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Discussion: Tournament seeding

Posted Discussion
April 7, 2017
ftroop13
11 posts
Tournament seeding
Have not been on this board in years but there is a question I would like to ask that I have been wondering about forever.
Why is there always a flip for bracket games in all tournaments?
It seems to me that the higher seed should always have choice otherwise there is no real advantage for being higher seed. Please don't say the advantage is playing the lower seeds because we all know many times the best teams can be low seeds for many reasons I will not go into here. That's a topic for another time.
April 7, 2017
DaveDowell
Men's 65
2977 posts
Sometimes is the simple answer that's the best ... SSUSA flips for every game as a matter of consistency and fairness (50% odds every time) as to have the option to be Home team ... That and umpires seem (in most cases) to know which games fall into the grouping known as "every game" ... This comes up every few years in the Rules Committee and has failed every time ...
April 7, 2017
ftroop13
11 posts
Thanx for getting back so quick Dave. That explains why but I Just disagree with rule
Still doesn't address giving the better seed a deserved advantage
Choice would give more incentive to win in seeding round and seems fair to me. baseball/softball at all levels down to little league play for best record and home field advantage in playoffs.
I have seen so many close games go to the team with the Hammer.especially in slow pitch softball where being down 3 or less runs with last ups is almost like being tied.
Just my humble opinion Thanx for listening
April 7, 2017
Jawood
Men's 50
926 posts
The higher seeded team should be getting the advantage of being the home team ... no question!
April 8, 2017
k man
Men's 65
292 posts
I would think the higher seed would have the option. And who decides who gets to call the flip? I've heard things such as the team who had to come travel the farthest distance used but I doubt that's standard operating procedure.

Just curious as to how seeding games are set up.
SSUSA always lists teams in a division alphabetically so if the same division was to play in another tournament they would have the same alignment 1- whatever. I would assume they have something that randomly generates the seedings so they wouldn't be facing the same 2 teams as in the previous tournament. Again just curious, no complaint with how it's done.

April 8, 2017
DaveDowell
Men's 65
2977 posts
k man ... Seeding games are set up with a goal of matching teams from different areas (when possible) who normally don't face each other frequently ... The alphabetical presentation of the teams on the schedules is for convenience only and has no bearing on the match-ups generated by the scheduling software ... In fact, the entire schedule build is number-based in generation, and the team names are overlaid on the numbers as the last step in the process ... The team numbers are pre-assigned to separate Divisions, with a software instruction to play only games "outside of the Division" ...

At the World Masters, with some very large brackets, the match-ups are usually "East vs. West" ... In Regional TOC events, we do the best we can under the same theory, generally "out-of-state" being the primary criteria ... But next week at the Tidewater Classic, the 50-AAA division has six teams, five of which are from VA, so there's not much that can be done there! ... When we have events in the same geographic area in close proximity of dates, like last month's Spring World's and the upcoming Southwest Championships, both in Southern Nevada, we do our best to not duplicate seeding game match-ups from the prior event ... Another factor that may impact match-ups is "later start requests" by teams, and if there are two of those in a division, they will likely play each other to meet both of their requests with one game ...

Lastly, Directors often hear: "We just played them in seeding, why do we have to play them AGAIN in the first game of the bracket???" ... The correct, but not always popular, response there is pretty simple: "SSUSA is solely responsible for who you play in Seeding games, but you are solely responsible for who you play in the bracket, based upon your performance in those Seeding games" ... Hope this helps in filling in some background ...

As for the coin flip, we are not too concerned about any problem in deciding who calls it ... Most umpires are able to get that handled without controversy! ... We like the totally random nature of a coin toss for all "neutral site" games, and we also have a potential complication with mandatory HOME designation for a team GIVING an equalizer if we were to change ... I wouldn't be personally opposed to a team who was HOME in a Championship game being the VISITOR in an "If" game, but I'm only one of the 13 voting members on the National Rules Committee ...

April 8, 2017
k man
Men's 65
292 posts
Dave, thanks for the prompt and informative response.
April 10, 2017
Garocket
Men's 55
258 posts
So ftroop you are saying if you are if your team draws two weak teams and I draw two strong teams then you should still get the advantage of being home if I play your team. THat does not even sound fair
April 10, 2017
Jon44
Men's 55
145 posts
You bring up a very good point Garocket. I have seen this many times where a team draws two weaker teams in the seed games, get an artificially inflated seed, then flame out quickly. Not that anyone is asking, but I am good with how things are currently done.

I am much more annoyed when they give our team a seed game against another local team that we play all of the time in local tournaments in Hemet (or insert local tourney location relevant to your situation). We both drive 7 hours to Saint George and we play a seed game against each other when we can just as easily play teams from other locations that we have never played. Part of the fun of traveling to a tourney is to play against teams you know nothing about.
April 10, 2017
The Screamer5
65 posts
In senior softball having the "hammer" is such a big advantage I don't know if simply giving the higher seeded team the choice in bracket games is the fairest solution. Most senior games I've been a part of have been really close and mostly always comes down to who wins the "open" inning. Having last at bats might be too much of advantage to give based on the higher seeding...especially seeing how differently teams approach and play their pool games. A coin toss might still be the best way. Just my opinion.
April 11, 2017
ftroop13
11 posts
All good points
might as well just leave it alone
April 11, 2017
DaveDowell
Men's 65
2977 posts
Not too bad! ... Both sides of the issue presented fairly in (a surprisingly low) number of posts! ... Now it's off to the Convention for a possible Agenda item ...
April 11, 2017
Mango
Men's 50
154 posts
Interesting topic. On a semi related topic I was wondering SSUSA’s reasoning for assigning home team to the higher rated team (the one giving equalizers) in mixed classification games. It seems most people feel home team is a big advantage. Do they feel they are giving an advantage back to a team that is giving up so many equalizers? And if so why?
Mango
April 11, 2017
SSUSA Staff
2945 posts
Mango ... The short version rationale was to address the too-frequent circumstance of more than a few extremely strong teams giving the equalizer and then either negotiating for, or hoping to be, VISITOR ... Ideally, they like to be ahead by nine or so runs, avoiding the flip-flop, so they can have "batting practice" against an outclassed opponent in the top of the open inning ... We have no objection to a clearly stronger team giving the equalizer having a big open inning, so long as it's in the bottom of the open to win by one ... A secondary benefit is in keeping tournament play as close to on-time as possible ...

