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June 2, 2020

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WIAA seeks input from fans, students on proposed changes to state basketball format

Three proposals are offered for consideration now through Wednesday

By , Columbian Assistant Sports Editor
Published:

The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association is seeking input on three proposed format changes to its high school basketball state tournaments.

Fans and students can participate in the survey on the WIAA’s Live App.

Last fall, the State Basketball Format Committee met to review and brainstorm possible changes to the current state tournament format, a 16-team tournament broken into a regional round and a 12-team Hardwood Classic held over four days at three different sites — the Tacoma Dome, Yakima SunDome and Spokane Arena.

“The WIAA Executive Board continuously strives to create a tournament format that is a great experience for student-athletes, parents and fans,” the WIAA statement read. “Besides creating a great atmosphere, this tournament format must be financially sustainable and feasible in regards to facility availability.”

The committee proposed two tournament format changes, and the state’s basketball coaches association proposed a third format.

All three formats would seed 16 teams in the first round — 1 vs. 16, 2 vs. 15, 3 vs. 14, 4 vs. 13, 5 vs. 12, 6 vs. 11, 7 vs. 10 and 8 vs. 9 — by seeding committees approved by the WIAA Executive Board last week.

Here are a summary of the three proposals:

Super Regional Option 1

This proposal would be a single-elimination format played over three weekends. The first weekend, the regional round, would be first-round games played at high school or college gymnasiums around the state, with higher seeds playing closer to home.

The eight first-round winners would advance to the super regional round played on the second weekend, also at high school and college gyms.

The third weekend would be semifinals and championship games played at a final tournament site — 4A, 3A and 2A at the Tacoma Dome and 1A, 2B and 1B at Yakima or Spokane. Semifinal losers would both receive third-place trophies as no third-place game would be played.

The WIAA projects this option to have a net income that is $275,290 more than projections for the current format, if revenue levels remain consistent with 2020 revenues.

Super Regional Option 2

This proposal would be a single-elimination format played over three weekends. The first weekend, the regional round, would be first-round games played a high school or college gymnasiums around the state, with higher seeds playing closer to home.

The eight first-round winners would advance to the super regional round played on the second weekend at the Yakima SunDome over three days – 2B/1B on Thursday, 2A/1A on Friday, 4A and 3A on Saturday.

The third weekend would be semifinals and championship games played at a final tournament site — 4A, 3A and 2A at the Tacoma Dome and 1A, 2B and 1B at Yakima or Spokane. Semifinal losers would both receive third-place trophies as no third-place game would be played.

The WIAA projects this option to have a net income that is $276,837 more than projections for the current format.

Yakima Option 3

This option, submitted by the coaches associations, would be a two-game-minimum format played over two weeks. The first week would include first-round games and then quarterfinal/consolation games played at the Yakima SunDome for all classifications.

In this format, 1B games would be played on Monday-Tuesday (Feb. 22-23), 2B games on Wednesday-Thursday (Feb. 24-25) and 1A games (Feb. 26-27) on Friday-Saturday. Second-day consolation winners would all receive seventh-place trophies, and quarterfinal losers would all receive fifth-place trophies.

The four semifinalists would advance to the second week of play, on the following Friday and Saturday (March 5-6). The 1A, 2B and 1B semifinals and finals would be played at the Spokane Arena. Semifinal winners would receive third-place trophies.

The 2A, 3A and 4A games would start the week after 1B/2B/1A games, with first-week games played in Yakima, and the semifinals/finals being played March 12-13 at the Tacoma Dome, causing an overlap with the spring sports season.

The WIAA projects this option to have a net income that is $133,577 more than projections for the current format.

Input from fans and students will remain open on the WIAA Live App through Wednesday.

Up until 2010, the WIAA offered a 16-team, double-elimination basketball tournament that required 24 days of rental costs at the Tacoma Dome, Yakima SunDome and Spokane Arena to accommodate all six classifications.

In 2011, the WIAA implemented a regional format that sent only eight teams to the final tournament sites, producing a net revenue of $504,387 in 2016.

In 2017, the WIAA changed to the current format that sends 12 teams in each classification to the final tournament site. In 2020, the format produced a net revenue of $388,661.

Options 1 and 2 project revenues of nearly $100,000 above 2016 levels, while Option 3 projects a net revenue of almost $50,000 below 2016 levels.

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