Big Nine Conference Athletics

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The original meeting of the Columbia Basin Big Eight League was held March 24, 1965.  Mr. Mark Bonntrager was chairperson.  During 1968-69 the league adopted league championships in eight (8) sports.  In 1970-71 the league membership increased from eight to nine; thus the league to become known as the BIG NINE.  The league now recognizes league championship in nineteen sports.  On October 1, 1996, the BIG NINE voted to add Southridge (of Kennewick), making the league a ten (10)-school league.  Per WIAA reclassification, Eastmont joined the BIG NINE in the fall of 2002, making the league an eleven (11)-school league.  In the spring of 2006, the WIAA underwent a reclassification of all divisions.  The schools of the BIG NINE voted to admit three schools, Hanford, West Valley and Sunnyside.  The addition of these three made a fourteen-team league, with seven in the 3A division and seven in the 4A division.  The name of the league was changed by vote of the principals to be the Columbia Basin League (CBL).  In the winter of 2007-08, eight true 4A schools emerged from reclassification and resumed operating as the Columbia Basin Big Nine Athletic Conference.  By spring, the remaining schools opted to be 4A members or petitioned the league to rejoin as a 3A member.  The eight true 4A members of the league were:  Davis, Eastmont, Eisenhower, Pasco, Moses Lake, Richland, Walla Walla and Wenatchee.  The “opt-up” 4A’s were Kamiakin, Kennewick and Southridge.  The 3A members were Hanford, Sunnyside and West Valley.  Through much deliberation, some sports were put into division for scheduling purposes and some were left alone as one big 3A/4A combined league.  In the fall of 2009, Chiawana entered the league as a new school as a 4A member.  At the end of the 2011-12 school year, the Tri-Cities area schools and Walla Walla High School chose to depart from the Big 9 League.  The remaining six Big 9 member schools included 4A members:  Davis, Eastmont, Eisenhower, Moses Lake, Wenatchee and 3A member Sunnyside.  The Principals and Athletic Directors of the six schools unanimously agreed to play a combined schedule with no divisions.  Davis and Eisenhower were approved by the WIAA to change from District 5 to District 6.  Beginning with the 2012-13 school year, all Big Nine League 4A member schools are now in District 6, with Sunnyside remaining in District 5.  For the 2014-15 school year Sunnyside joined the 4A classification and remained a member of the Big Nine.  West Valley opted up to join the 4A classification and joined the Big Nine.  Both Sunnyside and West Valley were approved by the WIAA to join District 6.  Beginning with the 2014-15 school year, the Big 9 included seven 4A classification schools:  Davis, Eastmont, Eisenhower, Moses Lake, Sunnyside, Wenatchee and West Valley.  All members of the North Central Washington Activities Association – District 6.

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