Unbalanced Sectionals


I know I’m sort of beating a dead horse here, but I thought this was worth pointing out. We have some downright unfair sectionals this year. In the Oshkosh North Sectional you have West Bend West, Neenah, and Oshkosh West, all three of which definitely deserve to run at the State Meet. Then, in contrast, you have the Kenosha Tremper Sectional where probably the “best team,” Franklin, couldn’t even touch any of those teams. I’m sure there are even more examples, but this one was pretty noticeable to me. It kind of sucks when a probable top 10 team won’t make it, but teams that will likely finish 19th and 20th will simply because they live in a different place. I know sectionals are and have pretty much always been based on location, but it seems in my limited experience that this comes up pretty often. What do you guys think?


Waukesha North Track & Field Sectional = The “End of days” Sectional

You could be a top ten athlete in the state but at this sectional not make it through unless on time which is a huge gamble. Career ending, devastating,etc.


It’s the same thing for the girls in that sectional, the look at the Deforest sectional, Beaver Dam, Mad-West, Sun Prairie, and then also the Muskego Sectional Arrowhead, Waukesha West and Muskego. Look at the other Milwaukee area sectionals, one dominate team (WFB, BC) and then a rather weak field after that, again looking at it from the girls side. The Kenosha Sectional is shaping up to be competitive with 2 good teams (on the girls side in Franklin and Oak Creek).

The bigger question is why do the CC sectionals seem to change every year and the track sectionals never do?

The thing is that it’s a balancing act between boys and girls teams and with travel times. It’s a tough job, but I think the WIAA can and has to do better.


do you really expect the wiaa to adjust the sectionals for “fairness” every year based on which teams are expected to be better that year?

it wasn’t too long ago (2005) that kenosha tremper finished 2nd at state while neenah finished last and oshkosh west and westbend west didn’t qualify…

moral of the story: everything goes in cycles. yea, it sucks when one or two sectionals happen to be unusually tough in a given year (believe me, i know) but that’s just the way things go.


Happens every year somewhere, that is how the cookie crumbles and life isn’t fair, to bad how sad.


Enter Section 6AA in Minnesota! A year or two ago the top 5 teams from the Sectional were ranked in the top 7! I’ve asked the question before to Wayzata’s coach Miles about sectional fairness and he states that everyone knows its going to be tough so everyone tries that much harder during the offseason to get better. Compare that to a team that is just average in an easy sectional, there isn’t as much incentive to improve. It’s a balance of power within the geographical region and there will always be a shift in power as areas get weaker or stronger.

Polls released September 16.
Rank Team Section
1 Wayzata 6
2 Stillwater 4
3 Eden Prairie 6
4 Edina 6
5 Hutchinson 2
6 Rosemount 3
7 Robbinsdale Armstrong 6
8 Mounds View 5
9 Hopkins 6


I know I mentioned this a few years ago. Take the 10 sectionals for D1 for example after the State meet and combine them into 5 groups of 20 teams that are located in relative closeness of each other. Then have a voted group of coaches divide those 5 groups into the most equal 2 sectionals from each group. Each team would have an idea of who they would be facing as well. That way you can stop a lot of the unequal balancing of team strengths in sectionals. At least in my opinion.


One of my years in high school, (in D2), Shorewood, Port Washington, and Wisco Lutheran were in the same sectional, and all of them were consistently ranked as a top 5 team in the state that year. Like someone said earlier, it’s luck of the draw sometimes, and if that’s the case, you better be ready to race when mid-late October rolls around.


There’s a committee looking to see if there is a “better” way to balance the Sectionals. There’s been many suggestions but nothing that the committee can firm up on and present to the WIAA. The biggest issue is how do you balance a sectional that may have a strong girls program but a week boys program? Can the WIAA balance sectionals that have incomplete teams (D2 and D3 issue). Should one sectional have 11 complete teams and a neighboring sectional have 17 complete teams. Where’s the equity in that? Move teams from neighboring sectionals after the WIAA checks to see if a team is comp0lete or not.

I know that some Sectionals seem weak but do you think those coaches would speak up and say yeah we will take the stronger team from another Sectional so that they are balanced? I have yet to hear a coach say that. I would like to see teams stay in their Division based on a 2 year average of their school size. As Plaidpants said why are the XC Sectionals changing all the time compared to track? The WIAA will have to change their stance on geographical representation if we are going to see any big change.


I agree that it can stink. Over the past four years my guys have twice beaten teams in our conference (and handily) that then qualified for state in their weaker sectional while we did not. BUT I agree that there doesn’t seem to be a very good way to do anything about it AND i think it forces you to work harder and earn it. It’s good practice for life.


Plus it gives us something to lament! : )


Four divisions I can get down with. We have always been like half the size of many of the other schools in our division.


I’m very happy with the sectionals this year, the wiaa has finally been fair to port and pulled arrowhead and wbw out of their sectional. Amen!


PortCC has a point. The inequity of the school sizes has a large play. In addition to the consideration of another division, the banter of doing a college thing, with additional qualifier teams making it in, sort of an at large effort. The WIAA needs to be more nimble to trying something, finding out it needs tweaking, or drop it and go back to the original way and circle back for another try. Finding perfection, impossible, trying options to see what works, preferable.