It's official. On Jan. 27, superintendents from Richland, Pasco, Kennewick and Walla Walla announced the formation of a new high school athletic league. They will be leaving the Big 9.

As followed by Newstalk 870, much discussion occurred over re-aligning the Big 9 to ease transportation and other costs. A few weeks ago, the Big 9 voted 8-7 to split into North and South Divisions. However, opposition from Yakima, Wenatchee and Moses Lake led to the belief they would form their own league. On Friday,  the Tri-City and Walla Walla schools announced they will be leaving the Big 9 and forming their own, as yet unnamed, league. Moses Lake, Wenatchee, Eastmont, Davis, Eisenhower and Sunnyside as well as West Valley will remain as the Big 9.

This new arraingement will become effective June 30, 2012 and will include Kamiakin, Kennewick, Southridge, Pasco, Chiawana, Richland, Hanford and Walla Walla high schools.  So far, this new league will be a mix of 3A and 4A schools, with one school from each classification earning a potential state berth in playoffs.

(A followup to this story-the new league became the Mid Columbia Conference, and for the 2012-13 school year, the 7 Tri-City schools and Walla Walla were participating).