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Expanded Class 3A playoffs in the works

A plan to expand several of the Oregon School Activities Association's championships will be presented to the body's executive board today at its quarterly meeting in Wilsonville.

The State Championship Committee will suggest that Class 3A team sports expand to three teams per district in baseball, basketball, soccer and softball. The Class 3A football playoffs were expanded to three teams per district -- 24 in all -- two years ago.

The committee will also recommend holding 16-team boys and girls Class 2A basketball tournaments in Pendleton. Presently only eight boys and girls teams advance to the tournament. Eight teams are eliminated in regional play.

They have a new high school gym that seats 2,400 there, says OSAA assistant executive director Tom Welter. It's just across the Umatilla River from the convention center where the tournament has been held and they're going to use both places.

An expanded tournament would begin next year.

There is also a move to combined the Class 3A basketball tournaments. It would likely be at the University of Portland's Chiles Center, where the boys tournament was moved last year. But the OSAA would favor moving the combined tournament to Eugene, where the boys tournament was held the previous 25 years.

A new 6,000 seat indoor arena in Redmond with four locker rooms might also be an appealing site, Welter said.

The state's cross country coaches are pushing for three regional meets that would allow up to four teams from each Class 4A district to qualify for the state meet at Lane Community College in Eugene.

The added financial burden of paying for transportation to such meets will likely keep that from happening, Welter said.

The board is expected to OK an early football game between Ashland and Hermiston next fall as well.