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Washington increases field for state basketball tournament

October 4, 2016 / Athletic AdministrationBasketball
Washington has elected to increase the field for its state basketball tournament from eight to 12 teams, beginning with the upcoming season.

wiaa_washingtonThe Washington Interscholastic Activities Association’s (WIAA) Executive Board made the decision last week, estimating that it will allow 480 more student-athletes to experience the state tournament. The eight-team format has been in place since 2011.

Another change for Washington high school basketball this upcoming season is how teams are seeded. Beginning with the regional round, teams will be seeded using the Ratings Percentage Index (RPI). RPI is widely used in college basketball, and the WIAA said that 71% of schools were in favor of adopting it. The association is still working out the details of the RPI system.

From the WIAA:

The changes to the State Basketball Tournament will increase the number of teams at each Championship site from eight to 12 for each classification. With the expansion to 12 teams, approximately 480 more students will be able to experience competing at the final site of a WIAA State Basketball Championship. The updated format will maintain regional games for round one, which have proven to be a great attraction for local fans. Final tournament sites will remain the same with the 1B and 2B tournament at the Spokane Arena, the 1A and 2A tournament at the Yakima Valley SunDome and the 3A and 4A tournament at the Tacoma Dome.

In addition to the format change, the WIAA will implement a RPI system to seed the 16 teams that qualify for the first round of the tournament at regional sites. The State Basketball Format Committee will continue to refine the details of the RPI system, which will not be used in the qualification to regional sites, only as a seeding tool after the qualifiers are in place. The WIAA districts will continue to control their respective qualifying tournaments to determine the 16 teams for each classification.

Both the new format and RPI system will go into effect for the upcoming 2016-17 season.


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