A unique situation has unfolded in the Texas Class 6A regional soccer playoffs: all of the teams competing in the Region I semifinals and finals are from the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, yet the tournament pitting them against each other is scheduled to take place in Midland, more than five hours away.
As reported by the Dallas Morning News, Hebron, Arlington Sam Houston, Arlington Bowie and Lewisville are the four teams that comprise the Region I semifinals. They all are within a 35 minute drive of one another, which would seem to make scheduling those semifinal matches pretty straightforward. The issue is that the University Interscholastic League had already set up the semifinals for Grande Communications Stadium, which is a solid five hour drive from all four schools.
When the Morning News’ Greg Riddle reached out to UIL about possibly relocating the semifinal games, the response from the organization’s media coordinator wasn’t encouraging for those hoping to cut down on travel time and expense.
“There are not plans to relocate that regional tournament,” UIL media coordinator Kate Hector told the Morning News. “There is not a request to move that. In the past, we’ve had the schools request it to be moved and we’ve had those contingencies that didn’t take place this time.
“… if the schools had (an alternate) site in mind and already had those plans, it’s a possibility. But pulling it from Midland this late, it would be challenging, and none of those steps have occurred so far.”
That doesn’t sound promising for the Dallas area schools, who could spend 10 hours in a bus on Thursday and Friday to play games that would have taken place a short van ride away during the regular season.