The Southwestern Maine Activities Association (SMAA) is composed of seventeen high schools located in Cumberland and York Counties. Current member of the conference are: Biddeford, Bonny Eagle, Cheverus, Deering, Falmouth, Gorham, Kennebunk, Marshwood, Massabesic, Noble, Portland, Sanford, Scarborough, South Portland, Thornton Academy, Westbrook, and Windham. SMAA schools compete in Southern Maine Class A, and conference champions are crowned annually in twenty-eight sports.
The SMAA drew its original membership from the “Big Five”, a group of Portland area schools (Cheverus, Deering, Portland, South Portland, Westbrook), whose rivalries in basketball dated back to the early part of the twentieth century. The “Big Five” became the “Big Seven” and eventually the “Big Eight” with the addition of three York County schools (Biddeford, Sanford, Thornton) in the late 1960’s.
The SMAA was formally organized under its current name in the mid 1970’s. The conference expanded geographically as teams from Androscoggin and western Cumberland County entered the SMAA. In 1975 McAuley High School of Portland was admitted to the conference. In March of 1977, Bonny Eagle and Edward Little joined the ranks of the SMAA. In September of that same year, Lewiston became the conference’s twelfth member.
The membership of the conference remained intact for nearly a decade. However, in December of 1986 former Class B schools Noble and Massabesic reached Class A enrollments and entered the SMAA. In the spring of 1997 Windham was admitted to the league. In 2002, Edward Little and Lewiston were admitted to the Kennebunk Valley Athletic Conference. Kennebunk, Marshwood, and Scarborough, three former Western Maine Conference schools, joined the SMAA in that same year. Gorham High School began conference play in 2005-2006. In the fall of 2013 Kennebunk left the SMAA to join the WMC. For the 2016-2017 school year Catherine McAuley became The Maine Girls' Academy. In February 2017 Kennebunk rejoined the league and Falmouth was admitted to the league, with both schools beginning league play for the 2017-2018 school year. In July 2018, The Maine Girls' Academy closed reducing the number of SMAA member schools to seventeen.
Today the SMAA remains one of the most respected athletic conferences in the state.