New Postseason Format Set To Debut With Fall Tournaments

By: Brad Joyal

Topics: School Sports , Sports

Led by senior Caroline DiGiovanni, seen here, the Monomoy field hockey team has state championship aspirations on its mind. FILE PHOTO

A new era of Massachusetts high school playoffs is upon us.

The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association is set to debut its new statewide power rating system, which was designed in an effort to fairly seed teams in the postseason. The power rating system relies on a formula that uses three variables — win/loss, margin of victory and strength of schedule — and produces ratings unique to each team.

The new system has already drawn its fair share of criticism, particularly Monday afternoon and evening after the MIAA released its football and volleyball seedings. The announcement stirred a bit of an uproar from players, coaches and spectators alike. Many took to social media channels to share their displeasure with the new format, which ranks and seeds the top 32 teams in each sport and division, with the exception of football.

Teams that fell outside the top 32 but won at least 50 percent of their games are eligible to compete in a play-in game for the non-football sports. The football playoffs will pit the top 16 teams from each division against each other rather than the best 32.

Although none of the Lower Cape’s football teams qualified for the playoffs, the region has had one team already punch its ticket to the postseason. Cape Cod Tech earned a spot in the Division 5 volleyball state tournament, which features 43 teams and began Wednesday.

The Crusaders were seeded as the No. 27 team and were scheduled to host No. 38 Prospect Hill Academy Charter School on Wednesday in a preliminary-round game. With a win, Cape Tech would advance to the round of 32 and play No. 6 Westport (date/time TBD).

While the football and volleyball postseason tournament fields and schedules were released Monday, the cross-country, field hockey, soccer and swimming and diving tournament fields were scheduled to be released by Tuesday night after press time.

The golf sectional and state tournaments already took place – Nauset finished 11th in the Division 2 state championship, which took place Oct. 25 at Sandy Burr Country Club in Wayland.

Another wrinkle in this year’s state tournament schedule is a new ticketing format. Beginning in the round of 16 in each tournament, tickets will only be available to be purchased online at gofan.co or via the GoFan app.

More MIAA tournament information, including the complete brackets, can be found at miaa.net.

Email Brad Joyal at brad@capecodchronicle.com. Twitter: @BradJoyal