In a move that can best be described as the year of 2020-21, the Arkansas Activities Association (AAA) released a statement approximately one hour ago announcing that it has moved regional tournaments back one week that were originally scheduled to be played next week. The move by the AAA will allow districts to complete their tournaments that had been cancelled by the conferences in some cases.
For member schools of the 3A-4 conference and their players and fans, the action by the AAA alleviates their concern over the controversial decision by the conference to cancel the remainder of the tournament and send the top four season finishers to regionals. The conference made the decision to cancel the remainder of the district tournament on Wednesday of this week with a forecast of temperatures rising above freezing on Friday and into the 40s on Saturday. Fans and their teams have not understood why the conference seemingly rushed on Wednesday to cancel the tournament rather than wait until at least Thursday or Friday to make the decision.
In another controversial aspect of the decision to cancel, the 3A-4 administrators voted to cancel the tournament when the top four seeds had no reason to vote to play and possibly jeopardize their seedings or entry into the regional tournament. For a majority vote of the six remaining teams in the tournament, the five and six seed schools needed both of them to vote for playing and at least two of the top four seeds to vote to play. In reality, that would never happen. Today’s action by the AAA remedies both situations and places the seedings and the entries into the tournaments back on the court to be decided.
The 3A-4’s decision to cancel the tournament and now the following AAA directive to reschedule also puts schools in the regional that are members of another conference in a position to now wait a week before they can play. In short, the 3A-4’s decision affected not only their schools but others as well. This is similar to the AAA’s decision to allow all schools to be eligible in football playoffs, and the resulting effect was for the entire state to wait a week for three schools across the state to play first round games who would not have qualified for the playoffs.
Resident Press reached out to the AAA today but was unable to reach anyone at their office. A recording announced that their office was closed due to inclement weather.
As soon as more information is known regarding the new dates for the remainder of the 3A-4 tournament, Resident Press will update you with the latest information.