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July 12, 2007 E-MAIL PRINT Bookmark and Share

Bonus Scrapped: Committee Tweaks Selection Criteria Again

CHN Staff Report

It's happening a year too late for Denver, but the committee is making changes again.

The NCAA Men's Ice Hockey Committee has voted to do away with the RPI "bonus" that has been in place the last two seasons as part of the NCAA tournament selection criteria.

One of the hopes when the bonus was instituted was to encourage large programs from going on the road. In the first year of the system, for example, bonus points were tacked on to a team's RPI (Ratings Percentage Index — one of the selection criteria) for "good wins," with progressively more points awarded for home, neutral and road wins.

Last year, the committee tweaked the definition, and awarded bonus points only for road wins, and more strictly defined what a road game was.

(See how the whole system works)

"The committee felt that the bonus points were not acting in the manner that we had hoped when we put them in," said Joel Maturi, committee member and athletics director at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. "There were concerns as to what was designated as a neutral site and what was not. They hoped some of the more prominent programs would go on the road to play at other sites, and that was not happening."

Without the bonus last season, the only change to the field would have been the inclusion of Denver over Maine. The Black Bears jumped ahead of Denver, ultimately, on the strength of some impressive early-season road wins. With the bonus, that was enough to make up the difference in RPI and flip enough "comparisons."

Also, in its recent meeting, the committee decided on the following:

* Preference will continue to be given to future Frozen Four site to NHL-sized ice sheets in neutral locations.

* The committee will accept bids for the West and Midwest regional sites for 2010-11 beginning this fall with a decision in the summer of 2008. In the fall of 2008, the committee will bid out all four regions for 2012 and 2013, with awards made in the summer of 2009. In the fall of 2009, bids will be sent for the Frozen Four in 2013, 2014 and 2015 with awards made in the summer of 2010.

* Clarified neutral officiating crews rules. The committee will require that the video replay official also be neutral and that if necessary, mixed crews (for example, a referee from one conference and assistant referees from a different conference) are allowed. None of the referees will be from either of the conferences of participating teams.

* Will require the six committee members from each of the six conferences to provide a detailed analysis of the selection process and answer questions at the conference meetings at the American Hockey Coaches Association convention, prior to the committee’s meeting with all the coaches.

* Elected Joel Maturi, athletics director at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, chair for 2007-08 and recommended Steve Cady, senior associate athletics director at the Miami University (Ohio) to be chair in 2008-09.

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