Maybe Alhambra could become a season opening tourney. I don't know if they'd agree to it, but it's just a thought.
Cutting 2 rounds from the public school playoffs allows you to move the championship up a week, so the 1A-4A state championships would be this weekend. The IAAM and MIAA would want to push their tourneys back to this weekend as well, to avoid a week long layoff.
You could then start the Tournament of Champions as early as the next Tuesday with the quarterfinals, with the semis on Thursday, and the finals on Saturday (Wed/Fri/Sun would work better, but the publics still can't play on Sundays as far as I know). The whole bball season would still be over the 2nd weekend in March, before the publics even start lacrosse scrimmages.
2/4/12 MPSSAA Swimming Championships
2/11/12 MPSSAA Wrestling Dual Meet
2/18/12 MPSSAA Indoor Track Finals
2/25/12 MPSSAA Wrestling Tourney, BCL Tourney
3/2-3/12 Class 1A-4A State Finals, MIAA/IAAM A/B/C Finals, WCAC Finals
3/10/12 Tournament of Champions Final
Going into the Regional Finals tomorrow, 14 of the 16 games will feature 2 "Top 4" seeds. In fact, in the 1A and 2A, all 8 games will feature a #1 vs a #2.
The only regions where a team outside of the top 4 seeds made it are:
- 3A North, where "#15 seed" Patterson will play #1 Milford Mill
- 4A North, where #7 Sherwood will play #1 Springbrook.
Patterson is obviously not the 15th best team in the 3AN, and Sherwood went 16-4 during the season in a tough division, so having both of them miss out on a Top 4 seed is an anomaly.
So what we have is 30 out of 32 teams still playing are Top 4 seeds.
So in reality, maybe having only the top 4 teams in each region going to the post season may be a good time saving / money saving solution. Yes, Patterson and Sherwood would have been "punished" this year, but why delay the inevitable if 2 of the top teams in each region are making it to the finals regardless?
Regarding the ACIT, it is in its 52nd year. I don't think asking the Alhambra to change its annual date from the week of St. Patrick's Day is going to work. It's a long standing tradition going back to the days when the ACIT was played at the Allegany High School gymnasium in Cumberland.
Some districts have mixed sized schools and are not large enough to form divisions based on size. So you can have a 1A school in a conference with 2A and 3A schools. They are at a competitive advantage. Efforts to create cross county leagues of similar size met the fate of high gas cost and limited budgets for the transportation. The big issue with everyone in is the cost of transportation when schools of one size are spread out and have to cross over larger sized school districts to play each other in tournaments.
Travel distance is a horrible excuse. The times you would have to go completely across the state are few and far between. besides Perryville managed to go to Ft. Hill this year, with no issue I am aware of. In addtion, even if there are two small schools in the same district why could they not meet in the middle and have a neutral site game that splits the gate? All it takes is some thinking to come up with these solutions. Harford County teams as an example I am familiar with, go to Bo Manor and vice versa, what is the difference in going to Annapolis or anywhere in Baltimore County? Or for that matter Bo Manor/Elkton going down the Eastern Shore and vice versa.
If you want to have a 4 team region then so be it but as long as you include all the teams then all the teams should be seeded by record.
The travel excuse really irks me in a bad way. There is no hard and fast rule that games have to be played on Friday nights. Saturday night could be just as big of an event. If you need to meet in the middle, make it a saturday night, the fans will show up. It also reduces the need to leave school early. I agree that Friday nights are awesome, but Saturday nights (or days) could be good too!
Not every team makes the football playoffs, going by your theory than the football players on 0-10 teams are missing a huge part of the football experience. If you let everyone into the playoffs, there's absolutely no incentive to try during the regular season, even if a team is a "15" seed like Patterson, the best teams will still make it. The regular season should matter, when all teams make the playoffs, you should just scrimmage teams 24 times then start the playoffs.
Comparing football and basketball playoff systems is tough because in basketball the body of work is so much larger. Again, by forcing district play, you get who the true representatives of each district should be. I personally don't like the idea of some districts getting treated like the SEC in college football or how the ACC was treated in basketball years ago. Population trends change quickly in a state like Maryland, domination by certain districts or teams will change with time.
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