As each team begins its season, players and coaches anxiously await to find out regional or sub-state assignments. It seems every year the reactions to assignments are either very excited or very disappointed.
As of now, high schools smaller than class 4A are split up into regionals and sub-state by the location of the school. Their records and level of competition are not taken into consideration.
Every regional seems to vary in the level competition. For an example, this year’s WHS softball regional assignment has a 2-1A state champion, 3A runner-up, and a couple recent state placers in the same tournament. Meanwhile, there are several regionals with teams we have run-ruled in the regular season as the top seed in the tournament. This has happened in all sports, but this year creates a particularly tough road for softball.
Although there are more schools in the 4A, 5A, and 6A classes, how the assignments are set up in the lower classes can be a modified version of the upper classes. By taking the upper half of team records in each class and dividing them up into different regionals, it allows regionals and sub-states to be evenly separated like the upper classes.
This will also make the state tournaments have a balanced level of competition and allow teams that have had great regular seasons to have a fair shot at state.
From personal experience of playing high school sports, my teams have competed in some of the most difficult games of our season in the regional or sub-state tournaments. Although the desire of making it to state may have contributed to these games, more often than not the teams played at a higher level of competition than the ones at state. The road to the state competition shouldn’t be more difficult than state itself.
— Abby Oliver, @AbbyOliver27