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Baseball committee recommends tweaks to RPI percentages and seeding

All-City Field baseball venue generic

(Ryan Casey/CHSAANow.com)

AURORA — Baseball was the first sport to use the new RPI format for its postseason last spring, and on Tuesday, its committee recommended tweaks to the percentages used by the formula.

The committee voted to recommend a change from the standard formula to one that puts more weight into a team's winning percentage.

Noting that the formula uses a team's winning percentage (WP), opponents' winning percentage (OWP), and opponents' opponents' winning percentage (OOWP), the standard formula used during the 2016 season is:

RPI = (¼ × WP) + (½ × OWP) + (¼ × OOWP)

The baseball committee's recommendation is to use:

RPI = (0.35 × WP) + (0.35 × OWP) + (0.30 × OOWP)

"The committee spent a great deal of time discussing the weight each segment of the formula should be given," said CHSAA assistant commissioner Bert Borgmann. "They ultimately felt that more emphasis needed to be placed on a team's winning percentage and how they did against their own schedule."

The recommendation to change the RPI percentages for baseball will need approval from Legislative Council at its January 2017 meeting. If approved there, the new percentages would be used for the spring 2017 season.

The committee also recommended changes to the seeding procedures for the Class 3A-5A postseasons. They would like the seeding committee to use the following tools, without implementing any as hard-and-fast rules:

  • RPI standings
  • Head-to-head results from non-league games
  • League standings
  • Strength of a league
  • Geography

Additionally, the committee recommended moving to a quadrant format for regionals as opposed to the current true seeding. This means that instead of a straight No. 1 through No. 32 seed, there would be four No. 1 seeds, four No. 2s, four No. 3s, and so on, through four No. 8 seeds.

The quadrant format would allow the seeding committee more freedom in moving teams. It has been used by the basketball seeding committee in the past, and was also used by 5A football in 2014 and 2015.

As far as regional hosts go, they recommended:

  • No changes to the current 3A format, where there are not automatic hosting spots given to league champions.
  • No changes to the current 4A format, where the top eight league champions according to the RPI are given regional hosting bids.
  • A process in 5A where only two teams from one league would be allowed to host. The hope here is to spread the regionals around the state in different leagues.

In 1A and 2A, no changes were made to the seeding process, meaning that district champions will continue to automatically qualify for the regional/state bracket, with at-large spots filled by the RPI. Teams will continue to be seeded by the RPI, with some consideration given to avoiding district matchups.

Finally, no changes were made to the current pitch count rule, but the committee did recommend that teams ease pitchers up to the limits early in the season, rather than maxing out right away.

Again, all of this will need to be voted on and approved by the Legislative Council in January.