Big changes for Arizona high school athletics

The Arizona Interscholastic Association executive board agreed to new scheduling formats for the regular seasons and postseasons of AIA member high school sports Monday.

Reasoning behind the action is to cut down on the expenses involved with state tournaments and travel.

According to an AIA document, AIA dues for each member school will decrease by 7.5 percent and are necessary to maintain a prosperous future for Arizona high school athletics.

To simplify the plan, it means new competitive groupings, fewer games, and fewer state tournaments.

According to the new plan, divisions of sports teams will take the place of conferences.

The conferences will still exist, but only for a representative and feedback purpose (The boards will remain intact).

Divisions and sections will determine competition between schools.

A Sports Advisory Committee for each sport will be created to decide how divisions are formulated.

The Sports Advisory Committees will be comprised of 10 members, including one athletic director from each conference and one coach from each conference.

Divisions will be derived by adding up all the schools competing in a particular sport and dividing them into equal groups.

For instance, tennis currently has six competitive groupings (2A and 3A are combined). Under the new system there will be three divisions, meaning three competitive groupings.

In tennis, instead of a region tournament determining who can enter the state tournament, the new plan allows every team to send two singles and two doubles to the individual state tournaments.

In wrestling there will be four divisions with three sections in each. The five top wrestlers from each section tournament will qualify for the division tournament (state tournament).

There will be no team wrestling state tournament. The points teams accumulate in the individual tournaments will crown team champions.

Power ranking systems for all sports will also be changed to hopefully produce more accurate standings. The method they will use to do this is still being worked out.

The power rankings will become even more important than they are now, so how the AIA reworks them to improve accuracy is vital to fairness.

Eventually a computer scheduling system will decide what teams play each other during the regular season.

The specifics of how each sport is broken down are different and time will tell how the new rules affect the seasons and post seasons of Verde Valley schools.

Not all the changes take effect immediately, and the plan is broken down into two phases over the next two seasons.

Here is information directly from an AIA document on how each sport will be different.

PHASE 1

Cross Country

• The AIA will hold eight state championship meets, including four girl and four boy meets

o This is a reduction from the current 12 state championship meets

• The AIA will conduct the state championship meets over the course of one Saturday at one venue

• Ticket Price of $10.00 for adults and $6.00 for students

Qualification to the State Meet

• The AIA will run three sectionals on the preceding Saturday to the state championship meet at three separate sites for qualification to the state championship meet

o The entry fee to the sectional will be $25.00 per school for a max of seven runners

o Each sectional will host eight races for each of the four championship classifications in both boys and girls

o Ticket price of $5.00 per person

• The top 50% of scoring teams from each sectional race along with the top 5 runners from each sectional race will qualify to compete in the state championship meet

Benefits

• The AIA will reduce the number of state championship races from 12 to eight

• The AIA will generate revenue from schools competing in the sectionals to qualify for the state meet to offset the expense of running the sectionals

Golf

• The AIA will hold five state championship tournaments, including three boy and two girl and tournaments.

o This is a reduction from the current nine state championship tournaments

• A member school participating in golf can choose to play golf in the fall or the spring through the sport participation survey

• Potential to charge for entry fee per player to participate in the state golf tournament should green fees not be included by the golf course

Qualification to the State Meet

• Teams and individuals must qualify through AIA regular season 9-hole matches

o A player can compete in a maximum of 10 matches per year for qualification purposes (one match can be part of a 9-hole invitational)

o Division I and II golf tournaments (four tournaments) will be held in the fall of each year

o Division III golf tournament (one tournament) will be held in the spring of each year

• Division I Golf

o Individual Qualifying

• Boys: Must set a score that is better than or equal to ((rating divided by 2) plus 2), five times throughout the year, but not more than three times at the same golf course

• Girls: Must set a score that is better than or equal to ((rating divided by 2) plus 12), five times throughout the year, but not more than three times at the same golf course

o Team Qualifying

• Boys: Must set a score that is better than or equal to ((rating divided by 2) multiplied by 4, plus 8), five times throughout the year, but not more than three times at the same golf course

• Girls: Must set a score that is better than or equal to ((rating divided by 2) multiplied by 4, plus 48), five times throughout the year, but not more than three times at the same golf course

• Division II Golf

o Individual Qualifying

• Boys: Must set a score that is better than or equal to ((rating divided by 2) plus 4), five times throughout the year, but not more than three times at the same golf course

