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Martin M. Perline and G. Clayton Stoldt

The purpose of this paper was to measure the change in competitive balance for women’s basketball as a conference merges and changes its membership. Specifically, we surveyed the changes in competitive balance as the Gateway Collegiate Athletic Conference was merged into the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC). While competitive balance may not have been the primary reason for the merger, it tended to increase fan interest and was, therefore, considered desirable by member institutions. Three measures of competitive balance were used, producing mixed results. However, there was arguably a more competitive balance after the merger, because there tended to be more predictably perennial winners and losers in the Gateway than the MVC.