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.

 

The District 3 Committee will vote Wednesday on whether to adopt a new power rating system that not only replaces the current systems used for football and basketball, but one that will be applied to all sports.

If you missed my April 20 post with the details of the power rating proposal, you can view it here.

The proposed power rating system is the most in-depth rating system I’ve seen yet; it produces a very strong strength of schedule component that accounts for one-third of the total power rating. The other two thirds are based on a weighted won-loss record (see link above for details).

This new system is the result of nearly a year of discussion and research by the District 3 Committee. A sub-committee tasked with developing the system met seven times before if came up with the new proposal.

District 3 chairman Sam Elias acknowledges that there is a no perfect mathematical system that will provide a perfect seeding system. But he’s right that the new power rating system is better than what the district currently uses.

I’m fully behind the implementation of the new power rating (even though I hate the math that ends up with a decimal rating) because it is a very strong power rating. I give District 3 tremendous credit for tackling this problem rather than throwing up its hands.

The district committee knows full well that, once implemented, the system will receive some criticism. Some of that criticism is likely to come from sports like volleyball and wrestling where the one-size-fits-all proposal won’t fit particularly well. Some will come from sports like tennis that currently find league representation a better way of qualifying for the district team championships than power rating.

District 3 anticipates and understands this. I respect someone who steps into the arena of ideas knowing full well there will be criticism at the end of the day. That alone is enough for me to support District 3’s effort.

But the bigger reason is I believe the power rating, which has been tested against past results in football and basketball, will work the way it was designed: To acknowledge teams with strong schedules and reward, rather than penalize, them for taking on top competition.

The vote is Wednesday morning in Hershey. It seems highly likely to pass. I say, good. Give it a shot. Tweak it where necessary. And if the future shows it doesn’t work, junk it.

But I don’t believe they’ll have to do the latter.

 

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SUNDAY, MAY 2

Tennis
Josh Allender, future nurse, wins the 6-AAA tennis championship. From the Altoona Mirror.

Basketball
New girls basketball coach named at Penn Manor in Millersville. From lancaster newspapers.

Moshannon Valley gets a new boys basketball coach. From the Altoona Mirror.

Wrestling
And hard-to-find Glendale High School gets a new wrestling coach. Also from the Altoona Mirror, which covers a lot of hard-to-find schools.

Track and field
Ah, can’t have enough track invitational results. Here’s a bunch. The North East Invitational and the Oil City Invitational from the Erie Times-News. Stan Morgan (Carlisle) Invitationals girls and boys. the Dallastown Invitational from Friday; results are at the bottom of this huge story by John Clayton.

Miscellaneous
Harrisburg Patriot-News newbie Stephanie Loh takes a look at compartment syndrome through the eyes and extremely painful legs of Palmyra soccer player Emilee Miller.

Two District 3 newspapers give their takes on the proposed new District 3 power rating system that rodfrisco.com has detailed here. The Lancaster Sunday News story by Mike Gross is here and the Harrisburg Patriot-News story by Andrew Shay is here.

Good notebook from Mike White of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. This time, we’ll get Jake Sunday’s name right (we called him Justin earlier this week). But the craziest note is the one about the Louisiana golfer at the end.

Lacrosse
Springfield-Delco beats defending PIAA champ La Salle College HS in a big lacrosse match. From the Philadelphia Inquirer.

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