CIAC changes Connecticut high school basketball divisions for 2021-22 season

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There has not been a completed CIAC Men’s or Women’s Basketball State Tournament since March 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The five-division format remains in place for both sports. But the way the teams have been placed in these divisions has played out differently than in recent seasons.

“The pandemic has created many ripple effects in all of our lives,” said Gregg Simon, Associate Executive Director of CIAC. “It’s no different for our tournaments. Not having a tournament for a year or two is going to have a dramatic impact. “

The Girls’ Committee has chosen not to complete all five installments this season. But for just one season, teams can qualify for state tournaments with a qualifying record of 30% instead of the normal 40%. This change was approved by the CIAC Supervisory Board.

“The only reason it will drop to 30% is because the committee didn’t like the idea of ​​filling in the brackets any longer,” said Simon.


The tournament success factor was also used to determine divisions. Normally, the schools of choice can evolve between one and three divisions based on the three previous seasons of state tournaments.

But since there had been no state tournaments in 2021, the committee decided instead that the schools of choice cannot go up more than two divisions based on the 2019 and 2020 tournaments. Even if the 2020 tournament was not finished, he reached at least the quarter-finals for all five divisions (LL, L, MM, M and S).

“The committee had every intention of not going back a year (2018). They felt that using this year’s results was too long a step back, ”said Simon.

Some of the teams competing in the LL Class include: Norwalk, 2019 LL Class Champion, Hillhouse (2019 L Class Champion), New Canaan, New London, Norwich Free Academy and Wilbur Cross. Some of the notable teams competing in the L class include: Mercy, Northwest Catholic, Notre Dame-Fairfield and Shelton.

The MM class includes: Career, East Catholic, Kolbe Cathedral, Sacred Heart Academy, St. Joseph, St. Paul and Weaver. Class M includes Capital Prep, Holy Cross, and Lauralton Hall.

The full list of the five divisions is available here.

The boys’ committee decided to continue using the formula it has had in recent seasons. This formula takes into account success both in recent league play – including last year’s abridged season due to the pandemic – and in the state tournament. Last year’s league tournaments were not taken into account.

State tournament success only applies to select schools. The only state tournament results taken into account are from 2019. There has been no tournament in the past two seasons, except for one day in 2020.

“A lot of the smaller choice schools weren’t successful that year (2019), so they will be in smaller divisions,” Simon said. “The inscriptions are at the root of many of these divisions. Once you take out achievement points, signing up is the biggest part.

The enrollment multiplier used has slightly decreased in percentage.

There are now 20 teams in Division I, instead of 24. Two top schools, Trinity Catholic and Sacred Heart, both of which were in Division I, have closed.

Some of the teams competing in Division I include: East Catholic (2019 Division I Champion), Fairfield Prep, Farmington (2019 Division III Champion), Hamden, Immaculate, Naugatuck, New Canaan (2019 Division IV Champion) Our Dame-West Haven, Ridgefield, West Haven, Wilbur Cross and Windsor.

Some of the Division II teams include: Bristol Central (who finished undefeated and No.1 in last year’s GameTimeCT Top 10 poll and includes the 7-foot UConn Donovan Clingan engagement), Hillhouse, Crosby, Holy Cross , Northwest Catholic, Waterford (2019 Division Champion II), Innovation (2019 Division V State Champion), Sheehan, Greenwich, St. Joseph and Xavier.

Some of the Division III teams include: Bassick, Kolbe Cathedral, Notre Dame-Fairfield and New London. Division IV includes: Bloomfield, Bridgeport Central and Harding. Division V includes Capital Prep and Weaver.

All divisions can be found here.

Men’s Division II through V teams may apply to play in Division I this season. The teams have until November 8 to decide whether or not to join the 20 teams of the first division.

As of this week, no team has moved to Division I, according to Simon. Girls teams cannot go up to LL class.

The women’s basketball season begins on November 29 and games begin on December 13. The boys start training on December 2 and the games start on December 16.

joseph.morelli@hearstmediact.com; @nhrJoeMorelli


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