State coaches association blasts WIAA for regional format
Prior to 2011, 16 teams went to the final state tournament in each classification. After the "regional round" format was implemented four years ago, only eight teams make it to the final week of the season. According to WIBCA's press release, those 96 teams account for 1,152 players whose seasons ended this weekend.
"WIBCA … would like to send their sympathies to the following 96 basketball teams whose seasons were cut short of State by the regrettable Regional format that the WIAA has imposed upon the basketball community of this state," the statement read, followed by the schools who lost in the regional round.
In boys' games, Arlington, Mountlake Terrace and Shorecrest saw their seasons end. On the girls side, Glacier Peak, Mountlake Terrace, Edmonds-Woodway played their final contests.
WIBCA has been lobbying the Washington Interscholastic Coaches Association ever since the change to the format.
"As tournament fever spikes for high school basketball fans throughout the state of Washington, the regrettable Regional format that has replaced the Classic 16-Team Tournament leaves many basketball players and fans wanting," the statement read. "... These teams, who have played by the WIAA slogan 'Just Play Fair' would be happy to just play. The argument that Regionals is somehow a 'state' experience rings hollow: a single-elimination evening game in a local high school gym pales in comparison to the promise and excitement of the Big Tournament in Spokane, Yakima, or Tacoma."
On Prep Sports Weekly, The Herald's weekly Monday radio show, WIAA Executive Director Mike Colbrese said the change was made for financial reasons. Cutting it down to eight teams cut the WIAA's overhead nearly in half, according to Colbrese.
"I want to be careful and say it wasn't a deficit," Colbrese said on the show. "We just weren't making the kind of money that we needed and we could see the continual downward tick."
WIBCA said the WIAA might be saving money, but there's still a high cost of the current tournament.
"These savings come at a very high price: lost memories, lost dreams and lost learning opportunities for countless young people throughout our state," the statement read.
For more on the regional round of the state tournament, read David Krueger's story coming next week.
- Confidence has grown for battle-tested Edmonds-Woodway girls 3/1/14
- Arlington girls headed back to Tacoma with win over Beamer 3/1/14
- Lynnwood girls beat Bellarmine Prep, advance to Tacoma 3/1/14
- Stanwood boys headed to Tacoma after beating Foss 3/1/14
- Mountlake Terrace boys fall to Wilson in regionals 3/1/14
- Glacier Peak falls short in regional loss 3/1/14
- Edmonds-Woodway’s season comes to end in regionals 3/1/14
- REGIONAL PREVIEW: Glacier Peak vs. Mercer Island girls 3/1/14
- REGIONAL PREVIEW: Small schools 3/1/14
- Prep Zone: Photo sequence of Zehr's dunk 3/1/14
- Arlington boys never stopped soaring 2/28/14
- REGIONAL PREVIEW: Stanwood vs. Foss boys 2/28/14
- Tulalip Heritage boys win to punch ticket to Spokane 2/28/14
- King's boys beat Hoquiam, advance to Yakima 2/28/14
- REGIONAL PREVIEW: Mountlake Terrace vs. Wilson boys 2/28/14
- Arlington boys can't hold off Kentridge in 65-61 loss 2/28/14
- Big second half sparks Jackson 2/28/14
- REGIONAL PREVIEW: Lynnwood vs. Bellarmine Prep girls 2/28/14
- Shorecrest boys lose to O'Dea, 73-69 2/28/14
- REGIONAL PREVIEW: Arlington vs. Todd Beamer girls 2/28/14
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