Are the Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference championship games coming to an end?
UCBAC championship games, which have drawn much criticism about how and why they are played, should be done away with, based on a vote taken by the conference ADs at meeting in mid-February, several athletic directors at UCBAC schools confirmed.
With the vote by the ADs, confusion set in. Some believed that it was a done deal that the title games were going away.
Ken Zorbach, Harford County's Supervisor of Athletics, and Bob Slagle, UCBAC Commissioner, both confirmed by email that it's not, however, a done deal. The ultimate decision is up to the conference's Board of Control, which has not met since November and won't meet again until the end of March.
"Not sure where that came from, but the Board of Control has not met since November and that was not on the agenda. Our next meeting isn't until the end of March," Zorbach wrote in an email when asked if championship games were off after this coming spring season.
Slagle verified a day later: "The Board has made no decision on the championship games. The usual procedure is for an issue to be brought up and discussed at the AD meetings in both counties and then formally presented to the Board of Control. The final agenda for the March meeting of the Board had not yet been finalized."
The Board of Control consists of eight representatives: an athletic supervisor from each county; a school-based administrator from each county, each serving a two-year term and rotating odd years; two athletic directors, one from each county, each serving a two-year term and rotating even years; and two coaches, one from each county, (one male sport and one female sport, alternating each year) each serving a one-year term.
The athletic supervisors from each county are permanent members of the Board of Control and the conference commissioner is a non-voting member.
The conference has pitted the league's Chesapeake (upper) Division champ against the Susquehanna (lower) Division champ to determine the overall UCBAC champion in sports such as girls volleyball, field hockey, soccer, basketball, baseball, softball and lacrosse. Other sports have had meets or tournaments to determine a champion. The title games started in the winter of 2004, with champions awarded in boys and girls basketball, followed by baseball and softball in the spring.
In the many championship games that have been played, a few Susquehanna champs have upset the Chesapeake champs.
It was the girls lacrosse championship last year that truly challenged the UCBAC's championship format. In the first public challenge to the UCBAC system, the Harford Tech girls lacrosse team decided not to play the more highly-rated C. Milton Wright Mustangs. It was the first time since the conference was founded in 2003 that a team opted not to play in the championship game because of what one parent called at the time, "David and Goliath matchups." Tech ceded the UCBAC championship to CMW.
As a result of refusing to play the game, the Tech girls were stripped of their Susquehanna Division title and Head Coach Emma Little was suspended from her coaching duties, effective May 8, 2013. The suspension ended Jan. 7.