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TIEBREAKER PROCEDURES DISCUSSION

Posted on: December 22, 2009 1:50 am
 
Due to popular demand, I am starting this thread to discuss general NFL Tiebreaker procedures.  Feel free to bring up any tiebreaker topics here, but let's keep the scenarios to the conference threads and let's try to limit this to procedures and historical discussions.

Also...if at all possible, let's try to keep comments brief unless detailed descriptions are absolutely necessary (Brett...that means you).

Look forward to the chat.

Here's a starter...

Let's imagine for a second that the six teams tied at 7-7 in the AFC were currently battling it out for Wild Card spots (i.e. BAL and DEN were 6-8 instead of 8-6).  The JAC, TEN, HOU divisional situation lends itself to the previous discussion of divisional tiebreakers and the current procedures language in the NFL By-Laws.

Is there any question as to how the tiebreakers are applied in this situation based on the procedures OR is the question still about certain language being superfluous? 
Comments

Since: Dec 18, 2008
Posted on: December 31, 2010 9:25 pm
 

TIEBREAKER PROCEDURES DISCUSSION

I have a completed rough draft of the The Draft Order Section. To focus our initial discussion on the draft order and draft order tiebreaking steps, I've omitted the 2nd page. The 2nd page contains a section on losing draft picks and a section on compensatory draft picks.

THE DRAFT

 

Ranking

 

(a) The Super Bowl winner is ranked number 1.

(b) The Super Bowl loser is ranked number 2.

(c) The Conference Championship losers are ranked 3 to 4 based on regular season record.

(d) The Conference Semifinal losers are ranked 5 to 8 based on regular season record.

(e) The Wildcard round losers are ranked 9 to 12 based on regular season record.

(f) Non-playoff teams are ranked 13 to 32 based on regular season record.

(g) The first tiebreaker is Strength of Schedule.

(h) Ties not broken by Strength of Schedule are broken by Division and Interdivision Tiebreaking Steps and by coin flips between teams in different conferences.

 

 

Draft Order

Teams draft in the reverse order of ranking (32nd to 1st) for all 7 rounds, with the following two exceptions.

(i) Two tied* teams alternate priority from one round to the next.
(ii) Three or more tied* teams rotate priority. The team with the top priority in the first round will have the bottom priority in the second round and move its way up in successive rounds.

 

* Teams are considered “tied” if the Draft Order Tiebreaking Steps were used to determine their ranking.

 

 

 

Draft Order Tiebreaking Steps


1) Strength of Schedule.

2) If tied teams are from the same conference, the Division or Interdivision Tiebreaking Steps rank all tied teams in the same manner as if they were tied for multiple wildcard spots (selecting the highest ranking team first).

3) If tied teams include at least one from each conference, the Division or Interdivision Tiebreaking Steps rank each team within its own conference (in the same manner as if they were tied for multiple wildcard spots: selecting the highest ranking team first). Next, a coin flip takes place between the lowest ranked team in the NFC and the lowest ranked team in the AFC. The winner of the coin flip gets the highest draft position (lowest ranking) amongst the group. The remaining teams retain their relative ranking within their conference for the remainder of the Draft Order Tiebreaking Steps.

 

4) Subsequent coin flips take place between the lowest remaining ranked team in the NFC and the lowest remaining ranked team in the AFC, with the winner receiving the next highest draft position (next lowest ranking), until all remaining tied teams are from the same conference.

5) The remaining teams are ranked according to the relative rankings obtained in step (3).





Since: Jan 8, 2010
Posted on: December 28, 2010 3:53 am
 

TIEBREAKER PROCEDURES DISCUSSION

Hello Jeff6286,

I appreciate the question.  The behavior you are describing is the result of the logic I use on the team pages.  All games that are deemed important are the results of 10 million season simulations.  So for the teams like the seahawks, colts, jaguars, rams, those small percent impacts are essentially noise.  The reality is most of those games at the end of the season are not impact games at all.  This method works great early in the season but breaks down in the last few weeks.  The way it will work next season is when clinching/eliminations scenarios begin to emerge for a team, the code will filter away the teams that have no impact on clinch or elimination.

