WIAA rips Super Tuesday’ off of calendar
The statewide round of Tuesday games to determine the four Division 1 state qualifiers for that weekend in the WIAA’s new five-division format was introduced last March. It was dropped by the Board of Control at its summer meeting here Tuesday.
That change will take effect for boys and girls in the 2011-12 season.
There still will be four so-called “super sectional” games in Division 1. However, the regional and sectional schedule will be adjusted so those super sectionals are played on the preceding Saturday, the same day as the other four divisions determine their state qualifiers, allowing each division almost a full week before the start of the state tournament.
In response to widespread sentiment that the season was running too late and conflicting with spring sports, the WIAA board also has voted to return the girls state basketball tournament to its traditional dates in the second week of March. It has been played the fourth weekend of March the last two years, assuring the availability of the Kohl Center for the girls.
The change back to the original dates takes effect in the 2012-13 season. The site still is to be determined, pending the availability of University of Wisconsin and other facilities.
But regardless of the facility, tournament participants seem to welcome the girls change to the more traditional dates—one week before boys instead of the week after.
“It’s about time,” said Janesville Parker girls coach Tom Klawitter, who has taken 12 teams to the state tournament and played in the Kohl Center, UW Field House and Alliant Energy Center. “I think that’s in the best interest for everybody, and it puts it back where it belongs.”
Dropping the one-year “experiment” with “Super Tuesday” was a reflection on feedback from schools that had little turnaround time between their qualifying game and the state tournament. In fact, because of weather problems, two of this year’s Division 1 girls qualifiers were forced to play their “Super Tuesday” games at outlying facilities on Thursday and were in the state semifinals at Madison the next night.
WIAA associate director Debra Hauser also reported that rental fees for the “Super Tuesday” games at state college facilities were substantial. UW-Whitewater officials told the Gazette that the school charged $1,350 total for two super sectional games (one boys and one girls) on different dates at Kachel Gymnasium.
While most sectional and super sectional basketball qualifiers will continue to play at neutral sites, the highest seeded teams now will host their games throughout regional play. That, at least in part, is the result of the WIAA’s increasing difficulty to find non-participating schools that are willing to host neutral-site tournament games.