Top seeds to play at home in states

May 03, 2004|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

A change in the open state tournament seeding structure will be implemented in fall 2004, Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association executive director Ned Sparks announced at the open session of the Maryland State Athletic Directors' Conference on Friday night in Ocean City.

The new structure will give the home-site advantage to the higher-seeded teams throughout the tournament, said a source who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Under the present format, the top four teams are seeded based on their records but any of those teams could receive a first-round bye that is counted as a home contest. If its next opponent is a team that played its first game on the road, the higher seed must play at the site of its opponent.

The present system also awards the home-field advantage to the team that has played the fewest games at its home site. If each team has played an equal number of home games, then the higher seed will play host to the game.

During the 2002-03 boys basketball season, in the hotly contested Class 3A North, top-seeded Randallstown - which had played more home games than second-seeded Douglass of Baltimore City - had to play its regional championship game at Douglass to win a berth in the state semifinals.

Sparks could not be reached last night.

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