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Class 4A playoff format changes

Only three qualify from each league
No longer will the top four teams from the Class 4A Tri-Valley Conference earn automatic berths into the OSAA state championship play-in round.
   Instead, a new OSAA model is in place this season where the No. 1 team from each of the seven 4A conferences and one wild card team - the highest-ranked team excluding champions - will earn automatic berths into the OSAA's final bracket championship of 16 teams. The remaining eight teams for the final championship bracket of 16 will come from winners between the No. 2 and No. 3 teams from each of the seven conferences, in addition to two highest ranked nonautomatic qualifying teams based on state rankings in the play-in round.
   This means teams from the Tri-Valley Conference can automatically earn a post-season berth by finishing in the top three, or teams can advance based on their OSAA power ranking at the end of regular-season play.
   "I think the system is good from a competitive standpoint," Madras High School athletic director Rory Oster said. "Teams now have to finish in the top half in each conference and conference champions are rewarded with that automatic berth."
   In the past, the top four teams from the TVC played the top four teams from the Cowapa Conference, with the winners advancing to the final bracket of 16. This season, the No. 1 teams will advance to the final bracket, and the second and third TVC teams will play other No. 2s and No. 3s from any one of the 4A conferences around the state, based on OSAA power rankings.