now have 16 state tournament teams, thus eliminating first round byes.

On the softball front, three defending state champions are on the move.

4A champ Farmington will bump up to the 5A-West, while 3A winner Hackett and 2A champion Mansfield will flip – Hackett will be in the 2A-4, while Mansfield will be in the 3A-4. 

5A powerhouse Benton goes from the South conference to the Central where Little Rock Christian will also be slated as the Lady Warriors move up from Class 4A.

Baseball’s top classification will now have 18 teams with Little Rock Christian moving up to the 6A-Central. Each conference will have nine teams.

LRC Coach Brandon Eller said, “It’s a two year system now and we are excited for the opportunity to compete at the highest classficiation.”

In class 5A, Farmington will move into the 5A-West and Benton will move from the 5A-South back to the 5A-Central, replacing LR Christian.

Class 4A will have the most movement with the expansion to four regionals and eight conferences. CAC and Harding Academy will be in the 4A-5 North conference, along with Pulaski Academy, Joe T. Robinson, Morrilton, Heber Springs and Clinton who join the private schools in a loaded 4A-5 North. The 4A-5 South is Bauxite, eStem, Fountain Lake, Malvern and Mills.

Defending 3A Champion Gosnell is moving to the 4A-3 conference, as expected. They played a few teams from that league this season including two games against rival Brookland. Class 3A will be wide open with Harding Academy and Gosnell moving up to 4A. Mansfield will now be in the 3A-4 conference, moving up from 2A.

See the complete list of conferences for baseball, soccer and softball here.

Author’s note: Kevin Bohannon also contributed significantly to this publication.