RPI to determine 3A, 2A playoff seeds

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KELLOGG — There are going to be a few changes to the way the 3A State Football Playoffs are set up this year.

The Idaho High School Activities Association (IHSAA) decided that this year they would institute RPI ranking system at the 2A and 3A levels to seed the playoffs, instead of the former system that split the playoff berths up by district.

The RPI, or ratings percentage index, is a measurement used to rank sports teams based upon a team's wins and losses and its strength of schedule (SOS).

The Idaho RPI formula is based on a percentage in three different categories:

• Modified Winning Percentage (MWP), 30 percent. MWP modifies the winning percentage based on strength of schedule

• Opponent’s Modified Winning Percentage (OWP), 40 percent

• Opponent’s opponents’ Modified Winning Percentage (OOWP), 30 percent

Basically, the system takes into account your record, but then looks at who you’ve played before making a determination.

Also taken into consideration is the size of the schools a team is playing.

A win counts for less over a smaller school and would count for more over a bigger one.

League play will resume as normal, and the RPI won’t be taken into account until it is time to seed the State Playoffs, but it does allow coaches to look at who they could potentially be playing once they get there.

Unlike other RPI systems, this one doesn’t take into account margin of victory, which allows coaches to not feel like they have to run up the score to better their position.

In this first year, the top teams from each district will receive a bye directly into the playoff bracket, while the runners up and even a couple of the third place teams from the bigger districts will play in qualifying games to determine if they move on.

Once the field is narrowed to eight teams then the RPI will be used to seed them.

“It’s going to be interesting to see how this goes this first year,” Kellogg athletic director Mike LaFountaine said. “In the past things were done to try and avoid first round intra-district matchups and things like that, but with this new system, in theory, we could end up playing Timberlake right out of the gate.”

As it stands right now, Kellogg would only need one more win to clinch an opportunity to host a qualifying game against District VI’s second place team.

If the Wildcats can win their next two games against Bonners Ferry and Timberlake they would earn a bye and then wait to be seeded.

RPI rankings will be done in accordance with the IHSAA and will be updated on their website every week for the rest of the season.

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