Baseball committee recommends a new postseason format for 2A

Calhan Rye baseball

(Lisa Hayes/StillOfTheMomentPhotography.com)

During its annual meeting, the baseball committee proposed changes to the postseason format, with the most significant coming in Class 2A.

There, the committee has recommended the classification change from a district format to a 32-team bracket with regionals — the same format used in 3A, 4A and 5A.

The proposal, like all that come from committees, will need to be approved by the Legislative Council in April.

In the 2A proposal, all teams will qualify for the bracket via the final RPI standings of the regular season, and also be seeded by the RPI. The top eight seeds will host regionals, and seeds Nos. 20-32 can be moved for geographic reasons. Where possible, the committee will try to avoid first-round matchups with league opponents.

Once at state, the teams would not be reseeded, and instead would play out in bracket order.

That state tournament, too, is proposed to get an overhaul with an eight-team single-elimination bracket. Four first-round games would be played on Thursday, two semifinals on Friday and the championship on Saturday. The classification currently has a 16-team bracket after districts that is played out over two weekends.

The tournament would remain at Runyon Complex in Pueblo.

If 2A were to get rid of districts, they would be able to play 23 regular season games.

The committee also recommended the following changes in other classes:

  • Class 1A: A five-district format with the top two teams from each district qualifying for regionals, and the next six selected by RPI. That would make a 16-team regional and state tournament bracket. District champs would be ranked Nos. 1-5, with the top four seeds hosting regionals. The tournament would be seeded by RPI. Currently, 1A has four districts.
  • Class 3A: Only league champions would automatically qualify to regionals. To host a region, league champs would need to be in the top 16 of RPI. Single schools from mixed-class leagues must qualify through RPI. Seeding would remain by RPI.
  • Class 4A: Each league with more than seven schools would qualify its top two teams to regionals. Each league with six or fewer teams qualify only their league champion. The remainder of the bracket would filled by the RPI standings. Mixed-class leagues with three or fewer teams would have to qualify for regionals through RPI. Seeding would remain by RPI, and the eight regional hosts are determined by using RPI rankings. All league champs in the top 10 get to host a regional tournament. If not all league champions are in the top 10, then next highest-ranking team would host a regional.
  • Class 5A: The league champions automatically qualify, and the top eight seeds host regionals, which is not a change. The only change is that mixed-classification leagues can only qualify automatically if they win the league outright.

"Overall, the baseball committee has been pleased with their playoff formats, but felt with an increase of schools in 1A and 2A, both formats needed to be tweaked," said CHSAA assistant commissioner Bert Borgmann, who administers the sport. "The change in 2A is more significant, with the elimination of districts, the 2A schools can now play 23 regular season games."

If approved, all changes would go into effect starting with the spring 2021 season.