The 5A Southern Idaho Conference is going to a divisional alignment for all fall sports this season.
The move was approved by 5A SIC athletic directors Wednesday morning, Mountain View athletic director Luke Wolf told The Idaho Press. It allows for competitive balance with schools in the conference starting their seasons weeks apart with school district having different plans to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.
Centennial, Eagle, Kuna, Meridian, Mountain View and Rocky Mountain will make up the West Division, while Boise, Borah, Capital, Skyview and Timberline make up the East Division. All cross-divisional games are being taken off the schedule, with new schedules being drawn up on Wednesday.
Football games which have already been played between West Division teams will count in the standings, even though they might have cross-divisional games when they were played.
Kuna, along with the five West Ada School District — Centennial, Eagle, Meridian, Mountain View and Rocky Mountain — have already started their seasons. Kuna played a nonconfernce football game against Lewiston on Aug. 28 and the West Ada School District approved its athletic teams to return to competition last week.
Skyview was given the green light to begin practicing last week and return to play this week. However, its teams will now wait until next week when the four Boise schools — Boise, Borah, Capital and Timberline — are able to return to play next week. Boise schools began practice and tryouts on Tuesday with Central District Health moving the district from red to yellow
Wolf said that each team in the conference will have two holes in their football schedules and can find nonconference games against 4A opponents to fill them. But he wasn’t very confident that many teams would find willing opponents as it got later in the season.
Soccer and volleyball teams will play teams in their divisions two or three times throughout the season, Wolf said. It still hasn’t been determined how seeding will work for district tournaments. There are a few proposals on the table, including using MaxPreps ranking.
With Kuna joining the league this year, and the West Ada School District opening Owyhee High in the fall of 2021, the 5A SIC had already planned to switch to a divisional allignment in football beginning this year. Originally, Boise, Eagle, Meridian, Rocky Mountain, Skyview and Timberline were members of the Foothills Division, with Borah, Capital, Centennial, Kuna and Mountain View making up the River Division. The league will revert back to the original division alignments in football next season, with Owyhee joining the River Division.
The winners of the two divisions will still get first-round byes in the 5A state tournament and will face off against one another during the first week of the playoffs to determine seeding.