The WIAA began sponsoring a girls basketball tournament program in 1976.
The first champions were Madison West in Class A, Lancaster in Class B and Marshall in Class C, with Neenah, Clinton and Bloomington respective runners-up.
The tournament was held at the University of Wisconsin Field House in Madison exclusively until the tournament was played in the Kohl Center in 1998. It returned to the UW Field House for the 1999, 2000 and 2002 State Tournaments. The Kohl Center again played host to the event in 2001, 2003, 2005 and 2010-12. The Alliant Energy Center in Madison became the home for the girls tournament for the first time in 2004 and was the site of the tournament again from 2006-2009. The tournament moved to its current location, the Resch Center in Green Bay, in 2013.
The tournament followed a three-class format until 1990-91 when a four-division format was adopted. After a two-year experimental period, the division format became permanent in 1992-93. In 2011, a fifth division was added and restructuring of the divisions qualified four teams in each division. Another change was to the game format. Beginning in 2016, games consisted of two 18-minute halves, replacing the traditional four 8-minute quarters.
Cuba City has been to the State Tournament more than any other school with 16 appearances. Janesville Parker is next on that list with 12, and then comes Barneveld and Fall Creek with 11. Durand, Kimberly, Milwaukee Washington, Newman Catholic and Oostburg are all next with 10 State Tournament appearances. Arrowhead, Middleton, Owen-Withee and Prentice have made nine trips to State. Algoma, Monroe, Mukwonago and Watertown have made eight appearances. Flambeau, Hudson, Merrill, Neenah, Notre Dame, Oshkosh West, Portage and West Allis Hale are next with seven. Those with six appearances include Amherst, D.C. Everest, De Pere, Eau Claire Memorial, Fond du Lac, Hartford Union, Kettle Moraine, Madison West, Marathon, Oak Creek and Regis.
Cuba City leads in the number of State titles won with 11, followed by Barneveld with six and Milwaukee Washington with five. Fall Creek, Flambeau, and Kimberly have four; and Algoma, De Pere, Janesville Parker, Luxemburg-Casco, Milwaukee Vincent, Monroe, Newman Catholic, Notre Dame, Oostburg and Prentice are next with three. Amherst, Arrowhead, Assumption, Columbus, Durand, Grafton, Hudson, Kewaunee, Lancaster, Madison West, Marshall, McFarland, New London, North Fond du Lac, Oshkosh West, Pecatonica, Pius XI and Regis all have won two championships.
Cuba City (2005-07), Flambeau (2006-08), Milwaukee Vincent (2007-09) and Milwaukee Washington (1994-96) are the only schools with three consecutive State championships. Barneveld (1998-99, 2014-15), Columbus (2002-03), Cuba City (1990-91, 2014-15), Durand (1986-87), Fall Creek (1987-88), Janesville Parker (2000-01), Kewaunee (2012-13), Marshall (1976-77), New London (2011-12), Notre Dame (2013-14), Oshkosh West (2003-04) and Pecatonica (1993-94) have won back-to-back championships. There have been 88 different schools that have won championships.
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