Notebook: Cross country staying at Norris Penrose, volleyball changes schedule

State cross country

Norris Penrose Event Center, pictured during the 2013 state cross country meet. (Jordan Morey)

The state cross country meets are set to remain at the Norris Penrose Event Center for the next two years

It means the event will state at the same place it has been held for the past two seasons, pending approval by CHSAA's board of directors.

"That community has put a lot of effort into making the event and venue shine," said assistant commissioner Jenn Roberts-Uhlig, who oversees cross country. "They go above and beyond to make it an amazing experience for kids across the state."

Three additional sites -- in Jefferson County, Greeley and Lyons -- are being considered to host the meet in the future.

"We believe that the commitment that Norris Penrose has made to the state cross country meet justifies our decision to keep it there for two more years," Roberts-Uhlig said. "In the meantime, we have three proposals that have come in that we will be evaluating over the next 12 months.

"As we continue to review the proposals, we are confident that our decision to remain at Norris Penrose will give us the time to make the best decision for cross country students across Colorado."

Volleyball schedule changes

State volleyball Denver Coliseum

The Denver Coliseum, pictured during the 2013 state volleyball tournament. (Kevin Keyser/KeyserImages.com)

The volleyball committee is looking to change the schedule at their state tournament. Pending legislative council approval, pool play would feature the top seed in each pool playing twice on Friday.

Under the current format, the top seed in each pool has one pool play match on Friday and one on Saturday. If that team advances, it means three matches on Saturday, including the semifinals and final.

With the change, the top seed (Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 4) in each pool would finish their pool play matches on Friday and, if they advance, get the advantage of resting prior to the semifinals on Saturday.

"We are really excited for this change in the match order," said assistant commissioner Bethany Brookens, who heads volleyball. "We are hoping for more competitive semifinals and finals matches on Saturday evening."

The volleyball committee did discuss moving to a 32-team bracket. That would have meant overhauling the entire state format -- getting rid of regionals and the four three-team pools at state. Ultimately, though, that proposal was defeated. So the current state format will remain in place, save for the scheduling tweak noted above.

The changes, if approved by the legislative council at a meeting on Jan. 30, would take effect in 2014.

Baseball tweaks Wild Card points

All-City Field during the 2013 state baseball tournament. (Bert Borgmann/CHSAANow.com)

All-City Field during the 2013 state baseball tournament. (Bert Borgmann/CHSAANow.com)

In an effort to ensure its Wild Card points formula is even more accurate, the baseball committee made some small changes during its meeting this week. If the legislative council approves the changes, it will mean teams will get fewer points for a loss, and will also change the way out-of-state teams are handled.

The wild card formula adds victory points and defeat points, then divides that total by the number of games a team plays. Teams get a certain number of points for beating another team (victory points), or for losing to another team (defeat points). Those points are determined by the number of wins an opponent has. For example, a win over a 5A team with 14 wins is worth 135 points. A loss to that same team is worth 110 points.

The committee is seeking to reduce defeat points across the board by five points in classes 5A, 4A and 3A. Thus, the loss to that 5A team would instead be worth 105 points.

"This will help tweak the Wild Card points to get a more true view of strength of schedule," said assistant commissioner Bert Borgmann, who is in charge of baseball. "It became apparent at midseason (last year) that we needed adjustments to the process to create a more equitable power point formula."

Another change the committee made with that goal is mind is to out-of-state opponents. CHSAA schools play a maximum of 19 games during the regular season. However, many other states play more than 19 games. With that, the formula last season only accounted for an out-of-state opponent's first 19 games.

The committee is seeking to change that by having a team's win percentage be factored in. A team's win percentage would be multiplied by 19 to determine the number of "wins" a team is worth in the Wild Card point formula.

For example, if a team in Arizona finishes 22-18, but started the season by going 14-5 in its first 19 games, that team would have counted for 14 wins last season. Under the change, that team would be worth 10 "wins." (Their .550 win percentage would be multiplied by 19, resulting in a figure of 10.45. Figures are rounded accordingly.)

Again, these changes need to be approved at January's legislative council meeting.

Postseason changes in softball

State softball

(Jack Eberhard/JacksActionShots.com)

Pending approval by the legislative council, there will be some changes to softball's postseason.

The softball committee is recommending a decrease in the total number of teams reaching the Class 3A postseason. Currently, there are 24 qualifiers and 33 teams playing in the classification. The committee is recommending going down to 18 qualifiers in 3A.

Classes 5A (32 of 62) and 4A (32 of 67)  have close to 50 percent of their teams make the postseason.

"They realized the percentage of qualifiers (in 3A) versus the number of teams that played in it was not the same percentage as 4A/5A," said assistant commissioner Bud Ozzello, who oversees softball. "Eighteen out of 33 is closer to everyone else's percentage."

Additionally, the committee is proposing a reduction to the percentage of automatic postseason qualifiers from leagues in 4A and 5A. As things are now, roughly the top 40 percent of each league qualifies for regionals; they voted to recommend cutting that to 30 percent.

In 4A, that would mean 19 automatic berths going forward, and 13 at-large selections. In 5A, it means 18 automatics and 14 at-large berths.

Short stuff

  • Gymnastics' regionals will held on Saturdays instead of weeknights, if the committee gets its way. The legislative council needs to approve the change.