The major redesign to Colorado's high school sports landscape doesn't appear to be over, even after all of the changes that were approved at January's meeting of the legislative council.
The basketball committee met last week and the big news that came out of it was a proposal to move to a 64-team bracket in Class 5A and 4A beginning in 2017.
But unlike the NCAA basketball tournament, the top seeds wouldn't have to face the lowest seeds in the first couple of rounds. Instead, the teams seeded 33 through 64 would face each other in the first round. Teams seeded 17-32 would receive a bye in the first round, and then have to face winners from the initial round of the tournament in round two.
Teams seeded 1-16 would receive a bye through the first two rounds of the tournament. Seeding will be determined based on RPI although league champions will automatically be seeded among the top 32 teams and receive at least one bye. League champions outside the top 32 will be moved up and the lowest non-automatic qualifier will be placed outside of the top 32.
In 5A, the Great 8 will still be played at the Denver Coliseum and the Final 4 at the Coors Events Center.
This seems like a reasonable proposal, as it will give teams who may have struggled at some point during the season a chance to make a run in the postseason, while also giving teams that performed consistently well and won league titles a fair amount of protection. For a lower seed to get to the point where they could upset a true contender, they will have to earn their way through the bracket, cutting down on the chance of fluke victories.
This proposal must still be approved in April at the next legislative council meeting for it to go into effect.
Two other interesting items discussed during the meeting was a proposal to add a third-place game in Class 4A, and for the addition of a 45-second shot clock state-wide.
The shot clock proposal would be a ways off as a rule change proposal would have to be submitted and approved by CHSAA and then forwarded to the National Federal of High Schools for final approval.
News and notes
• Boulder announced that they have hired Jason LaMere as the new varsity girls soccer coach.
LaMere had been a co-coach with his wife Jessica at The Pinnacle for the past two years, where they went 23-9-0 and made the 3A state tournament each year.
LaMere replaces Ryan Henkel, who went 22-21-5 over the past three seasons. The Panthers were 7-7-1 in 2015.
• Monarch has hired Jennifer Dixon to be the Coyotes new head volleyball coach. Dixon was previously coached Boulder for four years and also was the head coach at Glenbard West near Chicago. Dixon played college volleyball at St. Clair County Community College, helping her team win a national title while earning First Team All-America honors.
Dixon is a physical education teacher at Monarch.
• The Legacy boys basketball team hit the big time on Tuesday of this week, when Jake Boeckenstedt hit a three-quarters court shot at the buzzer to knock off visiting Mountain Range 54-51.
The shot earned Boeckenstedt and the Lightning the No. 3 spot on ESPN's SportCenter's Top 10 plays of the night.
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