SDHSAA Basketball Advisory Committee Discussing Playoff Changes, 4th Class
A "Sweet 16" playoff system is being used in one class and now is being discussed for the other two. That has led to discussions of adding another class.
The South Dakota High School Activities Association's Basketball Advisory Committee met on February 8th to discuss potential changes to the current system of basketball and volleyball. These proposals are brought to to SDHSAA Board of Directors to discuss in the month of April.
Among the proposed changes include switching the Class AA and Class B playoff systems.
Currently in Class AA, teams have an opportunity to get to the playoffs by either winning the District they play in, or a region final. It is set up to where a team has to win two games to get to State, or lose two games to not make it. A team can still lose one game in the district playoff round and still make it to the tournament.
The new change would be to drop the 17th place team (like they do to the 9th place team in 11AAA and 11AA football) and have the 16 other teams play in a traditional tournament to get the final eight. The seeds would be based off of total seed points and not played out by districts or regions.
Class B is a different monster with the amount of teams that they have. Teams must win their district and then a region final to make it to the state tournament. The districts and regions (Region 1 vs. Region 2 face each other, etc.) are broken down to where members from all parts of the state are represented.
The proposed change would be to take the winners of the 16 districts and have them play in a "Sweet 16" format to get the final eight. The seeds would be set up in a traditional manner with the top seeds hosting the bottom seeds regardless of regional representation. There is also an idea of bringing all 16 teams that are left to one site (Watertown, Sioux Falls, Rapid City, Huron, Aberdeen, etc.) for one weekend to give everyone a state tournament feel.
That proposal for the "Sweet 16" setup in Class B has also led to another discussion. That being an additional class of high school basketball. "Class C."
This idea has come from activities directors in Class B to keep the system the way it is right now, or add a 4th class of high school basketball. They worry that by going to a "Sweet 16" system that schools will have to travel more, school pride will be lost without winning district/region titles, and regions of South Dakota not being represented at the tournament. The argument is that adding a 4th class would not water down basketball in South Dakota, but instead give opportunities to smaller enrollment schools and teams in Class B.
Again, these are just proposed changes and are not final. The SDHSAA Board of Directors will look over the proposals in April and determine what to change, if anything. A full breakdown of the different changes being suggested can be found by clicking here.