High School Sports

NCHSAA expects pod system to remain in place

Posted February 5, 2011

This past fall, the N.C. High School Athletic Association implemented a new playoff system to help cut down on the amount and cost of travel.

The pod system was devised and passed last spring by the N.C. High School Athletic Association Board of Directors. It breaks the state playoffs up into four regional pods - East, Mideast, Midwest and West - instead of the traditional two regional pods - East and West.

By separating the teams in smaller geographical regions, the NCHSAA aimed to shorten the driving time and cost of travel for teams in the earlier round.

Davis Whitfield, the commissioner of the NCHSAA, says the system did it's job.

"It took some criticism early on, but I think in the end the pod system did what it was supposed to do," Whitfield said.

Whitfield said the pod system saved about 8,000 miles for teams across the state in all subdivisions. But he admits it came with controversy.

"Some people and some coaches didn't like the big early match-ups in the playoffs, but I think the good outweighed the negative here," he said. "It helped save money for our schools."

Whitfield's predecessor, Charlie Adams, agreed.

"Something had to be done to help our schools," Adams said. "We wanted to avoid having teams from down east having to travel to the mountains in the early rounds."

Both Whitfield and Adams said the pod system needs to be given a chance.

"I think we need to get about three years of data on it before we revisit it," Whitfield said.

Adams said he thinks it's here for a few years.

"Things are really tough out there for the schools," he said ."I think we need to keep the system in place for a few more years at least."


Please to add a comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • RD28327 Feb 7, 2011

    Worked great for the 1A and 1AA folks, but not for everyone else.

  • Nick Stevens Feb 5, 2011

    I don't think that's really fair to say. He was just giving an example.

  • turkeydance Feb 5, 2011

    Adams shows his "down east" bias. how about "avoid BOTH down east AND mountain teams traveling
    to each other?" according to this WRAL quote, his concern is for the down east travel.