The statewide system used to rank prep basketball teams made its season debut last week and, to no one’s surprise, the White River High girls were the top-rated among the four local schools.
The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association – which governs high school sports in the state – employs a Rating Percentage Index. A team’s RPI doesn’t come into play during the regular season but is a prime factor once postseason rolls around.
Numbers were released Dec. 18 and can be found only via the WIAA Live mobile app. The rankings will be seen exclusively on the app until Jan. 3 when they will be available on WIAA.com as well.
The White River girls, under Hall of Fame coach Chris Gibson, sat at No. 6 among Class 2A girls when the RPI rankings made their season debut.
The Hornet girls had a record of 4-1 at the time, with their only loss coming at the hands of the Lynden High squad. Undefeated Lynden sat atop the 2A RPI, followed by Ellensburg, Sequim, Fife and Clarkston. Those top five teams all were undefeated when the list was released.
The White River boys were 6-1 on Dec. 17 and landed at No. 14 among the 64 teams on the 2A list.
Enumclaw’s squads were having a tougher time and slid down the Class 4A list. The EHS boys were No. 40 and the girls were No. 46 (among 66 teams) when the ranking were first made public.
The RPI formula remains the same as last year and takes three factors into account. A team’s RPI is based equally on its winning percentage (40 percent) and the winning percentage of its opponents (also 40 percent); the remaining 20 percent stems from the winning percentage of the opponent’s opponents.
In essence, the calculations reward teams for prevailing over quality opposition.
A team’s RPI is calculated following every game.
The RPI is used for pairing teams once they reach the regional round of the state basketball tournament. All regular season games against varsity opponents as well as all postseason tournament games will be factored into the RPI.
More information regarding how the RPI is calculated can be found in the Basketball RPI FAQ link on the WIAA website, wiaa.com.