The NWL 2010 season is winding down and the playoff scenarios are abundant. There are eight teams within the North and South Division that have an opportunity to make the playoffs. The North Division has four teams atop the standings and are only separated by 2.0 games. The South Division also has four teams who are trailing the 1st Half Champion Eau Claire Express. The Express are one of the South Division playoff representatives while the other four teams are separated by 1.5 games.
The North Division has Willmar and St. Cloud tied in 1st place with Duluth and Brainerd just 2.0 games back. The Rochester Honkers are currently in 3rd place, but have one of two North playoff bids due to winning the 1st Half.
The South Division is a tighter race than North with the Eau Claire Express leading the Division. Wisconsin is currently 2nd in the Division with La Crosse (0.5), Madison (1.0) and Green Bay (1.5) just 0.5 to 1.5 games back, but would advance to the playoffs as Eau Claire’s 2nd Half standing is not used because they are the South representative for their 1st Half title.
With this many teams in playoff contention, the possibility of a tie breaker is evident. The NWL tie break scenario goes as follows:
‘A tie breaker will be used when teams have an identical winning percentage for a half season or a full season in determining home field advantage or divisional Champion for that respective half season. The tie breaker is as follows for determining a divisional half season Champion or divisional home field advantage’:
- Head to Head winning percentage
- Winning percentage vs. the next highest placed team in Division and so on throughout Division
- Coin flip
If more than two teams have an identical winning percentage these steps will be used to eliminate teams and then revert to the beginning for the remaining two teams.
Currently, the Willmar Stingers and St. Cloud River Bats are tied atop the North Division at 18-12. According to the tie breaker, they would follow Head to Head winning percentage where the two teams are 5-5 against each other. Therefore, it would go to step two of the tie breaker, ‘winning percentage vs. the next highest placed team in Division’. The next highest placed team is the Rochester Honkers. St. Cloud’s record against Rochester is 3-4 with three games yet to play while Willmar’s record is 7-3. If the season ended with identical records for Willmar and St. Cloud, Willmar would be the playoff representative due to their Head to Head record against the next best opponent, Rochester.