Beginning in the 2021-22 school year, Oregon will no longer be in the same conference as Stoughton for all sports.
On Monday, Sept. 30, the Badger Conference principals and athletic directors announced a conference realignment plan for all sports except football to go into effect in the 2021-22 school year.
The conference will realign with an East/West format, according to a news release from the conference. Oregon is being placed in the Badger West Conference’s South Division, and Stoughton will be in the Badger East’s South Division.
Football has a separate realignment plan that changed schools in the Badger, Big Eight and Rock Valley conferences. The plan will take effect next fall.
When Watertown and Beaver Dam joined the Badger Conference in 2017, the principals voted to re-examine conference alignment after two years.
The conference principals in the fall of 2018 directed the athletic directors to review the alignment, taking into account geographic locations, the distance each school travels, school size and competitive balance.
In spring 2019, the athletic directors proposed an East/West Division format. That proposal was approved by the principals at their April meeting.
The rationale behind the move is that the East/West alignment creates a more equitable distribution of total miles traveled throughout the conference, according to the release. Reduced travel on school nights was a priority to minimize missed class time for student-athletes.
The East/West Divisions better aligns schools, according to enrollment with the East containing seven of the eight “large” schools and the West containing seven of the eight “small” schools. Oregon and Fort Atkinson are the exceptions.
Athletic directors the rest of this school year will create scheduling concepts to utilize the four-school divisional format, aligning it to the specific scheduling details for each sport.