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Team State Qualification FAQs: Topic #1, General qualification and scoring process

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Just after Team State and during the Team State qualification process (during the individual state series), I am asked many, many questions "behind the scenes" by coaches and parents that want to understand the process better.  While the event is fresh in people's minds, I want to post a series of "Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)" topics with basic descriptions of the qualification process.


Topic #1: General Qualification and Scoring Process


Q: How many teams qualify for the Team State Duals championship?


--36 teams qualify

--12 teams from each of 3 classes (1A, 2A, 3A)


Q: How and when do teams qualify?


--Teams qualify by earning points in the IHSAA individual state series (all 4 tournament steps)

--The top scoring team from each semi-state for each class earns an automatic berth (4 berths total per class)

--The six highest scores in each class that are NOT one of the 4 semi-state winners also earn automatic berths (6 berths per class)

--The final two berths in each class are voted on by the tournament IHSWCA selection committee from among the next few highest scoring teams in each class.  This voting happens at the beginning of April.


Q: How do teams earn points during the IHSAA tournament series?


--Individuals earn points for their teams by arriving at one of the following final classifications: sectional non-placer, sectional placer, regional qualifier, semi-state first round, semi-state second round, state first round/8th place, state 6th-7th place, state 3rd-5th place, state runner-up, state champion

--Points for these levels are different for each of the 3 classes and they are different for seniors and underclassmen


Q: How can points in an individual tournament be used to determine who the best duals teams will be the next year?


--The points are not awarded as they are in a typical individual tournament.  They are specifically awarded to reflect each individual's expected positive impact on his team's dual meet ability next year.  For example, a semi-state qualifier will have more of an impact on his team's duals ability next year than a regional qualifier and a regional qualifier will have more impact than a sectional non-placer.  Similarly, an underclassmen state qualifier tells us more about a team's duals ability next year than a graduating senior state qualifier.  The scoring captures all of these differences.



Q: Why is there different scoring for the different classes?


--Having wrestlers at different advancement levels means something different in each class.  For example, in 1A, there is very little difference between having a returning semi-state qualifier and a state champion when 1A schools are wrestling against each other.  However, there is a huge difference between having a semi-state qualifier and a sectional non-placer.  On the other hand, in 3A, there's very little difference between a regional qualifier and a sectional non-placer's impact on next year's team when good teams are wrestling each other.  However, there is a huge difference between a semi-state first round loser and a state champion when top 3A teams face off.  The scoring must reflect these class differences.


Q: Why is there different scoring for underclassmen and seniors?


--Underclassmen are obviously coming back next year, so they are much, much stronger predictor's of next year's team's ability.  Their scoring is therefore much more significant than seniors'.


Q: Why are seniors' scoring included at all since they won't be back?


--Seniors' performance are very good indicators of a program's strength, so they are extremely good predictors of next year's team's ability.  There are teams in the top 10 of the state every year that lost 6 or 7 seniors from the previous season.  We have to include seniors' scores (at a lesser level than underclassmen, of course) or those teams will be virtually eliminated from qualifying.


Q: Why is there a "full lineup bonus" for a couple of the classes?


--Almost all lineups in 1A and many in 2A have forfeits.  Especially in 1A, history shows that having bonuses for full or almost full lineups helps us further know who the best teams will be next year.  In 2A, there is a small bonus for having 13 or 14 guys, but nothing beyond that.  You have to have a full lineup of very good individuals for any chance to qualify in 3A.  Scoring 0 points at a weight is penalty enough, research has shown, so there is no special bonus for having no forfeits in 3A.

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