Other notes about the site.  All percentages on the site are the result of a monte carlo simulation of 10 million seasons.  The site begins updating after each 10 thousand seasons are simulated so that the entire 10 million seasons doesn't have to be finished prior to beginning to showing the results.  

The standings and the clinch/elimination scenarios are NOT computed via monte carlo.  All standings and clinch/elimination is performed via logic code.  The clinch/elimination code I'm still perfecting.

Improvements next season will include team schedules, tiebreaking explanation section, and an about section, and hopefully some other stuff I have on the drawing board.  I would like to have gotten an "About" section on the site this year, but time didn't permit me to.  I started work on this site exactly one year ago.  All together I've written about 25,000 lines of code.  It's been non-stop work for 12 months.  Just ask my wife.  Thank you for putting up with me while creating this site honey.Cool

-Cheers
-Database/Jerry



Since: Dec 12, 2010
Posted on: December 27, 2010 4:27 pm
 

Forgot a line in last post

Oops, I somehow deleted a sentence in there, the question I was asking was about why those games were listed under the heading of:Upcoming games which matter most to the Colts



Since: Dec 12, 2010
Posted on: December 27, 2010 4:24 pm
 

TIEBREAKER PROCEDURES DISCUSSION

Hey database, if you're still with us, I was looking at your playoffrace.com website, and I had some questions. If I click on a team, like the Colts or Jaguars, it tells me that the Colts have a 75.73% chance on making the playoffs, while the Jags have a 24.27% chance.  That makes sense, as giving all win/loss scenarios, the Colts have a 75% chance of making it, since only one of four scenarios (IND loss+JAX win) leaves them out.  I figure the .73% difference comes from the chances of a tie, and I see similar numbers with SEA/STL, so that makes sense.  What I don't understand is why the list of  includes games like MIN/PHI, TB/NO, NYG/WASH, CLE/PIT, and AZ/SF, which clearly have absolutely no impact on the AFC South playoff picture. The Jaguars page lists all the same games, except for AZ/SF. Similarly, the STL/SEA pages also list games which don't have any impact on the NFC West playoff picture.  Some of these games I figured could have an effect on teams' SOV and/or SOS, so I could see that the MIN/PHI, NYG/WASH, and CLE/PIT games could have had an effect on the AFC south teams, since they all would affect SOV, but I see no reason that TB/NO or AZ/SF would ever play any role in determining the AFC South champion.



Since: Dec 12, 2010
Posted on: December 27, 2010 3:32 pm
 

TIEBREAKER PROCEDURES DISCUSSION

Brett, I was actually kidding when I asked you to remove my name due to you not including my "Scramble for the Ball" idea.  Apparently my attempt at humor was not entirely clear on the computer screen. Foot in mouth Sorry if I caused you any consternation. Also, I am not the same person as jeff5768.  I did not realize until just a day or two ago that there was another poster with a similar name as mine, using the same all lowercase first name and string of 4 numbers following it. I had read some of the discussions on this blog in the last year or two, but I had never posted anything before this year. I am attempting to at least add an avatar so that it will be easier to tell that we are not the same person.



Since: Dec 18, 2008
Posted on: December 27, 2010 1:28 pm
 

TIEBREAKER PROCEDURES DISCUSSION

Jeff, I've also edited or removed parts of the revision because of comments you made about them being confusing. I really appreciate the feedback you've given and hope you continue to give feedback.

I will remove your name from the revision, but consider my feelings hurtSmile unless you give an honest explanation for why you don't want to be associated with it. This information could potentially help database, agn, and myself in the long run.

Thanks.

Brett



Since: Dec 18, 2008
Posted on: December 27, 2010 1:19 pm
 

TIEBREAKER PROCEDURES DISCUSSION

Jeff6286 (since Dec 12, 2010), aka Jeff5768 (since Nov 20, 2007),

I can remove your name but I think you've contributed more than you realize.

