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Washburn votes against three-division plan

3/05/09 (Thu)

By Danielle Abbott

The recently proposed three-Division plan by the North Dakota High School Athletic Association has caused a lot of discussion not only by the Washburn School Board, but also by school boards throughout the state. During their last regularly scheduled meeting, the Washburn School Board covered the details of the plan, which would redesign the winter high school athletic programs beginning in the 2010 academic year. The plan would eliminate the Class A and Class B divisions, and instead group schools by regions. Washburn would be included in the B Region and during regular season, they would compete against all of the teams that they currently play, along with adding on at least four other teams. The school board had numerous concerns with the plan during their last meeting, including the loss of larger schools, which may not have the time or ability to play them during their regular season. The board also discussed where the state tournaments would be held, since the tournament play would be reformatted. Instead of holding a district and regional tournament leading up to the state level, this three-division plan would eliminate the district level, and only the regional winners would advance to state. The tournaments would also be joined for both the girls and boys teams. The board was concerned that no facility in the area could host such a massive tournament, and that schools would be forced to drive extremely long distances.