2018 VHSL Realignment
The 2018 VHSL Realignment took effect for Scholastic Bowl beginning with the 2018 state championship series.
The classifications were no longer called 6A, 5A, 4A, etc., and instead were called Class 6, Class 5, etc.
The structure of play was completely overhauled for the second time since the 2014 VHSL Realignment. Due to geographic/travel issues with large conferences, the changes eliminated all conferences and instead returned to the more broad use of district play. While districts still competed from 2014-2017, only conference play counted toward the playoffs.
Postseason play instead started in region tournaments, with regions voting to have either an 'all-in' tournament featuring every team in their area, or each district within the region would play a regular season or district tournament to determine their regional qualifiers.
Each of the existing 12 regions were split in half to create four-region classes. For example, Region 6A North and South were split into Regions 6A, 6B, 6C, and 6D. In some cases, these new four-region classes were basically smaller versions of the regions that existed prior to the 2014 Realignment. For example, Classes 1 and 2, which were grouped together as 'Group A' from 1998-2013, now feature Region 1D and Region 2D; the schools contained within Region 1D and 2D were formerly part of VHSL Groups A's Region D.
Within each Class, Regions were given the option to qualify their top 2 teams to a "Super Region" tournament, which generally held the same schools as the 2014-2017 regions. However, for the first year of the realignment, some Classes opted instead to send only Regional Champions directly to the State Tournament, foregoing a Super Region Tournament and eliminating the long-common practice of both a tournament's Champion and Runner-up advancing to the next level of the playoffs. These decisions came despite numerous past occurrences in which a Regional Runner-Up later became State Runner-Up-- even pulled off an upset to become State Champion.