UIL considers splitting Class 3A

From Staff Reports

AUSTIN — The University Interscholastic League Legislative Council met this week to make decisions on proposed rule changes in UIL academics, athletics, music and policy.

The Legislative Council approved a proposal to rename all conferences, creating a Conference 6A. The current Conference 1A Division II, comprised of six-man schools, to Conference 1A. Current Conference 1A Division I, comprised of 11-man schools, will become Conference 2A, current conference 2A schools into Conference 3A, etc.

If approved by the Commissioner of Education, these changes will go into effect on August 1, 2013, for the 2014-2016 alignment. There will be six conferences in cross country, football, basketball, academics, one-act play, golf, tennis, and track and field.

In other action, the council voted to place the creation of a split conference format for Conference 3A football on a referendum ballot.

If Conference 3A superintendents vote to create a split conference format, the change will go into effect for the 2014-2016 alignment. The split conference format was previously implemented in Conference 1A and 2A by referendum ballot vote.

While adding a fourth team to the playoff is already passed, Liberty Hill Athletic Director Jerry Vance is opposed to the idea of a split conference format.

“The only part that I will talk to (Superintendent) Dr. (Rob) Hart (about) would be the split division in 3A with making a large school division and a small school division like 2A and 1A are right now,” said Vance. “I would be against that simply because we more than likely would fall at the bottom end of the big schools and I don’t relish that thought whatsoever.”

Vance explained that currently classes 2A and 1A are in the split format and those schools often work around extensive travel expenses.

“In 2A and 1A they have 16 districts throughout the state that are large schools and 16 throughout the state that are small schools,” he said. “That creates a lot of travel (costs). In 4A and 5A they take four teams to the playoffs already and take the two largest enrollments and put them in Division I. But they have 32 districts throughout the state so there is not that much travel problems.”

In academics, an amendment to add a Chess Puzzle solving competition to A+ Academics for grades 2-8 was unanimously approved by the council. Chess Puzzle has been conducted as a pilot event for A+ Academics since the spring of 2011.

If approved by the Commissioner of Education, the following rule changes will go into effect August 1, 2013:

*  Adding a fourth playoff team advancing from each district in team sport activities in conferences 2A and 3A.

* Creating a third conference for team tennis and soccer, to be implemented for the 2014-2016 alignment.

* Creating pilot contests in student congress and short film production.