Posted: 4:45 pm Friday, April 15th, 2011

Baseball: District 9-6A playoff seedings, tiebreaking procedures 

By Matt Porter

Now that it’s finally at a point where it can be easily* explained, let’s take a look at the District 9-6A standings and playoff seeds.

*Easy is a relative term, mind you.

Tonight, Jupiter beat Palm Beach Gardens 13-4, and Atlantic beat Royal Palm Beach 8-4. Those were the final two games that mattered for 9-6A seeding purposes.

Jupiter locks up the No. 1 seed in the tournament, Palm Beach Central gets the second seed, and the rest fall into line as follows:

District 9-6A playoff seedings

1. Jupiter (7-1)
2. Palm Beach Central (6-2)
3. Santaluces (5-3)
4. Seminole Ridge (4-4)
5. Palm Beach Gardens (4-4)
6. Atlantic (4-4)
7. Park Vista (4-4)
8. Boca Raton (2-6)
9. Royal Palm Beach (0-8)

Why are the teams seeded like that if four teams are tied? Read on.

Most district tournaments begin next Tuesday, April 26. District 9-6A will start with a play-in game between No. 8 Boca Raton and No. 9 Royal Palm Beach. From there, No. 1 will host No. 8, No. 2 will host No. 7, and so on. The semifinals and final will be played at Santaluces, April 28-29.

The schedule will look like this:

District 9-6A tournament
Monday, April 25
Royal Palm Beach (9) at Boca Raton (8)

Tuesday, April 26
RPB/BR (8) at Jupiter (1)
Park Vista (7) at Palm Beach Central (2)
Atlantic (6) at Santaluces (3)
Palm Beach Gardens (5) at Seminole Ridge (4)

Wednesday, April 27
Rain/makeup day

Thursday, April 28
Semifinals at Santaluces

Friday, April 29
Final at Santaluces

A quick programming note: We’ll be previewing area playoff tournaments all next week in this space, so hold tight if you’re a fan of a non-9-6A school.

Now, a quick background on tiebreakers. Without getting too deep into the tiebreaking rules (which are pasted below the possible seedings), here are the tiebreakers most commonly used. If two teams are tied, the first record is head-to-head. If three or more teams are tied, the first tiebreaker is the record in games played between the tied schools. That breaks most four-way ties in half, and then the tiebreaker reverts to head-to-head record between two schools.

Still following? Three-quarters of this was rendered moot at about 10 p.m. Friday, but it’s still a good exercise to see how complicated seedings were determined:

If both Jupiter and Atlantic won tonight: This, of course, is what happened, and here’s how it happened. Four teams are tied at 4-4. Palm Beach Gardens and Seminole Ridge are 2-1 against those four teams; Atlantic and Park Vista are 1-2. Seminole Ridge is the No. 4 seed because it beat Palm Beach Gardens. Atlantic is the No. 6 seed because it beat Park Vista (in 15 innings, no less).

1. Jupiter (7-1)
2. Palm Beach Central (6-2)
3. Santaluces (5-3)
4. Seminole Ridge (4-4), which is 2-1 (lost to Park Vista) and beat Gardens.
5. Palm Beach Gardens (4-4), which is 2-1 (lost to Seminole Ridge).
6. Atlantic (4-4), which is 1-2 (beat Park Vista).
7. Park Vista (4-4), which is 1-2 (beat Seminole Ridge).
8. Boca Raton (2-6)
9. Royal Palm Beach (0-8)

If Jupiter won tonight and Atlantic lost things would have become a little more complicated – a three-way tie between Palm Beach Gardens, Park Vista and Seminole Ridge, in which each team is 1-1 against the others. The next tiebreaker is record against the highest-seeded school (Jupiter). Everyone’s lost to Jupiter, so Palm Beach Central is next. Everyone’s lost to Palm Beach Central, so Santaluces is next. Park Vista and Seminole Ridge beat Santaluces, while Palm Beach Gardens lost. Since it beat Seminole Ridge, Park Vista becomes the No. 4 seed. Seminole Ridge is the fifth seed and Palm Beach Gardens is sixth.

1. Jupiter (7-1)
2. Palm Beach Central (6-2)
3. Santaluces (5-3)
4. Park Vista (4-4), which beat Santaluces and Seminole Ridge.
5. Seminole Ridge (4-4), which beat Palm Beach Gardens.
6. Palm Beach Gardens (4-4)
7. Atlantic (3-5)
8. Boca Raton (2-6)
9. Royal Palm Beach (1-7)

If Jupiter lost tonight and Atlantic won things would have been a little more interesting. Palm Beach Central takes over the top spot in 9-6A because of the head-to-head record with Jupiter. Santaluces and Palm Beach Gardens are now tied, but Santaluces is No. 3 because of its win over Gardens. There’s another three-way tie where each is 1-1 against the others. Atlantic becomes the No. 5 seed because of its win over Palm Beach Central.

1. Palm Beach Central (6-2), which beat Jupiter.
2. Jupiter (6-2)
3. Santaluces (5-3), which beat Palm Beach Gardens.
4. Palm Beach Gardens (5-3)
5. Atlantic (4-4), which beat Palm Beach Central.
6. Park Vista (4-4), which beat Seminole Ridge.
7. Seminole Ridge (4-4)
8. Boca Raton (2-6)
9. Royal Palm Beach (0-8)

If both Jupiter and Atlantic lost tonight things would have been a little simpler.

1. Palm Beach Central (6-2), which beat Jupiter.
2. Jupiter (6-2)
3. Santaluces (5-3), which beat Palm Beach Gardens.
4. Palm Beach Gardens (5-3)
6. Park Vista (4-4), which beat Seminole Ridge.
7. Seminole Ridge (4-4)
7. Atlantic (3-5)
8. Boca Raton (2-6)
9. Royal Palm Beach (1-7)

For the record: FHSAA baseball tiebreaking procedures (link)
Rule 13.3.2 Two Schools Tied: When two schools are tied for a seed, the following procedure shall be used (in the following order until the tie is broken):
13.3.2.1 Won-loss results of head-to-head competition between the two schools;
13.3.2.2 Won-loss record of the two schools versus the highest-seeded school (and proceeding through the lowest-seeded school, if necessary);
13.3.2.3 Number of victories on the road in district games/ matches;
13.3.2.4 Number of victories at home in district games/ matches; and
13.3.2.5 Coin toss by the district tournament manager.
13.3.3 Three (or more) Schools Tied: When three or more schools are tied for a seed, the following procedure shall be used (in the following order until the tie is broken):
13.3.3.1 Total won-loss record of contests played among the tied schools;
13.3.3.2 Won-loss record of the tied schools versus the highest-seeded school (and proceeding through the lowest seeded school, if necessary);
13.3.3.3 Number of victories on the road in district games/ matches;
13.3.3.4 Number of victories at home in district games/ matches; and
13.3.3.5 Draw by the tournament/meet manager.
13.3.3.6 Once the three-or-more-way tie has been reduced to two schools, the two-school tiebreaker formula shall be used.

Updated Friday, April 15, 11:16 p.m.