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story.lead_photo.caption Helias and Borgia baseball players stand on the baselines prior to last Monday's game at the American Legion Post 5 Sports Complex. Photo by Liv Paggiarino / News Tribune.

The postseason landscape in Missouri high school sports has taken a step in the correct direction this spring.

Three sports — baseball, boys golf and boys tennis — added a classification this year. As a result, those sports also have fewer districts.


Last month, Jefferson City and Capital City made up two-thirds of a girls basketball district tournament, if you can still consider that a tournament.

There's quite a simple solution to that problem, and it'll be used for some district tournaments later this spring.

Classes 5 and 6 in baseball have been divided into eight districts instead of 16, eliminating sectionals from the state tournament.

A district title means being one win away from a trip to the Final Four.

The question is, why stop at those two classes?

Class 4 can be divided into eight 10-team districts, Class 3 can be seven 11-team districts and one 10-team grouping, Class 2 can have six 12-team districts, an 11-team district and a 10-team district, and Class 1 could be seven 12-team districts plus a 13-team district.

Yes, that's a lot of teams to have in a tournament. But winning a district championship should mean something, and beating out 10, 11 or 12 other teams is more rewarding than claiming a title over four or five teams.

It's a win for the postseason and a win for the regular season, which will have more weight to it with teams aiming to avoid dropping deep into the seeding.

More teams means more shared opponents throughout the schedule.

"Even looking at common opponents," Jefferson City baseball coach Kyle Lasley said, " that game might mean something. Coaches sometimes in those district meetings, they look at everything. It'll definitely make a difference."

Plus, the new format has grouped Jefferson City, Helias, Capital City, Sedalia Smith-Cotton and Rock Bridge together. Those matchups will have CMAC and district implications this season.

To some this might seem like a fairly ridiculous suggestion, while others will consider it plausible. There is no perfect system when it comes to the postseason in high school athletics, but there are always things to consider adjusting.

This plan at least makes it uniform across all classes and would make for some competitive district tournaments.

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