Changes are coming to the Washington state high school football playoffs.
The Washington Inter-scholastic Activities Association announced in June that committees will determine the seeding for the state playoffs.
Previously, the pairings and locations were predetermined, based upon district seeds and proximity.
Those match-ups often pitted two of the top-ranked teams in the early rounds and didn’t allow for the best to meet in the state championship game.
The old system also didn’t always reward the teams with the best records with home games in the early rounds.
WIAA will now use three committees (4A/3A, 2A/1A and 2B/1B) to seed the teams.
Oak Harbor head coach Jay Turner was selected to be on the 4A/3A committee.
Turner said he had to apply to be on the committee and “was lucky enough to be one of the applicants picked.”
The new seeding committee is an “extremely positive step,” he said. “I have felt that the state playoffs needed some sort of seeding process, and I feel fortunate to be a part of this process.”
The North Sound Conference, South Whidbey’s league, will be represented by Sultan head coach Jim Wright.
The biggest criticism of the seeding committees, according to the WIAA, is the possibility of human bias.
The 16 teams that the committees will seed will still be determined by the district playoffs and through the WIAA allocation system. The committees will have no say in which teams qualify for the state tournament.