A three-week state high school basketball tournament in Washington? That is part of the WIAA’s 3 proposals in changing format

Editor’s note: The original story, published Thursday evening, only detailed the first two revamped state basketball tournament proposals. A third proposal, suggested by both state coaches associations, was added Friday morning.

After weeks of talk about suspected changes to the Washington state high school basketball tournaments, the WIAA released its three primary proposals Thursday.

The biggest change is adding another layer – a “super regional” week – in between the opening of regionals and the final-destination weekend of “Hardwood Classic.”

Here are the breakdowns of the three proposals:

OPTION I

The 16 qualified boys and girls teams will be seeded by a committee, and the bracket will look similar to the traditional 16-team bracket (No. 1 v. No. 16; No. 2 v. No. 15; No. 3 v. No. 14; No. 4 v. No. 13; No. 5 v. No. 12; No. 6 v. No. 11; No. 7 vs. No. 10 and No. 8 v. No. 9).

The first week of single-elimination games will be held at approved sites – high school or college gymnasiums. Whoever is the higher seed will “host” at the closest approved site in proximity to its campus.

The same format will be utilized in the second week at single-elimination “super regionals.” Again, approved high school and college gymnasiums will be utilized. Advancing higher-seeded teams will “host” at the closest approved site in proximity to its campus.

The third week will be the state semifinals (Friday) and the state championship-only games (Saturday). All 2A, 3A and 4A matchups would be in the Tacoma Dome; all 1B, 2B and 1A matchups would be in the Yakima SunDome or Spokane Arena.

OPTION II

The tournament would still be held over three weeks, but the biggest difference in this proposal is that all “super regional” round games (4A-1B) would be held over a three-day stretch at the Yakima SunDome.

Again …

The 16 qualified boys and girls teams will be seeded by a committee, and the bracket will look similar to the traditional 16-team bracket (No. 1 v. No. 16; No. 2 v. No. 15; No. 3 v. No. 14; No. 4 v. No. 13; No. 5 v. No. 12; No. 6 v. No. 11; No. 7 vs. No. 10 and No. 8 v. No. 9).

The first week of single-elimination games will be held at approved sites – high school or college gymnasiums. Whoever is the higher seed will “host” at the closest approved site in proximity to its campus.

In the second week, all boys and girls quarterfinalists in the super regionals will play single-elimination games at the SunDome – 1B and 2B games held Thursday; 1A and 2A games held Friday; and 3A and 4A games held Saturday.

The third week will be the state semifinals (Friday) and the state championship-only games (Saturday). All 2A, 3A and 4A matchups would be in the Tacoma Dome; all 1B, 2B and 1A matchups would be in the Yakima SunDome or Spokane Arena.

OPTION III

Make no mistake, this is the one that most coaches are pushing for – and the one the WIAA has added for consideration.

This proposal has more of an NCAA Tournament feel to it – two rounds, two different sites.

The first double-elimination “round” would be round-of-16, quarterfinal and consolation games held at the Yakima SunDome – with the 1B, 2B and 1A schools playing the first week, and the 2A, 3A and 4A schools playing the second week.

Each classification would hold those games on back-to-back days. For example, 1B boys and girls teams would play Monday and Tuesday; 2B schools would play Wednesday and Thursday; and 1A teams would play Friday and Saturday.

If a team lost both of its games, it was out of the state trophy chase. If a team lost its first game but won its second game, it would receive a seventh-place trophy. If a team won its first game, but lost its second game, it would take home a fifth-place trophy. And if a team won both of its game, it would advance to the state semifinals.

The next week, the 2A, 3A and 4A schools would follow the same format – until all classifications were down to their final four schools on each side.

And then, 1B, 2B and 1A would play their state semifinals and championship games in the final week at the Spokane Arena, and 2A, 3A and 4A would play their state semifinals and championship games in the Tacoma Dome.

The WIAA will be collecting feedback from its member schools on all three proposals over the next week through an online survey.

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