Seeding Process

2019-20 NCHSAA Handbook Text

4.1.17 Bracket Sizes:

(a) Baseball, Soccer, Softball

(1) 1A & 4A: 48-team brackets

(2) 2A & 3A: 64-team brackets

(b) Basketball, Volleyball

(1) 4A: 48-team bracket

(2) 1A, 2A & 3A: 64-team brackets

(b) Football

(1) 1A & 4A: 48-team brackets

(i) Subdivided into 1A, 1AA, 4A, 4AA (24-team brackets)

(2) 2A & 3A: 64-team brackets

(ii) Subdivided into 2A, 2AA, 3A, 3AA (32-team brackets)

(c) Tennis, Wrestling

(1) 1A: 24-team bracket

(2) 2A, 3A, & 4A: 32-team brackets

(d) Lacrosse

(1) Men's 1A/2A/3A & 4A: 32-team brackets

(2) Women's: 40-team bracket

4.1.18 Playoff Berths/Qualification:

(a) Lacrosse, Tennis, and Wrestling will use pre-determined brackets which will be posted on NCHSAA. Website when they become available.

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

(1) 1 – 4 teams = 1 automatic qualifier

(2) 5 – 8 teams = 2 automatic qualifiers

(3) 9 or more teams = 3 automatic qualifiers

(c) Conference tournament champions automatically qualify

(1) If the regular-season champion also wins the tournament, no additional berth will be awarded.

(2) 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.

(d) Split conference application

(1) The highest finishing team from a given classification will automatically qualify, regardless of the overall conference finish.

(2) 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 the highest finisher in a classification must be broken using the established tie-breaking procedure [rule 4.1.13].

(e) If too many teams qualify using the above criteria, adjustments to the established bracket size will be made to accommodate the automatic qualifiers.

(f) If not enough teams qualify using the above criteria, the bracket will be filled by non-automatic qualifiers in that classification.

(1) Teams in their classification will be selected to fill the remaining slots in the bracket by comparing the highest finishing, non-automatic qualifying team in each conference based on adjusted MaxPreps ranking.

NOTE: Under no circumstances may a team "leap-frog" a higher finishing team in its own conference.For this procedure split conferences will have their classifications treated as separate entities.                  

4.1.19 Seeding:

(a) 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.

(b) The teams in each region will be seeded as follows:

(1) Seed all 1st place automatic berths by Adjusted MaxPreps ranking (or other NCHSAA selected ranking system); then
NOTE: The highest finishing team in its half of a split conference must finish in 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place overall and/or have an overall winning percentage of .500 or higher in order to be seeded as a #1. Otherwise, the team will be seeded with all other at-large teams.

(2) Seed all 2nd place automatic berths by Adjusted MaxPreps ranking (or other NCHSAA selected ranking system); then

(3) Seed all 3rd place automatic berths by Adjusted MaxPreps ranking (or other NCHSAA selected ranking system); then

(4) Seed all-conference tournament champions and at-large berths by Adjusted MaxPreps ranking (or other NCHSAA selected ranking system).

(c) Once seeding is complete:

(1) Existing byes will be awarded to the highest seeds possible.

(2) The higher seed is the home team unless otherwise determined by the NCHSAA.

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