New WI High School Tourney Proposal

This is generated by a Wisconsin proposal, but I throw it out for possible ideas of how to modify the Minnesota state tournament. First some background info you need to know before I mention the proposal.
  • In Wisconsin, 8 teams from Division 1 (MN AAAA) make state and 4 each from the bottom 3 classes make state for a total of 20 teams. There are 118 teams that make up D1, 116 in D2, 127 in D3, 128 in D4.
  • In Division 3 (MN AA), a private school team has won the title the last 6 seasons. Private schools comprise 15% of the Wisconsin membership but in the 9 years that they've been in the WIAA, they've made up 31% of the state tournament qualifiers during that time. That disparity has made many public schools unhappy.
  • In Division 1, the gap between the top and bottom enrollment is about 1400 students and there's concern that the smallest D1 schools can't compete with the biggest D1 schools.
Those are the issues. Now the proposal

1) Take the top division and split it in half so that the schools in the enrollment range of 1000 are competing against schools that are similar size at state. Educated guess is that the top division would be the top 64 teams with larger classes underneath. Whether the 2nd class would also be 64 is open for debate. Not unheard of for the top class to be very small for competitive balance reasons. South Dakota's top class is only 16 teams and North Dakota's is 18 I believe.

2) So based on #1, that means we have 5 classes instead of 4. So we'll keep 20 teams at state, but every division gets 4 teams now. That will actually cut out 1 session during the 1st 2 days of state but add an extra championship game on Saturday. But with 5 games, will they still be able to charge for 2 sessions. If they do, now the WIAA is without an entire session worth of money which could be an issue here. I'd eliminate that brutal 9 AM session on Thursday if it were me.

3) The other major change deals with reclassifying the private schools that would be in the bottom 3 classes.
  • If you are a private school located in a city that has more than 1 public high school, you get bumped up a class.
  • If you are a private located in a city with only 1 public high school AND that public school is in the top 30 in the state in enrollment, you get bumped up a class.
  • BUT a private school is exempted from being bumped up a class IF they are in the bottom 30 in enrollment in their current class.
Got all that? Good. What's the impact? In the current 4 class model, you'd have 9 teams move up to the top class, 13 small schools move up to AA and 16 schools from D3 would move up to AAA. That would include D3 powerhouses Racine St. Catherine's and La Crosse Aquinas (both cities have multiple public high schools so they move up). Big winner? Whitefish Bay Dominican. Dominican is a D3 powerhouse in a lakefront suburb of Milwaukee with only 1 public high school and that public school isn't in the top division so they'd stay if I read these rules correctly. The comparison here in the metro would be De La Salle having to move up to 4A due to multiple public high schools in Minneapolis but Benilde-St. Margaret's and St. Thomas Academy would stay 3A because of only 1 public high school in city limits and that school is not within the top 30 in enrollment. Somehow I think there'd be some uproar over that.

Useless sidenote, Minneapolis North's enrollment is calculated at 370 yet they're playing the 4A tournament. That doesn't add up even with opt up. Minnehaha is bigger (522) and playing AA.

The new proposal will be floated to the WIAA membership this fall.

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