SPORTS HEADLINES

UIL restores tournaments

By Richard Greene | Published Saturday, March 4, 2017
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Athletes in all sports but football will get additional opportunities to compete starting next school year.

The University Interscholastic League announced Thursday that school superintendents had voted 575-424 to allow teams to participate in an additional tournament or meet starting in August 2017.

The vote restores tournaments and meets that were reduced by the UIL in 2012.

Teams in baseball, basketball, softball and volleyball are currently limited to two tournaments. They are allowed to play a third tournament in place of two regular season games.

Starting next fall, volleyball teams will be able to play in three tournaments and 23 matches. Basketball teams will get three tournaments and 21 games. Baseball and softball teams will get three tournaments and 17 games.

Track athletes and cross country runners will get eight meets instead of seven.

“It’s good to give kids more opportunity to play more games,” said Decatur athletic director Mike Fuller. “They’ve been able to play an additional tournament but had to give up regular season games. Coaches are concerned about getting games early in the year and that’s why tournaments are so valuable to them.”

Northwest Executive Athletic Director Joel Johnson said his district supported adding the tournament and meets to benefit the school athletic programs.

“We work hard to have a great relationship with club and select teams,” Johnson said. “When they took the tournaments away, it added opportunities for the club and select teams to showcase athletes. Adding them back, stresses the importance of our programs.”

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