Bisonguy06 wrote:I reject your premise that there ever was a problem in North Dakota high school basketball.
Class A basketball is fine. No complaints. The smaller class A schools (Wahpeton, Shanley, Devils Lake, Williston, Belcourt, Dickinson) have all been very competitive. They're not perennial sacrificial lambs. Valley City has not been competitive, but they are very similar in size to Wahpeton, who has competed very well. No excuses.
Class B basketball is fine. No complaints. Smaller class B schools (Parshall, Turtle Lake-Mercer, North Sargent, Dakota Prairie, ect...) have all been very competitive in recent years. I have gone on at length in other threads about how many small schools are advancing through regionals to state in class B.
We didn't have a problem a year ago when the NDHSAA moved the cutoff from 325 to 400, and we don't have a problem now. If the NDHSAA decides that there is no turning back and they keep the line at 400, I can live with that. I'd prefer to see the line at 325 where it belongs and where it stayed when Beulah and Grafton were on the enrollment bubble. But we don't need radical change!
If there ain't a problem, don't fix it!
Bisonguy06 wrote:A lot of brilliant minds waste a ton of time trying to draw up new, brilliant, perfect plans for ND high school athletics. Well, there are no perfect plans, and what we have now is working just fine. Leave it alone and spend your valuable time and energy on other problems!
Bisonguy06 wrote:I agree that the excitement level for class A isn't the same, I just don't see how your solution fixes that problem. You're adding 10-15 schools to their class that are not dominating 'B' and would be only marginally competitive in 'A' in a good year.
I'd say you've identified a problem but not a solution.
nodak wrote:I guess I'll throw my idea out. It's kind of outside the box, but bear with me. The one goal that I have for this whole thing is to make Class A better, while preserving the sanctity that is the state "B". To do this, I don't believe that the state can have three classes, as there just aren't enough schools to make a 3rd class meaningful. I think that some things can be done to give these "on the fence" schools a chance to be competitive at the higher level...but it might not be totally "equitable". However, I think good programs can overcome the enrollment discrepancies and do well at the class "A" level. All this being said, here is my proposal.
A - Make the top 32 schools (by enrollment) Class "A". This was done in the past in the old North Star Conference, and I think it needs to be done again. The AA and AAA schools will comprise this upper class.
B - Divide this class into four eight team regions by geography. This way each team plays 14 region games, leaving six non-conference games (the big's can schedule other bigs, the middle teams can schedule class "b" teams or other middle teams). With future growth (Davies, BHS splitting, WF splitting), the classes can be adjusted.
C - Play regional tournaments at the end of the year. Allow the top FOUR teams at the regional tournament to advance to a 16 team State tournament (first round at higher seed, final eight at a neutral site). This allows more teams to participate at state, thus giving more spots to smaller schools. If more chances for small schools (and craziness!) are desired, allow the 5th place team to challenge the 4th place team for the spot if they did not meet in the regional tournament (this used to be done in class "b" districts a lot...and I LOVE the idea!).
D- Keep the Class "B" division at the 33rd largest school and smaller. This will allow the smaller schools to have a better chance at making the "B". There is one caveat I would require here: the NDHSAA would then conduct a review of EVERY co-op. These schools would have to demonstrate a need to combine (low numbers) in order to continue to co-op. The argument has always been that the small schools needed to co-op to compete with the big "B" schools. That argument would no longer be valid, and more parity would result.
I think that this would help make everyone happy. The class "A" bigs would potentially get more access to state. The middle schools would have a chance to get four or more teams into the state "A" tournament. The class "B" schools left would get keep their tournament preserved, and the emphasis on the small schools would be put back into play.
Love it or hate it, I'd appreciate your feedback! I just figured I would get the ball rolling...
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