You said:
I think I agree with agn that there are really only those two small changes needed to the existing tiebreaker rules.  While I admire bret for all the work he has put in, I think that even if it were unanimously agreed that his version had less redundancy and fewer potential holes, it would still be more confusing for people who have been used to the various versions of the existing rules, with only minor alterations every few years.  There is one more thing that could be changed, in addition to the two that agn mentioned. The line that states:  2. The original seeding within a division upon application of the division tie breaker remains the same for all subsequent applications of the procedure that are necessary to identify the two Wild-Card participants.  

I know that there has been discussion of this before, but I forget the exact details.  I think this line could be eliminated, because there is not really any need for it.  If this line wasn't there, is there any situation in which there would be a reason to think that the original seeding in the division would not remain the same upon subsequent applications of the tiebreaker procedure?

Because of this I tried to make the revision look a lot like the original. You also sparked my favorite debate regarding the "divisional seeding remaining the same for subsequent applications of the procedure." This is still my biggest contention with the existing document and probably the driving force behind my initiative to re-write the procedure. I also consider this to be somewhat of a mystery that neither Joe, nor nflrules can solve. (I've offered my own explanations but none that seem capable of being verified).

Jeff, forgive me, if the "two Jeffs" are not the same person, but you have a very similar style of contributing to the blog, and based on the above comment, it's clear that "Jeff 2010" was here in 2009.




Since: Dec 27, 2006
Posted on: December 27, 2010 11:20 am
 

TIEBREAKER PROCEDURES DISCUSSION

To quote database, he "being a Jackass".

I agree. Thanks for providing a great quote.



Since: Dec 12, 2010
Posted on: December 27, 2010 6:26 am
 

TIEBREAKER PROCEDURES DISCUSSION

If you're not going to include my "Scramble for the Ball" idea in the official draft, then please remove my name from it.  Thank you sir and good day.



Since: Dec 18, 2008
Posted on: December 26, 2010 6:04 pm
 

TIEBREAKER PROCEDURES DISCUSSION

Database, glad your common games records are accurate. I forget sometimes that the premise is "if the season ended today", and therefore forget to exclude, for example, the SF-Ari game until all teams have played Ari.
Sorry for reposting this so many times - but I think we are really close to a final draft. In fact, I think this could be it! The only change would be if/when we find out about "group sweeps". (remember my addition to the sweep definition does not need to mention specifically the "sweeping" group.)  - I've thought about deleting the "Tiebreaker Functions/Applications section, but if we delete that, we may need to include a section specifically on "seeding".

 

 

 

NFL Tiebreaking Procedure

2011 Season

 

 

 

 

Goals

 

1) Accuracy :  100% accurate.

2) Clarity :  easily understood by fans and media; no room for misinterpretation.

3) Conciseness :  no repetitive or superfluous language.

4) Organization :  ideal placement of each section and each item within each section.

5) Independence:   capability of each section to stand alone.

 

 

 

 

Prepared by Brett

with help from Agn, Database, Jeff, Dave, and Juleswallet.

 

December, 2010

 

 

Tiebreaking Procedure


 

Winning percentages are used for all records (including overall W-L-T records); ties count as half wins and half losses.

At a given tiebreaking step,

a) If a winner cannot be determined, all teams not tied for the best record are eliminated.

b) If one or more teams are eliminated, the procedure reverts to Head-to-Head record.

c) If no teams are eliminated, the procedure advances to the next step.

 

Divisional Tiebreaking Steps


1) Head-to-Head record. For multi-team ties: combined head-to-head record.

2) Division record.

3) Common Games record.

4) Conference record.

5) Strength of Victory.

6) Strength of Schedule.

7) Conference Ranking in points scored + Conference Ranking in points allowed .

8) Overall Ranking in points scored + Overall Ranking in points allowed .

9) Net Points in common games.

10) Net Points in all games.

11) Net Touchdowns in all games.

12) Random Selection.

