Monday, March 26, 2018

FCFL Playoff Proposal

I know there’s been some talk about FCFL playoff formats, but no firm decision yet.  I’d imagine that this is one of the decisions that will ultimately be voted on by fans.  Here are my thoughts on an ideal playoff format.

Some of the characteristics that a good playoff system should have are:
  • It should reward regular season success
  • It should give as many teams as possible incentive to win for as long as possible
  • It should be perceived as fair by fans
  • It should create excitement

I think this proposal would accomplish all of those things:
  • 1st place: First round bye, then choose which first round winner they want to play
  • 2nd place: First round bye, play first round winner not selected by 1st place team
  • 3rd place: Choose first round opponent from among 5th and 6th place teams
  • 4th place: Play against 5th or 6th place team not selected by 3rd place team
  • 5th place: Playoff spot
  • 6th place: Playoff spot
  • 7th place: Eliminated
  • 8th place: Eliminated

This means that there’s always a substantial advantage to moving up multiple spots.  In addition, it eliminates the quirk of most existing playoff systems that sometimes a higher rank team gets stuck playing a team that’s perceived as tougher than the opponent of a lower ranked team.  And it introduces the additional excitement of teams having to play against a team that they’ve just insulted by selecting them as an opponent.

I’d love to figure out additional features to separate some of the positions with similar results (particularly 4th from 5th and 7th from 8th), but I think this proposal is a really good starting point for discussion.

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