Sept. 27, 2010

By Rick Nixon

The NCAA Division I Womens Basketball Committee is implementing a change to the Rating Percentage Index calculation that will be applied beginning with the 2011-12 season.

While continuing to emphasize the importance of home-and-away scheduling, the change will provide greater emphasis and weight to games played away from home. The revised RPI formula will count each road victory as 1.4 instead of 1.0. Each road loss will be valued at 0.6. Each home victory will be valued at 0.6 and each home loss at 1.4. Neutral-site games will remain the same with a value of 1.0.

The committee continues to emphasize nonconference scheduling by all institutions and will adjust the RPI calculations to reward teams for going on the road and winning,” said Marilyn McNeil, chair of the committee and director of athletics at Monmouth. It remains critical that we continue to find ways to encourage our teams to make their non-conference schedules more competitive.”

The RPI is the ranking of each institution based on their Division I winning percentage. It does not measure the quality of a team but simply ranks the winning percentage against other teams. An institutions RPI consists of three factors that are weighted as follows:

* Division I winning percentage - 25 percent of the RPI
* Opponents winning percentage - 50 percent of the RPI
* Opponents opponents winning percentage - 25 percent of the RPI

The RPI is annually evaluated so that it can maintain its place as a useful and relevant tool for the committee. Since 2003, the committee has tracked nonconference scheduling of the top 150 teams, paying particular attention to the number of games played at home, on the road and at neutral sites. Given this information and continued trends, the committee has modified the existing RPI calculations to mirror those currently used by the Division I Mens Basketball Committee.

While this change will be part of the RPI calculations beginning in 2011-12, its important to note that the RPI is just one of the informational resources the committee uses,” said McNeil, noting that each committee member analyzes information differently.

The committee evaluates what a team did during the regular season to warrant selection to the tournament field,” McNeil said. The committee combines the knowledge gained throughout the season by watching numerous games, along with the data available, and evaluates each team based on its success throughout the season.”

Connecticut head coach and current Womens Basketball Coaches Association President Geno Auriemma supported the decision, as well.

Its appropriate that road wins be factored in, as that will encourage teams to play a much more competitive nonconference road schedule,” said Auriemma, who is currently coaching the USA Basketball team at the 2010 FIBA World Championship for Women in the Czech Republic. It also makes conference road wins, which are difficult to achieve, much more meaningful.”

Rick Nixon is the Associate Director of the Division I Women's Basketball Championship.