KELOWNA, BC – The Canada West home opener for the UBC Okanagan Heat women's basketball team will be a weekend matinee affair against long-time rival the Thompson Rivers WolfPack.
Before the home opener however the Heat will open the season in Victoria for the Vikes home opener on Oct. 27-28.
The clash with the 'Pack will then launch the season on the Okanagan campus with a noon start on Saturday, November 4. 25 hours later the two teams will meet again in Kelowna on Nov. 5.
Staying at home the Heat will host the Alberta Pandas November 10-11 before hitting the road for the final time in 2017.
After a bye week, the last trip before the end of the semester will take the team to Abbotsford for a pair of games against the Fraser Valley Cascades.
To close out the calendar UBC Okanagan will host the Manitoba Bisons the first weekend of December (Dec. 1-2).
After the holiday break the Heat once again take to the road with another in-province trip when head coach Claire Meadow's squad plays on January 5-6 in Prince George against the UNBC Timberwolves.
The final four weekends of conference play maintain the one weekend at home, one weekend on the road theme with home dates against Saskatchewan and UBC and road dates in Calgary and in Winnipeg.
The Huskies are in Kelowna Jan. 12-13 while the T'Birds and the always exciting sister school rivalry shakes the Okanagan campus Jan. 26-27.
In Calgary (Jan. 19-20) the Heat will play the Dinos and the conference regular season closes against the Wesmen the first weekend of February, the 2nd and 3rd.
For the second consecutive season, ratings performance index (RPI) will be used to seed playoff teams, while win/loss records will again be used to determine playoff qualification. The CW RPI was implemented last season to account for varying strengths of schedules, resulting from the conference's unbalanced schedule.
While RPI remains, the formula used to calculate it doesn't. Alterations have been made to the RPI formula, following review by Canada West's sport committee. The new formula, listed below, has been amended to both increase the value of a team's win/loss record, while reducing the value assigned for away wins and increasing the value for home wins.
In addition to the altered RPI formula, a new playoff format is also coming to CW basketball this season, as the conference eliminated the CW Final Four tournament in favour of a one-game championship hosted by the highest remaining seed.
The number of playoff teams (12) has not changed from last season. The first round of conference playoffs will see the top four seeds earn byes, while the remaining eight teams will play single-elimination games (12 @ 5, 11 @ 6, 10 @ 7, and 9 @ 8) between February 8 and 11.
The conference quarter-finals (best-of-threes) are set for February 15-18, the CW semis (best-of-three) February 22-25, and finally the CW Finals (and bronze medal games if necessary to determine national tournament berths) March 2 or 3.
U SPORTS nationals are slated for March 8-11, with the women's event being held by Regina – for the fourth time in school history.
Fans will have access to every conference game on the road to nationals this season on Canada West TV – the conference's official streaming platform – as every men's and women's conference regular season and playoff game will be streamed in 2017-18.