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Discussion: Coin flips

Posted Discussion
Dec. 9, 2021
stattad
Men's 65
228 posts
Coin flips
A rule suggestion I made a few years ago gets defeated every year. The rule would be that if an undefeated team in a tournament loses the coin flip in the championship game, they automatically get the choice of home team in the IF game. The reasoning is that the undefeated team proved something ON THE FIELD and doesn't deserve to be the visitor on 2 straight coin flip losses.

I'm not asking people to change their minds. It gets voted down every year. I just want the REASON. All I've heard is "that's how we've always done it." Well, we've always had 10 men on defense in the 65 division, and now that's changing!

Dec. 9, 2021
DaveDowell
Men's 70
3727 posts
Hi Tad ... Your exact favored procedure wasn't actually considered this year, but a similar one was, where the unbeaten team would have the choice of Home/Visitor in the Championship game rather than a coin toss ... I'm speaking only for myself, but I believe my position was common to enough of the other voting members to defeat the proposal this year ... I'm not interested in debating it with a few hundred anonymous experts here, but the analysis went something like this:

•There is a disproportionate "advantage" to be the Home team in any game, but it's particularly true in Championship game(s) where one team will become Champion if they can win just one game before losing two ... They have earned that "two for one" advantage by being undefeated, but there is an unfair competitive imbalance by doubling the advantages for one team, to the exclusion of the other, in guaranteeing them Home team status;
• The most fair method to allocate any theoretical home team advantage is by a simple coin toss (exactly a 50/50% chance every time);
• During the discussion this year, I casually speculated that if we gave the unbeaten that kind of Home team advantage, then the other team should be guaranteed Home team in the "If" game ... Fair is fair, right? ... It wasn't very well received, so I decided against proposing that amendment on the chance it might actually sound good and provoke the passage of the underlying motion! ... Being able to accurately asses whether or not you can count to seven in these meetings is important ...

Just to be fully transparent, there WAS one member who made the argument of "Well, we've ALWAYS done it that way, and it works fine" ... But that wasn't the argument that carried the day this year ... So we'll see next year!

Dec. 9, 2021
Junior2412
15 posts
Tad, I was thinking of something similar but a little different. The undefeated team should be "home" in the Championship game(they've earned it) and if they lose, then the "IF" game gets the coin flip.
Dec. 9, 2021
stattad
Men's 65
228 posts
Well, I always advocated for a coin flip in the championship game (the first one), but I appreciate the detailed response Dave!
Dec. 9, 2021
TimMcElroy
820 posts
I voted against the coin flip in championship games for a few reasons-

1) I hear the "we earned it by being unbeaten" argument from teams quite often. My personal feeling is that they did earn something... the right to rest for an hour or so while their next opponent plays multiple games in a row.

2) We have some divisions that play full round robin formats vs bracket ball. The RR divisions use a coin toss for every game. I like the idea of being consistent.

3) Instructing umpires to flip a coin for ALL GAMES (whether round robin or bracket) reduces the chance that anyone gets it wrong.
Dec. 9, 2021
DaveDowell
Men's 70
3727 posts
And the most common "gets it wrong" is from the umpire who, after being told we flip for every game, asks, "What about an 'IF' game?", to which I usually reply: "Only if that "If" game is in the group of games known as EVERY GAME!" ... It's almost unbelievable how many times that exact scenario plays out! ...

Dec. 10, 2021
grayhitter59
Men's 60
306 posts
Ok, here goes nothing.

I think the seeding you earned should determine home or away. Getting seeded high should earn you home field, that give teams more incentives to place higher.
Dec. 10, 2021
TimMcElroy
820 posts
Who is the "higher seed" in Round Robin divisions?

Who is the higher seed on Sunday in Las Vegas when American #5 plays National #5 ?

Do the higher seed rules still apply when my team had to play a Major+ team in games but your team didn't?

How long are we going to hold up games while the umpire resolves higher seed questions at the park?

What happens when a team incorrectly represents themselves (at home plate) as the 4 seed when they were really the 7 seed? How is that post-game protest going to be resolved ?


How about this?
Coin flip for ALL GAMES and reduce the possibility of arguments and errors.
Dec. 10, 2021
DaveDowell
Men's 70
3727 posts
Final thoughts from me on this one ...

Manny ... Which is more fair?

• Totally random 50/50% coin toss in every game? OR
• Twenty-six team bracket, 2RR into 3GG bracket format ... You drew the two strongest teams (you know, the ones that everyone claims we should have bumped up weeks ago!) and went 0-2 by lopsided scores, grabbing the not-so-coveted #26 seed ... My team, the third weakest team in the mix, drew the two even weaker teams (the ones that only booked two nights in the host hotel instead of three), went 2-0 comfortably and ended up with a "head-scratcher" #1 seed ... I would LOVE to be Home in every game based on that fundamental seeding inequity! ...

In the days (15± years ago) when the World's were a 4-game RR into DE brackets, seeding was much more "reliable" ... Not so much so today with even larger brackets, but only two RR games ... As an on-site Director, I hear that analysis applied to seeding results on a regular basis ... I respectfully listen, but pay no attention to it after they walk away ... Good luck on both your coin toss calls AND games this Season!

