The Jump, May 5: New D-3 power rating system will be voted on today
The manner by which District 3 determines its playoff seeding in various sports could receive a major overhaul today.
The District 3 committee will vote Wednesday on whether to adopt a new power rating system which would be used to determine district playoff qualifiers. The new system would apply to all sports, not just football and basketball.
I'll try not to bore you with the details, but here are the basics.
The power ranking would break down into two main parts: A point-value for a team winning percentage (TWP) based on a team's record and the class they play against, and an opponent's win percentage (OWP) based on the winning percentage and the classes of a team's opponents. The power rating is calculated by taking two-thirds of the TWP and adding it to one-third of the OWP.
In other words, you might need a degree in calculus to actually figure out the power ranking yourself.
Here's what you need to know: The point of the new system is to minimize the importance of your opponent's classification, and encourage teams to play quality opposition ... regardless of class size.
This is obviously a huge departure from the old football system, which assigned a point value for each win which was based on the classification of the opponent. For example, a win by a Class AAA team against a Class A team was worth significantly less than a win against a team in the same class. Therefore, it made sense for schools to avoid a small-school powerhouse -- like Steel-High in Class A football -- at all costs.
Also under the old system, teams earned no points for a loss regardless of who that loss came against. Therefore, there was little incentive for teams to play a more rigorous schedule. The new system, however, factors in a team's strength of schedule, giving squads a reason to actively seek out more difficult opponents.
For more nuanced breakdown of the new system, you can check out articles from GameTimePA.com (here), the Patriot-News (here) and RodFrisco.com (here). The latter has all the nuts and bolts you could ever want to know on the proposal.
So who, in theory, would the system help? For this example, let's look at the York Suburban football team. The Trojans looked to be in a bit of a quandary for the upcoming season. With the YAIAA's divisional realignment, Suburban will now be part of a new 10-team Division III. At the same time, the Trojans will also bump up a PIAA classification next year to triple-A as a result of increased enrollment. Assuming nine games against Division III foes this fall and one cross-division game, Suburban's schedule will include just two fellow Class AAA teams (Susky and Eastern York).
Under the old system, that slate of mostly smaller-school opponents would have been a huge detriment, because the amount of lower-classification opponents would have weighed down Suburban's power points. Under the new system, the hit Suburban takes will be lessened (in theory, at least), and the Trojans OWP will benefit from playing some upper-tier small programs like Delone, Littlestown and York Catholic (all of which figure to be good this year). New Oxford, which drops to Division II and bumps up to Class AAAA, is in a similar scenario.
Of course, like any new system, this one would have some kinks to be worked out. And it's impossible to tell how well it would work until it's actually put into action. But all signs point to this being a fairer, more accurate way of ranking teams. Now we'll see if the district approves the move.
Central shines at State College
The Central York boys' volleyball team had quite a weekend, winning the State College Invitational. The Panthers even beat Pennsbury, the top ranked team in the state according to the PVCA, to help take the crown. The tournament win is big for Central, an uber-talented team that has been enigmatic at times this year. The Panthers failed to reach the quarterfinals of their home tournament, the Koller Classic, a few weeks ago. But this weekend could be a sign that Central is rounding into form with the postseason on the horizon.
In other local volleyball news, the Northeastern boys dropped out of the top spot in the PVCA Class AA state rankings for the first time all season. The Bobcats are now ranked second behind District 10's Meadville. The Panthers moved up four spots to No. 3 in the Class AAA Top 10.
With the regular season winding down, several teams locked up their respective division crowns yesterday
- Dallastown took Division I in girls' soccer (YDR)
- Spring Grove won its first division title in softball (YDR)
- South Western didn't quite win the Division I baseball title yet, but with Tuesday's win it's darn close (YDR)
Also in Wednesday's paper...
- Some familiar faces will square off in the YAIAA doubles semifinals today (YDR)