By Mike Mullally, AHAI Director
As the end of the regular season approaches, we receive numerous questions regarding seeding for the State Tournament, as well as the High School All-State and Showcase team selections. There are many misconceptions that exist regarding the above and AHAI’s role. The following is a synopsis of the process in place.
• HS State Application – opens January 4; closes January 12
• HS State roster – opens January 4; closes January 12
• Team ranking – opens January 4; closes January 27
• All-State voting – opens January 13; closes January 27
• Showcase voting – opens January 13; closes January 27
• Announcements will be made on January 30
The site opens on January 4 and all applications must be in by January 12, 2019 – and most importantly, rosters must be in by January 12 as well. If rosters are not in, the players on that team are not able to receive votes for All-State and Showcase teams! The ranking of the teams will close on January 27, and the AHAI HS tournament committee then meets to announce the rank in the 5 divisions – Varsity, Junior Varsity, Combined Varsity, Combined Junior Varsity, and Girls Varsity. There is no White Varsity division this year.
State Tournament Seeding
Each year every High School Club is provided an information packet which contains all information necessary to apply and/or register for the State Tournament online. In this application/registration packet, teams are provided information in regards to seeding for the State Tournament. The system in place provides for the head coach from each team to vote and/or seed each team. In the information packet provided, it is recommended that each head coach seed and/or rank other teams that coach’s team has played, or that he or she has seen play. Each head coach’s ranking and/or seeding is inputted into the computer program, which then provides an average ranking and/or seeding for each team. The highest average ranked team is then seeded number one, with the remaining teams following in descending order. The seeding and/or ranking of teams for the State Tournament is done based upon the head coaches’ vote. The primary role that AHAI plays in the seeding and/or ranking process is the accumulation of the data necessary to rank the teams. The High School Committee reserves the right to adjust for statistical anomalies.
It is vital that each head coach vote and/or rank teams participating in the High School State Tournament. In the past, there have been many teams’ head coach who has not submitted a vote or ranking. While this may not have had any effect on the ultimate rankings and/or seeds, it is still best for each Club’s head coach to participate in this process.
- This year the HS State Tournament will feature play in games. The HS tournament committee will make the tournament more palatable for all the teams. Instead of team #32 playing team #1, we will offer a more equitable tournament system.
- The youth HS teams will be ranked as per the coaches’ votes as in past years. The teams ranked as numbers 1-8 will get a bye directly into the State Tournament ice at Bensenville. Teams numbered 9 through 32 (or through 34, 35, 36, etc.) will play elimination games among themselves for the positions of 9 through 16.
- The Girls State Tournament will provide a bye to State ice for the teams ranked 1st and 2nd. All the other ranked teams will play elimination games for the 3rd and 4th positions at State ice in Bensenville.
- All teams entering the tournament must pay the $175 entry fee. The teams playing at Bensenville must pay the $175 entry fee and the state ice fee ($275, $265 or $220) for your division.
- Good luck to all the teams! A State banner could be just around the corner!
As with the aforementioned rankings/seeds, All-State voting is done solely by the head coaches as part of the application/registration process for the State Tournament. Each head coach has the ability to vote for players to be chosen as All-State. Those players with the highest number of votes (average) are named to the All-State team and participate in the All-State game. There are two All-State teams selected to participate in the All-State game. Currently there are 12 Forwards, 6 defensemen and 2 goalies chosen for each team, and their selection is based upon the head coaches’ vote.
AHAI also selects a boys’ team to participate in the America’s High School Showcase Tournament. All juniors and seniors in high school are eligible to participate in the Showcase event. One hundred and twenty (120) players (72 forwards, 36 defensemen and 12 goalies) are chosen to participate in the tryouts for the Showcase Tournament. These 120 players are chosen (as with All-State selections) solely by head coaches’ vote. Again, the head coach of each High School Club has the ability to vote for those players they believe are worthy to participate in the Showcase tryout. Based upon the voting, the top 120 players are chosen for the tryout.
Tryouts for the Showcase Tournament team are open to viewing by the public. Head coaches who are interested are requested and encouraged to contact the Chairman of the High School Committee about attending the tryout process. Each head coach who attends the tryout process will be provided an evaluation packet to complete and submit to the Showcase coaches. Ultimately, the final roster for the Showcase team is selected by the Showcase coaches (with approval from AHAI).
Information regarding requirements and registration for the Illinois Girls’ America’s Showcase team can be found by clicking here or by contacting the AHAI Girls Chair, Anita Lichterman.