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Seeding coming to IHSAA football tournament? A proposal for Class 6A is in the works.


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https://www.indystar.com/story/sports/high-school/2024/02/09/ifca-to-survey-schools-on-seeding-ihsaa-football-state-tournament-indiana-high-school-playoffs/72529268007/

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Proponents of seeding the high school football tournament, take heart. There might be something in the works.

Just do not get too excited. Not yet.

Indiana Football Coaches Association executive director Bob Gaddis said the association is in the process of surveying its members on the possibility of bringing a proposal to the Indiana Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association, then the Indiana High School Athletic Association executive board at its meeting in late April.

The proposal, if it generates enough momentum at the IFCA state clinic March 7-9, would call for a two-year pilot program to seed only Class 6A. The proposal would likely seed the north from No. 1 through 16 and the south the same way.

Some background work has already been completed. Gaddis said the IFCA made IHSAA assistant commissioner Robert Faulkens, who oversees football, aware IFCA was surveying its membership. That was shared with IHSAA commissioner Paul Neidig, who said last week he expected a proposal from the IFCA on seeding the tournament.

Gaddis, who won two Class 4A state championships at Columbus East and compiled a 330-143 overall record as a coach before his retirement in 2020, is going on his 11th year as the executive director for the IFCA and held other offices previously, including assistant director. He said this is “probably the fourth time” seeding has come to a vote within the IFCA.

“Anytime we make a proposal, we want to represent all of our members,” Gaddis said. “We had a group of coaches that formed a committee and asked us what would be the possibility of surveying a proposal about seeding.”

The idea started with the 6A coaches, but though the idea for the pilot program would involve only Class 6A, coaches from all 314 football-playing schools were surveyed. They were asked if they would favor further discussion on seeding the tournament and if they would support a two-year pilot program for seeding in Class 6A only.

 

Gaddis said the answer to the first question was favorable with slightly more than 70% of coaches responding positively to seeding.

“We probably have 12 to 15 schools that haven’t responded but it looks like we’re going to be right about 70% in favor of looking at seeding,” Gaddis said.

The response to the second question on the 6A pilot is slightly below 70%. However, Gaddis said the number is close enough the IFCA is going to have a discussion at its state clinic on the morning of March 8.

“We’re going to invite all the head coaches in attendance into a forum with our committee and we’ll have questions and answers and see where we go with it,” Gaddis said. “If the membership wants it, we’re going to make a proposal. If we don’t, we really can’t (make a proposal). We’re hoping to get a lot of coaches in there and have everybody speak their mind.”

Why just 6A? Gaddis said there are several reasons, including 6A coaches are strongly in favor of seeding as a group. Those schools are largely from Central Indiana (20 of the 32 schools in the current classification), which would limit the travel that could make seeding problematic in other classes. Maybe most important: A scaled-down, simple plan has the best chance of gaining traction.

“It’s tough to do,” Gaddis said of gaining consensus for seeding. “My personal opinion is we’ve tried with all classes before. If we can hone in on one class and it’s something that fits us and we can work hand-in-hand with the IHSAA, maybe that works for us. Whether we hit the marks, I don’t know. Our tournament is in great shape. But if this is what our membership wants and we have the numbers to support it, let’s take a look and see if we can make it better.”

The timing of the proposal is important as the IHSAA will reclassify football and other team sports this spring for the next two-year cycle. It would be another two years before the IFCA would be able to make another proposal on seeding. The last time the IFCA proposed seeding six years ago, it called for the top two teams in each sectional in Class A, 2A, 3A and 4A to be seeded by the Sagarin Ratings. The idea in Class 5A and 6A was for each four-team sectional to be combined into an eight-team regional (for example Sectional 5 and 6 together) with the top two teams seeded by Sagarin and rest determined by the traditional blind draw.

Gaddis said that proposal did not get enough traction to move forward. “It was just over 50%,” he said.

The current idea is closer to hitting the numbers to move forward. For the sake of conversation, here is what a 6A tournament seeded No. 1 through 16 in the north and south might have looked like this year (using the final Sagarin Ratings retroactively):

North

No. 1 Hamilton Southeastern vs. No. 16 Portage

No. 8 Carroll (Fort Wayne) vs. No. 9 Zionsville

No. 4 Crown Point vs. No. 13 Lake Central

No. 5 Penn vs. No. 12 Lafayette Jeff

No. 2 Westfield vs. No. 15 Fort Wayne Northrop

No. 7 Carmel vs. No. 10 Warsaw

No. 3 Fishers vs. No. 14 Elkhart

No. 6 Noblesville vs. No. 11 Homestead

South

No. 1 Ben Davis vs. No. 16 Tech

No. 8 Lawrence Central vs. No. 9 Avon

No. 4 Cathedral vs. No. 13 North Central

No. 5 Lawrence North vs. No. 12 Perry Meridian

No. 2 Brownsburg vs. No. 15 Jeffersonville

No. 7 Franklin Central vs. No. 10 Columbus North

No. 3 Center Grove vs. No. 14 Southport

No. 6 Warren Central vs. No. 11 Pike

Change is coming.

