The decision to handle the smaller division wrestling postseason differently than the bigger division when it resumes this weekend came down to the strain on travel.
“The reason behind having sectionals (for DI and DII but not for DIII and DIV) came down to looking at the strains on travel for the smaller schools,” AIA Associate Executive Director Chuck Schmidt said Wednesday morning. “(Tournament director) Dean (Visser) was in communication since last Friday with the (wrestling) advisory committee and it was determined that the big schools, for the most part, are in the metro areas so (travel) wasn’t as big of a deal.”
The postseason was temporarily postponed last week while the AIA decided how to move forward after it was discovered a skin outbreak hit several programs.
The AIA announced on Tuesday the season would continue with DIII and DIV heading straight to a state competition while DI and DII would have sectionals this weekend and state the following week.
Schmidt added that extending the season another week, as the AIA did for DI and DII, for the smaller schools hurts the spring sports because of the sharing of athletes is more prevalent and necessary at schools that have student bodies closer to 500 than 1,500.
The Division III and IV state tournaments at Tim’s Toyota Center will have a 32-man bracket with pigtails to include anyone who was included in the team's sectional lineup.
“We understand everyone is going to have different ideas, but we feel it was a fair response,” said Schmidt, who earlier in the day stated it was going to be only wrestlers with a winning record in seven matches.
Also moving the DI and DII state to the week of Feb. 21-22 at Tim’s Toyota Center forced the AIA to adjust some small school division girls state basketball games scheduled for the Toyota Center.
“We did what we had to do logistically,” Schmidt said. “We put the health and safety of the kids first and some changes had to be made because of it.”
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