• Girls: Must set a score that is better than or equal to ((rating divided by 2) plus 14), five times throughout the year, but not more than three times at the same golf course

o Team Qualifying

• Boys: Must set a score that is better than or equal to ((rating divided by 2) multiplied by 4, plus 16), five times throughout the year, but not more than three times at the same golf course

• Girls: Must set a score that is better than or equal to ((rating divided by 2) multiplied by 4, plus 56), five times throughout the year, but not more than three times at the same golf course

• Division III Golf

o Individual Qualifying

• Boys: Must set a score that is better than or equal to ((rating divided by 2) plus 6), five times throughout the year, but not more than three times at the same golf course

o Team Qualifying

• Boys: Must set a score that is better than or equal to ((rating divided by 2) multiplied by 4, plus 20), five times throughout the year, but not more than three times at the same golf course

Benefits

• The AIA will hold the state championship golf tournament at three golf courses, as opposed to 34 golf courses under the current format, thus reducing expenses

o This includes eight golf course for state, eight for super region play, and 18 for regional play

• Sectional Events will not be an expense of the AIA

Swim and Dive

• The AIA will hold four state championship meets, including two girl and two boy meets

o This is a reduction from the current 10 state championship meets

• The AIA will conduct the state championship meets over the course of two weekends

o One weekend for the small school meet and one weekend for the large school meet

• Ticket Price of $10.00 for adults and $6.00 for students, or $16.00 all-day pass

Qualification to the State Meet

• Automatic Qualifying Mark (time or score)

o Throughout the course of the season in AIA Sanctioned Events, individuals qualify for the state championship meet by setting the automatic qualifying mark in their respective event for their respective classification

• Provisional Qualifying Mark (time or score)

o If there are less than 24 automatic qualifying marks for the state championship meet in a particular event, the best individual provisional mark(s) set in an AIA Sanctioned Event will be taken to field the 24 qualifiers for the state championship meet in a particular event for their respective classification

• The automatic and/or provisional times must be set at swim meets using touch pads or system 5

Benefits

• The AIA will use one less weekend to run the state championship meet

o Four event days instead of six event days

• The AIA will need half of the current number of officials over the four days to run the state meet

o One pool will be needed each event day as opposed to two pools under the current format

• Sectional Events will not be an expense of the AIA

Tennis

• The AIA will hold three singles, doubles and team state tournaments

o This is a reduction from the six current singles, doubles and team state tournaments

• Ticket price of $10.00 for adults and $6.00 for students, or $16.00 all-day pass for multiple events at one site

• Ticket price of $6.00 per person for matches at high-seed sites

Qualification to the State Meet

• Singles Doubles State Tournaments

o Every school in their respective championship division can elect to send four singles (two boys and two girls) and four doubles teams (two boys and two girls) to the singles and doubles state tournament

• An entry fee per singles or doubles team will be charged to offset the expense of the singles and doubles state tournaments based on historical cost analysis

• Team State Tournaments

o See Phase II

Benefits

• The AIA will save money by reducing the number of state tennis tournaments to nine, rather than 18 under the current format

• The AIA will need a lower amount of officials, thus reducing expense

• Sectional Events will not be an expense of the AIA

Track and Field

• The AIA will hold eight state championship meets, including four girl and four boy meets

o This is a reduction from the current 14 state championship meets

• The AIA will conduct the state championship meets over the course of one weekend at two different venues

• Ticket Price of $10.00 for adults and $6.00 for students, or $16.00 all-day pass

Qualification to the State Meet

• Automatic Qualifying Mark (time, distance or height)

o Throughout the course of the season in AIA Sanctioned Events, individuals qualify for the state championship meet by setting the automatic qualifying mark in their respective event for their respective classification

• Provisional Qualifying Mark (time, distance or height)

o If there are less than 24 automatic qualifying marks for the state championship meet in a particular event, the best individual provisional mark(s) set in an AIA Sanctioned Event will be taken to field the 24 qualifiers for the state championship meet in a particular event for their respective classification

Benefits

• The AIA will use one less venue to run the state championship meet

• The AIA will lower expenses but not needing as many officials at its state championship meets

• Sectional Events will not be an expense of the AIA

Wrestling

• The AIA will hold four state championship tournaments

o This is a reduction from the current six state championship tournaments in individuals

o 16 individuals will qualify for their respective state tournament in their respective weight class

• Ticket Price of $10.00 for adults and $6.00 for students, or $16.00 all-day pass

• No Team Tournament

o The AIA will develop a formula to determine a team champion from the individual tournament

