In a brief meeting held virtually Thursday, the MIAA’s tournament management committee reviewed the recently-concluded winter tournaments and the efficacy of the power rankings system implemented for divisional bracket seeding.
Jim Clark, the MIAA liaison for technology tournaments, used a power point presentation to explain the rankings system that he helped to create, and address some of the constructive feedback presented by sports committees regarding the rankings.
Per data compiled by Clark, the rankings have had a success rate of roughly 80 percent across all sports in terms of advancing higher seeds in the statewide tournament (in girls’ basketball, 90.2 percent of higher seeds advanced). This winter, eight of the 10 top seeds in the boys’ and girls’ basketball tournaments advanced to the state finals, with seven of those top seeds winning state titles.
With concerns of coaches and subcommittee members regarding the importance of margin of victory in the formula, the TMC said it will continue to consider tweaks to the formula after evaluating its efficacy for one more season in the spring of 2023.
Possible changes could include removing the margin of victory criteria, adding a bonus to team ratings based on wins vs. losses, or weighting strength of schedule over margin of victory in the calculation of team ratings.
Committee chair Shaun Hart praised the rankings for incentivizing teams to schedule tougher opponents and play across divisions throughout the regular season.
In order to encourage that process, St. Mary’s athletic director Jeff Newhall suggested sending MIAA programs a list of team rankings in their sport across all divisions during the offseason, to assist programs looking to craft competitive schedules.
Prior to the power rankings presentation, there was discussion regarding the winter sports tournaments and the lack of compensation for schools hosting games in the Round of 16 and Round of 8 (schools are compensated with a ‘host site fee’ based on tickets sold).
The increased cost for schools traveling to and from Nantucket or Martha’s Vineyard in the tournament was also raised, although it is unlikely the MIAA can weigh in on that budgetary issue.
The next TMC meeting is schedule for April 11 at MIAA headquarters in Franklin.