Lots of ‘appeal’ in possible appeals process
For all of us who have routinely kicked the AIA in its collective teeth for umpteen number of reasons the past couple years, Monday’s Executive Board meeting craziness has us on the cusp of cheer.
A few things are finally headed in the right direction. OK, so nobody would acknowledge the possibility that the power point system was skewed (intentional, or, most likely, unintentional), but that’s not the point. The point is to get it right, and establishing a “norm” number of games should do the trick.
Transfer rules still need exploring and modifying, there’s no chance it’ll be fool-proof or fair for high school kids spanning nearly 280 schools, and open enrollment is a state law that’s not going anywhere, but the 50-mile radius rule is a launching point for helping curb what’s probably the biggest off-field issue in Arizona high school athletics in the past decade.
The other step towards glee is a possible appeals process when it comes to schools petitioning down a division based on competitive history, one that’s full of logistical issues as it relates to aligning schools within divisions and travel/cost concerns.
But a standard and subsequent appeals process, in some form, is a no-brainer.
There’s no way a few Phoenix metro schools, or even Westwood and Skyline should have to play Division I football if the schools don’t want to, nor should Tempe High in Div. II. Same issue goes for Coronado girls basketball. The competitive history certainly suggests they shouldn’t, and economic factors should also matter in any appeals process.
Remember, it’s a two-year block, so schools can change, which they should have a chance to do within a set infrastructure that appears to finally be in the “mixology” stages.
It won’t be perfect and not every school can — or even should — win appeals, as it should be a select-few on the bottom that should be granted the opportunity. At some level (if not entirely) it’ll be subjective rulings, but it’s about having the chance to make a case.
It’s also about trying to provide a better experience for schools and kids, who, even within the cliched “escape” mechanism sports can provide, often know from the start their season’s fate has essentially been determined.