For the first time in recent history, or quite possibly ever, the Central District Athletic Board made a dramatic change to the tournament format that is going to change the landscape for the next few weeks. Due to low turnouts at sectional tournament games at the local high schools, the CDAB will be having the higher seeded team host their tournament game for the sectional rounds.
“Our hope is that by permitting the better seeded team to host the Sectional level contests we might see an increase in attendance,” Central District Athletic Board treasurer Jim Hayes said in a statement before the beginning of the 2012-2013 season.
An interesting change by the CDAB to make, replacing the previous system of sectional hosting sites, a format that has been in place since the 2006-07 season. This change will certainly add to the excitement of the Division I tournament, a tournament which has seen some interesting upsets, most notably in 2010 when top-ranked Northland was stunned in the regional final by second seeded Gahanna, 71-45.
“We have listened to the concerns of superintendents regarding travel costs and yet we still wanted to maintain the coach’s preferences of open draws while making it easier for fans to attend games. ”
I feel that the change is a necessary one to make, it will reward the better teams in the first two rounds, much like the NCAA tries to keep certain teams closer to home in the opening rounds. The only disadvantage to doing this will be, in my opinion, the number of upsets in the beginning two rounds will decrease slightly. Winning a tournament game at a neutral site is a lot easier, especially if you catch a team looking ahead to another game. Now with those first two rounds being at home, teams will have more motivation to win in front of the home fans.
In addition to the higher seeded teams hosting games, the CDAB is lowering the student ticket prices. Student tickets will only be $4.00 at the gate, and adult tickets $6.00.