Executive Board unanimously approves AIA state tournament realignment - East Valley Tribune: VarsityXtra

Executive Board unanimously approves AIA state tournament realignment

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Posted: Monday, June 21, 2010 12:21 pm | Updated: 3:25 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

The Arizona Interscholastic Association's conference realignment proposal was unanimously approved at an executive board meeting Monday morning at the Glendale Civic Center.

The new setup, which was introduced at last month's AIA meeting, will shed 35 percent of region and state tournaments and reclassify conferences based on sport.

There will no longer be seven separate state titles in any team sport, with football (6) holding onto the most and boys volleyball and badminton (1) the least.

Overall, AIA Chief Operations Officer Chuck Schmidt said the feedback was mostly positive, not a small task considering the number of schools affected.

"The membership hopefully can understand, and I think they have, that this is a needed change," Schmidt said.

The conference with the biggest issue was 1A. Fewer divisions means more teams in each, and playing against current 2A, 3A, 4A and 5A competition will make it hard for those athletes to compete on an individual and team basis.

Schmidt said small schools could consider combining to form more competitive teams.

"We're doing our best (to address the different concerns)," Schmidt said. "You have to create the divisions somewhere."

There were two minor changes to the original plan:

•Football will have six conferences beginning in 2011, instead of the proposed five. There was a safety concern among some of the current 4A-II and 5A-II teams about playing against 4A-I and 5A-I squads, so it was modified to lessen the impact. So far, the alignments are listed as Division I (largest based on enrollment) through Division VI (smallest).

•Wrestling will have four separate conferences, as opposed to the original plan of three.

Individual sports, along with the badminton and tennis team tournaments, will implement these changes beginning this fall. The other team sports will wait until the 2011-2012 school year.

If Proposition 100, a measure that would raise the sales tax one percent for the next three years to help fund educational and civil services, does not pass on Tuesday, it would affect some of the reconfiguration plans, but the implementation would still move forward.

Additionally, power point rankings will be tweaked next year to weight victory points and opponent victory points following dialogue with coaches from around the state, although tournaments remain unlikely to be included in power points.

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