FOREST CITY — The North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) released the season’s first RPI ratings for football, volleyball and boys soccer on Tuesday morning.

How local teams stand

In football, CHASE finds itself ranked 16th with a RPI rating of .552. Reidsville sits atop the standings with a .728 rating. R-S Central sits at 40 with a RPI rating of .403.

In the 1A West, Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy (TJCA) is ranked third with a RPI rating of .698. Eastern Randolph has the highest RPI rating at .772.

In volleyball, R-S Central ranks 12th with a RPI of .601. East Surry is the top ranked team in the 2A West with a rating of .679. East Rutherford sits at 35 with a rating of .463, while CHASE is 47th with a RPI of .393.

In 1A West volleyball, TJCA ranks 38th with a RPI of .352. The top team in the 1A West is Bishop McGuiness, with a RPI rating of .662.

Among teams in the 2A West, East Rutherford soccer has a RPI of .532, good for 16th. Lincolnton holds the highest RPI in the region with a .694 rating. CHASE sits at 36th with a RPI rating of .434. R-S Central has a RPI rating of .303, good for 49th.

In 1A West soccer, TJCA has a RPI of .537, good for 8th among the region.

This marks the first time RPI ratings will be used by the NCHSAA for the purposes of seeding the state playoffs. The association has used power rankings from MaxPreps in the past, but some people expressed concern about the lack of transparency behind the MaxPreps formula.

The RPI ratings use a simple formula that takes into account a team’s winning percentage, the winning percentage of a team’s opponents, and the winning percentage of a team’s opponents’ opponents. The formula is: RPI = (0.3 x WP) + (0.4 x OWP) + (0.3 x OOWP).

An opponent’s winning percentage is calculated using the average winning percentage of the opponents, not by using a combined record. All games involving the team whose RPI is being calculated are omitted from the average.

There are differences for out-of-state opponents. For teams from Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia — bordering states of North Carolina — RPI ratings will be calculated the same way as in-state NCHSAA opponents, as long as they have a MaxPreps account and schedule. For other out-of-state opponents, their direct winning percentage will be used, but their opponents will be assigned a winning percentage of .500.

In-state non-NCHSAA opponents will be treated like a team from a non-bordering state.

International opponents do not count towards the RPI rating.

The playoff process will be different this year than in past seasons. Each conference will be given a certain number of automatic berths based on the number of schools in a conference participating in a particular sport. In conferences with 1-5 teams, the conference champion will qualify. In conferences with six or more teams, the conference champion and second place team (or conference tournament champion) will qualify.

In a split conference, the highest finishing team from a classification will qualify automatically, regardless of overall conference finish, as long as there are at least two schools from a given classification in the conference.

Schools have already been assigned to the East or West regions. Everything from Caswell, Alamance, Chatham, Moore, and Richmond counties to the east are in the East region, while everyone west of that line is in the West. Each region will fill the remaining spots in the playoff field with at-large teams based on their RPI ratings.

For seeding purposes, conference champions will be seeded first by RPI ratings. Every other school will be seeded next based on their RPI rating, regardless of conference finish. Each region will be seeded independently of one another.

Football, soccer, and volleyball will all field 64-team brackets in each classification with 32 teams coming from each region.