MWCA Report – Section and State Tournament Seeding Criteria

By Joe Block, MWCA President

The end of the regular season is finally here and most teams are already into their section tournaments. In my opinion, this is the most exciting part of the season. Our wrestlers have been working hard all year for their shot at a trip to the Xcel for the State. For some, dreams will come true and for others, those dreams won’t be realized. Either way, I wish all of our wrestlers the best of luck in their quest to reach their goals.

For the first time in the history of Minnesota wrestling, the state tournament will be seeded. This has been a long and tedious process, but we need to remember that in the end this is what is best for our wrestlers and will be a work in progress.

While the individual section tournaments have always been seeded, the decision was made this year to use the same criteria in each of the 24 sections across all three classes and to have Trackwrestling “pre-seed” each section using the same predetermined criteria. Once the “pre-seeds” are determined, each section will have the opportunity to look over each weight and make changes as those coaches feel necessary.

So how does this “pre-seeding” process work? Pre-seeding will be done by Trackwrestling using a computerized system that is essentially a round-robin seeding. Every wrestler will have the opportunity to be seeded, but not all wrestlers will be. Track will take each wrestler, one at a time, and compare them to each of the other wrestlers in the bracket. When comparing one wrestler to another, Track will run through the seeding criteria one at a time until one wrestler has criteria over the other. That wrestler will receive one point. They will then take that same wrestler and compare them to the next wrestler until one has criteria over the other and so on until that first wrestler is compared to every other wrestler in the bracket. The same process is done with every wrestler in the bracket. The wrestler with the most points at the end of seeding will be the #1 seed, the wrestler with the second most points the #2 seed and so forth. All other wrestlers will randomly be drawn into the bracket once seeding is complete. The criteria below are the criteria being used for ALL section tournaments.

  1. Head to head
  2. Common opponents
  3. Returning State Champion
  4. Returning State Runner-Up/Third Place (equal weight)
  5. Returning 4th-6th Place (4th is the highest)
  6. Returning Section Champion
  7. Returning State Entrant
  8. 2014-15 Section Place winner (2nd-6th Place)
  9. Winning Percentage (8 match minimum)

The process for the state tournament will be exactly the same with a few exceptions. The first being that criteria 6 and 8 will be removed and “2016 Section Champion” will be placed in the #6 slot with “Returning State Entrant” staying at 7 and “Winning Percentage” moving up to 8. The second exception is that this will not be a “pre-seed” but rather the actual seeding. This year we will seed the top eight in each weight class with those wrestlers that are not seeded being randomly drawn in. Once the “seeding” is complete, a small committee will look over the actual seeds and determine if there are any outliers, or wrestlers who were missed in the seeding process. It is not the job of this committee to decide whether wrestler A should have been a #4 or #5 seed, but rather look for wrestlers who are maybe not seeded and should have been, or vice versa.

Without a doubt, some of you reading this will have varied opinions on the seeding criteria/process. Remember that this is not going to be perfect the first time around and our goal is not to predetermine placement in the state tournament through seeding, but to separate wrestlers who deserve to be separated.

There were many people involved in putting together this seeding process and I would like to thank them all for their time and dedication to Minnesota wrestling. Again, best of luck to all teams and individuals as you try to achieve your goals.

Editor’s Note: MWCA Report is a regular column that appears in The Guillotine Newsmagazine. The above article appears in the February 12, 2016 issue of The Guillotine.