AURORA -- The fields for the Class 4A boys and girls basketball tournaments have been reduced from 48 to 32 teams.
The change, first proposed by the basketball committee in February, was approved by CHSAA's Legislative Council on Thursday morning. An amendment put forth by the Jeffco League specifically sought to keep the fields at 48 teams, but it was defeated 38-32.
The change was made in hopes of making the tournaments more competitive, as well as reducing travel across the state.
"They knew that wasn't going to be popular in some areas, but 4A is not unlike 1A, 2A or 3A in terms of the amount of travel," said CHSAA assistant commissioner Bert Borgmann, who oversees basketball. "So there were a lot of travel issues in the tournament, particularly in the first round.
"Additionally, the committee did some hard work in looking at previous first-round games, and looking at the margin of victory in those games. They found they were quite a few blowouts in those games, and wanted to eliminate that and get a more competitive bracket in going to 32.
"That being said, who knows how long the 32-team bracket will be. 4A has gone back and forth with that concept a couple of times."
The basketball committee sent out a survey to administrators in the winter, and results showed people favored cutting the field.
"It was overwhelming from the 4A administrators," Borgmann said. "They felt like 48 was too large a field for the state basketball tournament, so they dropped that number down to 32."
Jeffco's amendment argued that since the 4A classification was actually adding teams in the 2014-16 cycle, playoff spots shouldn't be reduced.
"The basketball committee looked at all of that, and it still seemed to be an overwhelming number that wanted it at 32," Borgmann said. "Jeffco's amendment certainly had some logic to it. Again, we'll see where it goes with this."
Additionally, the 4A boys and girls Great 8s have been moved to home sites.
An amendment changed 5A basketball's seeding from a two-day process to a one-day event, as well.
5A football seeding committee set
In December, the football committee generated a lot of buzz when it announced its desire to use a seeding committee in determining the 5A playoff field.
A proposal was brought forward at January's Legislative Council meeting, but ultimately struck because it wasn't yet polished. Well, a more refined proposal was back at this Legislative Council meeting -- and passed by a wide (66-6) margin.
It means 5A football's field of 32 will still be set by the Wild Card points, but their placement on the bracket will be determined by a seeding committee. Those teams will be seeded Nos. 1-8 into four quadrants, something similar to what basketball does for its larger-classification tournaments.
The seeding committee will be made up of administrators, one from each conference. No coaches will be allowed. In addition to seeding teams Nos. 1-32, they'll also seed Nos. 33-5o to determine Week 10 matchups.
Among the criteria that the seeding committee will use:
- Wild Card points
- Head-to-head competition
- Common opponents
- Overall record
- League standing
- Strength of schedule
- An RPI ranking system developed by RockyPrep.com
Conference champions will be guaranteed a top-16 seed, and thus a first-round home game. The committee "will attempt to place the top two seeds from each conference in separate quadrants." Conference opponents will not face one another in the first round.
- Wrestling's enrollment number cutoffs have changed. Here's a separate story on that development.
- Hockey's attempt to split into two classifications was shot down. The proposal needed 60 percent of the votes to pass, but only got 46. So the sport will remain unclassified, as it has been since it started in 1976.
- A proposal to move the boys tennis state championships back one week overwhelmingly failed, 62-7. It sought to avoid a schedule conflict with two national tournaments.
- Wheat Ridge boys lacrosse will move up to 5A starting next season.
- An increase in the number of halves or quarters players are allowed to play was approved for field hockey (30 to 36), lacrosse (girls: 34 to 36 halves; boys: 68 to 72 quarters), and soccer (30 to 36 halves). The rationale was that the change will help smaller schools to build their programs by allowing so-called "swing" players to go back and fourth between the JV and varsity programs more often.
- Swimming's state meets next season were originally going to be spread out over three days. However, an amendment kept the meets at two days.
- CHSAA board president Curt Wilson cited Akron guard Brady Baer as an example of great sportsmanship, specifically his actions during the state tournament.