At least a couple of the of the rule changes that the University Interscholastic League (UIL) agreed upon during Legislative Council meetings on Sunday and Monday were the expansion of the Class 3A and Class 2A state playoffs by one team in all team sports, meaning that four representatives from each district will now have a chance to dip their foot into the playoff waters.
Rusk athletic director and head football coach Ted Patton said that he likes the idea of having four teams advance, but that he can also understand some folks' gripe about the addition of another team diluting the mix to an unsatisfactory level.
“Four teams gives more schools and more kids an opportunity to experience the state playoffs and for that reason I like the idea,” Patton said. “But, there are two sides to the issue, and I understand how some people feel that adding teams waters everything down a lot, but I think that you will find in the end it is usually the stronger teams that are expected to make the finals that end up playing for a championship.”
The council also voted to place the creation of a split conference format for Class 3A football on a referendum ballot.
If the Class 3A superintendents vote to create a split conference format, the change would not go into affect until the 2014-15 school year.
Patton said that he hopes this piece of legislation becomes a reality as well, but that it could meet opposition, particularly in West Texas due to travel concerns.
The split conference format was previously implemented in Class 1A and 2A by a referendum ballot vote.
In other business the Legislative Council approved a proposal to rename all conferences, creating a conference 6Q.
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 2A schools will move into Conference 3A, etc.
These changes will go into effect on Aug. 1, 2013, if approved by the Commissioner of Education.
There will be six conferences in cross country, football,basketball, academics, one-act play, golf, tennis and track and field.
And in business that could affect Jacksonville High soccer and tennis teams, among other schools, the UIL would like to create a third conference for team tennis and soccer, which currently divided into either Class 5A or 4A.