For Class 5A sports, its no longer no team left
A couple tweaks to the classifications playoff
system were voted in during the Oregon Athletic Directors
Association state conference, notably one that will eliminate one
play-in round and not send every team to postseason play.
Last season, with the first year of the OSAA RPI
ratings and play-in rounds, every team in Class 5A had what
amounted to a postseason game, whether they finished last in the
league or won it.
Ten teams were paired to play to fill five open spots
in the 32-team bracket in football, volleyball, basketball, soccer,
softball and baseball. Those ten teams were either last or
second-to-last in their respective conferences, with Hermistons
football team as an example when it hosted a play-in game with
Milwaukie last fall.
Both teams were last-place teams in their conferences
Hermiston in the Columbia River and Milwaukie in the Northwest
Those winners were placed in the 32-team bracket for
a second play-in game. Hermiston lost to Jefferson of Portland,
That will no longer happen. The new plan scraps the
first round play-in between the lowly 10 teams, and also creates a
regional set-up during the round of 32.
The North region, comprised of the Northwest Oregon,
Portland Interscholastic and Columbia River conferences, will hold
a 16-team regional for the first playoff game. All pairings will be
based on the OSAA RPI system.
The South region, made up of the Mid-Willamette,
Intermountain and Midwestern conferences, will do the same
Both regions will have the top-seeded team play the
No. 16 seed, then move numerically from that point. For example,
the No. 2 will play the No. 15 seed and the No. 3 will play the No.
14, and so on.
All the winners will move into the OSAA Round of 16
bracket and will be paired based on power rankings, which will
remain the same since they will be frozen October 29, before the
The worst two teams from the North and the three
worst from the South, based on the OSAA RPI ratings, will be
eliminated from postseason play. An expection with the South region
is that no more than two teams from a single conference can be
eliminated. If the three worst teams happen to be in the same
conference, the next lowest-ranked school will be eliminated to
make sure all conferences are represented in the regional
Teams from the same league may not meet in the
regional round, so there could be some shifting of the rankings to
With the new format, there will be no automatic
qualifying for the Round of 16, which mark the start of the
official OSAA state playoffs.