Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Not only does the new NPPL Pro format invest one third of its schedule in games that are "play if necessary" but with the brackets of 4 teams in each of four brackets the odds are (particularly over the course of a season) there will numerous results requiring resolution by tie-breaker. (Something regular readers know I find contrary to the ideals of competition.) Anyway, with 4 teams in each bracket the possible outcomes are as follows: (Wins) 3, 2, 1, 0. 3, 1, 1, 1. 2, 2, 2, 0. 2, 2, 1, 1. That's it. There are no other outcomes. 50% of the time the outcome is clear cut. 50% of the time the result will be determined by some sort of tie-breaker, and in this case it will be highest average score. (The first tie-breaker is matches won which doesn't apply. The second is head-to-head and with three teams tied [group 2 & 3] that doesn't apply either. The third tie-breaker is total points scored divided by games played or highest average score.) Since the third tie-breaker is highest average score it would seem the fewer games a team plays the better but that isn't actually correct. It's true if a team loses single games in matches it eventually wins--because that dilutes their scoring average. But in matches a team loses every extra game won increases a team's scoring average. The moral of the math is win matches 2-0 and if you gotta lose do it 2-1 for your best chance of moving on. That may seem obvious but look at this way. Two teams play 7 games each and end up 2 matches won and one match lost. First team goes 2-1 in a match it won and the second team went 1-2 in the match it lost. Who goes through? First team went 4-3 in games won/lost. The second team went 5-2 in games won/lost for the higher scoring average. So here we go again. Btw, the Millennium does the same damned thing--and has for years--like you didn't already know that. What the hell is the matter with you people?