As is the case every season, a debate rages relative to who the best travel teams are in the state. Well, we will attempt to shed a little light on the matter when we release our 2017 Buckeye Prep Power Rankings in a few weeks. We are currently putting together our initial list of top teams in grades 5th-8th for the state of Ohio, and will update them from week to week based on the performance of the teams. Although in some divisions we have started with a top ten, we have several teams listed as Honorable Mention, and as the season winds on and we get a better feel for teams’ talent level, we will increase our list from 1-15.
Over the course of the season we will use the following criteria to update our rankings: head to head results; results from common opponents; margin of victory; final placements in tournaments; number of ranked players on a roster; and level of competition played. Unfortunately, many of the top teams in the state fail to play against each other during the season. This happens for several reasons. In some cases it’s just fate, as teams lose early in a tournament and just don’t meet, while some teams intentionally avoid playing in some of the better tournaments where that may be forced to play other top teams in the state. We will monitor that situation and factor it in accordingly. At the end of the day, teams and programs know where the competition is playing! In addition, although we attempted to use historical data from previous seasons, that’s difficult because of the high roster turnovers as players change teams. Also, in many cases, players grow and get better, which impacts a team’s overall talent level.
Because we can’t be present at every event, we must rely on information from a network of coaches and sources around the state. In order to produce credible updates, we need coaches and parents to send us accurate and unbiased information at the conclusion of weekend tournaments. To this end, we have produced a “Tournament Results Reporting Form” designed to capture the information we need to update our rankings and produce feature stories for the website. If we can get coaches and parents to buy in and take the effort to get the information we need, then we can more accurately track both team and individual progress. This will help insure that teams and players gets credit for their efforts. At the end of the day, if your team is not playing in the top events against the top teams, and is not providing us with your team’s results, you can’t complain about where your team is ranked (or not ranked)!
It should go without saying that we have done our best to be fair and accurate with our rankings. We mean no disrespect to any team with where we have them ranked. If you feel you have been unfairly ranked, simply enter tournaments where the ranked teams are playing and beat them. We will provide a couple of opportunities for the top teams around the state to hook up. You can see from our “committed team list” for the Buckeye Prep Invitational Tournament next week that a number of ranked teams will be here. Here’s your chance! Also, we will invite the top teams to an exclusive event (Summer Showdown) June 16-18th, where the top teams will go ahead for final rankings and “Team of the Year” honors. We’re excited about this project and we hope it inspires and motivates players, coaches and parents to seek out the highest competition possible and elevate to level of play in the state. Finally, please feel free to offer your feedback at Buckeyeprep@yahoo.com. Let the debate begin!!