They came out blazing yesterday with projected Nebraska sub-state volleyball pairings based on a recent proposal from Hampton principal, athletic director Tim Huls. The Lincoln Journal-Star had some, Nebraska Prep Volleyball had some.

And, thank goodness. We need to talk about this thing. Heck, maybe even figure out a way to implement it for basketball, too. Huls, takes a pretty neutral approach to the whole thing, though I’m sure he has seen Hampton and Exeter-Milligan and Meridian and Falls City Sacred Heart in the same district long enough.

Under the current NSAA format — where sub-districts are based on geography and then paired to form a district based on geography — six teams will automatically qualify for state, via a district championship and two will qualify via a wild card. It leaves a district, like the D2-1 (with four teams in the top-eight in points) or the C1-5 (with three of the top-six) scratching their heads.

Huls’ compromise is a best of both worlds scenario. Keep sub-districts, but eliminate districts to set up a one-day sub-state with the 12 sub-district winners and the next four wild cards getting as many of the top teams a chance to qualify for state as possible.

“We wanted to keep the sub-districts as they are,” Huls said. “That keeps geography involved in our postseason which is very important when it comes to time missed out of the classroom.”

Once the 16 teams are determined, they are seeded 1-16 and the top-seed is selected to determine a neutral site to play the game. In this format, it would be played on Saturday — the same day as Class B sub-state. The eight winners would then be seeded for the state tournament.

If done right, multiple games could be played at sites with various classes and teams could even choose to play at a Class B gym which is already hosting a sub-state match anyway. Somebody tell us what is wrong with putting this into action.

Here are the pairings you’ve likely seen them already — with further thoughts on multiple game sites.

Class C-1
Current district finals format
Auburn vs. Ashland-Greenwood
Lincoln Christian vs. Columbus Scotus
Bishop Neumann vs. Arlington
Pierce vs. Ord
St. Paul vs. Kearney Catholic
Gothenburg vs. Chadron
* – Plus two wild card teams qualify for state

Proposed Substate format
#1 Kearney Catholic vs. #16 Auburn (Concordia University/Seward High School)
#2 Chadron vs. #15 Ashland-Greenwood (Kearney High School)
#3 Ord vs. #14 Lincoln Christian (dual pairing with Northwest)
#4 Ogallala vs. #13 Pierce (Grand Island High School)
#5 St. Paul vs. #12 Arlington (Midland University/Fremont High School)
#6 Grand Island CC vs. #11 Bishop Neumann (Concordia University/Seward High School)
#7 Columbus Scotus vs. #10 Gothenburg (dual pairing with Northwest)
#8 Chase County vs. #9 Wahoo (Kearney High School)
Class C-2
Current district finals format
Freeman vs. East ButlerGuardian Angels CC vs. Hartington CC
Stanton vs. Shelby-Rising City
Sutton vs. Hastings St. Cecilila
Crofton vs. Elgin-Pope John
Arcardia-Loup City vs. Hemingford
* – Plus two wild card teams qualify for state

Proposed Substate format
#1 Guardian Angels CC vs. #16 East Butler (Midland University/Fremont High School)
#2 Freeman vs. #15 Arcadia-Loup City (Grand Island Senior High)
#3 Stanton vs. #14 Shelby-Rising City (Norfolk High School)
#4 Sutton vs. #13 Hemingford (North Platte High School)
#5 Hartington CC vs. #12 Elgin-Pope John (Norfolk High School)
#6 Wisner-Pilger vs. #11 Crofton (Norfolk High School)
#7 Ponca vs. #10 Hastings St. Cecilia (Midland University/Fremont High School)
#8 Nebraska Christian vs. #9 North Platte St. Patrick’s (Kearney High School)

Class D-1
Current district finals format
Diller-Odell vs. BDS
Cedar Bluffs vs. Howells-Dodge
Emerson-Hubbard vs. North Central
Heartland Lutheran vs. Ansley-Litchfield
Lawrence-Nelson vs. Bertrand
South Loup vs. Dundy County-Stratton
* – Plus two wild card teams qualify for state

Proposed Substate format
#1 Emerson-Hubbard vs. #16 Ansley-Litchfield (Columbus High School)
#2 Bertrand vs. #15 Dundy County-Stratton (North Platte High School)
#3 Diller-Odell vs. #14 South Loup (Grand Island Senior High)
#4 Howells-Dodge vs. #13 Friend (Concordia University/Seward High School)
#5 Johnson-Brock vs. #12 Heartland Lutheran (Concordia University/Seward High School)
#6 Lawrence-Nelson vs. #11 Alma (Kearney High School)
#7 BDS vs. #10 North Central (Grand Island Senior High)
#8 Heartland vs. #9 Cedar Bluffs (Concordia University/Seward High School)

Class D-2
Current district finals format
Falls City Sacred Heart vs. Hampton
Humphrey St. Francis vs. Spalding Academy
Wynot vs. O’Neill St. Mary’s
Giltner vs. Elwood
Sandhills-Thedford vs. Paxton
Potter-Dix vs. Crawford
* – Plus two wild card teams qualify for state

Proposed Substate format
#1 O’Neill St. Mary’s vs. #16 Elwood (Columbus High School)
#2 Exeter-Milligan vs. #15 Crawford (North Platte High School)
#3 Sandhills-Thedford vs. #14 Spalding Academy (Grand Island Senior High)
#4 Stuart vs. #13 Humphrey St. Francis (Norfolk High School)
#5 Hampton vs. #12 Giltner (dual pairing with Aurora)
#6 Falls City Sacred Heart vs. #11 CWC (Midland University/Fremont High School)
#7 Potter-Dix vs. #10 Wynot (Columbus High School)
#8 Meridian vs. #9 Paxton (Kearney High School)

Site Summary
Concordia University/Seward High School: Kearney Catholic vs. Auburn; Grand Island CC vs. Bishop Neumann; Howells-Dodge vs. Friend; Johnson-Brock vs. Heartland Lutheran; Heartland vs. Cedar Bluffs

Kearney High School: Chadron vs. Ashland-Greenwood; Chase County vs. Wahoo; Nebraska Christian vs. North Platte St. Patrick’s; Lawrence-Nelson vs. Alma; Meridian vs. Paxton.

Midland University/Fremont High School: St. Paul vs. Arlington; Guardian Angels CC vs. East Butler; Ponca vs. Hastings St. Cecilia; Falls City Sacred Heart vs. CWC

Grand Island Senior High: Ogallala vs. Pierce; Freeman vs. Arcadia-Loup City; BDS vs. North Central; Sandhills-Thedford vs. Spalding Academy; Diller-Odell v. South Loup

Columbus High School: Emerson-Hubbard vs. Ansley-Litchfield; O’Neill St. Mary’s vs. Elwood; Potter-Dix vs. Wynot

North Platte High School: Sutton vs. Hemingford; Bertrand vs. Dundy County-Stratton; Exeter-Milligan vs. Crawford

Norfolk High School: Stanton vs. Shelby-Rising City; Stuart vs. Humphrey St. Francis; Hartington CC vs. Elgin-Pope John; Wisner-Pilger vs. Crofton

Grand Island Northwest (w/ B sub-state): Ord vs. Lincoln Christian; Columbus Scotus vs. Gothenburg

Aurora High School (w/ B sub-state): Hampton vs. Giltner