The Utah High School Activities Association announced Thursday that it will begin using the Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) to decide where teams are seeded for football, basketball, baseball, softball, soccer and volleyball state tournaments in all six classifications beginning with the 2019-20 school year.
In prior years, the state tournaments were seeded based on where teams finished during region play, with predetermined matchups that rotated from year to year. That left stronger teams from stronger regions out of the postseason, while allowing weaker teams from weaker regions into the playoffs.
Instead, MaxPreps.com will calculate each team’s RPI based on three factors, and teams will be seeded based on that ranking. Forty percent of the RPI score will be based on each team’s winning percentage, with 40 percent based on their opponents’ winning percentage and the final 20 percent based on their opponents’ opponents’ winning percentage. According to the UHSAA, several other states, including Arizona, Colorado, Idaho and Washington, employ a similar system to seed their state tournaments.
“This new approach in qualifying in seeding will bring added excitement to state tournaments as teams earn seeding based on overall season performance and not just region competition,” UHSAA Executive Director Rob Cuff said in a press release.
Additional rounds may be added to state tournaments to accommodate more teams, the UHSAA said.
Cross-country, tennis, track and field and wrestling will continue to use a region-qualifying format for their state tournaments, and golf and swimming will have unique formats as well, according to a UHSAA press release.