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Midwest HS Tournament For Real, And Seeding It Is Tough

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Midwest HS Tournament For Real, And Seeding It Is Tough

Photo courtesy Penn Rugby

The Midwest Boys HS Championships kicks off this weekend and it's a new-look tournament.

Previous years have seen the tournament split into HS Club and Single-School brackets. However, that has not been the best option, especially as Royal Irish has won fairly easily on the club side.

This year, then, the two brackets have merged at the very top, leaving an eight-team bracket that includes four teams set to go to the Boys HS Rugby National Championships.

But, the seeding is difficult, and in this article we thought it would be worth breaking down how you seed such a tournament.

Here goes:

1. Four of the teams involved are top-10 as ranked by FloRugby. St. Ignatius was the #1 single-school at one point, as was St. Edward. Royal Irish is the #1 HS club. Penn is ranked 9th right now. Fishers is ranked #13. All five of those teams could stake a claim to be among the higher seed. 

2. With five really, really good teams, and three that are still of high quality but not quite there (ND de la Salette, Brownsburg, and Carroll), you're going to have two well-regarded teams meet in the first round.

3. You don't want to repeat what just happened, or what will happen soon. So ... you want St. Ignatius and St. Edward (both from Ohio) in separate halves of the bracket. Similarly, Royal Irish and Penn recently played each other in the Indiana Super League, so they should be separated. 

4. OK, so one top Ohio team and one top Indiana team should be in each half. What about Fishers? Well the key thing there is not to have Fishers play Royal Irish (that's already happening this week anyway) or Penn (could happen soon). That leaves Fishers playing either St. Edward or St. Ignatius in the first round. There's no getting around that. So who's the better team of those two? St. Ignatius beat Gonzaga, and Gonzaga beat St. Edward. But St. Edward actually beat St. Ignatius. Hmmm ...

5. In the end, it's a bit of a guess. You have to put Fishers v. St. Ignatius or St. Edward. Based on head-to-head, St. Edward is stronger, and so Fishers plays Ignatius. That leaves St. Edward, Penn, and Royal Irish to play Carroll, Notre Dame de la Salette, and Brownsburg.

(Correction: St. Edward played Penn and won 22-21 earlier this season)

6. It's a bit of a guess on who is better there, but likely La Salette is the strongest of those other three, and so is pit against the lowest-ranked of RI, St. Ed, and Penn ... which is Penn. For the other matchups - Royal Irish has already played Brownsburg, so you put Brownsburg against St. Ignatius.

It's never easy to seed these things, but that's how it all came together:

St. Edward v Brownsburg - high seed v low seed, different states

Penn v ND de La Salette - lowest high seed v highest low seed, different states. In addition, Penn and St. Edward from different states, and Penn has not played St. Edward this year.


St. Ignatius v Fishers - high seed v high seed, but teams unfamiliar with each other

Royal Irish v Carroll - high seed v low seed, same state but separate divisions. 


Addendum: The problem partly is that Ignatius and Royal Irish did play each other, and so did Penn and St. Edward. Might the Indiana or the Ohio teams have benefited from a switch?

This, by the way, is a phenomenal competition now. You have the club #1, the single-school #3, #5, #9, and #13. You lower seeds are still ranked #33 and #39. Only Carroll is not ranked, and who knows? They could. be by the end of the weekend.