So by now you should have seen the playoff format, if you haven’t – go here and check it out. The format is not one that many have seen before, so we’re getting a lot of questions. We felt it would be best to address some of those questions, and then take you through some potential situations so that you can see how things would play out. Please note, before people start getting offended and hurt about their chance, these scenarios are just that potential things that could happen. If you’re also sitting on the other side of your screen wondering who would get upset about a fictitious article on the internet about recreational softball – then I have about 5 years worth of stories to tell you, but I digress.
Disclaimer given, let’s move on to the real story.
Last year, 2018, was one in which our playoff format was pretty simple – Quarter Finals are one and done, and the Semis and Finals were a best of 3 series. From that the usual questions come:
Q: Why can’t the whole playoff format be a best of 3 series
A: Time and money. That’s the general answer, but let’s break it down for you. Each game takes 90 minutes. That means that in order to play a best of 3 series for each and every series we would need to play 18 games. 18 games requires 27 hours. Your immediate follow up is – well not all the series would go 3 games, so you wouldn’t need that much time. To which the response is, we have to plan assuming that they will. Further to that it means that each day would require 9 games to be played at a total of 13.5 hours. Start at 9AM and that means you’re going until 10:30 PM. We don’t have the ability to get that in diamonds nor in volunteers that would be willing to commit that much time.
Long story short – that’s not feasible for those reasons and a host of others that we won’t get into.
Q: But it sucks to play an entire season and then lose in the first game at 8AM and have to go home by 9:30 AM.
A: Bright side, you have your whole day to look forward to! However, the point is taken, it is hard to see teams eliminated before some people, Asad Nasser, are even waking up. So that’s definitely broken.
Q: Do we have to play in the bronze medal game?
A: Last year was decided by a coin toss, so it’s clear nobody cares about that game. So we have to get rid of it.
Enter the new format
So we heard the feedback and introduced a new format altogether – the format is called a guaranteed 3 game format. That’s all it does, it guarantees each team plays 3 games. It’s not double elimination, it’s not triple elimination. It just guarantees you play 3 games. No matter what. That means that yes, you could theoretically lose 3 games in a row and be out – someone will. That also means you could lose your first two games, and still win the championship. It’s possible. The other thing this format does, is that there’s only one winner. There is no consolation round, there is no second place. There’s one team that will survive it all and be crowned the 2019 JMS League Champions.
The best part about it is that based on the games this year, anyone can win. It’s wide open, and you might play a lot of different teams along the way. It will be very interesting. For those that lose early, it will be a very hard road. You will have to play a lot of games. If you thought playing 2 games in a day was taxing on you. Imagine what it’s going to be like to have to play 8 games in 2 days, at this intensity. There’s not enough Voltaren out there to get rid of those bumps and bruises enough to make you better for work on Monday. If you’re in good enough condition to play that much, you’ll do well. If you’re not, then you won’t. It’s going to be a test of longevity as much as it is of skill.
So let’s break down some scenarios. We’ll use the Bucks, last year’s champions, to take you through what it would be like for them to repeat. We’ll go through scenarios and assume that they’ll be the team to win, if they are the higher seed. But then we’ll mix in some random things that could happen if they lose early.
- Bucks start the day by playing the Eagles at 8:30 AM (Game 1). Let’s say they win this one.
- Bucks now face off against the Lions at 1:00 PM (Game 4). Let’s say they lose this one.
- Bucks will now face the loser of Game 3 – Wolves vs Falcons. Let’s say lower seed loses and Bucks vs. Falcons at 5:45 PM (Game 7).
- Bucks now move on and will start off Sunday morning bright and early at 8AM (Game 10). They play the winner of Game 6 – which would have been Eagles vs Tigers. Let’s say Tigers. This would be where we say the Bucks journey ends.
In this case the Bucks would have played 4 games, and would have played 4 different teams – Eagles, Lions, Falcons, and Tigers. However, to play the scenario out, let’s say they were to win that game against the Tigers.
- Game 1 – Win
- Game 4 – Lose
- Game 7 – Win
- Game 10 – Win
- Now the Bucks are to face the Winner of the game between the Loser of Game 7 (Falcons) and the Winner of the game between the Eagles and Owls. Let’s give this to the favourites. Meaning that the Bucks will face off against the Eagles once again at 11:00 AM on Sunday. We’ll give them the win again because we want to see this play out.
- The Bucks move on to play back to back at 12:30 PM on Sunday (Game 13), against the loser of the Lions vs. Wolves game. Let’s say this was the Wolves.
- After a short break for Salaat, the Bucks are back at it again against the Lions at 2:15 PM (Game 14). Let’s give them this win. However, since the Lions would be suffering their first loss, they have to do beat them twice.
- Game 15 – The last game of the tournament, winner take all. The Bucks now playing back-to-back-to-back-to-back games look to take the championship against the Lions. They win and repeat as champions.
8 games, and 5 of them on Sunday, and the last 4 played one after another. Losing that early game resulted in what can only be called a terrible schedule for the Bucks. Let’s see what happens if they win them all though.
- Game 1 – 8:30 AM Saturday – Win
- Game 4 – 1:00 PM Saturday – Win
- Game 11 – 9:30 AM Sunday – vs. Wolves – Win
- Game 14 – 2:15 PM Sunday – vs. whoever survives – Win
In this scenario, they play 4 games, win them all and win the championship. The games are relatively well spaced out. They play two games a day, and the schedule is kind. This is the easiest road to repeat for the championship for them.
You can see in all of the scenarios above, a lot could happen. The teams you play could vary drastically. The times you play would be beneficial or they could be detrimental, depending on how early you lose. In all cases, even if you lose 3 games in a row, you’ll still get to play 3 games. At the end of Saturday, 2 teams will have been eliminated, but the rest will remain. By the time the awards are handed out at 9:00 PM, only one team would have been eliminated.
You control your own destiny. We hope this helps walk you through what to expect, and encourage you to chart your team’s potential scenarios by walking through the tournament bracket above. Ultimately we wish you all the best of luck and may your team be the last one standing!