While the Arizona Interscholastic Association is not admitting its power points formula was flawed, the executive board has changed the formula so that every team will receive points on the same number of games.
Also, the board has agreed to continue to evaluate the formula to see if it needs further changes.
It was Gilbert engineer John Carrieres, working in conjunction with his wife — a high school math teacher — who discovered the previous power points formula was skewed because it gave an unmerited boost to teams that played more games.
Even after Carrieres pointed out the error months ago, the AIA continued to argue the formula was working.
But in a mid-March executive board meeting, members agreed to change the formula so it does not reward teams that play extra games.
Payson High School baseball coach Scott Novack was among those puzzled last year by the power point standings.
He argued that there were teams Payson beat and had an easier schedule that actually finished ahead of the Longhorns in the standings even though the teams had identical win-loss records.
“I knew it (power points) didn’t make sense,” Novack said.
Carrieres agreed with the Payson coach, e-mailing him that Class 3A baseball teams were among those most adversely affected because there “are so many schools who did not play the standard number of games (18).”
Carrieres also sent out an e-mail to some coaches and ADs calling the previous power point rankings a double-edged sword because, “for every team that gets left out because of an error, there is another team that is put in… so good news/bad news.”
Under the old formula, it was rural schools that were hurt the most because they often play fewer games to cut travel costs.
An Arizona State University math professor supported Carrieres’ discovery that the formula was flawed.
The bottom line in changing the formula is that now every team will be judged by win-loss results and strength of schedule, not by the number of games played.