 

Interdivisional Tiebreaking Steps (to break ties between teams in different divisions)

- Amongst a group of tied teams, select only the highest ranking team (but non-division winner) from each division. Only then, proceed to step (1).

1) Head-to-Head record. For multi-team ties: head-to-head sweep or combined head-to-head record*.

2) Conference record.

3) Common Games record, minimum of 4.

4) Strength of Victory.

5) Strength of Schedule.

6) Conference Ranking in points scored + Conference Ranking in points allowed .

7) Overall Ranking in points scored + Overall Ranking in points allowed .

8) Net Points in common games.

9) Net Points in all games.

10) Net Touchdowns in all games.

11) Random Selection.

*Combined head-to-head record is applicable only if each team has played each of the others.

 

Special Cases

 

 

1) Multi-team Divisional Ties :

Only one team is ranked within its division per application of the procedure; after the highest ranking team is determined from a group of tied teams, the procedure is applied a second time with the remaining unranked teams to determine the next highest ranking (and so forth until all tied teams are ranked within their division).

2) Three or More Teams Tied for Two Wildcard Spots:

Only one wildcard team is determined per application of the procedure; after the first wildcard team is determined, the procedure is applied a second time with the highest ranking (non-division winning) team from each division, but excluding the first wildcard winner.

 

 

Tiebreaking Terms

 


Head-to-Head Sweep
a) A team "sweeps" (and is the winner) if it has a head-to-head win against each of the other tied teams.

b) A team is "swept" (and is eliminated) if it has a head-to-head loss against each of the other tied teams.

c) A pair of teams is swept (and each team in the pair is eliminated) if each has a head-to-head loss against each of the other tied teams (but not necessarily against each other).


Common Game
a) A common game is one that is played against a common opponent.

b) If a team has played two games against the same common opponent, each game counts.

c) In multi-team ties, for an opponent to be considered “common”, it must be common amongst all tied teams.

d) A head-to-head game is not considered a “common game”.


Strength of Victory
a) A team's Strength of Victory is the combined record of the opponents it has defeated .

b) If a team has defeated the same opponent twice, this opponent's record is counted twice.

c) If a team has tied an opponent, this opponent's record is not counted, nor is it “half-counted”.


Strength of Schedule
a) A team's Strength of Schedule is the combined record of all the opponents it has played .

b) If a team has played the same opponent twice, this opponent's record is counted twice.

 

Points Scored and Points Allowed Rankings

a) Conference Rankings are determined from all played regular season games (in and out of conference).

b) Overall Rankings are determined from all played regular season games (in and out of conference).

 

Net Points and Net touchdowns

a) Net Points = Points Scored – Points Allowed.

b) Net Touchdowns = Touchdowns Scored – Touchdowns Allowed.

 

Random Selection

a) If two teams are tied, a single coin flip will determine the winner.

b) If more than two teams are tied, a method agreed upon by the NFL and all tied teams will determine the winner; the agreed upon method must give each team equal probability of being selected.


Tiebreaker Applications

(The Tiebreaking Procedure is limited to the following.)

 

1) Divisional Tiebreakers

(a) Determine division winners.

(b) Select wildcard winners, if tied teams are from the same division.

(c) Reduce a set of teams tied for a wildcard spot to one per division.

(d) Determine seeding among tied wildcard teams from the same division . UNLESS, if tiebreakers were already applied to select the wildcard teams over other tied teams (Special Case #1), the wildcard teams are seeded in the order they were selected.

(e) Rank all tied teams within their division so that 2011 regular season schedules can be configured.


 

2) Interdivisional Tiebreakers

 

(a) Break ties for a wildcard spot among teams from different divisions. (If necessary, the Divisional Tiebreakers reduce a set of tied teams to one per division.)

(b) Determine seeding among tied wildcard teams from different divisions . UNLESS, if tiebreakers were already applied to select the wildcard teams over other tied teams (Special Case #2), the wildcard teams are seeded in the order they were selected.

(c) Determine seeding among tied division winners.



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