Shore Conference playoffs

January 20, 2008 on 1:14 pm | In breaking news | 5 Comments

I had the Shore Conference hockey playoff system explained to me Saturday. It took about 20 minutes. I have been told by a local that Shore Conference rules may appear to the unfamiliar to be “quirky.”

He was putting it mildly.

While there may be changes in the future, I’m being told the first Shore Conference tournament (Shore Cup? Jim Dowd Cup? I don’t know if there’s a name yet) will be conducted by Shore Conference by-laws. Which means an 8-team tournament featuring:

  • Shore A North public team with best divisional record
  • Shore A South public team with best divisional record
  • Shore B North public team with best divisional record
  • Shore B South public team with best divisional record
  • private school (not sure how they will choose)
  • at-large
  • at-large
  • at-large

Is that bizarre or what? I’ve got so many rants and raves about this, I don’t know where to begin.

At-large teams will be chosen by committee. Let’s look at it slowly and figure out how this will play out.

1. Wall / Middletown North (Shore A North public)
2. Brick Memorial / Brick (Shore A South public)
3. RFH / RBR (Shore B North public)
4. TRS / Jackson (Shore B South public)
5. St. John Vianney (private)
6. Red Bank Catholic (at-large 1)
7. Monsignor Donovan (at-large 2)
8. the other Brick school (at-large 3)

Not an awful tournament. Assuming seeding is subjective, you have 1-SJV vs. 8-TRS, 2-MD vs. 7-RFH, 3-RBC vs. 6-Brick; 4-Wall vs. 5-Brick Mem. … or something like that. Semifinal matchups would be SJV-Wall, MD-RBC. But there’s not much of a level playing field or incentive for Shore B teams.

Now, to my questions:

Why are Shore teams forced to schedule 17-19 games within the conference if only 6-8 of those count for postseason seeding?
Why are the private schools treated differently for purposes of the postseason tournament but not the regular season? That screws over teams that have to play four division games against private schools.
Why does the Shore B schedule make all Shore B teams play all other ones twice?
What the heck will happen when CBA comes in next year?

But I guess it really boils down to this: Why does the conference mandate that its teams play all these games that have no bearing on the conference postseason?


  1. Wait, so how will the top teams be determined. Lets use Shore A south Public team for example. Will it go by all shore conference games, games against their division (A South), games against the public schools in its division, or will games against public B have any impact. Im confused so if you could clarify that id appreciate it.

    JY: As I understand it, it will go by division games only (including private schools). Someone feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.

    Comment by Jesse — 20 January 2008 #

  2. Wow, that’s terrible. So next year, it will essentially be the 4 winners and the 4 big private schools? We’re going to have numerous teams qualify for states and not for their conference playoffs. Why not make it bigger and make the crossover games matter?

    Comment by Rick — 21 January 2008 #

  3. Really rediculous on a few acounts. #1 – making it different for Publics, vs non-publics. MD plays SJV and RBC once each, SJV and RBC play each other 2X each as well as MD. How do you determine who has the best record when they don’t even play the same amount of games. #2 – the at-large bids. Assuming they give 2 of the at-large bids to the other non-pubs (and I wouldn’t even count on that with back room politics), PubA North teams play 5 games against non-pubs, PubA South only 4, meaning the North teams have a tougher go at the only at large berth available. Truly dumb. An A and a B tournament, (6 of 10 A teams and 4 of 8 B teams) made too much sense I guess.

    Comment by db — 21 January 2008 #

  4. The system is flawed and certainly not endorsed by any coach in the conference. Unfortunately, a Shore Conference school is obligated to follow the by laws and the by laws are not sport specific. What works in one sport does not work in others. Change is necessary, but change takes time…especially when the decision makers have little (if any) knowledge of our sport. We have a difficult task ahead, to create understanding and change policy so we can implement the common sense solution that is painfully obvious to all.

    Comment by Shore Coach — 21 January 2008 #

  5. Bob Badders of Digital sports has this update on his blog.

    “I have just been informed that the Shore Conference executive committee has had a change of heart regarding the Shore Conference ice hockey playoffs and will now have two separate tournaments. According to Wall associate head coach Dave Smith, the A Division Tournament will have six teams and the B Division Tournament will have four teams. Both championship games will be played on Friday February 22 at Winding River Skating Center in Toms River.”

    Looks like someone (coaches?) complained loud and clear.

    Comment by db — 24 January 2008 #

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