 

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10 minutes ago, Muda69 said:

Gaddis said the answer to the first question was favorable with slightly more than 70% of coaches responding positively to seeding.

I have voted on this proposal and believe it will pass the IFCA, however this is a longer trek than most might realize.  The IFCA has to have a certain percentage of schools vote then of the schools who voted they must be 70% in the affirmative.  That will probably be done.

Then there are football committees who have to discuss the proposal to affirm the IFCA's stance.

Then there is the IHSAA commissioner over football (Robert Faulkens) who must affirm the IFCA's and committee's stance.

Last we get to the IHSAA commissioner (Paul Neidig) who must affirm all those below him.  

So there are many steps to this process.  It might take a little longer than one might expect.

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22 minutes ago, Coach_K said:

I have voted on this proposal and believe it will pass the IFCA, however this is a longer trek than most might realize.  The IFCA has to have a certain percentage of schools vote then of the schools who voted they must be 70% in the affirmative.  That will probably be done.

Then there are football committees who have to discuss the proposal to affirm the IFCA's stance.

Then there is the IHSAA commissioner over football (Robert Faulkens) who must affirm the IFCA's and committee's stance.

Last we get to the IHSAA commissioner (Paul Neidig) who must affirm all those below him.  

So there are many steps to this process.  It might take a little longer than one might expect.

Image of They're penetrating the bureaucracy!

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We recently had our (Softball) winter clinic and HOF inductions along with Baseball in Indy. This was a hot topic in several discussions…….you’ll forgive me if I take a wait and see attitude……

As @Coach_K pointed out it’s a long process just to get to the point of making the proposal to the committee. And I know this will come as a shock to some of you, but politics and egos come into play as well. And when it comes to a dick measuring contest, the dude who makes the rules usually wins. Z

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1 hour ago, Coach_K said:

I have voted on this proposal and believe it will pass the IFCA, however this is a longer trek than most might realize.  The IFCA has to have a certain percentage of schools vote then of the schools who voted they must be 70% in the affirmative.  That will probably be done.

Then there are football committees who have to discuss the proposal to affirm the IFCA's stance.

Then there is the IHSAA commissioner over football (Robert Faulkens) who must affirm the IFCA's and committee's stance.

Last we get to the IHSAA commissioner (Paul Neidig) who must affirm all those below him.  

So there are many steps to this process.  It might take a little longer than one might expect.

Also, as seen with SF, the IHSAA, even when it accepts something from the IFCA, doesn't necessarily put it in as an unadulterated item ... hence the two-year window we have as opposed to the four-year IFCA-suggested window.

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42 minutes ago, Punttheball said:

What else would they use?  

They’d have to use something else or, for example, 3 of Center Grove’s regular season games in the 2024 season would not count toward seeding, since they are out of state opponents. It would hardly be consistent for the IHSAA to open up their travel policy somewhat, as they did a couple of years ago, and then adopt a seeding formula that penalizes teams for playing out of state opponents.

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42 minutes ago, Bobref said:

They’d have to use something else or, for example, 3 of Center Grove’s regular season games in the 2024 season would not count toward seeding, since they are out of state opponents. It would hardly be consistent for the IHSAA to open up their travel policy somewhat, as they did a couple of years ago, and then adopt a seeding formula that penalizes teams for playing out of state opponents.

Good luck finding something else

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If they did the 8 team regional idea where the top two teams are seeded and the rest are a blind draw, then I would like to see a lottery type system....like the two top seeded teams draw first and the teams with the worst records have more balls in the tube to be selected than the better teams.  This will help prevent the BD v Brownsburg from happening. Idk, maybe this is dumb.

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39 minutes ago, Bobref said:

Yeah, there are only 49 examples to choose from. And that’s just using high schools as templates. 

Does it have to be computer generated? I think you put into the hands of humans. A committee from different areas of the state. If a computer is the determining factor, you'll no longer see good teams taking a knee and the end of the first half. 

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5 minutes ago, BTF said:

Does it have to be computer generated? I think you put into the hands of humans. A committee from different areas of the state. If a computer is the determining factor, you'll no longer see good teams taking a knee and the end of the first half. 

The age-old question: computers.  Doesn't get much more blind than that...

