Four Divisions, But More of the Same   Leave a comment

The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association has moved to add a fourth division to boys’ and girls’ high school soccer for purposes of the state tournament.  This move will essentially divide the current Division 1 in half, with the larger schools (based on enrollment) remaining in that division and the smaller schools moving to Division 2, with the current Division 2 becoming Division 3 and the current Division 3 being Division 4.  In a sport where enrollment is less a factor of success than basketball or volleyball, sticking with enrollment-based criteria (along with seeding the sectionals) will continue to make it difficult for Milwaukee schools to advance beyond their first games in the tournament.  As was mentioned in this post, these two issues place Milwaukee Public Schools teams at a serious disadvantage as nearby schools with whom they face off have vastly more resources (both in the school and the community at large) despite smaller enrollments.  The biggest complaint I have heard so far are from fans/parents from schools that will be dropping into Division 2 as they believe they have been and can continue to be competitive with the bigger Division 1 schools.  Schools may petition to “play up” a division, but there is currently no mechanism to my knowledge that would allow schools to “play down” on the basis of competitiveness.  I have asked Eric Anderson from Wisconsin Soccer Central to get me a breakdown of how MPS schools would fall under the new division structure as presently only Milwaukee School of Languages is in Division 2, with the remainder of MPS teams in Division 1.  I will update  this once that data is received.

What do you think?  Should schools be able to move up or down for competitive reasons, or should school enrollment be the only criteria?  Does seeding exacerbate the gap between the haves and have-nots?

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Posted January 31, 2013 by Scott in Uncategorized

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