Another year, another shakeup in how Oregon chooses its playoff teams.
The big change is in Class 5A, where nearly every school no longer qualifies for a state play-in game.
Instead the top 24 teams in the Oregon School Activities Association's RPI system will earn playoff spots.
The top eight teams will receive byes to the state round of 16, while the other 16 teams will be in play-in games. The No. 9 team will face the No. 24 team, the No. 10 team will play the No. 23 team, and so on. The winners of those games will advance to the first round, while the losers are eliminated. The teams ranked 25-37 will have their season end after their final scheduled game.
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In the past, all Class 5A teams advanced to the playoffs, allowing 0 and 1-win teams to make the tournament.
"This recognizes the best teams and rewards them, but also allows the other good teams to play in and see what they can do," Hermiston athletic director Mike Kay recently told the Hermiston Herald. "It keeps the best teams apart for as long as possible. It gives the best teams the best chance, which is what you want in the playoffs."
According to the Hermiston Herald, if a league champion is ranked outside of the RPI top 24, it will be awarded the 24th spot, and that team will be eliminated.
Last season, the play-in round was organized by region and three teams were denied play-in games. The year before all teams were in the play-in round.
Hermiston ended the regular season ranked No. 23 last year.
* Information from the Hermiston Herald was used in this report.