A proposal to realign boys' basketball in the Eastern Conference from three divisions to two was voted down on Tuesday by the league's 18 athletic directors.
"The (ECC Advisory) Board discussed the issue at length," chairman Jan Voland of Plainfield High School said in a statement. "... At this time, the Board has decided to maintain its current divisional alignment as defined in the Articles of Organization. The league's Strategic Planning Committee will continue to assess the league's structure and philosophy."
The vote, according to several sources, was unanimous, although some ADs abstained. Woodstock Academy's Chris Coderre, the ECC boys' basketball chair, submitted the proposal at the request of Tourtellotte coach Tony Falzarano, a supporter of a nine-school, two-division format over the current six-school, three-division setup.
"There was a lot of discussion about what's going on right now and where we're going in the future," Waterford athletic director Dave Sousa said. "We have survived and thrived because of give-and-take.
"We always do whatever it takes to make it work, whether it be opt-outs or schedule relief, and it's been successful."
Sousa cited Griswold - a Small Division member during some two-year scheduling cycles and a Medium Division school in others - as the "classic example" of how the ability of ECC administrators to remain flexible has worked.
"They've won 89 (division) championships since joining the ECC (in 2000)," Sousa said of Griswold. "They've played in the Small and Medium divisions, and have even opted to move up in some sports to provide relief for other schools.
"It's unfortunate some of the other programs have struggled, but sometimes coaches tend to look out only for what's best for them and don't look at the big picture ... what's best for the whole league. We like where we are right now."
Greg Gwudz, who guided Waterford to its first state boys' basketball title last month, attended the coaches' meeting at the end of the season when Falzarano made his pitch, but said he's happy the athletic directors voted to stay with the status quo."
"I like the way it's set up now," he said. "We're all on the same track as far as enrollment goes. It makes sense. Next year we have New London as a crossover, NFA as a crossover, East Lyme twice. But do I want to realign the whole league? I don't get it.
"Every year you have two to five games that you're going to struggle, but those teams prepare you. You can't go 20-0 all the time and it's OK. You still have 15 games you can be competitive in."
The ECC is in year one of its current two-year alignment cycle. Athletic directors will meet again after enrollment figures are updated by the CIAC on Oct. 1 and begin the process of realignment for the next two-year cycle that begins in 2013-14.