Dec. 10, 2021
stick8
1951 posts
When I ump men’s ball the winner of the winners bracket automatically gets home team in the first game. Should it go to an “if” game then it’s a coin flip.
And when we do a coin flip it’s two flips. The first flip is to see who calls it. The second flip is the actual flip. It works pretty well.
The winners bracket winner getting home team in the finals is the old “Resmondo rule”.
Dec. 11, 2021
rmp0012002
Men's 50
54 posts
I think coin flips should only be used in the pool play games since that’s where you’re setting your seeds. In DE play the choice of home or away should go to the higher seed and in the championship game the winners bracket winner should get home team if they choose. I don’t see any reason to give any benefit to the losers bracket winner at the expense of winners bracket champion. That makes no sense to me.
Dec. 12, 2021
The Screamer5
67 posts
Just my opinion but I believe having the "hammer" is such a BIG advantage in Senior Softball, that automatically giving it to undefeated team in the Championship game (or to the higher seeded team) is too much of an advantage. The advantage the undefeated team has is having to lose twice. To cut down the possibility of a lot of confusion and arguments, the only fair way is to have a totally random 50/50 coin toss in every game.
Dec. 12, 2021
Doak
19 posts
Hello I am a player on the Timberworks 70 Major plus team and take all the flips and I almost always take visitors on the flip. I have done this for Timberworks for the past 6 years and before that did it with MTC. I think it is an advantage to hit and score first, then let the other team chase you. I like it in the pre-lims because it allows maximum at bats and in the tourney because I want the Home team to feel they have to score to stay up with us. We have flip-flopped and run ruled many a team doing this. We recently played in the 65 major bracket in Phoenix and we were visitor every game, Truthfully, I don't know if we would have beaten the scorpions if they led off. Now everyone on our team doesn't agree with me, all of the time including Doug our manager. But, as long as we win they let me do this. I go to my catch phrase; Did you come here to hit or play defense? Now there are teams starting to take visitors against us...

Doak #37
Dec. 12, 2021
Mango
Men's 50
157 posts
Doak….shhhhhh! Don’t let this out. Actually I agree with you that in slow pitch softball there are more advantages both psychologically and strategically as visitors. The biggest one strategically is in a close game with the home team trailing you know where the tying and winning runs are and can manage accordingly. Psychologically if you’re visitors the home team is always chasing you. I’ve been preaching this for years. Likewise not everyone on our team agrees with me but we’ve had many converts on our Sommerville team over time.
Mango
Dec. 13, 2021
DaveDowell
Men's 70
3727 posts
Doak and Mango ... You both have done a nice job in proving the validity of our "Flip For Every Game" rule structure ... The Screamer5 is correct in asserting that the "hammer" is a BIG advantage in Senior softball ... And you both are likely able to be Visitor most of the time, win or lose on the coin toss ... The only exception is when I hear teams tell me "If we win the toss, we're going to take Visitor against them so they don't get that huge open inning when they beat us" ... If we get lucky and they have to come back at the end and beat us by one, that's better than them putting up a couple of touchdowns in the top of the open ...

I greatly admire both of you and your respective teams ... And if I had to publicly name the top three or four teams in the nation in their respective age/divisions, you both make that short list ... You're simply good enough that the "hammer advantage" for all but a small handful of your opponents is, respectfully, largely irrelevant ... Good luck in the 2022 Season! ...

Dec. 14, 2021
tnacty
Men's 50
6 posts
Late to the game cuz I don't spend a lot of time here. Dave apologies in advance for jumping into this can of worms late.

It was my proposal that you considered and sent down in 1-11 flames and it frankly surprised me. LOL No offense taken but I thought it was a slam dunk! I'm 57 this year and play 50 major so I've been around the senior game for a little while. Spent a good portion of my adult life as a USSSA State Director and sat on the National Rules Committee.

I've talked to myriad umpires and most thought it was a good idea. Polled players for a few years and invariably the answer is "that's the way it should be ya". Maybe it's because I spend most of my time with the 50's and we see things a little differently than the older divisions, but the guys I talk to, and it's been a ton of them, see it differently than the rules committee did.

I was once the 'guy in charge' and I always prided myself on listening to my player body. My polling, and again it's only a couple hundred 50 and 55 players showed this had overwhelming support. I'll propose it again next year with a few modifications and maybe get 2-3 votes :)

You're the guys in charge now and I'd encourage you to seek out players thoughts not just on this subject but on others. Whether that's an end of season managers/ players survey or informal chats at events. Good things happen from the marketplace of ideas.

I proposed the team on the hill be given the choice....those suggesting you prefer visitor....nothing has been taken away from you. Choose visitor.

As for a 'huge' advantage. Being home team in any sanction and at any age is an advantage. I don't see anything in senior that makes it any different. It's an advantage, certainly not a 'huge' one.

I'll never be a proponent of the higher seed thing, pool play opponents are so random. We've been in championship games the last few years as the last seed and the one seed.

I am a proponent of giving the team on the hill their choice obviously. They've earned it by not losing a game. Get to the IF where both teams have a loss and are on equal footing again....flip a coin.

Thanks for your ear, keep doing what you're doing, Tenacity appreciates your efforts. We had a great time in Phoenix and are looking forward to St George.

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