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Seeding system for Class B state tournaments voted down at NDHSAA meetings

VALLEY CITY -- There will be no seeding system adopted for the Class B volleyball and basketball tournaments.

The North Dakota High School Activities Association Board of Directors voted down the recommendation from the district chair 7-2 on Tuesday.

An advisory committee had endorsed the seeding system with a 12-4 vote earlier in the month, but the current eight-year cycle of determining the pairings for the three tournaments remains intact.

"I kind of thought they'd be interested in seeding the state tournaments," NDHSAA Executive Secretary Sherm Sylling said. "Obviously they weren't, but we are closer. We got some votes."

The proposal called for the volleyball and boys and girls basketball tournaments to be seeded by the following method:

-- The head coaches of the qualifying teams would electronically rank the seven other teams in the tournament 1-7.

-- The high and low rakings would be thrown out and the five remaining scores would be averaged.

-- The four lowest averages are ranked 1-4 and the remaining four teams are randomly drawn. Ties would be settled by pulling the votes of the other tied teams' coaches and then recalculated from the remaining votes.

Two of the four district chair recommendations discussed were approved.

The creation of a 14-foot coaching box for basketball that can be adjusted to fit different gyms in the state was approved 8-1.

The recommendation to make the shot clocks for boys and girls basketball uniform at 35 seconds was passed 5-4.

The other recommendation that failed was switching the starts of the boys and girls Class B basketball seasons. The proposal to start the boys basketball season before the girls was voted down 8-1.

Williston AD Dornfeld addresses the Board

The oil boom in Western North Dakota hasn't been kind to the city of Williston's likelihood hosting regional and state tournaments.

The logistical concerns are well documented, but Williston High School activities director Jeff Dornfeld provided the NDHSAA Board of Directors with an update on the city's improvements and possibility of being able to host a tournament.

Hotel rates in Williston are steep due to demand from the oil companies, but Dornfeld said three new hotels are being built and will have a mandatory allotment of rooms for non-oil workers.

"The city is making big strides for us to be able to host tournaments in the future," Dornfeld said. "I don't think it's as bad as people think it is."

Dornfeld also informed the Board that he doesn't see student safety as being an issue and that traffic congestion and restaurant availability have improved.

The city isn't scheduled to host a state tournament on the NDHSAA's seven-year approved site list through the 2018-19 school year.

Other items of note

-- The Board passed an athletic review recommendation 9-0 to change the points structure for region games boys and girls hockey. Three points will now be awarded for a regulation win, two points for an overtime or shootout win and one point for an overtime or shootout loss.

-- A change for determining tiebreakers for region standings in boys and girls hockey was approved 9-0.

-- The utilization of video replay at the state hockey tournament was voted down 9-0.

-- The Board voted 9-0 in favor of counting all medical forfeits and defaults in the individual region tournament toward seeding criteria.

Tom Mix

Tom Mix is the North Dakota high school sports reporter. He's worked at The Forum for five years. He was the 2013 North Dakota sportswriter of the year, an award that is sponsored by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association. Have a comment to share about a story? Letters to the editor should include author’s name, address and phone number. Generally, letters should be no longer than 250 words. All letters are subject to editing. Send to  

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