The outcry over recent competitive imbalance could be rectified by the new parameters for the 2013-15 scheduling block.
New sections will be smaller and created with equity in mind, meaning games like Friday’s football matchup between Marcos de Niza and Phoenix South Mountain will likely be exceptions more than a geographic rule.
In the past two years, limiting travel was at the forefront of the computer scheduling. That guideline saved the schools money but has resulted in blowouts across the athletic landscape.
For the next block, travel costs will increase along with the competitive equity. Brian Bolitho, the Arizona Interscholastic Association’s director of business media, said comparisons between football, girls volleyball and basketball from the last two-year block to the currently-scheduled draft of games for 2013-15 will increase schools' travel an average of 30 percent.
While the AIA did not have a dollar figure, the extra mileage and time away from school will undoubtedly cost the schools more with this new plan.
Various sports advisory committees were willing to make the concession in order to avoid the bad mismatches, AIA Associate Executive Director Chuck Schmidt said.
“All of the committees came forward based on a desire to address the concerns of competition,” Schmidt said. “That, I think, was the primary driving factor when it comes to the proposals that came to the board (Monday).”
There will be more "freedom" games for sports to schedule this time around because of the smaller sections. However, instead of the schools determining those schedules, they will be done by region chairs. Both proposals were brought to the executive board during Monday's monthly meeting, and eight of the nine members chose the region chair option.
Board member and Xavier athletic director/golf coach Sister Lynn Winsor stressed that coaches and athletic directors should be consulted heavily when the schedules are made.
Schmidt said school representatives will be welcome at the meetings to determine the schedules.
Other notable actions from Monday’s executive board meeting:
Tempe was given a warning for leaving at halftime of its Sept. 7 loss to Saguaro. The Buffaloes’ coaches and athletic director Shelly Arredondo felt their players were being purposely targeted for physical harm by the Sabercats and decided to board the buses before the third quarter.
Principal Mark Yslas fanned the flames when he sent out a letter the next day to Tempe players, families and staff which inaccurately recounted the number of penalties on Saguaro and furthered the claim that Saguaro intentionally hurt the Tempe players.
The usual outcome for this type of forfeit is probation, but the AIA board knocked it down because of Tempe's legitimate injury fears during the game and the concession that the letter from Yslas was a bad choice.
Tempe superintendent Kenneth Baca issued an apology to the Saguaro community at the meeting and called the letter inaccurate.
“We have reminded all of our schools, all of our personnel, that we wait and think before anything is actually officially issued,” he said.
Tempe is 6-3 and on the playoff bubble. The Buffaloes would have been ineligible for the postseason if they were given probation, but can now qualify with a win in the regular season finale on Friday night at Maricopa.
Also, the Basha football team successfully appealed to get an Aug. 24 forfeit to Corona del Sol rescinded. One of the team’s players moved from Hamilton into the Perry boundaries before the season, but thought he was in Basha’s zone and played in the game for the Bears. The school’s administration did not realize the error until after the contest.
The executive board voted to put Basha on advisement but cleared the forfeit. The loss was never reflected in the power point standings because the Bears were waiting to make the change pending the appeal.