WIAA Eliminates Super Tuesday State Quarterfinals
By unanimous 10-0 margins, the board approved a measure that will eliminate the Super Tuesday basketball games beginning next season and will move the start of the girls basketball season up two weeks beginning in 2012-’13.
Meanwhile, a proposal to restore the eight-team Division 1 field for the state tournament failed while constitutional amendments that would allow basketball players and coaches more freedom in the off-season were briefly discussed with the plan to be discussed further at later meetings.
The end of Super Tuesday, however, might be enough to satisfy basketball fans seeking change. The event, though popular with the WIAA executive staff, wasn’t as well received by coaches and fans.
Next season, all divisions of the basketball tournament will play regional games Tuesday, Friday and Saturday with sectional semifinals and finals held the following Thursday and Saturday. Sectional final winners will be one of four teams in each division to advance to the state tournament.
Last season, Division 1 teams that won sectional finals advanced to the state quarterfinals, also known as Super Tuesday.
The games were played at college sites around the state and in most cases drew well, but the Super Tuesday plan created the awkward situation of teams winning sectional titles but not advancing to the state tournament.
Also, weather played havoc with the girls Super Tuesday games, forcing two to be postponed two days until Thursday night. That gave half the bracket three days between games and the other just one.
“While on a personal level, I thought I liked this idea and we had some positive feedback, the coaches have gotten together and said they weren’t that special to us,” WIAA executive director Dave Anderson said.
“That’s OK. It’s not an issue you draw a line in the sand on.”
Changing the start date for girls basketball means that its state tournament will go back to being played before the boys beginning in 2012-’13.
“Folks have said to us that it feels anticlimactic,” Anderson said of the girls tournament. “We’re talking about anecdotes and impressions and feelings here, so certainly we recognize that many have a right to hold their own.”
The later date assured the WIAA that there would be no conflicts at the Kohl Center that would force the girls tournament to relocate. The WIAA will have no such guarantee when it moves up the date of the tournament. If there are any conflicts at the Kohl Center, the tournament will move to the UW Field House.
The proposal says a decision will be made on the site of the tournament by Feb. 1 of each year.
There is uncertainty with regard to the home of the basketball tournaments in general.
The Big Ten’s inaugural hockey season will be in 2013-’14. The league hasn’t announced plans for its conference tournament, though according to a Wisconsin State Journal report, a two-week format with games played at the home of the higher seed is favored by conference members.
Such a format could subject the boys and girls tournaments to site changes. The WIAA has been in regular contact with UW about this and is awaiting a response.
“I haven’t had that confirmed from UW or explained or (know) what alternatives might exist,” Anderson said. “We’re looking with some real interest to see exactly what the hockey conference and hosting decision is going to entail for us.”
The proposal to maintain five divisions for basketball but restore the Division 1 field for the state basketball tournament to eight teams failed by a 10-0 margin.
Cost was presumably a factor in the vote. Associate director Deb Hauser told the board that the most games the Kohl Center could host each day was six. Under that limitation, the WIAA would either have to use another site or rent the Kohl Center an extra day in order to fit those Division 1 quarterfinals into the state tournament schedule.
There are two other issues to keep an eye on.
The WIAA board will continue to look at amendment changes that would give basketball coaches opportunities to work with their players in the off-season.
One amendment would allow teams to assemble on the two weekends before the start of season without coach involvement.
Another amendment would allow coaches individual workouts with up to four players at a time for one-hour sessions, Monday-Thursday, June 15-July 15.
Those topics will be discussed at area meetings in the fall as well as in future board meetings. There could be a membership vote on those matters at the annual membership meeting in April.