The Blue Earth Area School Board formally passed a resolution at their meeting this past Tuesday night to withdraw from the South Central Conference (SCC) and join a new, larger conference being formed.
That new conference will be called the Big South Conference (BSC) and will be comprised of 13 schools from across Southern Minnesota.
Those schools include the members of both the SCC and the Southwest Conference (SWC).
"In our talks (with the other schools) we are all on the same page," BEA activities director Rob Norman told the board. "We believe there is no hesitation on any school board about this."
Norman says Blue Earth Area may be one of the first boards to make it official and pass the resolution, but most will be doing so this month or next.
Before making the decision, board members were able to study a multi-page constitution and bylaws of the new conference.
A listing of all the sports and the criteria for each one was also included.
In some instances, the 13 schools will be divided into two divisions.
For sports such as volleyball, wrestling and basketball, there will be an East and West Division. Most of the former SCC teams, BEA included, will be part of the East Division.
The others are Fairmont, New Ulm, St. James, St. Peter and Waseca.
The West Division will be Jackson County Central, Luverne, Pipestone Area, Marshall, Redwood Valley, Windom Area and Worthington.
Some sports, such as football, will have just one division, despite having 13 teams competing.
Track and field, softball and baseball will be divided into two divisions as large schools and small schools instead of East and West.
The bylaws also indicate how conference champions will be selected. In many cases, it will be similar as to the process now, but will involve more schools or two divisions.
For instance, cross country will be determined at the conference meet set for Windom on Oct. 14, 2014. Wrestling, gymnastics and track and field will also have conference meets.
For some sports, such as basketball, golf and tennis, the conference champion will be determined by a playoff between the leading team of both divisions.
Many of the dates of the conference championship meets and games have already been determined but not necessarily the site.
The determination of the football conference champion will remain the same as it now is. The team with the most conference wins will be named the conference champs.
Or, perhaps, co-champions, in the case of same number of victories.