2022 Survey Responses Part 3 - Classifications/Postseasonby Admin on 04/11/22
Blog #3 -Classifications
Before we begin...the first Missouri Power Rankings will be out next Monday (4-18). Also, we sadly need to address the recent loss of a Soccer Champion of the Game, Steve "Ole" Olson. Ole was a tireless contributor and supporter of the game of soccer and will be missed. His support over the years has helped bridge the high school/club/pro ranks like no other in MO. Our condolences and thanks for his efforts go to his family and friends.
Now that the girls classifications and district notifications have been done, we know how the spring season is mapped out once we get to the playoffs in May. However, the debate on how coaches would like to see the postseason tournament played out is still a muddied topic amongst coaches. Twenty different responses came from the question, “With regards to the playoff system, which would you prefer?” Many of them were offshoots or combinations of the possible answer choices, but one thing can certainly be sure - a majority coaches couldn’t decide on what they think is best for a “fair and equal” playoff system.
42 (29%) favor the current MSHSAA system of using the Championship Factor for private schools only and using a regional base location of which teams will eventually represent the final four
26 (18%) wanted to keep the MSHSAA system, BUT seed the 8 district winners for the playoffs
24 (17%) wanted to use a 3-year Missouri Power Rankings (MPR) model AND seed the 8 district winner
21 (15%) wanted to use the 3-year MPR but keep the playoffs regional based (as is now)
11 (8%) wanted to return back to the 1.35 multiplier for private schools that was used for roughly 20 years prior to 2020
The remaining 13% were made up of a different combo of suggestions.
One thing for certain is that MSHSAA’s Championship Factor, in only its third year (two for girls) is going to take some time to see how it impacts the sport as it is intended. Again, a committee of mostly private school admins came up with the plan as a way to answer the concerns that private schools have advantages over public schools when it comes to competition. Many believe that a 6-year window (as is currently used) is too long and “punishes” private schools too harshly, while others argue that the 6-year window must be used in order to gain a significant feel for how strong programs are. There is also a group out there who think the Championship Factor should be used for ALL schools (public and private) in order to level the playing fields.
A LOT to process here - the biggest is that while the MPR is a relatively new and seemingly accurate representation of the strength of teams, this would also require MSHSAA to want to change focus and be open to discussing a way to classify teams based on recent success, which may be a significant departure from the aims of the state’s governing body. Regional representation has always been a big factor in the postseason tournament and it still could be with MPR being used, but it would also mean MSHSAA would need to embrace some outside ideas.
Coaches want a level playing field - regardless of public/private, size, etc. There are many schools large in number who could not compete at a higher level, even with a significant enrollment advantage, and others who do quite well with a smaller enrollment. Finding a consistent “fair” is always going to be a challenge with a state such as ours that has many geographic, academic and financial layers to decipher and likely to be a significant discussion for years to come - or at least until we give the new system time to play out.