MHSTeCA's Forum Page


Every season teams of high talent do not make it out of tough regionals and advance to state that have multiple talented teams within the same regional. This proposal would allow for regional managers to have the ability to submit a wild card team nomination to the seeding committee to be considered for a wild card allowance into state. The manager would include certain pertinent season information from that team and the seeding committee could allow up to 4 wild card teams per division.


Other Coaches Opinions


Don Margoni

I  am not in favor of allowing additional teams in.  There will always be deserving teams left out of attending the State Tournament as some Regionals will be stonger than others. But there already is a way to get in if you are not 2nd and that is to score a set number of points at the Regionals.  Last year Sturgis and Saint Joseph scored 18 points which allowed us to compete at State.

If you feel additional teams should be let in then lower the number of points necessary to attend State and take the guessing out of who is more deserving.

I would rather spend time on discussing why teams that win Regional are not guaranteed seeding ahead of teams that come in 2nd and 3rd?  Its as if winning regionals is not worth anything unless you are the elite 1-4 teams in the State.... and I wonder how some of them would do if they had to play three games in one day with only a 30 minute break between two 2 1/2 to 3 hour matches.

Jim Niebling

I love the direction in which this idea moves us. I have long advocated for ways to create more parity in high school tennis to improve the health of this sport. After all, according to Gina, we just lost 20 boys teams from 2009 to 2010. And while I don't think this idea is the magic bullet to that end, it is definitely a step in the right direction. Something needs to be done.

I agree with the other posts that it ads a layer of subjectivity to the selection process. But we have that already when we SEED regionals. We try to use only objective determinants. But it's virtually impossible to keep our opinions from creeping into the process. So to me, the end result of giving four more teams in each division something to shoot for is worth that downside. In fact, it won't be JUST four more teams. It will likely be all of those 3rd through 5th/6th place teams that will suddenly have hope that they might make it to the state finals. Only four will be selected. And that might just be the impetus to increasing the competition among a larger pool of teams, ultimately improving the health of tennis in communities where it's floundering.

I suspect that there would be broader support among the posts if the subjectivity issue could be mitigated. What if there was a way to establish a pre-determined list of criteria for the state seed committee to follow when choosing their 4 wild card teams? I don't know what they would be. That's for smart people to figure out. :)

Charles Phelps

I think Mike Finton makes some excellent points that I did not consider when writing this discussion item. In doing so, it made me go back to this idea of parity, and what Jim Niebling has been discussing with the board. What do people think about lowering the total number of points to qualify for the State Finals from 18 to 17? It would give that third place team a higher probability of qualifying for states, but would not guarantee them the qualification as stating a third place team advances regardless. Does 17pts still ensure that a team that reaches 17pts is a quality team?
There does need to be some careful consideration as to how many teams are or would be qualifying for states when comparing a 18pt mark to a 17pt mark. It would be interesting to see on average how many extra teams would have qualify per division per year from past seasons and draw some conclusions from that as well to see if this would be effective, make sense, worth while, and or a good thing for the "spirit of tennis".

Mike Finton I do not favor a 'Wild Card' team being added to the State Tournament. If the goal is to increase the number of 'deserving' teams to compete at the next level we should simply keep the same requirements we have now and allow the next finishing school advance. (i.e. a third place team without 18 points or the fourth place team behind the third with 18 points). The process of choosing which extra teams are deserving to go to state involves way too much bias and opinion. Even though our coaches and seeding committees are very professional and hard working incidents throughout the season could easily cloud their decisions. Teams that qualify for the state tournament should earn their way in and not be ÒgivenÓ the chance to play through a wild card entry.

I would be in favor of increasing the number of teams in the state tournament if that is the goal our association is looking for. However the right to play should be determined on the court at regionals, not by the coaches/seeding committee.
Bill Riggs

Being a regional manager I do not like the idea of having to determine if a team should be considered to compete for a state championship.  I believe it is too subjective.  What if there is animosity between coaches?  Maybe there was a bad call that determined the outcome of who qualified and who didn't qualify?  I think there is an easy fix.  Allow the 3rd place team to qualify automatically.  If the 3rd place team can qualify with 18 points then allow the 4th place team to qualify.  This will alleviate issues in 'loaded' regionals.  Every year there are quality teams who do not get to participate for a state championship and that is unfair to the student athlete(s) who work very hard year round and have nothing to show for it at the end of their high school tennis career.  I realize this will make the state championship go on longer if there are weather issues.  I think that is a small price to pay for a life-time of memories for a student.

Pat Haley

I am definitely in favor of having wild card teams advance.  We are trying to have the best possible tournament for the kids playing. If teams arenÕt advancing because of the talent in the district we are not serving the needs of some well deserving athletes. This doesnÕt hurt the weaker regionals, helps the stronger ones and creates a better tournament.

Jim D'Angelo

As long as this was done NOT at the expense of eliminating a school that qualified from a different regional, I would be okay with it.  If these were purely 'extra' teams added 'after the fact', I don't see the harm in it.  It's fairly obvious that there are tennis 'hotbed' areas due to club and USTA player influence.
I certainly would strongly oppose any effort to 're-district' regionals to spread these teams into weaker regionals.  That would not be right.

Ron Landfair

NO. I am not in favor of this proposal, as it lends itself to far too much politics and subjective qualifications to establish "wild card" status.  Presumably, this would require the seeding committee to meet even earlier than the Monday that they do, as this would be one of the first items on the agenda so that such "bubble" teams could continue to practice.  Our regional has advanced anywhere from 2 to 4 teams some years--that is the hand that we are dealt.

Tom Kudwa

No, I am not in favor of a Wild Card team. Certain areas of the state have more opportunities for success. Some schools are located in affluent areas where there are 4-5 clubs within several miles of the school. The dozen or so schools in the area all have a huge advantage over schools in more rural areas. However, they are competing against similar schools. If you can't compete there, you don't deserve to move on. For more rural areas, less fortunate, they often compete against others in a similar situation. If you survive the best of your area, you move on.

It is the same in other sports. What's next? We put one UP basketball team in each Detroit area District and have them compete. Even though they may be the best team in the UP and maybe even the upper Lower Pen., they should play a district game against the Metro Detroit. No, they all play in their area and one moves on.

They may not deserve a State title, but they are the best in their area and should move on. Likewise, if you are in an area of good fortune, and you are 4th best, you go home...

Lin Ware YES I am definitely in favor of this as we are one of those teams that can never get out of our tough Ann Arbor Regional yet we watch teams that we beat go to states because they are in a less competitive regional.