Seeding Process

2017-2018 NCHSAA Handbook

4.1.15              Bracket Sizes:

Baseball, Basketball, Soccer, Softball, Volleyball

1A & 4A: 48-team brackets
2A & 3A: 64-team brackets

Football

1A & 4A: 48-team brackets
Subdvided into 1A, 1AA, 4A, 4AA (24-team brackets)

2A & 3A: 64-team brackets
Subdvided into 2A, 2AA, 3A, 3AA (32-team brackets)

Tennis, Wrestling

1A: 24-team bracket
2A, 3A, & 4A: 32-team brackets

Lacrosse

Men's 1A/2A/3A: 24-team bracket
Men's 4A: 40-team bracket
Women's: 40-team bracket

4.1.16              Playoff Berths/Qualification:

Conference automatic qualifiers are determined by the number of teams from a given classification in each conference as follows:

1 – 4 teams = 1 automatic qualifier
5 – 8 teams = 2 automatic qualifiers
9 or more teams = 3 automatic qualifiers

Conference tournament champions automatically qualify

If the regular season champion also wins the tournament, no additional berth will be awarded.
If a team other than the regular season champion wins the tournament, it will automatically qualify for the playoffs. The team will be seeded as an at-large berth in the playoffs unless already automatically qualified based upon their regular season conference finish.

Split conference application

The highest finishing team from a given classification will automatically qualify, regardless of overall conference finish.
Two teams that finish 1st and 2nd overall in the conference from the same classification will automatically qualify regardless of rule 4.1.18(a)(1-3).

NOTE: Ties for 1st place in the overall conference or for highest finisher in a classification must be broken using the established tie-breaking procedure [rule 4.1.13].

If too many teams qualify using the above criteria, adjustments to the established bracket size will be made to accommodate the automatic qualifiers.
If not enough teams qualify using the above criteria, the bracket will be filled by non-automatic qualifiers in that classification.

Teams in their classification with the highest MaxPreps ranking (or other NCHSAA selected ranking system) will be selected to fill the remaining slots in the bracket.

4.1.17              Seeding:

Once the qualifying teams in each classification are determined, they will be divided into two regions of equal size (East and West) based on the longitude of each school.
The teams in each region will be seeded as follows:

Seed all 1st place automatic berths and highest finishing team in each classification of a split conference by MaxPreps ranking (or other NCHSAA selected ranking system); then
Seed all 2nd place automatic berths by MaxPreps ranking (or other NCHSAA selected ranking system); then
Seed all 3rd place automatic berths by MaxPreps ranking (or other NCHSAA selected ranking system); then
Seed all conference tournament champions and at-large berths by MaxPreps ranking (or other NCHSAA selected ranking system).

Once seeding is complete:

Existing byes will be awarded to the highest seeds possible.
The higher seed is the home team unless otherwise determined by the NCHSAA.

Forms & Documents