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POSTER IMAGE.The Tongue River team shares a laugh with head coach Dianne Moser near the end of their game against Big Horn on Saturday afternoon at the Casper Events Center. Tongue River beat Big Horn to win the Class 2A Wyoming State Basketball championship. (Kerry Huller/Star-Tribune)

Possible changes to the Region IX junior college basketball tournaments could make things interesting for the Wyoming High School Activities Association when it comes to hosting the Class 1A/2A state championships at Casper College.

It was already a possibility for the 2011 tournament, but commissioner Ron Laird prepped the WHSAA board of directors that the conflict could exist on more regular basis moving forward.

"We need to be planning with a contingency," Laird said in comments to the board.

Laird said that Region IX is discussing moving from four sub-regions to just two: north and south. Hosting rights currently rotate on a four-year basis between the sub-regions.

That specific change would open the possibility of Casper College hosting the basketball tournament every year. The new north and south sub-region regular season champions would rotate on yearly basis, with the men and women alternating years.

"We could have a conflict every year," Laird said.

The Central sub-region women's regular season champion -- Casper College's sub-region -- will host the regional tournament this year. Laird was aware of that conflict, which could run into the 1A/2A state tournament scheduled for March 3-5 in Casper.

Of course, the T-Birds have to the win the sub-region for the conflict to exist.

In past conflicts, the WHSAA has moved games to alternate sites in Casper such as Kelly Walsh or Natrona County high schools. Region IX still has to finalize particulars -- how many teams, start dates, etc. -- for both tournaments. Once those details are figured out, WHSAA will begin making contigency plans in the case of a scheduling conflict. And, for now, the women have decided to remain with four sub-regions.

But Laird said he has been in contact with Casper College athletic director Bill Landen, as well as other ADs from the various sub-regions and the dialogue has been positive.

"I was really pleased that they were willing to work [with us]," said Laird, prior the board closing the first of its quarterly meetings with an executive session. "We'll keep working with the two entities."

BOARD VOTES TO DELAY VIDEO STREAMING AT STATE: On Tuesday, the board voted unanimously to tape delay video webcasts of state culminating events one day. It was a one-year decision that the board will revisit next year.

The discussion mainly centered on the possible effect live webcasting had on gates, state basketball in particular.

The 2010 state basketball tournaments were the first time the WHSAA allowed live webcasting of 44 games at both tournaments. Laird estimated gate receipts were down $20,000 combined between the two weekends.

Laird was simply asking the board for some direction on how to balance providing a useful service and protecting those gate receipts.

"The media [and] technology world is changing so quickly," Laird said. "That's the balance were trying to get, to provide that service to people."

Contact sports reporter Clint Robus at or (307) 266-0615. Read his blog at


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