The District 3 committee voted to adopt its new power rating system in limited form starting with the fall sports of football, field hockey and soccer. It will re-evaluate the system following the fall sports season.

Here is the Harrisburg Patriot-News’ post on the matter. I was unable to attend the District 3 meeting due to my commitment to the Joe Paterno-Dave Wannstedt press conference regarding spring football in Pa.

UPDATE: I spoke with District 3 chairman Sam Elias on the way back from State College. I have to give Sam and the District 3 Committee credit for listening to its members.

There is no doubt that Elias and D-3 vice-charman Ron Kennedy believe the new power rating system (the details are here) is an improvement on post-season qualifying in District 3 team sports and would like to see the system implemented.

But after revealing the new system to the schools at the district’s annual meeting on April 20, the district got feedback. It wasn’t entirely negative, but many coaches and ADs had questions about various aspects of the system, ranging from how it worked to whether it was necessary in a given sport.

The district listened to those concerns and even came up with one of its own: Just how much work will it take to ensure the information is collected accurately and in a timely manner?

Elias acknowledged that the district couldn’t be certain. It created two positions to administer the power ratings, which is essentially two people doing the same job. But Elias said if just one person was doing all of the work, the district would have a real problem if that person became ill or incapacitated, even for a brief period of time.

(Full disclosure: District 3 treasurer Bob Baker of Big Spring and I have been mentioned as candidates to administer the power ratings. Bob’s inclusion is certain; mine depends on the will of the committee. I will accept if offered since, to be honest, I was going to do it anyway, at least for District 3 football.)

In addition, the district is showing considerable wisdom by limiting implementation to football, field hockey and boys soccer. While those three sports will be the guinea pigs, it gives District 3 an opportunity to evaluate the process and the eventual outcome. That is smart. In addition, it keeps the rank-and-file from feeling bullied on the issue and shows that District 3 is open to suggestions on the matter.

I have been behind the new power system since Bob Baker first revealed it in January because it was apparent that it was would provide a better strength of schedule component than the ones currently used for football and basketball (which used different systems). It will encourage the scheduling of stronger opponents because there is far less of a penalty for playing and losing to a strong opponent.

On the other hand, a loss to an average opponent that is lower in classification will be more damaging than it is now. So, a school can schedule lower, but it’s a really good idea to win that game.

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