In an effort to provide a more equitable and competitive NAH Championship series, two key changes are being proposed to the qualifying system – the creation of new regions and a return to an open region qualifying system. The purpose of these changes is it make it as easy as possible for teams to attempt to qualify. The open region system will give players more flexibility as to where and when they attend a qualifier. The creation of new regions will make it easier for those teams from areas who previously found it difficult to travel to qualifiers previously, or where qualifiers were oversubscribed.
(1) Open Regions
Similar to the 2012 qualifying system, registration for your regional qualifier will be exclusive to in-region teams for a period of time (2 weeks) and then opened to out-of-region teams. Additionally, whichever region a team qualifies in will receive the allocated spot for future seasons, regardless of their home region. A team/player may only attempt to qualify in one region.
(2) Regional Changes
NAH is also presenting a package of proposals for regional restructuring to solve a variety of travel issues and competitive disparities within the current system. These changes to regional structure will be voted upon only by the club reps from the affected states and provinces.
- The creation of a Prairies/Great Plains region, combining states and provinces from Cascadia and Midwest, centered around the Canadian Prairie provinces, and the US states directly below.
- The dividing of the Midwest region into 2 regions, Upper and Lower. Currently the region is heavily populated but geographically disparate. By creating two regions, we’re solving an issue that has affected this region for two years, allowing for greater participation and reducing travel distance.*
- The addition of a region for Mexico, who were previously in a very large South Central region.
*NAH explored splitting Cascadia, mostly based on the number of competitive teams in that region, but didn’t have the same travel issues as the Midwest.
Additionally, the following states are proposed to change regions, for logistical reasons, and due to the changes in the Midwest. These changes to regional structure will be voted upon only by the club reps from the affected states:
- Vermont and upstate New York from Northside to Eastside. This has been requested by players and reps from both these states, and the Eastside region as a whole.
- Michigan from Northside to Upper Midwest (dependent on approval of Midwest split). Michigan travel a lot to the Midwest, and with the split producing a smaller geographic region, the travel will be easier than to some of the potential Canadian host cities.
- Tennessee from South East, and Kansas from South Central to Lower Midwest (dependant on approval of Midwest split). As with the Upper Midwest, this allows clubs who have often travelled to the Midwest to be part of that region, making their potential trips to qualifiers easier.
- New Mexico from South West to South Central, and Mississippi from South Central to South East. To allow these 3 regions to each be aligned further west, and to place clubs closer to their potential qualifiers.
Finally, a number of clubs close to regional borders would be moved to their adjacent region, where they are not near any other clubs in their own region:
- Thunder Bay, ON from Northside to Upper Midwest
- Cheyenne, WY from P/GP to South Central
Most regions and clubs significantly affected by these changes have already been contacted, and have been part of this proposal process.
(3) NAHBPC Allocations
Providing this proposal is approved, the addition of regions would require changes to the NAHBPC allocation process. These changes would emphasize the quality from the top regions, but also make sure each region is represented, regardless of their performance the previous year.
It is important to note that the top 24 teams from the NAHBPC would continue to be the determining factor for allocating qualifying spots for as long as this regional structure is utilized.
The following rules would decide on the allocation for each region:
- 1 spot for the NAHBPC Champions from the previous year, with these conditions:
- They must register with the 3 original players.
- These players would not be permitted to play on any other team attempting to qualify.
- If the spot is not taken, it would go back to the general pool.
- 2 spots per region.
- 1 spot per region for every team in the top 24 of the NAHBPC the previous year
- Any region that has only two qualifying spots after the top 24 spots have been assigned, will be allocated a third spot at the NAHBPC (from the top down), as long as there are remaining spots available.
- Any remaining spots get allocated by region from the top down, as will any spots not claimed by any region.
This would give us these allocations for 2014 (assuming the Champions spot, and all spots allocated to regions are claimed):
|Champion 2013||2 spots||Top 24 2013||Podium minimum***||Bonus Spots***||Total|
*in the case of Mosquito (Saskatoon, SK) their Top 24 spot remains in Cascadia, as it would be under the Open Region system. No other top 24 teams have changed region through the regional changes.
**the Midwest teams have been divided geographically, based on their home club at the time of qualifying.
*** To allocate remaining spots the Regions with only 2 are granted a third spot (for their podium), and after that the additional spots are given to the regions who had the MOST teams in the Top 24 of the prior competition.
- Club reps will shortly be contacted by the NAH, to submit their vote.
- Voting will close on December 15th.
- Club reps are expected to have consulted their club and cast votes based upon popular opinion.
- Club reps will be contacted to vote only on changes which directly affect the region to which they belong.
- The vote on regional restructuring will be binding for the 2014 season.
- If you are in a region created by these changes, you will need to establish a regional representative. (An NAH staff member will be in contact assist with this process.) This regional representative’s first job will be establishing a host city for the qualifier. Once the host city has been established, email John Hayes (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- NAH understands that the highest priority for most players is rules and especially reffing. Programs and progress in these areas are also underway. That said, we consider improvement of the regional qualifier system equally important given the situations that occurred in 2013.