April 11, 2017
coop3636
414 posts
Hey...
What about this?
What if you give the team that wins the winners bracket home team on the first game of the championship game.
If it goes to an " IF" game, then go to a coin flip.
This gives the team with no loses some kind of reward for winning.
Just my 2 cents.
Brett
April 12, 2017
DaveDowell
Men's 65
2977 posts
coop3636 ... How about this to keep it clean and simple? ... HOME to the team who has the best cumulative run differential (subtracting, of course, all open-inning scoring) so far in the tournament ... In first games, HOME awarded in reverse alphabetical order ... Apply a multiplier factor for wins/losses vs. out of state teams (± 5%), of if from the same state, to the Manager address with the highest zip code, and a super bonus (+ 10%) for wins vs. teams that you have made either a roster or rating complaint about in the past 90 days ... Tie-breaker on HOME to the team who's opponents in previous games have the highest strength of schedule index, or VISITOR if your team has won a T.O.C. qualifier in the current or immediately preceding season .... Umpires and Directors should be able to handle this analysis fairly quickly, right? ... Or MAYBE we could just toss a coin in every game for a random chance to choose, with equal 50/50 odds, for both teams ... Nawwww, that would be too easy ... [grins]

April 12, 2017
Steinbrenner
Men's 60
70 posts
Good Job Dave. That clears things up.
April 12, 2017
coop3636
414 posts
Dave
I give a serious suggestion and you try and make fun.
I can handle to the making fun of, (I dish it out so I take it also) but it was a serious suggestion for next years meeting.
I have asked plenty of players and they have no issue with it.
Thanks in advance for putting it on your discussion list.
Brett
April 12, 2017
DaveDowell
Men's 65
2977 posts
Relax Brett ... It was all in good fun while I'm killing time awaiting the moving van today! ... This probably isn't the most significant issue in slow pitch softball this (or any) year ... As to your original suggestion, it's not reasonable to presume being able to count to "seven" of the 13 votes required to implement your idea of a designated HOME for the 1st game and a coin toss for the "If" ... I don't see my colleagues on the Committee going that way (and I would lobby hard against it with my one little vote) over a designated true "Home and Home" situation of reversing the roles in the "If" game ...

April 12, 2017
Omar Khayyam
1336 posts
Dave, you gave in too soon! When I saw some preference given to the manager with the highest zip code...and being a California team with zip codes in the 94000's...I saw some real opportunity for us in the more "scientific" approach to home team advantage. But don't worry, we won't protest and threaten to quit the SSUSA if we continue with a simple coin flip.:=)

How is the move going? Hope there aren't too many of the normal problems (like the power not being on at the new place, etc.). See you at the Western Nationals since I have to miss Reno this year.
April 12, 2017
TOMAR77
Men's 65
310 posts
Since the change in allowing the Higher Ranked Teams to have the Advantage with the "HAMMER" it has proven to neutralize the Equalizer ! I have Managed Teams with the Higher and Lower Rankings, obviously receiving and getting the "5 Run Equalizer". I agree that teams take advantage of the open inning to pile on. I also agree with the implication that it is unsportsmanlike but it is a part of the game. Hold the Team and Manager accountable but, you can't make Teams play with class. Plus one of the tie breakers is Run's scored against NOT how many Runs a Team scores. So this speaks to the situation that there is no need to pile on except to have "BA" against an overmatched Team. Still I as a Manager should have the responsibility on whether I want to give the other Team Visitor or Home Team (based on winning the Coin Flip). I have in the past taken the Visitors knowing the opposing Team would likely run the score up. Point is I had the choice. Now I just shake my head knowing that the Rules have circumvented my Teams option by giving my lower rated Team a disadvantage thereby neutralizing in most cases the 5 Run Equalizer. As far as keeping the Games on Time I agree that it is important, but not at the 'expense' of putting Teams of a lower level of skill, (most likely new Teams and rebuilding Teams). Makes for an elitist approach. There are I am sure better alternatives then penalizing a Lower Rated Team. Maybe limit an open inning scoring in which a Higher Ranked Team can score up to a 10 Run Lead. Just a suggestion. Again I have Managed at both ends of the old Rule. I never felt it was unfair. In fact it is my belief that we have more Teams playing because of the 5 Run Equalizer. Now, (as it was at the Spring Worlds), we get 5 Runs but we are penalized by giving up any fair chance of receiving the Hammer. Seems that the squeaky wheel got the oil and we got "Hammered".
Tomar
April 13, 2017
SS11
41 posts
The seeding higher vs. lower in bracket play can be very misleading. Seeding is also a product of the strength of your opponents in pool play. Example, last year we played two very good teams in pool play and finished 2-0. We won 32-31 and 25-22. The teams we beat both ended up top 7 at the end of the tourney out of 32 teams. We ended up the 7th seed going into bracket play because some teams played against teams that didn't score over 12 runs in any game in the tournament. Because some teams drew weak teams in seeding games they ended up seeded higher even though they were nowhere near better. We ended up winning the tournament and got bumped to a higher division unfairly. But it would've been wrong to lose the chance of being home team, because of the scheduling of the seeding games.
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