Power Point System Changes Could Alter Scheduling

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There could be some big changes just over the horizon for 3A conference high schools.

They will include modifications in the power points system and altering the way scheduling is done in all prep sports.

Payson High School athletic director Jason Lobik will meet June 3 and 4 with other East region AD's to finalize and fine-tune the changes. Power points changes to be discussed include allowing each of the conference's four regions -- North, South, East and West -- to determine how their three automatic state seeds will advance to state.

For example, in basketball, baseball, soccer and other sports, the AD's could use regular season standings or a region tournament for seeding purposes.

In football, a region tournament is not feasible so the seeding will probably continue to be based on regular season standings.

In all sports, each region's fourth seed will continue to be based entirely on power points as it was last year.

Once the four region berths are determined they all will be seeded into the state tournament on power points.

That is a huge change that will affect region champions.

Last year, the worst seed a region champion could receive was fourth.

But under the new system, a region champion could conceivably advance to state anywhere from 1 to 16.

That change could have its origins in last year's football season.

The Winslow Bulldogs, which were ranked 10th in power points, jumped all the way to fourth because the team won the weak North region championship.

By playing in a historically weak football region, Winslow improved its state seeding six slots and jumped over some teams, including Payson, which had defeated the Bulldogs in non-region play.

Lobik calls the power point system, which has been used only two years, "a work in progress that could see even more changes."

The schedules

Conference and region representatives are studying a proposed change in scheduling methods that would take the process out of the hands of individual AD's and turn it over to a central computer.

"We would have a program that would split out each team's schedule," Lobik said.

Under study is what criteria the computer program would use in determining the schedule.

"Some of the possibilities are travel time, geographic area and the team's competitive history," Lobik said.

Having a computer generate sports schedules rather than allowing each school's AD compile them will also put the power point system on a more level playing field.

Under the old system, schools officials could put together a schedule that would produce the most power points possible giving the team an edge in state seeding.

"Using a computer will remove any manipulations," Lobik said.

The Payson High AD also believes a computer system would free up administrators from the arduous, and sometimes fruitless, task of scouring the state to find non-region games.

"There are some schools who don't have a full football schedule (10 games) because they can't find (opponents)," he said.

The changes being proposed in power points and scheduling are currently being used in the 4A and 5A conferences.

"I believe most of them (the changes) are positive," Lobik said.

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