I feel like I ask myself that question every year: What if teams had to qualify for the section/district playoffs in Minnesota and North Dakota high schools?
I pose the question after seeing some of the scores coming in from Minnesota high school hockey tonight in first-round games, and recalling some of the scores from North Dakota district boys basketball earlier in the month.
Point being that playoff appearances, just like anything at that level of sports, should be fun for the kids. But when you see some of the scores from these 1 vs. 8 and 2 vs. 7 games, is that really fun?
You’d like to think in sports that anything can happen, but the odds of most of these teams pulling off an upset are so unlikely that I just wonder if everyone isn’t better served by eliminating the first round. In fact, often times these teams don’t meet until the playoffs, in all likelihood because both sides know that there is a hefty talent split between them.
That would add more intrigue to the regular season. Imagine if, for example, only four teams qualified for the section playoffs in Minnesota Class 1A or 2A Section 8 boys hockey. It would be quite a mad rush for those teams to try to land spots in the top four.
I suppose the downside to that would be that players on last-place teams wouldn’t have much to play for late in the regular season.
Just a topic I thought I’d toss out there. Interested in hearing some responses.