WIAA moves state boys and girls hockey tournaments to Middleton | Hockey


Madison Edgewood senior middle blocker Addie Schmotzer discusses the season after a girls volleyball match with Sauk Prairie on Sept. 8, 2022.

Jon Masson | Wisconsin State Journal


The WIAA plans to keep the boys and girls state hockey tournaments in the Madison area.

However, the venue will change.

The state hockey tournaments will move from its longstanding site at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum at the Alliant Energy Center.

The new home for the state tournaments will be Bob Suter’s Capitol Ice Arena in Middleton.

The decision was made official when the WIAA Board of Control at its meeting Friday approved a WIAA executive staff recommendation to move the tournaments to Capitol Ice Arena effective in March, 2023.

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The WIAA agreement with the Alliant Energy Center expired and WIAA assistant director LeVar Ridgeway had been working on determining a location for the 2023 boys and girls state hockey tournaments, WIAA communications director Todd Clark wrote in an email. Ridgeway worked with the coaches’ advisory committee, Clark said.

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“We are excited about the opportunity to host the upcoming WIAA boys and girls state hockey championships at Bob Suter’s Capitol Ice Arena,” Ridgeway said in a statement Friday. “With the move, we look forward to creating a great state championship atmosphere for our student-athletes, coaches and fans in a hockey-centric facility.”







LeVar Ridgeway

Ridgeway


WIAA


The WIAA and the Capitol Ice Arena agreed to a two-year term.

The boys and girls state tournaments are scheduled March 2-4. The competition time schedule will be slightly altered to accommodate the change in venue, according to a WIAA release.

Built in 1999, the venue received a multi-million dollar renovation in 2018 that added significant amenities and upgrades, according to the WIAA release. The facility has two full sheets of ice. There is seating for 2,611 spectators, a state-of-the-art sound system, scoreboard and a high-definition video board.

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The arena also has a media broadcasting booth, eight public locker rooms, six public bathrooms and one family restroom and is the current home for the USHL Madison Capitols and Madison Capitols AAA hockey.

“We are thrilled to be hosting the WIAA state tournaments for the next two years,” Bob Suter’s Capitol Ice Arena president Ryan Suter said. “We are thankful to the WIAA for entrusting us with this historic event and believe our venue will provide an incredible atmosphere for the players and fans. We look forward to working with the WIAA and the city of Middleton to host this event and crown state champions.”

Wisconsin Hockey Coaches Association president Brian Brandt said: “The Wisconsin Hockey Coaches Association is excited about this option for the WIAA state hockey tournaments. The WIAA and WHCA have worked collaboratively to give the best experience for our athletes and showcase their talents in an exciting environment.”

The WIAA began sponsoring state tournaments in boys hockey in 1971. Superior defeated Madison West 7-3 in the first championship game.

The first state tournament was held at the Dane County Coliseum prior to the venue’s name changing to Veterans Memorial Coliseum at the Alliant Energy Center.

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Hartmeyer Ice Arena also had been the site for some state tournament games, but the Coliseum was used since 1980, according to historical information on the WIAA website.







Todd Clark mold 7-8

Clark


The tournament had been conducted in Madison every year except in 1974 and 1975 when it was in Green Bay and in 2021 during the COVID-19 pandemic when the championship games were at South Wood County Rink in Wisconsin Rapids. The semi-finals that year were at the home of the higher seeds.

The state tournament series for boys hockey expanded to two divisions in 2020.

The WIAA began sponsoring a state tournament in girls hockey in 2001-02. The girls hockey state tournament has been held in conjunction with the boys tournament since the sport was added.

In other news from the meeting in Stevens Point, the Board of Control reviewed and approved a non-football fast track conference realignment request moving Burlington Catholic Central to the Midwest Classic Conference beginning in the 2023-24 school year.

The Board of Control approved updates to the executive staff handbook, new appointments to the conference realignment task force and an endorsement of a sports-related injury surveillance study funded by the National Federation of State High School Associations, according to a release from Clark.

Co-founder Jody Redman of InSide Out Initiative made a presentation. After that, the Board of Control supported a three-year partnership with the Green Bay Packers for the InSide Out Wisconsin Initiative, which “is intended to connect NFL teams with educational and athletic leadership associations to inspire and equip school leaders and communities to transform lives through purpose-based sports,” according to the release. The program is scheduled to begin Jan. 10, 2023.

The WIAA executive staff gave reports reviewing ongoing efforts to recruit and retain officials, recent WIAA area meetings, 2022-23 membership renewals and fall tournament series preparations.

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