The Alabama high school volleyball postseason format will have some big changes starting with the 2006 season.
Among the changes include single elimination at the Area Tournament and Regional level, the addition of a sub-state round and a change in match format.
Area and Regional tournaments had been using a double elimination format. The switch to single elimination means the loser will be one (loss) and done.
W.S. Neal coach Chuck Riddle also favors the switch.
The top two teams from each area will continue to advance to eight-team regional rounds. However, the top four teams from each regional will advance to a sub-state round. The regional champ will host a fourth place regional finisher, while each regional runner-up will host a third place regional team.
In order to compensate for the extra round of competition, the start of the high school volleyball season will start earlier. Teams may play their first contest August 24 this year as compared to August 25 this past season.
While one day may not make that sound like much, next year is a rollback year on the calendar for other sports. For example, football will start six days later next year.
Oddly, while the season starts earlier, practice will start later. Teams can not hold their first practice until August 7 in 2006 as compared to August 1 in 2005.
All regular season and postseason games will use a best-of-five format beginning next season. Postseason games had used a best-of-three format. The length of regular season matches was up to the participating schools although most used a best-of-five format for dual matches and a best-of-three format for tri-matches.
Most schools opted to play a best-of-three format for regular season tri-matches. Now required to go best-of-five, Peacock thinks there may be some reduction in tri-matches.
Riddle also thinks schools may shy away from tri-matches for a different reason.