Monday, June 2nd
MSHSL board members have ended the hopes of the coaches’ association by holding a no-vote on the proposal to add another layer to the sections tournaments. The MADT membership worked on, revised, and ultimately approved a proposal to add a crossover meeting of sections to determine the state lineup earlier last year. The changes had to then move on to the MSHSL regions for a vote to recommend or reject the change, with 13 of the 16 regions rejecting the idea. The board had the ultimate decision on the proposal at it’s June meeting, where after some discussion on the change, they did not motion for a vote and the bill died without a yes or no. This is the second consecutive attempt at a change from the MADT membership, with both ideas failing by a significant margin. Kevin Merkle, the MSHSL representative managing dance team issues made a statement on the issue to MNHSDanceTeam.com :
“While the Dance Team coaches are in support of this proposal, there was not support from the schools, the Region Committees and the Board of Directors. The biggest reason is philosophical. This proposal would set a precedent for a second round of competition, and for providing the opportunity for schools to advance other than by geographical representation. At this point our member schools are not supportive of such a change.”
The proposal would have added a second sections-related event for qualifying teams, adding to both travel and level of participation for teams. The idea intended to even out issues with the number of section participating teams creating unfair advantages or changes to qualifiers. Section teams would have sent their top 6 to a sub-state meet, regardless of teams attending. The top 6 of one section would meet another top 6 from a rotating section, where the top 6 of that sub-state event would ultimately qualify for the state tournament, regardless of their original section assignment. Coaches and interested dance community members will be back to the drawing board on ideas to further add dynamics to the level of competition we currently see in MN dance team.
Some issues to consider moving ahead:
- Why was no vote called for? Shouldn’t there have at least been a “no” vote?
- Many region member schools do not have dance teams at all or most of their schools, yet they get an opinion on dance team matters, often siding with the few schools who do have teams. Does this give those schools more “weight” in the discussion?
- Is cost really an issue for another sections meet? Wouldn’t teams simply reduce their “regular season” schedule? Can we engineer out costs in the logistics?
- Is this really fair geographically? Does that matter?
- Other sports play multiple games to win a bracket. Even if this is not considered another “round” of play, baseball has added a “double elimination” element, requiring teams to lose twice in their section before elimination. Isn’t this “advancing the loser”? The same idea the league did NOT want us to follow? Football class AAAAAA has added a crossover sections play element successfully as well. Is dance team in line with those concepts or not?
- Is it possible to add another opportunity for a playoff “goal” without looking like our sole purpose is to advance the “best” teams? Can “best” representation at state be a consequence of the playoff setup, rather than its purpose? How do we convey that concept?
- AD’s seemed to lack knowledge of what their school’s coach wanted. How can dance team involve and educate ADs and non-dance team schools on our issues successfully?