Southern Pacific Zone
   of USA Water Polo 

Zone Quals Seeding Process

30 May 2013 10:06 AM | Anonymous

The procedure for the seeding SOPAC NJO Qualifications is as follows:

1) After entries are closed, they are confirmed and divisions are separated. Depending on the number of entries and where the known cutoff point is for the current year to qualify for National JO's for a particular division, determines which is the zone approved quals schedule to use. These approved schedules (approved back in January of this year) more thoroughly play out the teams in the schedule where the cutoff is determined to be and allow for teams to play out of an undesirables seed especially in the area of the cutoff to qualify. Spots are allocated for each zone for the Championship Division of JO's and in the larger divisions there are more spots allocated to the Classic Divisions of JO's. In addition, more slots may become available if other zones do not claim all of theirs. For allocations see

2) Emails are then sent out to the club admins and/or team admins with the notification of the WebEx conference call to be held for seeding and all clubs are strongly encouraged to have someone on the call to offer input.

3) The zone has in some cases put out to groups to offer initial rankings input as a starting point and is working to create an ongoing ranking system beginning with the zonal fiscal calendar year September 1 thru NJO's of the following calendar year, the "season". For each division if there is a unanimous opinion of those on the call for a team to be placed then they are placed. If not, then a grouping of two or more teams as determined by those on the call are created and everyone on the call has access to actually view live the computer doing the random draw (random function in Excel). This goes on until the last teams are placed or grouped and randomly drawn into the seeded slots.

The people on the call (and in some cases emails are sent to the admins from those not able to be on the call) use their personal knowledge of the teams and proof is offered in the way of results throughout the year from other events using the same rules at JO's. In other words age based events with determination date of August 1st ideally using the same ball sizes as JO's. Results that are online for these events - tournaments and leagues - are used to justify the placement or groupings of the teams for seeding purposes.

As one can imagine, if a club is not represented then the others on the call may not know how to exactly place or group a team, which is why all clubs are strongly urged to attend the conference call / WebEx where people are watching the process live.

So to summarize, if unanimous to place a team, then it is placed into a specific slot. If not unanimous then a group is created until a the groups is unanimously agreed upon at which time that group is randomly ordered and witnessed live online. Then subsequent placings and grouping/random draws are performed until the division is completely bracketed.

The conference call just held had a record number participants and with over a hundred teams, only two complaints arose by members of clubs who were not present on the call. Again, clubs are strongly encouraged to participate on the call. Those who participated witnessed the fair process and those not present are the ones who seem to have the concerns. 

One should note that this process is far better than the Olympics themselves, where the countries of the world who have qualified are double blind drawn into brackets with no regard for team strength or results of International matches.


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