Preparations begin for Super Region 7 in 2013-14The idea of a super-regional has been planned and approved by the North Dakota High School Activities Association board of directors for Region 7. And it’s only the beginning.
By: Royal McGregor, The Dickinson Press
The idea of a super-regional has been planned and approved by the North Dakota High School Activities Association board of directors for Region 7.
And it’s only the beginning.
More than two months ago, Region 7’s two activities chairs submitted a proposal aimed at doing away with tournaments in basketball and volleyball for District 13 and 14 since they only served to eliminate two teams in each district before the region tournament.
“Right now, we are just kind of informing the different Region 7 schools that are involved,” Beulah activities director Mitch Lunde said. “We have some logistical things to visit with as a group to decide the tiebreaker formula and play-in dates to end the regular season.”
The super-regional tournament format will begin in the 2013-14 season, which should give activities directors time to iron out the details.
“My first thought is we still have a whole lot of work to do,” Hettinger activities director Kevin Morast said with a laugh. “We have new scheduling partners to work out now.”
However, if the super-regional turns out to be something that the schools and teams don’t like, they will have a chance to go back to district tournaments.
“The board was appreciative that they didn’t have to go out and try to fix something — that schools were willing to experiment,” Lunde said. “We do have the right, in two years, to go back and say, ‘We aren’t happy on how it worked or vise versa.’ That’s the key. It is an experiment to see if it is beneficial.”
Boys basketball in Region 7 this season is chock full of teams with a legitimate chance to reach the state tournament.
There are six teams the region that have less than five losses. This includes the top three teams from District 13 — Mott-Regent, New England and Heart River, respectively — not playing Hazen (16-3), which is the No. 2 seed in the District 14 tournament.
Dickinson Trinity head coach Gregg Grinsteinner said it would have interesting to see what would have happened under the new format this season.
“It would have been kind of fun to see how that would have played out this year with how deep this region is this year,” Grinsteinner said.
Since teams won’t have to go through the district tournaments, scheduling will become one of the trickiest components.
The teams currently play 19 games, but will increase to 21 to make up for the loss of the district tournament.
Because there are 12 teams in Region 7, the current plan calls for the top four teams to receive byes into the quarterfinals of the region tournament.
The bottom eight teams will have one-game playoffs — Nos. 5 vs. 12, 6 vs. 11, 7 vs. 10 and 8 vs. 9 — to get into the region tournament.
Morast said scheduling partnerships have been brought up to keep teams from the far southwestern corner of the region from making trips to both Beulah and Hazen in the same season.
“I think you are going to have to do some creative scheduling,” Grinsteinner said. “We’re the only region doing this and we play a lot of teams outside of our region. That last week and half to two weeks before the region tournament, where teams are going to be in the district, we aren’t going to be in the district tournament. We are going to have to get those games in beforehand.”
The site for the Region 7 boys and girls basketball tournaments is currently at Knights of Columbus Activities Center in Dickinson Trinity High School. Lunde said he doesn’t see that location changing unless the NDHSAA changes the venue.
“The region tournament will be at the site approved the North Dakota High School Activities Association,” Lunde said. “Those won’t be changing. As of right now, they are both at Trinity for both boys and girls. Volleyball has rotated between different region schools and venues and will continue to do as the (NDHSAA) sees fit.”
The one part the super-regional tournaments won’t be lacking in is drama. Grinsteinner is eager to see how the super-regional will play out.
“I think it’s going to be kind of exciting,” Grinsteinner said. “We always talk to our kids about getting to the regional tournament and then we have the opportunity to put three games together to get to the state tournament. Now everybody is going to have that opportunity. I think it will make basketball that much more competitive.”