division tiebreakers

January 30, 2007 on 11:55 am | In analysis | 2 Comments

Hey, y’all. Sorry it’s been so long between posts, and I apologize for the lack of rankings to give everybody something else to talk about. Things have been pretty busy down here, between looking for a job (I even had a Jersey hockey connection try to help me out, so keep your fingers crossed for me) and writing for HNIB (my next deadline is 2/6, so expect a ranking around then) and playing indoor soccer (almost broke my toe last night), not to mention my day job; things have been pretty hectic.

You’ll notice the Ice Cups page is up and I’ve made a few minor tweaks to the division pages. The solid line across the schedule now indicates (except where I’ve neglected to make the change, and I’ll get to it) the state tournament cutoff date. You know the rules – teams must have at least a .500 record at the conclusion of Feb. 12 and have satisfied a few basic scheduling conditions to be eligible for the state tournament. Plus Gordon teams, plus at-large bids (teams must be within four games of .500 to apply for an at-large bid). So that’s D-Day for a lot of teams around the state. Keep in mind that NJSIAA Tournament Director Paul McInnis has informed various coaches that shootout AND overtime losses during regular season play count as TIES for state tournament eligibility. I will continue to give a win or loss for overtime results, but not for shootouts. Also, the gray background for a game indicates it is a ‘cup’ game (why I classify the NJISAA tournament as a cup and not the Titans Cup, we’ll never know).

Finally, the most common question I’ve been receiving has been about division tiebreakers. After conferring with various people, our dear Mike Morreale among them, I have reached the following conclusions. NJIHL division ties are broken by:

(1) Wins; (2) Head-to-head results; (3) Goal differential in division play; (4) Coin flip. I’m not 100 percent sure about goal differential, because I seem to remember a Gordon Conference tie decided by coin flip in 2004-05, but it’s possible there were mitigating circumstances.

In Morris County, ties are broken by the following, taken directly from league by-laws:

Criteria for breaking ties for tournament seeding:
a.        League standing.
b.        Head to head competition.
c.        Your record against teams seeded ahead of you.
d.        The team who has defeated the higher seeded team.
e.        Head to head competition with team ranked directly below.
f.        If tie still exists head to head with every succeeding team below
until the tie is broken.
g.        If three or more teams are tied, the composite record of all teams
that are tied against each other.  If one of the three teams is eliminated
at “H.”, return to “B.” to break the tie among the remaining two tied teams
and follow the tie breaking process from there.
h.        If a tie still exists – least amount of penalty minutes in league

In the NBIAL, you’re on your own. Nobody even knows what kind of tournament that darn league is having, let alone who qualifies for it how. The ADs up there need to get their act together.

Feel free to email me or post here with questions and I’ll try to answer them later this week. And, if you want to continue reading really random rambling, click below.

Random stuff 

Let’s see, what else is on the table? Shout-out to the kids at Indian Hills for showing some real class in support of head coach Lee Barber and his family … We almost had the scheduling play of the year this week, but it appears to be off the table … Ridge, St. Augustine Prep, and Notre Dame are still undefeated. Notre Dame plays St. Augustine Prep on Feb. 12. Ridge has several tough games scheduled but also has first-year program Monroe on its schedule. Monroe! They’re not even playing enough games to qualify for the state tournament. I wish the Red Devils could fit Notre Dame AND St. Augustine Prep into their schedule down the stretch, and we’d have a little round robin of currently unbeaten teams. But you really can’t criticize Ridge for its non-league schedule, which is terrific … St. Augustine Prep is trying to get a top-notch tournament going some time next season to get some quality competition down to South Jersey … Delbarton-Seton Hall Prep is going to be ridiculous on Saturday, and Bishop Eustace-St. Augustine Prep today shouldn’t be a bad one, either … Dark horse alertBergen Catholic is really picking up play and has almost clinched a Gordon Cup playoff spot; Morris Knolls is also heating up, winning four straight games as part of an 11-game stretch in which their only bad result was a tie against Mendham (which seems to be playing well); Fair Lawn should no longer sneak up on anybody in the state tournament, but the Cutters are on a six-game win streak, including wins over Northern Highlands and Steinert … Seven of Verona‘s nine losses have been by one or two goals; conversely, Pingry has won seven games by one or two goals, including a pair in overtime … The Central White is one of my favorite divisions with this year, with legit teams like MKA, Watchung Hills, and Hillsborough at the top, followed by competitive squads like Summit, Westfield, and Cranford. Should be six state tournament teams from one White Division if Westfield can hold up its end of the bargain, and that is going to be a heck of a postseason cup tournament … Red Bank Catholic could very well be 8-12-2 at the state tournament deadline – should the Caseys get an at-large bid? They had a ridiculously tough schedule but do not have many marquee wins … Great race among the top four teams in the NBIAL as well; if only we knew what the postseason held. And if only there was actually a trophy for the winner … Finally, the MCSSIHL has an uncharacteristic similarity to the poorly run NBIAL in that the Haas Cup pairings are not entirely clear. The initial version of the league schedule split the Haas Cup bracket into two division playoffs, with the Haas and Charette Division playoff champions meeting for the Haas Cup. That is dumb. No two ways about it. There is no point in having divisions based on skill level and not giving the two best teams from the higher division a chance to meet in the final. If Jefferson and Pequannock do not have a CHANCE to meet in the final, a serious injustice has been done. Look for this to be overturned in the next two weeks, although the league may keep the playoff representation at four Haas and four Charette, which is a little silly. Five and three was fine.

Alright, those are my random musings while procrastinating at work. Help me out with missing scores, as I posted on the forum, and I’ll have the standings and schedules updated late tonight.

Feel free to email me or post here with questions and I’ll try to answer them later this week.



  1. jon, the morris county ad’s changed the playoff format based on the perception that over the past few years a strong case could be made that the charette teams were equal too if not stronger than the haas teams. the perception that the 5th place haas team merited a playoff bid could not be justified. Remember, charette team han regional had just won the past two cups. because the teams play an unbalenced schedule, the reseeding of team based on records did not make sense. whereas jefferson and pequannock will finish with the two best records, the reality of the situation is that we must all play by the rules as set forth by the league and cannot change the rules to accommodate a perceived injustice. thats the beauty of the playoffs…there are no guarentees.
    you could make a strong case that in 05-06 mt. olive (10-3 was a more worthy finalist than kinnelon (6-4-2) based on their record agains’t a down year haas schedule…or that in 04-05 a roxbury team (12-0-1) and pequannock (10-2-1) should have met in the finals instead of eventual champion han regional (7-4-2) and pequannock. remember, both finalists that year came from the charette division.
    based on the results of the past few years, the league (i believe correctly) determined that a level of equality existed between the two divisions and that the playoff structure should reflect that change…dave

    Comment by dave stanek — 31 January 2007 #

  2. Why doesn’t the NJ State hockey tournament committee (for tournament selection purposes) and the Star Ledger (for periodic ranking purposes) follow the NJ LAX community by using the computer generated rankings shown at http://www.laxpower.com/update06/binboy/rating47.php ? This is similar to the Pairwise computer rankings at http://www.uscho.com/rankings/pwr.php. What do you think of such methods?

    Comment by J. Phillips — 1 February 2007 #

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