New regional baseball format not bad but a lot of questions remain
Everybody is still trying to wrap their head around the OSSAA’s decision Wednesday to make 6A-5A baseball and fastpitch softball single elimination at state and four eight-team districts.
Talked with a couple of softball coaches, but I didn’t get a sense of true outrage like I did in baseball. It will hurt teams like Yukon this last year who had two solid pitchers. If you only have to win one game a day, you can ride the arm of a super stud to a championship. The super stud I’m thinking about is Jordan Dixon of Edmond North. You can go from playing five games to three, and that’s a big difference.
But besides the change at state, a lot of people were up in arms about fixed regional winners playing each other. In fact, on Friday morning, I was right with ya.
However, a conversation with the OSSAA’s Mike Whaley and a re-examination of the regionals has changed my tune.
Whaley pointed out that if everything works out, district champions will be playing district runner-ups in the state tournament. Odd regionals (1, 3, 5, 7) feature all district champions. Even regionals (2, 4, 6, eight) feature district runner-ups.
So if everything held to form, Regional 1 winner (champion) vs. Regional 8 winner (runner-up) is OK for a state tournament. It’s just a question of seeing everything hold true to form.
The funny part about the new format and something I spoke at length with several 5A-6A baseball coaches is it is now a double elimination for regionals only to go to single elimination at state. Huh?
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