Tiebreaker rule makes no sense

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 11, 1999

Natchez High softball coach Sue Johnson tried to explain to me the softball tiebreaker system, not that she needed it for her team.

Johnson and her Lady Bulldogs went unbeaten through Division 6-5A competition for the second straight year and will host Long Beach Saturday in a first round playoff series.

Johnson called the Mississippi High School Athletic Association about the tiebreaker rule that has Cathedral traveling despite tying Wesson the Division 6-2A title and beating the Lady Cobras by more than they were beaten.

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Cathedral coach Lynn Ogden had explained it to me earlier, not that she agreed with it, but she understandably doesn’t want to get so caught up in the politics that it takes away from her team getting ready for the playoffs.

The Lady Wave play at Gulfport St. John Saturday.

Johnson said she called just to make sure Cathedral was getting a fair shake.

She said that because Cathedral and Wesson had two losses each, the tiebreaker would go to how each team did against the third place team.

Loyd Star and St. Andrews tied for third and Wesson had a better overall record against both teams.

If both teams would have finished with one loss, then the margin of difference in the teams’ two meeting would have been put into play.


The Lady Wave lost 9-8 to Wesson in Wesson. Cathedral defeated Wesson 18-1 here.

I’m sorry, in my book that should be the one and only tiebreaker.

But actually, the second ruling may pay off for the Lady Wave.

Cathedral shouldn’t need any more incentive for winning than at least the chance to play Wesson again and show who is truly the better team.

And Ogden is getting the Lady Wave away from the Great Mississippi River Balloon Race and any distractions that might cause.

Don’t laugh, I’ve known those kind of distractions to be a problem in the past.

And as any coach will tell you, you better be focused on one thing playoff time.

Johnson doesn’t need much more incentive either.

Natchez has been to the playoffs 14 times, but has failed to get past the first round, including the last two years of hosting a first round series.

The incentive is their girls, now it’s up to you.

Speaking of crazy tiebreakers, Louisiana prep football has gone to a rating system for its playoffs. In other words, a team that wins is district may have to go on the road in the first round if they do not have as many power points as another team.

All right, bear with me.

For a win, a team gets 10 points.&160; But if a team defeats an opponent that is in a lower class than they are, they have two points deducted for each class lower that opponent is.&160;

Conversely, if that team defeats a team in a higher classification, they earn two extra points for each class higher.&160;&160;

For a loss,&160;a team gets zero points.

If a team is defeated by another team in a higher class, they get two points for each class higher that team is. A team is not penalized for losing to a team in a lower class.

You divide the total number of points by the number of games played to get a power rating.&160;

All power ratings are rounded to two decimal places.

There’s more, but my head needs a rest.

Joey Martin is sports editor of The Democrat. He can be reached by calling 446-5172 ext. 232 or at joey.martin@natchezdemocrat.com.