I don’t know all of the considerations given in the new 2021-23 Utah High School Activities Association region alignment, but proximity does not appear to be a priority — particularly as evidenced by the proposed 5A Region 7 grouping with schools from central Salt Lake County, Tooele, Eagle Mountain, Vernal and Payson in the same region.
When location is not a factor in high school sports region alignment, student-athletes miss critical school time for commute, schools have increased transportation costs and households have increased burden on travel to watch their children participate. How many Utah County schools will Payson drive by to compete? How many westside Salt Lake County schools will Tooele and Stansbury drive by to compete? How many schools will Hillcrest and Cottonwood drive by to compete?
It seems that the regions were aligned based on income demographics rather than proximity. The USHAA needs to revisit the proposed alignment, and the current organization’s motivations regarding high school sports should be investigated.