(Yakima, WA) The new Hardwood Classic State Basketball tournament format will continue to be worked on. ESN had a chance to sit down and talk with WIAA Executive Director Mike Colbrese who stopped in at the 2A/1A Tournament in Yakima on Thursday.
The change from the old format of District Champions, blind draw and many other criteria to take into consideration resulted in several early round match-ups between teams thought to likely see each other in the Semi-Finals or Finals. The change to an RPI ranking system was instituted last fall and the final results were just completed at each of the State Tournaments.
Although the new RPI system and increasing the format to 12 teams from 8 worked in most cases there were some glaring issues including the posterchild of the concern in the boys 2A tournament. Foss who went on to win the State 2A title was 13th in RPI. On the other side of the coin the RPI was perfect in the 2A girls tournament with the final 8 also the 1 thru 8 RPI teams.
The other question about the new format was the Wednesday games which were loser out contests. Colbrese says his early returns were attendance was considerably up over past opening day tournaments and many liked the urgency of a “must win” game and made the games more exciting. He added that there is still concern about the one and done for 4 teams playing on Wednesday. Colbrese says they are mindful of parents time and money while balancing the fairest tournament format possible.
You can listen to our full interview with Mike Colbrese on the following link. The interview will start about 20-seconds in after you hit play.