Photos: LHSAA State Championship Baseball _lowres

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- St. Thomas More head coach Gary Perkins coaches against Neville on Saturday during the Class 4A state championship at McMurray Park in Sulphur.

With heavy rain sweeping through the area, baseball teams around the state have been forced to cancel out-of-district games in order to accommodate a full district slate.

And the cancellations could have a significant effect on the LHSAA power rankings come playoff time.

“We’ve got people canceling their nondistrict games to play their district games, but there’s more power points in the non-district games,” St. Thomas More coach Gary Perkins said. “District games don’t give you any points. Even if you win the district, you don’t get any points for that.”

Under the current system, teams are rewarded more for playing against tougher teams throughout the state than for sweeping an easy schedule.

Perkins said by completing the full slate of district games he’s actually hurting his team, as he could be playing tougher nondistrict games.

“Well why am I playing district games, when I could be playing other games that help my team more and earn us more power points?” Perkins asked.

But with a hard deadline of April 25 set by the LHSAA for a district champion to be determined, teams are scrambling to finish the second round of district games.

But that leaves those teams in a difficult situation come playoff seeding time.

Perkins said he purposely schedules a difficult out-of-district schedule, not only to get his team ready for the playoffs but to improve the Cougars chances of receiving a higher seed.

“Except for Teurlings and Cecilia, I don’t have another winning team on my schedule,” Perkins said. “And that’s not going to help our power points.”

Perkins said district champions in baseball are rewarded less points in the power rankings system than in football or basketball.

“It’d be OK if they told me, ‘OK, y’all are district champions, you get two points for being district champions.’ That would be understandable,” Perkins said. “Then we would play our district games first and then play the nondistrict games second.

“But right now, you’re being forced to drop games against teams that might be 15-4 for teams that have only won one game all year, just because it’s a district game. You’re losing points by prioritizing district games over nondistrict games.”

Perkins said he hopes the rule will be reviewed during the offseason to help balance the reward for winning a district championship.

“I’m hoping next year that they change this rule, because basketball and football gets points,” Perkins said. “If you’re the district champ you should get so many points, because it means you gave up power points to play teams in your district that aren’t very good.”