Qualification to the State Meet

• Each Division will have three sectional tournaments in which five wrestlers will qualify for their respective state tournament in their respective division

o 15 automatic qualifiers and the next best 6th place finisher from the three sectionals in each division will make their respective state tournament

Benefits

• The AIA will use two less championship tournament days than it does under the current format, thus reducing expense

• The AIA will not hold a team championship tournament, thus reducing expenses

PHASE 2

Regular Season Scheduling

• AIA Computer Scheduling System to generate the regular season team schedules based on geographical location with cross divisional play, by Fall 2011

• A minimum of four days will separate the end of regular season play to the start of the state tournament

AIA Power Rankings System

• The AIA Power Rankings System will be modified to include all regular season games, including out of state schools, but not including invitational games, by Fall 2011

o There will be no non-counting games

o Modifications to be determined

Team Championship Divisions

• The AIA will have six championship team divisions in the following sport:

o Football

• The AIA will have five championship team divisions in the following sport:

o Volleyball (Girls)

• The AIA will have four championship team divisions in the following sports:

o Baseball

o Basketball (Boys and Girls)

o Soccer (Boys and Girls)

o Softball

• The AIA will have three championship team divisions in the following sport:

o Tennis (Boys and Girls) - to be implemented Fall 2010

• The AIA will have one championship team division in the following sports:

o Badminton - to be implemented Fall 2010

o Volleyball (Boys)

Football and Tennis

• Football (11-man) and Tennis: 16 teams will make the state tournament in their respective division

o Three teams from each of the three sectionals within their respective division will automatically qualify for the state tournament based on AIA power rankings

o The nine automatic qualifiers, plus seven at-large qualifiers, will make up the 16 team state tournament for their respective division and be seeded based on AIA power rankings

• Football: Division VI, 8-man football, 12 teams will make the state tournament

o Three teams from each of the three sectionals within their respective division will automatically qualify for the state tournament base on AIA power rankings.

o The nine automatic qualifiers, plus three at-large qualifiers, will make up the 12 team state tournament for their respective division and be seeded based on AIA power rankings

• Teams seeded No. 1 through No. 4 will get a first round bye

Basketball

• Twenty-four (24) teams will make the state team tournaments for their respective division

• Each championship division will have three sectionals based on geographic alignment

• Each sectional tournament will have an eight team tournament

o The sectional tournament will be seeded based on their AIA power ranking

o Each sectional tournament will be played at centralized site, as determined by the AIA

o The top four from each sectional tournament will earn an automatic spot in their respective 24 team state tournament

• The four automatic qualifiers, plus 12 at-large qualifiers, will make up the 24 team state tournament for their respective division and be seeded based on AIA power rankings

o Teams seeded No. 1 through No. 8 will get a first round bye

• Centralized venues, as determined by the AIA, for all five rounds of the state tournaments

o The AIA will work to schedule a minimum of two games at one site per tournament round, thus reducing the number of venues needed for all rounds of the tournament

o Teams will be placed at the sites by the AIA

Soccer and Volleyball (Girls)

• Soccer: A member school participating in soccer can choose to play soccer in the fall or the winter through the sport participation survey

• Soccer and Volleyball (girls): 16 teams will make the state tournament in their respective division

o Three teams from each of the three sectionals within their respective division will automatically qualify for the state tournament based on AIA power rankings

o The nine automatic qualifiers, plus seven at-large qualifiers, will make up the 16 team state tournament for their respective division and be seeded based on AIA power rankings

Baseball, Softball, and Volleyball (Boys) Qualification to the State Team Tournaments

• Twenty-four (24) teams will make the state team tournaments for their respective division

• Each championship division will have three sectionals based on geographic alignment

o Each sectional will qualify four teams to the state team tournament based on their AIA power ranking

• The 12 automatic qualifiers, plus 12 at-large qualifiers, will make up the 24 team state tournament for their respective division and be seeded based on AIA power rankings

o Teams seeded No. 1 through No. 8 will get a first round bye

o Baseball and Softball: Division I and II will be a single elimination tournament for the first two rounds, and become a double elimination tournament with the final eight teams.

o Baseball and Softball: Division III and IV will be a single elimination tournament

• Centralized venues, as determined by the AIA, for all five rounds of the state tournaments

o The AIA will work to schedule a minimum of two games at one site per tournament round, thus reducing the number of venues needed for all rounds of the tournament

o Teams will be placed at the sites by the AIA

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