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WIAA considering changes to State Basketball Tournament

06/02/2022, 12:30pm CDT
By Mark Miller

Adding two teams to the Division 1 field and altering enrollment cutoffs in each division for the annual state basketball tournament are among 10 recommendations the Basketball Coaches Committee recently forward to the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association.

The 10 recommendations now advance to the WIAA Sports Advisory Committee for its meeting June 13. 

From there, the WIAA executive staff and WIAA Advisory Council will consider the recommendations and vote on them prior to the June Board of Control meeting. 

It's possible some of the recommendations could be put in place in time for the 2022-23 season. However, the recommendations must pass by majority vote at both the Advisory Council and Board of Control steps in order to be implemented. 

Among the most interesting recommendations is adding two teams to Division 1 at the state tournament, thus creating six sectional groupings instead of the current four.  

The two top-seeded teams at the Division 1 level would get a bye into the state semifinals and the four lower-seeded teams would play two quarterfinal contests, likely on Thursday of the state tournament.  

Another big potential change is altering the enrollment cutoffs for each of the five divisions.

The recommendation from the Coaches Committee would move Division 1 from the current 1,200 and above to 1,100 and above. 

Other division breakdowns include:

Division 2 -- Schools with enrollments of 550-1,099 (current cutoff is 600-1,199)

Division 3 -- Remaining schools split equally between Division 3 and 4

Division 4 -- Remaining schools split equally between Division 3 and 4

Division 5 -- Smallest 112 schools sponsoring basketball (from current smallest 128 schools with basketball).

Another intriguing recommendation is the use of a shot clock in non-conference games when mutually agreed upon by both head coaches. The clock would be set at 35 seconds per possession as set forth by the National Federation of State High School Associations.  

Other recommendations include:

** Release electronic rankings two times during the season, on or around January 1 and again on February 1. 

** Schools have until December 1 to vote on the design of their grouping, either a sectional half bracket or regional grouping. A majority of schools that cast a vote will determine the bracket format. 

** Using electronic seeding, the top 16 teams in each division -- identified in February -- will be distributed equally into each sectional.

** Eliminate the 48-hour cooling off period for ranking officials during tournament play. 

** Eliminate the appeal process for the three-point challenge qualification.  

For the latest and most up to date boys' basketball news and recruiting information, follow Mark on Twitter @wisbbyearbook. Email story ideas, recruiting info, etc. to Mark by clicking here.

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