Ashland High sports teams will spend the next four years battling schools from the Midwestern Hybrid League for playoff spots if the OSAA State Championships Committee's latest recommendation is adopted in April.
In the fourth of seven scheduled meetings Monday in Wilsonville, the 15-member committee revealed a play-in model that may be used to determine which teams advance to the final site during postseason play. The model suggests reducing the number of final site teams from 20 to 16 at the 5A level, with interleague playoff games to determine representatives from the four hybrid leagues.
Ashland will compete in the seven-team Southern Oregon Hybrid Conference over the four-year time block that begins next fall. Ashland and Eagle Point will be the only 5A schools in the 6A dominated SOHC.
The committee's latest meeting shed light on what the playoffs might look like after the most recent reclassification, which was approved Sept. 28. Here are some highlights:
- The committee supports using a rating method to seed qualifying teams, but added that "power ratings would not be used to determine which teams would qualify for the OSAA State Championships."
- The committee is looking into implementing a "filtering" system - regionals or sectionals - to reduce the number of athletes who will qualify for the OSAA Championships in individual events.
- The committee is also considering reformatting the cross country and golf championships to "eliminate the team qualifying aspect of the event."
- The OSAA may also change the final site schedule for both basketball and volleyball. Options include eliminating consolation games/matches and reducing the number of teams at the final site.
The championship committee will meet again Feb. 1.