CIAC announces a new format for its future tournaments

Woodstock Academy doesn't have to worry about moving up a division after its stunning run to the CIAC Class L boys' basketball title last month.

New London, however, should prepare to play in Class LL for the foreseeable future.

The CIAC Board of Control approved a new system for its team tournaments that would move teams up a class (or two) based on previous tournament success.

It only applies to schools that draw from outside their district charter, magnet, parochial, vocational technical, vocational agricultural and inter-district magnet schools - or those which have project choice programs.

Boys' and girls' basketball will begin using the format next season. It's voluntary for all team sports, and it won't move a team up more than two divisions initially.

Paul Hoey, the CIAC's associate executive director, said that boys' and girls' soccer committees have also expressed interest in using the new criteria.

In the case of basketball, a team would move up if they've reached the quarterfinals or beyond the last three seasons. It wouldn't affect a struggling parochial or magnet school basketball team.

Basketball had used a weighted system which moved all teams up based on previously success. The Bacon Academy girls, for instance, were moved up a division after winning the 2009 Class M title.

That won't happen anymore.

"It's using only success in tournaments for those schools that draw outside the school district boundaries," Hoey said.

"Xavier or Capital Prep, or New London, because it has a magnet school ... they could be impacted by this."

The new formula wouldn't impact a school like Woodstock. It draws students from neighboring towns like Brooklyn and Pomfret, but none of them have a high school.

The tournament success factor will only be applicable for vocational agricultural and project choice schools when more than 25 students (gender specific) participate in the program from out of district.

n.griffen@theday.com

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