AIA rule changes - Tucson Local Media: Sports

AIA rule changes

New divisions for upcoming school year

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Posted: Wednesday, July 20, 2011 3:00 am

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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Aug. 21

Hamilton @ Ironwood Ridge

Rio Rico @ Marana

Catalina Foothills @ Desert Edge

Aug. 28

CDO @ Gilbert

Mountain View @ La Joya Community

Pueblo @ Catalina Foothills

Pusch Ridge @ Bisbee

Sep. 4

CDO @ Tucson High Magnet School

Westwood @ Ironwood Ridge

Horizon @ Mountain View

Marana @ Pueblo

Benson @ Pusch Ridge

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Sep. 11

CDO @ Sahuaro

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Mountain View @ Sunnyside

Arcadia @ Marana

McClintock @ Catalina Foothills

Pusch Ridge @ Combs

Sep. 18

Cienega @ CDO

Ironwood Ridge @ Tucson High

Buena @ Mountain View

Marana @ Tempe

Catalina Foothills @ Rincon/University

Pusch Ridge @ Amphi

Sep. 25

Buena @ CDO

Sahuaro @ Ironwood Ridge

Mountain View at Cienega

Marana @ Catalina Foothills

Cholla @ Pusch Ridge

Oct. 2

CDO @ Ironwood Ridge

Queen Creek @ Mountain View

Nogales @ Marana

Catalina Foothills @ Safford

Sahuarita @ Pusch Ridge

Oct. 9

Poston Butte @ CDO

Ironwood Ridge @ Queen Creek

Shadow Ridge @ Mountain View

Marana @ Desert View

Nogales @ Catalina Foothills

Pusch Ridge @ Flowing Wells

Oct 16

CDO @ Queen Creek

Ironwood Ridge @ Marcos de Niza

Mountain View @ Poston Butte

Rincon/University @ Marana

Catalina Foothills @ Sabino

Pueblo @ Pusch Ridge

Oct. 23

Mountain View @ CDO

Poston Butte @ Ironwood Ridge

Marana @ Safford

Desert View @ Catalina Foothills

Walden Grove @ Pusch Ridge

Oct. 30

CDO @ Campo Verde 

Ironwood Ridge @ Mountain View

Sabino @ Marana

Pusch Ridge @ Rio Rico

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