FAIRBANKS, AK-The ASAA March Madness Alaska in Anchorage was a great year from a competition stand point. You had upsets like the East and Service 4A championship game, Monroe winning the 3A title, the dominant Wasilla Warriors girls team winning three straight titles but from a fan perspective there were some tweaks in this year's tournament that were good and questionable.
The WPI, Winning Percentage Index for 4A schools had another year to get at large teams in like the Lathrop girls team, patrons paid for sessions at the tournament plus six dollar parking. If you leave and come back, yep another six bucks. In addition, the ASAA web streamed all games on a Pay-Per-View basis.
The ASAA operated at over a 150,000 loss last season and made cuts this year.
I talked to ASAA State Championships Director Isaiah Vreeman about these changes and issues and the expansion from 16 to 32 teams in 1A.
"I think it played out pretty well. Uh, there was a lot of excitement, especially that opening Saturday at the South and West cause the Sullivan wasn't available that early because of hockey. Uh, there were a lot of great games. It was loud. I mean it was, it was pretty electric in there as well," Vreeman said.
In regards to the WPI Vreeman stated, "We did have a correct WPI this year on that selection show. Uh, but we were missing some scores that were not reported so, those who got reported, so Lathrop was then the invitee instead of Soldotna. I know there were some-I feel bad for the kids all the way around but that's kind of the way it went down. But we got the right team in. The thing [WPI] was correct."
The pricing and costs did come up amongst fans at the tournament.
"We went to sessions. Kind of lowered the price for people, went to sessions, uh, the Sullivan did charge for parking. So there are some tweaks here and there I'd like to try for next year to make it a little bit better. But uh, overall the atmosphere is kind of what I was hoping for and looking for. So, I want to keep on with that," Vreeman exclaimed.
Until next year we'll see what the ASAA does to improve the fan experience for the state tournament.