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High School Sports Blog

The latest news and analysis on high-school sports around the Seattle area

April 25, 2008 at 1:09 PM

3A hoops tournament moving back to Tacoma, plus transfer rules change

Just got back from the WIAA Rep Assembly meeting, where there were three especially big pieces of news:

-The 3A basketball tournaments are moving back to the Tacoma Dome. Seattle just didn’t work. Not enough fans, too much rent for two facilities. The crowds simply didn’t justify the expense. The fact now is the tournament will likely only return in two circumstances:

1) The format goes to a single elimination tournament, where the boys and girls tournaments can be played in one facility.

2) Someone builds a facility in Seattle big enough to hold two tournaments at once, like the Tacoma Dome and the SunDome.

As a result, the 2A tournament will move back to the SunDome in Yakima, and there’s some concern about whether the SunDome can handle the crowds.

-The Rep Assembly passed an amendment that will force all athletes who transfer within their school district to meet the WIAA guidelines for eligibility. Previously, these athletes — like those who transfer between schools in the Seattle School District — only had to meet district guidelines.

This could have a huge effect on the amount of transfers in Seattle and Spokane, particularly in basketball and football. All athletes who don’t move with their parent or guardian into their new school’s attendance area will have to prove what the WIAA calls a “hardship.” If they can’t, they have to sit out a year while playing JV.

-Another passed amendment, brought on by the Archbishop Murphy fiasco last fall, allows for a school to appeal a penalty for using an ineligible participant because of an “inadvertent error,” which is defined as “a mechanical, electronic, or clerical (incorrect posting) or an incorrecto interpretation or application of the Rules and Regulations.”

But will the amendment change what happened to Archbishop Murphy? Maybe not. Remember, what happened with Archbishop Murphy was that coach and athletic director Terry Ennis was dying from cancer as a football player’s physical lapsed, and no one directed the player to get a new physical. It was human error, extraordinarily understandable human error, in that situation, and not a clerical error or one of interpretation. So perhaps it wouldn’t have changed the Archbisophy Murphy result, but it could give another school a chance to avoid losing its season for a minor error.

Interesting amendments that failed:

-An amendment that would have changed the penalty for a lapsed physical from a team forfeit to an individual suspension.

-An amendment to add high school girls lacrosse as a WIAA-sanctioned sport.

-An amendment to change the classification cycles from two to four years.

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