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2 hours ago, Bobref said:

They’d have to use something else or, for example, 3 of Center Grove’s regular season games in the 2024 season would not count toward seeding, since they are out of state opponents. It would hardly be consistent for the IHSAA to open up their travel policy somewhat, as they did a couple of years ago, and then adopt a seeding formula that penalizes teams for playing out of state opponents.

IHSAA:

image.gif.b0c735ec67d02c3223fa4eee1d91582d.gif

 

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53 minutes ago, BTF said:

Does it have to be computer generated? I think you put into the hands of humans. A committee from different areas of the state. If a computer is the determining factor, you'll no longer see good teams taking a knee and the end of the first half. 

I'm sure it it not just a computer, it will be "AI".

 

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4 hours ago, First_Backer_Inside said:

Good luck finding something else

Ok Calpreps, Massey, create your own formula....

Literally every other state has some kind of rating or qualification system that seeds the postseason or counts for inclusion. 

52 minutes ago, scarab527 said:

I’ve said this before, if you’re going to do seeding, just get rid of the all-in then as well and go to a qualifier. 

That's the next step.

Once you appropriately seed the sectionals, the need for what is now considered the first round becomes redundant. There will be running clocks in 75-80% of games if and when they seed appropriately. 

We're getting there....slowly but surely. 

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39 minutes ago, Footballking16 said:

Ok Calpreps, Massey, create your own formula....

Literally every other state has some kind of rating or qualification system that seeds the postseason or counts for inclusion. 

That's the next step.

Once you appropriately seed the sectionals, the need for what is now considered the first round becomes redundant. There will be running clocks in 75-80% of games if and when they seed appropriately. 

We're getting there....slowly but surely. 

I feel like this number is high. In an 8 team seeded sectional, I think you'll get a running clock in around 50% of first round games. 

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52 minutes ago, JQWL said:

I feel like this number is high. In an 8 team seeded sectional, I think you'll get a running clock in around 50% of first round games. 

If seeded appropriately 1-8? I think 50% is low but for argument sake say it is 50%, do we really need 70-80 something “playoff” games with a running clock? Precisely why cutting the field in half at the conclusion of a new 10 game regular season is the next step.

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4 minutes ago, Footballking16 said:

If seeded appropriately 1-8? I think 50% is low but for argument sake say it is 50%, do we really need 130 something “playoff” games with a running clock? Precisely why cutting the field in half at the conclusion of a new 10 game regular season is the next step.

It’s not a playoff. It’s a tournament. The IHSAA stresses that distinction.

But they also stress that it’s for the kids and then charge $10 for a regional game so….

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22 minutes ago, oldtimeqb said:

It’s not a playoff. It’s a tournament. The IHSAA stresses that distinction.

But they also stress that it’s for the kids and then charge $10 for a regional game so….

A pet peeve of mine, people complaining about the cost of admission for HS sports. Even at 10 bucks for a regional game, I could drive within an hour of my compound in northern Jackson County and for the grand sum of 10 bucks I can be entertained for a couple of hours by a quality athletic event. Think big picture, you’re a wrestling, swimming, tennis, golf, baseball, …….. fan, the same applies. What’s it going to cost you to go to an IU game? Colts, Pacers, Indians, …….? And your admission is going back to the student athletes. Yes I understand at the regional level and beyond the money goes to the IHSAA, c’mon man. 

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6 hours ago, First_Backer_Inside said:

Good luck finding something else

 

5 hours ago, Bobref said:

Yeah, there are only 49 examples to choose from. And that’s just using high schools as templates. 

Maybe just ask some wrestling coaches - they’ve seemed to figure it out since the beginning of time

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1 hour ago, Footballking16 said:

If seeded appropriately 1-8? I think 50% is low but for argument sake say it is 50%, do we really need 70-80 something “playoff” games with a running clock? Precisely why cutting the field in half at the conclusion of a new 10 game regular season is the next step.

We have that now and if seeded properly we wouldn't have it after week 1 of the post-season.

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3 hours ago, Impartial_Observer said:

A pet peeve of mine, people complaining about the cost of admission for HS sports. Even at 10 bucks for a regional game, I could drive within an hour of my compound in northern Jackson County and for the grand sum of 10 bucks I can be entertained for a couple of hours by a quality athletic event. Think big picture, you’re a wrestling, swimming, tennis, golf, baseball, …….. fan, the same applies. What’s it going to cost you to go to an IU game? Colts, Pacers, Indians, …….? And your admission is going back to the student athletes. Yes I understand at the regional level and beyond the money goes to the IHSAA, c’mon man. 

I second that. Ten dollars to support your local athletic department is too much, but $120.00 is perfectly ok to support a bunch of guys you don't know from all over the United States who are highly over priced for the value they bring to the world. But that's just me. 

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