Phs Rackin’ Up Power Points

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The Arizona Interscholastic Association has released its most recent power point calculations and both the Payson High baseball and softball teams are highly ranked.

In Division III baseball rankings, the Longhorns are fifth with a 6-2 among 54 teams.

In D-III, Section III, the Horns are sitting fourth with only top-ranked River Valley, second-ranked Fountain Hills and third Scottsdale Christian are ahead of PHS.

In softball, the Lady Horns sport only a 2-0 record because most of their games this season have been played in either the Wickenburg or Gracie Haught invitationals. Invitational and tournament games do not count in power point rankings.

The Lady Horns, however, are rated second in D-III behind only top-ranked Empire (6-0).

In D-III, Section III, and the Lady Horns are first, just percentage points ahead of second rated River Valley (9-0).

Estrella Foothills, a team the Lady Horns beat 7-5 in the championship game of the Gracie Haught Classic, is ranked third with a 5-1 record.

Power point rankings are extremely important in the scheme of prep sports because they are used to seed schools into the season-ending state tournaments.

Just last spring, power points became a highly controversial topic when Gilbert engineer John Carriers pointed out the formula to calculate the points was flawed.

While the Arizona Interscholastic Association never admitted its power points formula was faulty, the executive board eventually changed the formula so that every team now receives points on the same number of games.

Also, the board agreed to continue to evaluate the formula to see if it needs further changes.

Carrieres, working in conjunction with his wife — a high school math teacher — 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, the AIA continued to argue the formula was working.

But in a mid-March 2012 executive board meeting, members agreed to change the formula so it does not reward teams that play extra games.

Former Payson High School baseball coach Scott Novack was among those puzzled by the power point standings.

He argued that in 2012 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 once argued.

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