For Class 5A sports, it’s no longer “no team left

behind.”

A couple tweaks to the classification’s 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 Hermiston’s

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

Oregon.

Those winners were placed in the 32-team bracket for

a second play-in game. Hermiston lost to Jefferson of Portland,

55-6.

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

thing. 

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

playoffs begin.

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

round.

Teams from the same league may not meet in the

regional round, so there could be some shifting of the rankings to

accommodate that.

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.

 

 

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