All Colorado high school team sports will use a Rating Percentage Index (RPI) system to determine postseason playing fields beginning during the 2016-17 season, the CHSAA board of directors adopted Saturday and announced Monday.
The RPI formula is as follows: 25 percent of a team’s winning percentage, plus 50 percent of the winning percentage of their opponents, plus 25 percent of the winning percentage of their opponents’ opponents.
CHSAA assistant commissioner Bert Borgmann said the change was adopted to ensure consistency in postseason qualifications across all team sports in the state, regardless of classification.
“In the past, a lot of formats were developed,” he told The Denver Post on Monday. “The committees were working under their own decisions and directions. But it started getting confusing for schools to explain to parents and other communities why, in one sport your team would qualify (for the playoffs), and in another you don’t, with same record and everything.”
But the committees that govern individual sports can still make adjustments. Those committees will set playoff fields based on two years of RPI data, but they can also factor in CHSAANow.com coaches polls and a weighted system based on where teams play — home, away and neutral sites.
Committees may also choose to protect league champions, which is already the case with football. The football committee was a step ahead of other sports and had already approved RPI to determine postseason qualifiers for all seven classifications.
“No one wants to make that decision,” Arapahoe football coach Mike Campbell told The Denver Post about committees deciding postseason seeding.
The team sports include football, volleyball, boys and girls soccer, field hockey, softball, boys and girls basketball, hockey, baseball and boys and girls lacrosse.
“It will be a little bit of a culture shock for some people. But that’s not always a bad thing,” Borgmann said.
The only thing that still needs to be worked out is the classification modifier — someone who will decide how many teams qualify.
“It sounds like they’re (CHSAA) trying to make things equitable for all sports,” Lewis-Palmer volleyball coach Susan Odenbaugh said. “Some teams are locked into weaker leagues than others, so you may be a strong team in a weaker league, and I don’t necessarily think that’s fair. It’s hard to determine based on a math equation.”
Morgan Dzakowic: 303-954-1275, email@example.com or twitter.com/morgandzak