OTTUMWA, IA – Possible change could be coming to the Central Iowa Metropolitan League (CIML), the current home to Ottumwa Bulldogs athletics. According to a report from the Des Moines Register, Ottumwa is among a group of six school districts which plan to withdraw from the CIML and create a new league as early as the 2022-23 academic year.
Ottumwa Activities Director, Scott Maas, confirmed with Ottumwa Radio Group that the school, “is involved in ongoing conversations with the CIML regarding realignment or a possible split into two conferences.” Maas went on to say that he, “will work with the administrative team and the Board of Education to decide what is in the best interest of Ottumwa student-athletes going forward.”
Ames, Des Moines, Fort Dodge, Marshalltown, and Mason City join Ottumwa as the listed districts looking to withdraw from the League, according to a letter sent to member school representatives by Marshalltown Superintendent, Theron J. Schutte. In the letter, Schutte outlines the “lack of disparity” between “non-suburban schools versus suburban schools” in the past five years within CIML athletics.
As defined, the non-suburban schools include: Ames, Des Moines East, Des Moines Hoover, Des Moines Lincoln, Des Moines North, Des Moines Roosevelt, Fort Dodge, Marshalltown, Mason City and Ottumwa. The nine suburban schools are Ankeny, Ankeny Centennial, Dowling Catholic, Johnston, Southeast Polk, Urbandale, Valley, Waukee and, starting next year, Waukee Northwest. Based on his research, Schutte found that over the past five years, non-suburban schools have accounted for merely 16.5% of the total wins in volleyball, boys’ and girls’ soccer, boys’ and girls’ basketball, baseball and softball.
Schutte’s hope is to have each school district submit their respective letter(s) of intent to withdraw from the CIML by April 1. This change, if approved, would happen in the 2022-23 academic year as athletic calendars have already been scheduled up to then.