A five-division state tournament format for girls basketball has been approved by the CIAC.
Following in the same vein as the boys’ five-division system that debuted last season, the girls basketball tournament format is still in the beginning stages. It is unknown exactly how the divisions will be shaped.
CIAC Associate Executive Director Gregg Simon said some of the considerations for the girls tournament are whether or not the format will be determined by factors such as enrollment and a success factor for schools of choice. Or it could have the same formula used for the boys basketball tournament.
The girls basketball tournament has implemented the Class LL, L, M and S system since 1976. Three of the four teams to reach the semifinals of this year’s Class S tournament were private schools (St. Paul, Trinity Catholic and Northwest Catholic), with Canton being the lone public school.
The five-division structure for girls basketball was a popular decision among athletic directors and coaches who were surveyed prior to the girls basketball committee’s approval of the system.
A big reason for the push to create five divisions in the boys tournament was due to a demand from coaches and administrators around the state to place perennial power teams and top private schools into their own divisions.
There was no such demand on the girls side, however.
“It was really more of a push for equity with the boys tournament,” Simon said. “If we were going to have five divisions and crown five champions out of the boys side, that it should be equitable for the girls as well. We reached out to our member schools, and they came back at 90 percent in a survey requesting that we switch to five divisions for the girls. Now, it’s really just the mechanics of going about it. We’re hoping to have that in place by next year.”
The girls basketball committee asked Simon to have two different examples of a five-division girls basketball tournament when the committee meets at the end of the season in either late March or early April.
One version Simon will create is what this year’s girls tournament would look like if there were five divisions based on the formula the committee used to create the boys tournament. The other version is what this year’s tournament would have looked like if the five divisions were based strictly on enrollment and using the success-in-tournament formula for schools of choice.
“Hopefully I’ll have all that information for them at the meeting,” Simon said. “They might want some time to go back out to some of member schools and get more information, or they might decide they like what they see and make a recommendation to go to the five divisions based on what is best for girls basketball and that tournament.”
Zack Carpenter can be reached at (860) 973-1811 or firstname.lastname@example.org