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WIAA discontinues Super Tuesday games

The one-year experiment in Division 1 basketball is over. At its regular meeting in June, the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) Board of Control voted to eliminate the Super Tuesday games that were introduced for Division 1 la...

The one-year experiment in Division 1 basketball is over.

At its regular meeting in June, the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) Board of Control voted to eliminate the Super Tuesday games that were introduced for Division 1 last season.

All five high school divisions will now play regional games on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday the first week of tournament play, and sectional semifinals and finals the following Thursday and Saturday.

Only four teams from each division will qualify for the state tournament and play at the Kohl Center in Madison.

In the past, Division 1 schools were represented by eight teams at state. With a fifth division added for basketball in 2011, the Division 1 state qualifying field was cut from eight teams to four. To eliminate the Division 1 quarterfinal round, which had been played in Madison, the WIAA introduced Super Tuesday -- a new round of games played at regional sites across the state.

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Scrapping the setup is a welcome change for many coaches, spectators and schools, including Superior High School.

The SHS boys basketball team claimed its first sectional championship in more than three decades last season. It should have been a moment of celebration for the Spartans.

Instead, the team was left with questions and a 250-mile drive (one way) to Stevens Point on a school night.

SHS activities director Ray Kosey said the traveling distance seemed excessive unless Super Tuesday counted as the first round in the state tournament.

When asked to classify the Super Tuesday games, WIAA media director Todd Clark said they were neither at the sectional level nor the state level.

"They're in between," Clark said.

To qualify for the state tournament, he said, Division 1 teams needed to win their Super Tuesday match.

The medals awarded to sectional champion teams, however, still included the words "state qualifier."

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So was Super Tuesday considered a state game?

Deb Hauser, WIAA associate director in charge of basketball, told Kosey she could not give a "firm answer." The WIAA had neglected to change the wording on the sectional medals for Division 1, she said, adding that "some would call (Super Tuesday) a quarterfinal game."

The Spartans ended up playing their Super Tuesday game uncertain wether or not they had qualified for state, but the WIAA has since issued a firm answer.

On the WIAA website, Superior's Super Tuesday berth did not count toward the school's all-time state tournament appearances. The site also specifically states that Division 1 became a four-team tournament in 2011.

In other action, the Board of Control supported a recommendation to move the girls basketball season back two weeks to its traditional dates. The girls state tournament will be held at the Kohl Center or the UW Field House when the Kohl Center is unavailable. The change is scheduled to go into effect for the 2012-13 season.

The Board also voted to change tournament protocol in the event a forfeit due to insufficient numbers or inability to play.

A bye will now be awarded to the remaining team when an opponent forfeits. Previously, the most recently defeated opponent replaced the forfeiting team.

The new procedure comes just a few months after South Shore High School defeated Mellen in the regional finals but was then forced to forfeit because the team didn't have enough players. Mellen took South Shore's place in the sectional semifinals.

Related Topics: BASKETBALL
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