AURORA — The volleyball committee is recommending a new seeding criteria to be used in the postseason — and a move from the districts to regionals in Class 1A.
The group voted to approve the use of a three-pronged approach to seeding, using data from the RPI standings, MaxPreps rankings, and the CHSAANow coaches poll. This follows a similar seeding process used for the first time by 1A-5A football this year, and follows the lead of field hockey, which is also recommending the use of the three data points.
"I feel that volleyball is in a great spot right now, and we're really excited to incorporate new seeding criteria for next year," said CHSAA assistant commissioner Bethany Brookens. "We value the coaches' input and the more data we can use for seeding, the more accurate it will be."
The CHSAANow coaches poll is open to all head coaches in the state, and they only vote in their own classification. All head coaches are required to vote in eight of 10 weeks during the regular season in order to be eligible to vote for seeding.
League champions will continue to automatically qualify for regionals, and the remainder of the regional field will be filled by the final RPI standings of the regular season.
The committee also further defined what changes can be made to seeding based upon geography and league opponents.
League opponents will only be changed in regions if the top two seeds in each region are from the same league, and teams may only move up or down one seed.
Teams can only be moved for geography if they are a No. 3 seed in the region, and they may be moved at maximum four seeds.
The changes to the seeding criteria followed a vote to move away from the district format in Class 1A.
The committee voted to change to a 24-team regional format where the top eight seeds will host a region, and each of the eight regions will automatically qualify to the state tournament. The remaining four teams will be selected from non-qualifiers based upon the final RPI standings of the regular season.
"I'm excited that 1A is moving away from districts and into regionals so that they are in line with the other classifications," Brookens said. "We value 1A volleyball and we're excited for them to join the rest of the state with regionals."
Additionally, the committee recommended that all teams play a minimum of 18 matches against member schools and varsity opponents.
Setting up the initial boys season
The committee also discussed the upcoming first sanctioned season of boys volleyball, which will begin in the spring of 2021. They agreed that the format would mirror that of the girls, including the state tournament format, and seeding criteria.
"We've put in a lot of work to get girls volleyball to the point where it is now, and we believe boys will also thrive using the same model," Brookens said.
The plan is to have one classification during the initial season. The date of the first state tournament was set for May 6-8, 2021.
One other item that needs to be decided is a venue for the state championships.
"I'll be exploring all sorts of options," Brookens said.