Seeding changes at the regional level for hockey as well as adjustments to provide byes for top-seeded teams in basketball and soccer were among the most notable actions taken by the Representative Council of the Michigan High School Athletic Association during its annual spring meeting.

Beginning with the 2020-21 school year, ice hockey will employ a seeding process to place the top two teams in every Regional on opposite sides of that bracket, guaranteeing those two teams could not play each other before the Regional championship game.

The two teams are to be seeded in each Regional using the Michigan Power Rating computer formula based on regular-season results against other MHSAA Tournament-eligible teams and opponents’ strength of schedule — the same system used in basketball and soccer and as one of multiple methods to seed in boys lacrosse.

The MHSAA will draw all ice hockey brackets 15 days before the start of Regional play. The addition of hockey seeding was proposed by the MHSAA Hockey Committee.

The council also adopted a change to seeding to take effect for hockey, basketball and soccer to provide any existing byes to the No. 1, and then No. 2 seed, in that order, if multiple byes are part of a bracket. The draw process then will continue to place the remaining teams on the bracket based on a randomly-selected order determined earlier in the season.

Playing time increases

In football, while an athlete may still play only four quarters in one day, that athlete may play in up to five quarters per week. In basketball, an athlete may compete in up to five quarters per day, during no more than three dates per week and 20 dates per team or individual.

Both changes will allow athletes to contribute to both varsity and sub-varsity teams simultaneously, potentially bolstering numbers and opportunities to retain those squads.