I’m a current resident of Defiance, Ohio, which is buried up in the northwest corner of the state. An Ayersville High School alum, I’ve long been a fan of Ohio high school basketball. I remember clear as day the first time I ditched school as a second grader with my cousin and uncle to go down to Columbus for the State Basketball Tournament in 2005. Every year since then, postseason basketball has always been the time time of year I look forward to the most.
Going to a small Division 4 school like Ayersville naturally made me more in tune with small-school basketball. Particularly just in northwest Ohio. There are 55 D4 schools this year that feed into the Bowling Green Regional tournament. Each year those teams (give or take a few due to enrollment variances) are split into 4 Districts by location, and the teams in each District are seeded via a coach’s vote.
In recent years, I noticed a trend that there always seemed to be one District that was leaps and bounds tougher than the other Districts that fed into that Bowling Green Regional: the Elida District. In fact, 11 out of the last 17 Bowling Green Regional champions have came out of that Elida District. In those six years where the champion was NOT from the Elida District, three of those six years was because there was no Elida District or the Elida District fed into the Southwest Region.
In 2018, 8 out of the 11 schools in the Elida District had a winning percentage of .750 or higher. In two of the other Districts combined (Napoleon & Fostoria), 3 out of those 23 schools had a winning percentage that high.
To me, that just doesn’t seem right. Players, teams, coaches, and communities would give anything for a chance to win a State Championship, and with the way the current format is set up by the Northwest District Athletic Board, a lot of them do not have a fair and equal path to State.
So I figured, hey, why not seed teams Region-wide and split them into Districts accordingly? Well that’s because if seeding is done by a coach’s vote, most of the coaches aren’t going to know anything about some of the teams further away. So my solution for that is to just get rid of the coach’s vote, as there’s probably hidden bias in that method anyways.
How would team’s get seeded then? It would have to be done by math. Computer rankings. The same way Joe Eitel ranks teams for the OHSAA football playoffs. Problem is, who’s gonna be crazy enough to go through all the work to create a computer system that does that? That’s where I come in. I’m that crazy person.
Combining my passion for Ohio high school basketball with my analytical mind and Microsoft Excel wizardry, I first created these RPI Rankings in 2019 for each D3 and D4 school that fed into the Bowling Green Regional. In 2020, I did the same thing, but I added D1 & D2. This year, I decided to take it one step further and do it for the entire state.
The goal? To create a way to rank teams in each Region so that each team has a FAIR AND EQUAL PATH TO A STATE CHAMPIONSHIP. With this site, you’re getting the only statewide high school boys basketball rankings in Ohio. All four divisions. 799 total schools. 1,000 total schedules that are updated throughout the season to create these rankings.
So what is RPI? RPI (Ratings Percentage Index) is a quantity used to rank sports teams based upon a team’s wins, losses, its strength of schedule, and its opponents’ strength of schedule. There are currently eight states (Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, North Carolina, Oregon, Utah, & Washington) that use RPI to rank teams in order to seed/rank teams for postseason tournaments in a manner that is fair, uniform, and completely objective.
My RPI Formula = (WP x __%) + (OWP x __%) + (OAOWP x __%) + (L1 Pts x __%)
WP: winning percentage. Just your good ol’ wins and losses.
OWP: opponents’ winning percentage. Basically just a rating of your strength of schedule.
OAOWP: opponents’ average opponents’ winning percentage. An example for this would be like saying Ohio State gets more points for beating a 15-3 Michigan State team than Dayton would get for beating a 15-3 Davidson team. This is because Michigan State’s 15 wins come against much tougher opponents playing in the Big Ten than Davidson’s opponents in the Atlantic 10 Conference.
L1 Pts: Leveled point system that gives you more points for beating bigger schools.
Hope you enjoy!