Which is better? A team that goes 14-1, or another team who plays in the same classification but has one extra league game and goes 15-1? The team that won the most games? But what about the other team? Is it fair to punish the other team because their schedule didn’t have the same number of league games as the other?
Sound like loaded questions? Well, imagine being in a room with a bunch of like-minded individuals who all have a vested interest in the results of your decision. No, we’re not talking about the dog and pony show of congressional houses. We’re talking about the Section II baseball committee drawing out brackets for its annual postseason tournament.
This year, the committee found itself in a bit of a quagmire when it came to seeding for the Class B bracket. This classification consists of public schools with enrollments of 280 to 479 students, as well as private institutions chosen at the discretion of Section II.
The bracket, which sparked controversy and question, awarded the No.1 seed to Saratoga Catholic (14-1, Wasaren League) and tossed the No.3 seed to the 14-1 Ichabod Crane Riders, of the Colonial Council.
Make sense? Not to Colonial Council representative and Voorheesville High School baseball coach Kyle Turski. “It’s not fair for Ichabod to get punished for not playing in a league that has 16 games, like Spa Catholic.”
Turski was unable to make the seeding meeting, having to stay home to care for his ill son. He still took part in voting via text message with Patroon Conference representative Rico Frese. “I voted no for the Class B bracket,” he said. “I couldn’t vote for any bracket that didn’t put Ichabod at No.1.”
The Section II baseball handbook provides no guidelines for the seeding of teams and relies on its committee to make all seeding decisions.
Similar to past years, the committee used league winning percentage as the biggest factor for determining seeds which fuels the almighty question. Is 15-1 better than 14-1? Or are they the same?
Too many questions? Is it time for stricter guidelines in the handbook regarding seeding? Yes, says Turski. “I think some sort of criteria for seeding purposes would be ideal. The difficult part is what those criteria would be.”
The May 16 meeting also featured a difficult decision regarding the No.2 seed, Hudson. The Blue Hawks capped off their league season at 15-1, the same as Spa Catholic. This forced the committee to look past stats and focus on opinions about each team, their conference, and schedule. “It’s awkward,” said Freese, who also commands the Maple Hill varsity baseball team. “How do you prove that the Wasaren League is better than the Patroon and vice-versa.”
“I feel most coaches would want some sort of strength of league criteria. However that’s impossible to do as after the suburban council the strength of leagues change on a year to year basis,” Turski went on to say. “For now, we just have to keep doing our best as a committee to do what is the best for each class, as a whole.”
-Dylan Rossiter – @ByDylanRossiter – Rossiter@518Sports.com–