One approved agenda item from the Arizona Interscholastic Association Executive Board’s first meeting of the 2017-18 year was a positive one for two Mingus Union High School teams.
The board approved a double elimination format for the Conference 4A baseball and softball state tournaments.
“I believe it’s a great thing,” Marauders head softball coach John Brown said. “It’s a good thing for 4A since it’s been on the back burner, even being a big school.”
To Brown’s point, schools in 4A, 5A and 6A are considered by the AIA as “big schools,” but until now only 5A and 6A had double elimination tournaments.
“Especially with seeding based on power points, and we don’t have chance to play half of [the rest of 4A]. Double elimination gives an even chance to everyone,” Brown said.
In the old format it was possible for two state champion caliber teams to be pitted against one another in the first round, then in the next round the game would end in a run-rule, Brown said.
The new format allows for a more even, competitive playing field. Even if two top teams play each other early on, the loser now has a second chance to continue its run toward the title.
“It gives more opportunity to teams if they have a bad game or have an injury,” Mingus Athletic Director Yancey DeVore said. “It allows them to at least bounce back.”