OUA tweaks playoff seeding; announces ’16-’17 schedule


In a move that no doubt is an improvement over the past couple of seasons, OUA has altered their playoff seeding formula.  While RPI (Ratings Percentage Index) will still be the determining factor for seeding of all 12 playoff teams, OUA has eliminated calculation of said RPI-based seedings using only playoff-bound teams, instead will heretofore take into account results of ALL OUA games in the RPI calculation.

Perhaps more importantly, the top 12 teams ranked by RPI – *regardless of division* – will qualify for the playoffs with the objective of eliminating any late-season drama and unpredictability that had previously put into question whether or not actually losing a game could help determine another team’s playoff fate. The four top ranked teams will be awarded first-round byes.

RPI-based rankings remain a point of debate among observers and the four divisions around which OUA standings are based have no bearing on final seedings, existing only for scheduling purposes however for many this is a positive step and for some even cause to remove the tent from around the circus.  Among the results of this step is viewing standings without listing the 4 divisions:  theoretically, a team could finish first in their division and still not make the post-season:  the top 12 of 17 teams qualify.  So expect CANHoops.ca to list OUA standings this coming season with all 17 teams lumped together and ranked according to RPI.

The schedule will again be unbalanced as the five-team grouping (Algoma, Waterloo, Western, Wilfrid Laurier, Windsor) in the so-called “West” division will play 20 games including double-header weekends in Sault Ste. Marie against the Thunderbirds within an eight game home-and-home schedule within the division. The West will also play a single game against teams from the Central, East, and North, totaling 20 games.

The remaining three divisions consist of four teams and will play a 19 game schedule.  The Central Division (Brock, Guelph, Lakehead, McMaster) will play double-header weekends at Lakehead. The North Division (Carleton, Laurentian, Nipissing, Ottawa) features one of the best geographical rivalries in the OUA with crosstown rivals Ottawa and Carleton, while the East Division (Queen’s, Ryerson, Toronto, York) will enhance some traditional OUA rivalries.

The OUA playoffs will consist of four rounds with the preliminary round slated for Wednesday, February 22 followed by the quarter-finals on Saturday, February 25. The Wilson Cup Final Four, will be hosted by the highest remaining men’s and women’s teams, respectively.  The semifinals are set for Friday, March 3, while the bronze and gold medal games will take place on Saturday, March 4.

The 2017 CIS Final 8 championships will take place just one week later on March 9-12 with the men’s final hosted by Dalhousie University at Scotiabank Centre in Halifax, N.S.


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