David La Vaque has covered all but one state hockey tournament game since 2009 and has worked as a Star Tribune high school sports reporter since 2004. His favorite tournament experiences include cheering for alma mater St. Paul Johnson in 1991 and staying for most of the Apple Valley/Duluth East marathon semifinal game in 1996. Loren Nelson has covered every state tournament since 2009 as the national media editor for Sport Ngin. He attended many, many other Tourney games as a high schooler from the far northern reaches of Minnesota making the annual pilgrimage south to the old St. Paul Civic Center in the 1980s.
Tournament seeding is the best way to go. But as we know, the best way typically means the least-flawed way.
Let’s review the process.
Saturday morning saw each head coach cast electronic votes for the other seven qualifying teams. The highest and lowest votes were thrown out and the top five seeds were selected. The remaining three seeds were chosen by blind draw. No opportunity for politicking.
Notwithstanding frustration with the results, the process is sound.
The flaw with seeding overall, or at least the unintended consequence, is Thursday often lacks much intrigue. Seeding funnels much of the real interest to Friday night’s Class 2A doubleheader. (Sorry, Class 1A, but no one talks about seeding at your level. Shaming the metro-area private schools takes all the bandwidth).
That said, seeding is fine by me. Short of changing the whole section playoff model and re-writing the Minnesota State High School League’s philosophy that favors geographic representation rather than competitive balance, seeding the tournament creates the best possible finish.
Tag(s): Two-Man Advantage