Arizona prep realignment stalled

Arizona prep realignment stalled

PHOENIX, AZ - In our ongoing evaluation of the files provided back to the AIA, an issue has been identified that has impacted the initial division placement released on Tuesday, Jan. 20.

The biggest changes effecting Southern Arizona were in football were the formula moved both Mountain View and Ironwood Ridge from Division II to Division I. The Nighthawks in fact under the flawed information were bumped up to the big school division in all sports.

Ironwood Ridge over the last several years has won multiple state championships at the Division II level including in football and softball.

In order to meet the objectives of good sportsmanship and opportunities, the AIA embarked on the project to ensure an intelligent approach to division placement. The AIA hired two highly competent consultants to create and administer a formula. The two person team consists of a Ph.D. in mathematics, and a Ph.D. candidate in statistics at Harvard. Together they developed a formula for classifying member schools in team sports.

Part of the initial data provided for this analysis and ultimate creation of the formula included school enrollment, free/reduced lunch and the ratings history for the last six years. The information included ratings data consisting of rating value, the win strength and the record.

On Friday, January 16, the AIA received the formula and initial data points from the consultants. The AIA prepared the information to be released on Tuesday, January 20, while starting to build the formula into its own database.

Once the formula was built, while receiving feedback from the membership, the AIA began to run the snapshots by sport internally. On Wednesday, January 21, a potential issue was discovered, On Thursday, January 22, a memo was sent informing member schools of the situation.

The consultants were reengaged and quickly identified that they had utilized the win strength column in the formula instead of the rate value column as intended. AIA and the consultants are working jointly to run the formula using the correct data points and update the initial division placements.

It is anticipated that the updates will occur no later than Monday close of business, if not sooner.

To accommodate the member schools, the AIA is pushing back the division appeals deadline to Monday, Feb. 2 at 2 p.m., with the first appeals hearing scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 3 at 8:30 a.m.

Copyright 2015 Arizona Interscholastic Association. All rights reserved.

David Kelly contributed to this story.