Glacier Peak’s Aaliyah Collins makes a layup after stealing the ball during a Hardwood Classic quarterfinal game against Chiawana on March 5, 2020, at the Tacoma Dome. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Glacier Peak’s Aaliyah Collins makes a layup after stealing the ball during a Hardwood Classic quarterfinal game against Chiawana on March 5, 2020, at the Tacoma Dome. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

WIAA considering changes to state basketball format

The association is asking people to take a survey that details three different proposals.

By Nathan Joyce / The Seattle Times

The state basketball format, it seems, is changing again.

The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association posted a survey Thursday detailing three proposals to change the state tournament.

If there’s one thing that can be taken from the proposals it’s that state basketball fans better prepare for a trip to Yakima. In two of the proposals, the early rounds of the tournament for all six classifications start in Yakima. The three biggest classifications conclude in Tacoma.

Another major change: The state basketball tournaments will be spread over three weeks instead of the nine days that the current format occupies.

The current format, which began in 2017, has 16 teams qualify for the regional round, which eliminates four teams, held mostly at high school sites. Twelve teams head to state (4A and 3A in the Tacoma Dome; 2A and 1A at the Yakima SunDome; 2B and 1B at the Spokane Arena) for a four-day tournament.

Here’s a look at the proposals:

— Super Regional Option 1: In this proposal, 16 teams qualify for a single-elimination regional round at a high school or college site. Eight teams advance to a single-elimination super regional the following week, also held at a high school or college site. The top four teams for 4A, 3A and 2A will head to a two-day tournament at the Tacoma Dome the following week. The 1A, 2B and 1B site will either be Yakima or Spokane.

— Super Regional Option 2: In this proposal, 16 teams qualify for a single-elimination regional round at a high school or college site. The next week, eight teams advance to a super regional at the Yakima SunDome featuring all six classifications playing over three days (1B and 2B on Thursday; 1A and 2A on Friday; 3A and 4A on Saturday). The top four teams for 4A, 3A and 2A will head to a two-day tournament at the Tacoma Dome the following week. The 1A, 2B and 1B site will either be Yakima or Spokane.

— Rounds 1 and 2 in Yakima Option: In this format, the 1A, 2B and 1B schools play two days each the last week of February in Yakima to go from 16 teams to four. Those teams will head to Spokane the next week to crown a champion. The 4A, 3A, 2A schools will head to Yakima the first week of March and play two days each to whittle 16 teams down to four, which will head to Tacoma the following week to crown a champion.

In all three formats, teams will still qualify through district tournaments and will be seeded through the state seeding committee, which is taking the place of the Rating Percentage Index (RPI) that has seeded state since 2017.

The state basketball format has been a contentious issue for the WIAA since 2011 when it moved from the 16-team, modified double-elimination format that had been in place since the mid 1980s. In 2011, the WIAA brought back the regional round (which was in place before the 16-team format) and only eight teams qualified for state at the Tacoma Dome, Yakima SunDome or Spokane Arena.

This format was wildly unpopular with the state basketball coaches associations, who complained that only half of the players got the “state experience” than before. The move in 2017 allowed at least 12 teams to play at the larger venues.

The format allowed the WIAA to half the rental for the state facilities as it could combine two classifications in the same venue. The WIAA, which derives much of its revenue through state tournaments, made the moves after years of declining attendance.

One of the goals the WIAA listed for these moves, along with reducing the fatigue of players who might have to play four consecutive days at state, was to “reduce expenses for member schools, spectators and the Association.”

The survey is live through Wednesday and can be accessed through the WIAA app.

Talk to us

More in Sports

Seattle Mariners' Luis Torrens, center, is greeted by teammates Mitch Haniger, left, and J.P. Crawford, right, after Torrens hit a walk-off RBI single to give the Mariners a 1-0 win over the New York Yankees in a 13-inning baseball game, Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2022, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Torrens’ walk-off single lifts M’s past Yankees 1-0 in 13

Seattle edges New York in a game dominated by pitching and defense.

FILE - Serena Williams reacts after beating Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus, in the championship match at the 2012 U.S. Open tennis tournament, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012, in New York. Saying “the countdown has begun,” 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams announced Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2022, she is ready to step away from tennis so she can turn her focus to having another child and her business interests, presaging the end of a career that transcended sports.AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Serena Williams says she’s ready to step away from tennis

The 23-time Grand Slam champion indicates in an essay that she will stop playing after this month’s U.S. Open.

FILE - Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch walks off the field after NFL football practice in Renton, Wash., in this Friday, Dec. 27, 2019, file photo. During Marshawn Lynch’s 12 NFL seasons he earned a reputation for his fearless style on the field, while remaining one of the league’s most reclusive figures off the field. Now the retired running back is lending his voice to try to help members of Black and Hispanic communities make more informed decisions about receiving COVID-19 vaccines. Lynch released a 30-minute interview with Dr. Anthony Fauci on his YouTube channel Friday, April 16, 2021, becoming the latest prominent athlete to sit down with him to discuss the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines as the U.S. continues to combat the pandemic.  (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
Marshawn Lynch arrested on suspicion of DUI in Las Vegas

The former Seahawks star was taken into custody around 7:25 a.m. Tuesday morning.

Washington State head coach Nick Rolovich looks on during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Utah, Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
Rolovich seeking $25M from WSU for wrongful termination

The football coach was fired in 2021 for refusing to get the COVID-19 vaccine as required of state employees.

AquaSox's manager, Louis Boyd, Funko Field at Everett Memorial Stadium in Everett on July 28, 2019. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Dust Devils deliver AquaSox 6th consecutive loss

Everett manages just two hits in a 4-0 loss to Ti-City.

AquaSox's manager, Louis Boyd, Funko Field at Everett Memorial Stadium in Everett on July 28, 2019. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
AquaSox Week in Review: Postseason odds grow longer

Everett lost two more key players last week, and the Sox saw themselves fall further behind in the Northwest League’s second-half race.

Seattle Seahawks offensive and defensive linemen jog up the field before the team's mock NFL football game Saturday, Aug. 6, 2022, in Seattle. (Jennifer Buchanan/The Seattle Times via AP)
Lock wins first big test in Seahawks’ QB competition

The 4th-year quarterback outplays veteran Geno Smith in Seattle’s mock game at Lumen Field.

Cory McKenna (top) tries to submit Miranda Granger during a UFC mixed martial arts match on Aug. 6, 2022, in Las Vegas. (Photo via ESPN MMA)
Glacier Peak grad Granger defeated in return to action

The Snohomish native loses by second-round submission to Cory McKenna in her first fight in nearly two years.

Seattle Storm guard Sue Bird sits on the bench during a WNBA basketball game against the Minnesota Lynx, Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022, in Seattle. Bird is retiring at the end of the 2022 season. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Bird at peace for what could be final game in Seattle

The basketball icon, who is retiring at the end of the season, will be celebrated in front of a record crowd on Sunday.

Most Read