The Arizona Interscholastic Association did not acknowledge whether there is a flaw in its power point formula during Tuesday’s executive board meeting, but seems ready to adjust it for the spring sports state tournaments.
A six-person power points committee headed by Director of Business Media Brian Bolitho will provide further analysis and meet with representatives from Arizona’s member schools in order to decide a course of action. The issue is scheduled to be discussed again at next month’s board meeting, which would be enough time to institute any changes before the spring state tournament brackets are formed.
The formula has been under attack by local math experts who believe a flaw unfairly rewards teams for playing extra games and punishes those who play fewer.
Bolitho presented the current formula and a revised one that eliminates the alleged disparity based on number of games, although he did not want to answer a question from the board that asked which one he preferred. The two formulas will be presented to the member schools and they will be responsible to decide which one works better.
“I’ll answer any questions they have, but I’m not going to give my opinion one way or the other on which one I believe they should use,” Bolitho said. “Either way some teams are going to get in and some teams are not going to get in, so that’s not really my judgment or my call to make.”
In a presentation to the executive board on Tuesday, Bolitho said that 15 teams — five in volleyball, three in soccer and eight in basketball — would have missed the playoffs in the current formula, but made it in the alternate one.
AIA executive board president Derek Fahleson is expected to be on the power rankings committee. He is also of the opinion that there is no flaw in the system.
“I wouldn’t say there’s a problem with that we’re doing, but to make it better would be a great thing,” he said during the meeting.
The AIA is bringing in an algorithm expert from Maxpreps.com — which recently signed a long-term marketing deal with the AIA — to further research the formula. Bolitho said he hopes further research can figure out if playing more games is benefiting teams while fewer games punish teams within the power points.
“Is that hurting them?” Bolitho said. “If the obvious answer is yes, then something should be done about this.”
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