Power-point issues could hurt E.V. teams - East Valley Tribune: VarsityXtra

Power-point issues could hurt E.V. teams

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Posted: Thursday, March 5, 2009 6:17 pm | Updated: 1:22 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

Gilbert's boys basketball team had a great run as the No. 13 seed in the state tournament, advancing to the semifinals before losing to Gilbert Highland.

AIA pushing for computer scheduling

Next year, such a team probably will not even qualify for the postseason.

Regardless of whether computer scheduling gets the go-ahead Friday by the Arizona Interscholastic Association Legislative Council, power-point rankings will be a much-talked-about issue heading into the next school year.

Whether a computer makes the schedule or athletic directors continue to determine the matchups, teams are less likely to make long trips as schools tighten their financial belts. That means teams in Metro Phoenix, Tucson and Yuma will stay closer to home.

In addition, teams will have fewer nonregion games on their schedule because regions will be much larger next year (6 to 9 teams rather than 4 to 7) when realignment kicks in.

As a result, power points (which determine playoff participants and seeding) will be much less of a factor.

"If you don't have a lot of crossover (between regions), and that's going to be the case with the large regions and those with travel restrictions, the power-point system is essentially meaningless," Mesa district athletic director Steve Hogen said.

Next year, with fewer crossover games, East Valley schools will be left to play the bulk of their nonregion games against one another. As a result, a 10-8 record by a Metro Region school against lesser competition will carry about as much weight as a 10-8 record by an E.V. school against tougher teams.

"It's going to be like the old days when we were in the Central (Region) with Mesa, Dobson, McClintock, Gilbert and Chandler," Tempe Corona del Sol athletic director Dan Nero said. "There weren't power points then (late 1980s and early 1990s). "It's kind of exciting, but we're going to end up beating each other up."

Metro Region girls basketball teams went 1-17 against teams from the East Valley this season. As a result, only Phoenix Maryvale (as the region champ) qualified for the state tournament from the Metro - and Maryvale wasn't even among the top 16 teams in power points.

On the other hand, five girls teams from the powerful Fiesta Region qualified for state.

On the boys side, five Fiesta teams qualified as well. One of those was Gilbert, which was 17-12 overall but only 3-5 in the Fiesta Region - which may not be good enough to qualify next year.

"The competition will be more intense than ever," Hogen said. "Will we be qualifying the best 16 teams? I have questions."

The 5A Conference executive board already began looking at the issue at its monthly meeting on Thursday. A proposal to alleviate some of those concerns by expanding the state tournament field to 24 teams (there will only be 31-32 teams in each 5A conference) came up one vote short of passage.

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