Thursday, June 13, 2024

UIL approves proposal to drastically alter playoff format for basketball, other sports

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ROUND ROCK — A drastic change is coming to the postseason formats for various UIL sports starting next school year.

The University Interscholastic League approved on Tuesday a proposal to restructure the basketball, soccer, volleyball, softball and baseball playoffs by splitting each classification into two divisions at its June Legislative Council Meeting. The playoff structure in these sports will now resemble the current 6A football postseason format, which splits qualifying teams into two divisions based on enrollment and crowns two champions in each classification.

State tournaments, which have historically included semifinals and finals and often back-to-back games, could be limited to just championship matches under this new format. Draft proposals The Dallas Morning News obtained in May through a public records request also indicate the move could decrease the number of playoff games, possibly eliminating the regional quarterfinal round in basketball and soccer and the area round in volleyball, softball and baseball.

The UIL had been considering this change since at least October, according to documents obtained by The News, and UIL officials believed the two-division format would promote competitive equity across the state and increase opportunities for member schools to win state championships.

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Ahead of the vote, some Dallas-area coaches said they would support this change. Others said the new format would water down the competition. A number of coaches said they hadn’t heard much about the proposal that didn’t appear on the UIL website until last week after The News received the documents.

This story will be updated.

On X: @t_myah

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