AIA rule changes - The Explorer: Sports

AIA rule changes

New divisions for upcoming school year

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Posted: Wednesday, July 20, 2011 3:00 am | Updated: 9:52 am, Wed Jul 20, 2011.

With the 2011-2012 high school football season just around the corner, coaches will also have to prepare for the new Arizona Interscholastic Association division alignments.

The new AIA rules went into effect last year for individual sports programs such as track, tennis and golf. Now the remaining sports will be placed in new divisions for the 2011-2012 school year.

Football and other fall sports programs will be the least impacted by the changes, but will still require new divisions.

Amphitheater High School is a Division III, Section 1 school, while the other area high schools are classified as Division II, Section II schools.

Canyon Del Oro, Ironwood Ridge, Marana and Mountain View high schools will face each other during the regular season.

Pusch Ridge Academy is the smallest district in the area, being placed in Division V, Section III.

Before this year, teams were split up into conferences ranging in division between 1A, being the smallest schools in the state, and 5A, or schools with state’s largest districts.

Most area high schools prior to this season were classified 4A Division I.

The AIA changes are aimed at saving money, especially on championship tournaments.

AIA has continually lost money over the past several years, especially in individual sports. Instead of one tournament, AIA was hosting a separate tournament for every division.

Now, AIA is hosting one daylong tournament in such athletic programs as golf, track and tennis for all divisions.

While the football state power points system will still be based on strength of schedule as in past years, the playoffs will be similar to past seasons, with one exception.

Instead of the top 24 teams in each division making the state playoffs, AIA has cut the pool, making it harder to earn a postseason spot, and winning a championship even more competitive with only the toughest teams making the cut.

In programs such as basketball, softball and baseball, schedules and division placement will depend more on location than enrollment. Saving schools travel costs, AIA is working to have teams compete against those schools that are nearby.

Rural schools have complained the most about the new system because a high school with just over 300 students could now potentially face districts with 1,200 students or more in basketball, softball and baseball.

Most area schools such as Marana, Mountain View and Ironwood Ridge have a student population of 1,200 or more, except for Pusch Ridge Academy, which used to be a 2A Division school with 279 students.

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Tuesday, September 16

Boys Golf (@ 3 p.m.)

Buena, Cienega at Marana

Mountain View, Ironwood Ridge, Catalina at Amphi (Silverbell GC)

Catalina Foothills, Pueblo, Sahuarita at Sahuaro

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Mountain View at Rio Rico

Ironwood Ridge at Glendale Ironwood

Swimming (@4 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge, Sahuarita at Desert Christian

Wednesday, September 17

Girls Golf (@ 3 p.m.)

Rincon at CDO

Ironwood Ridge, Desert View at Flowing Wells (Silverbell)

Cross Country (@4:30)

Salpointe at Catalina Foothills

Palo Verde, Nogales at Marana

Rincon, St. Gregory at CDO

Sahuarita, Pueblo, Pusch Ridge at Desert View

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Empire at Marana (4:30, 5:30, 6:30)

CDO at Queen Creek

Cienega at Mountain View

Sahuaro at Catalina Foothills

Walden Grove at Pusch Ridge

Thursday, September 18

Girls Golf

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Boys Golf

Sahuaro and Salpointe at Ironwood Ridge

CDO, Rincon, Sunnyside at Tucson High

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Marana at Sahuarita

Ironwood Ridge at Sahuaro (4:30, 5:30, 6:30)

Catalina Foothills at Rincon

Pusch Ridge at San Manuel

Swimming (4 p.m.)

Marana vs. Tucson at Quincy Douglas Pool

Cienega at Marana

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Amphi

Catalina Foothills at Sahuaro

Freshman Football (all games at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Flowing Wells at Marana (4 p.m.)

Desert View at Mountain View

Cienega at CDO

Ironwood Ridge at Buena

Catalina Foothills at Sahuarita

JV Football (all games at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Amphi at Marana

Santa Cruz Valley at Pusch Ridge

Mountain View at Desert View

CDO at Cienega

Buena at Ironwood Ridge

Sahuarita at Catalina Foothills

Friday, September 19

Boys Golf

Catalina Foothills, Ironwood Ridge, CDO, at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Cross Country

Mountain View, Ironwood Ridge at Mt. Carmel Invitational (San Diego, CA)

Girls Volleyball

CDO at Westwood Tournament of Champions

Football (@7 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge at Santa Cruz Valley

Catalina at Marana

Desert Vista at Mountain View

Ironwood Ridge at Buena

Cienega at CDO

Catalina Foothills at Sahuarita

Saturday, September 20

Boys Golf

Catalina Foothills, Ironwood Ridge, CDO, at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Cross Country

Marana at Old Pueblo Invite(Lincoln Park)

Mountain View at San Diego

Catalina Foothills, CDO at Ojo Rojo (Chandler, AZ)


Marana at Wolves Classic (Chandler High)

Girls Volleyball

CDO at Westwood Tournament of Champions


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