Ahead of the first regional meets a multitude of coaches have reached out to MileStat.com with frustration and confusion about the new regional meets. Though the regional meets and their lack of equality are a point of contention, these coaches were more concerned with district meets being held as mandatory qualifiers.
It appears that so far seven different regions out of the 24 are actually requiring qualification to compete. Yea, you read that right. Regions that only have 12 teams are requiring teams to qualify. That means in theory, you could have regionals with competition fields with under 50 athletes competing and over 25 advancing!
One of those regions requiring district qualification is the most important district in the state this year. That is Loudoun Valley's district of course. Though they could easily win their district meet without a doubt, the Vikings look at it as a negative since not all their 4A foes will have the same required task.
Some teams will advance automatically to regions while others will have to qualify thru districts and in one crazy twist, there is actually a team that is guaranteed to qualify but has to run since they are the only 5A team in their district.
Now districts do fill a great role as geographic championships but they also are unfair in the sense that some are required and others are voluntary.
This leaves us with some big questions... are districts a thing of the past or a thing of the future? Is it fair and equitable or the opposite?
It should be noted that regional qualification is a region by region decision and currently not an issue handled by the VHSL. The league office solely handles the state meet while regional reps handle the region and subsequent qualifiers.