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November 2011

11/30/2011 - INSIDE LOOK: Coins for a Cause at the Gridiron Classic

11/30/2011 - Live Chat with Executive Director Mike Colbrese

11/25/2011 - WIAA Set to Broadcast Six Semifinal Football Games on the WIAA Network

11/23/2011 - Road to the Gridiron Classic: Understanding the WIAA Football Brackets

11/22/2011 - Board Approves 2011-12 State Basketall Draw Criteria

11/19/2011 - ARCHIVED: 2011 1B/2B Girls & Boys State Soccer Blog - Day 2

11/18/2011 - ARCHIVED: 2011 1A, 2A Girls State Soccer Blog

11/18/2011 - ARCHIVED: 2011 1B/2B Boys & Girls State Soccer Blog

11/17/2011 - Live Webcast and Interactive Blogs on Tap for State Soccer Championships

11/16/2011 - INSIDE LOOK: Girls and 1B/2B Boys State Soccer 2011

11/10/2011 - Two New Locations Headline Volleyball State Championships

11/10/2011 - INSIDE LOOK: Girls State Swim & Dive 2011

11/10/2011 - Live Webcast to Highlight Swimming State Championship

11/7/2011 - INSIDE LOOK: State Volleyball 2011

11/5/2011 - ARCHIVED: 2011 Cross Country Blog

11/4/2011 - LEAP Student Blog - Bailey Vallee | Bellingham HS

11/2/2011 - INSIDE LOOK: State Cross Country 2011

Road to the Gridiron Classic: Understanding the WIAA Football Brackets

Conor LaffeyCassandra Krous and 2,620 others like this. · Admin Page · Insights

Every fall, 96 teams qualify for the WIAA/Dairy Farmers of Washington/Les Schwab Tires State Football Championships.  Once the brackets are posted, the WIAA receives a variety of questions and comments about the matchups and site selections.  Fans wonder why top-ranked teams are playing each other in early rounds, and why certain teams have to travel while other teams get to play at home.

The football brackets are set up by a random draw every two years.  The draw criteria considers geography (to minimize travel distance) as well as district seeding, with an equal number of “true” #1 seeds in each half of the bracket.  Site selection and matchups are determined entirely by the draw criteria and NOT by any kind of ranking system.   Rankings are compiled by the media and have no bearing on the playoff picture.  The full details of the WIAA football draw criteria can be found below.

For WIAA football brackets, the bottom team on the bracket is always the home team.  After the draw is complete and the brackets are determined, District Directors submit approved sites for their districts to the WIAA.  Rounds 1 and 2 have no guarantee for neutral sites or artificial turf.  For Round 1, the “home” District hosts the game at one of its approved sites.

Once Round 1 is complete and Quarterfinal matchups have been determined, the District Directors for the advancing teams decide which sites they will use for the games.  If a lower-ranked team upsets a higher-ranked team on the home side of the bracket in Round 1, they take over the right to host the quarterfinal game at their home district-approved site.

The WIAA Staff determines the sites for all Semifinal games, with the requirement that games must be played on artificial turf fields.  District Directors can give input, but ultimately, the WIAA has the final say.  Several factors are considered for the site selection of these games.  As with the first two rounds, consideration is given to the locations of the team on the “home” side of the bracket.  In addition to this, the WIAA tries to minimize travel over the pass, and minimize cost of facility rental and tournament operations by scheduling multiple games at sites that are chosen.  There is no guarantee for a neutral site.

This year, six Semifinal games will be played in the Tacoma Dome, and six games will be played on the east side of the state – two in Moses Lake (Lions Stadium), two in Pasco (Edgar Brown Stadium), and two in Kennewick (Lampson Stadium).

Although it may seem easiest to play games on a neutral site halfway between the competing schools, it is most cost-effective to keep one team at home so that only one side travels. That does mean that a team could potentially host and play on their home turf; however, since the sites are based on the draw and seeding, every team essentially has the opportunity to be listed as a home team if they earn it.


  1. Due to the desire to prevent teams from traveling across the mountains, Westside and Eastside teams shall not meet until the finals when possible.
    1. During each year of a two-year allocation cycle, districts from either the west side or the east side of the mountains will be rotated to determine which district(s) will travel across the mountains to play in the first round, quarterfinals or semifinals.
    2. The team with the lowest seed from the traveling district(s) will be selected to travel.
  2. The eastside teams will be placed in the same quarter and/or half bracket when possible.
  3. The "true" #1 teams from each WIAA District will be drawn first to determine in which half bracket they will be drawn, with an equal number or "true" #1 teams in each half bracket when possiblea. 
    1. If there are four (4) or fewer "true" #1 teams, they will be drawn into different quarter brackets, when possible. The "true" #1 teams will be drawn into the bottom line of each quarter bracket, to maintain home team position in the bracket.
  4. Draw #1 teams from each district as home team for the first round games.
    1. If there are fewer than the required number of #1 teams, the #2 and possibly #3 team from the district(s) with the largest school factor will be used to complete the required first round "home" teams and placed in the opposite half bracket from their district's #1 team when possible.
    2. If there is a tie in the school factor between districts for additional #1 teams, the greater enrollment of the schools of the district shall determine the tiebreaker for the first year of the allocation cycle. The other district involved in the tie will receive the additional #1 team the second year.
    3. If there are more than the required number of #1 teams a draw will be conducted to determine which quarter bracket will have two #1 teams.
  5. Westside districts with two or more entries shall have their #2 teams placed in opposite half brackets or quarter bracket from their #1 team when possible.
  6. Should a district’s #1 and #2 teams be drawn in the same half bracket the following year that district’s #1 and #2 will be drawn in two different half brackets when possible. Should teams from the same two districts be drawn against each other the highest ranked team from one district shall be placed in the same contest with the lowest from the other district when possible.
    1. When a Westside district has more than 2 entries, the following should be in the same ½ bracket when possible:
      1. 3 entries: #2 and #3 in same ½ brackets
      2. With four (4) or more entries, #1 and #4 will be drawn into the same half bracket; #2 and #3 will be drawn into the same half bracket; any additional allocations may be drawn into either half bracket with an even number in each half bracket when possible.
  7. Remaining teams will be drawn so that teams from the same district will not play each other during the first and the second round when possible.
  8. The home district team shall be rotated so that each WIAA District has an opportunity to be a home team in the quarterfinals when possible.



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