Blog Entry

NFL Tiebreaking Rules and Procedures Discussion

Posted on: January 3, 2012 1:51 am
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Due to incredible demand (okay...maybe it's just a few vocal individuals)...I'd like to float this blog entry to discuss NFL Tiebreaking Rules and Procedures.

Discussion topics should include:

- Any questions on the Rules and how they are applied in figuring out NFL scenarios prior to the end of the regular season (my job for last 18 seasons)

- Historical Anecdotes on NFL Tiebreaking Rules and past examples of the application of the Rules on Prior seasons

- Potential ways for the NFL to improve the Tiebreaker Rules

- Why can't we all just get along?  (kidding...sort of)

- Anything else that comes up NFL Tiebreaker, Draft order, Scheduling Formula related


Hopefully we'll get our regulars here along with some new voices to chime in...and I will check here as often as possible to answer any questions directed at me.


Let the party begin!!! 

 

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Comments

Since: Dec 18, 2008
Posted on: November 16, 2012 4:50 am
 

NFL Tiebreaking Rules and Procedures Discussion


Here is the url, posted as one uninterrupted line, with the ability to magically revert back to one uninterrupted line when pasted into your browser. When "copying", ignore the fact that it is in 3 separate lines.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/

1rsN0Ond-OUl3BnWQmcyj0gwLIxGtCmEVx1

1ts90iJ7M/edit?pli=1



Out of curiousity, below is the url posted as 3 separate lines. I am atteping to answer the following two questions for myself.
Will the first line be broken up into at least 2 separate lines?
When pasted into your browswer, will it still morph into a single uninterrupted line?

https://docs.google.com/document/d/



1rsN0Ond-OUl3BnWQmcyj0gwLIxGtCmEVx1



1ts90iJ7M/edit?pli=1




Since: Dec 18, 2008
Posted on: November 16, 2012 4:38 am
 

NFL Tiebreaking Rules and Procedures Discussion

Links may be disabled as the link to my document did not work in the previous post.
2nd attempt:
[
Unofficial Fan Version]

In case the link above doesn't work, here is the url:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/

1rsN0Ond-OUl3BnWQmcyj0gwLIxGtCmEVx1

1ts90iJ7M/edit?pli=1
(If pasting this url into your browswer, be sure to delete any spacing gaps that may have been robotically inserted to break up the link.)


Also, in the previous post, sorry for all of the spelling mistakes!




Since: Dec 18, 2008
Posted on: November 16, 2012 4:24 am
 

NFL Tiebreaking Rules and Procedures Discussion

Jerry! Hope you had a great year.

While we do not see eye-to-eye on many things, I do thoroughly enjoy our discussions. In fact, many revisions to my document are the direct result of your thinking/suggesting. I think you'll be particularly pleased with how I've encorporated several of the suggestions you posted in this thread (from January 29, 2012 at 3:16pm, currently on page 3).

I've even included language in my document to encorporate the possiblity of "group sweeps", despite my preference for not adding new rules or tweaking existing ones. Like you've suggested before: perhaps "group sweeps" has been a part of "sweeps" all along.

Perhaps you are now comfortable enough with my document to include it (or pages of it) on your website?


My goals remain the same.
Have a tiebreaking document that:
(1) reads easily,
(2) is easy for the most casual of fans to understand (no room for confusion or misinterpretation),
(3) omitts nothing, and
(4) leaves none of the so called "experts" in the dark about any potential scenarios, no matter how rare they may be.

Suggestions towards helping me reach these goals are welcome! As well, I look forward to debating/discussing with Jerry over each other's choice of words, organizational preferences, and just about everything else.

My document:
NFL Tiebreaking Procedures: [2012 Unofficial Fan Version]




Since: Jan 8, 2010
Posted on: February 6, 2012 10:59 am
 

NFL Tiebreaking Rules and Procedures Discussion

Brett, you've made some good points about the draft stuff.  It is possible my research was tainted with obsolete data.  I will take some time this week or next to correct some things.  I had come across the same article on randy moss as you had for waiverr claims.  And I here your point about seeding.  Maybe I'll retitle the first page as "NFL procedure for seeding and ranking teams"  Talk to you soon

-Cheers
-Jerry 



Since: Dec 18, 2008
Posted on: February 4, 2012 7:33 pm
 

NFL Tiebreaking Rules and Procedures Discussion

, from mid-season last year, indicates that there would have been a coin flip between New Orleans and Green Bay despite these teams being from the same conference.

Seems like waiver priority is determined by:

1)  overall winning percentage
2)  strength of schedule
3)  coin flip (or collection of flips for multiple tied teams.) 



Since: Dec 18, 2008
Posted on: February 4, 2012 5:31 am
 

NFL Tiebreaking Rules and Procedures Discussion

re: waivers

Below is what I've figured out. A few questions remain.
During the regular season, waiver priority is based on the current standings if after week 3. Before the conclusion of week 3 (and during the offseason), waiver priority is based on the stadings from the previously completed season. Ties in overall record are broken by strength of schedule.

Ties in strength of schedule I would assume are broken by division or conference tiebreakers if teams are from the same division or conference. However, this snapshot of the (from mid-season) does not appear to factor in the division or conference tiebreakers. Look at the tie between Baltimore and Pittsburgh (tied in overall record and in strength of schedule). Baltimore had two head-to-head wins over Pittsburgh, yet is listed ahead of Pittsburgh.

The following is also unclear:  Do the previous year's standings (for the purpose of determining waivor priority) incorporate playoff results like the draft order does?





Since: Dec 18, 2008
Posted on: February 3, 2012 11:31 pm
 

NFL Tiebreaking Rules and Procedures Discussion

Jerry,
I have several comments about your most recent version. They are meant to be constructive comments not criticism.


Seeding for rounds two through seven of the Selection Meeting
For the 2nd and subsequent rounds, clubs will be seeded as follows with selections occurring in reverse order.

   1-2.  &
nbsp; Super Bowl winner and Super Bowl loser

 3-32.    Non-Superbowl teams ranked from best to worst record

This is incorrect. You must have been referencing an older version of the procedure. All non-playoff teams draft ahead of all playoff teams in every round. This is easily verified by looking at draft results from the previous two seasons.

Ties will not be broken for clubs with the same record in rounds two though seven.  Instead they will be ordered by rotating position using the following process:

I don't like the wording above. I like to think of it as "ties are always broken". By breaking the ties, the 1st round is set, and via the rotation rule, so is the order set for all subsequent rounds.

How about this wording:
"Tied teams (tied according to the above [correct] ranking procedure) rotate draft positions. From one round to the next, the team with the top position drops to the bottom, while the other teams move up one spot in the order.

A.    For each group of clubs with the same record, order them by highest to lowest seed from the previous round.

B.    Next, move the club seeded lowest in the last round to the top of it’s group.  This is the order clubs shall be seeded for the given round, with selections occurring in reverse order.

C.  Repeat this rotation process for each subsequent round


"with selections occuring in reverse order" - this is unnecessary and confusing. It doesn't make sense to me to (1) rank teams, (2) rotate the teams, then (3) reverse the order. Too many steps if you ask me. I think my sentence above communicates the rotation rule quite effectively.


Seeding for waiver claim order
NFL Waiver claim orders are assigned in reverse order of the pre-postseason league standings.  Clubs are seeded from best record to worst record.
"pre-postseason"? Is this a fancy term for "regular season"?  I would double check this fact to make sure it is current. If it is based on the previous years final regular season standings, then it would have to be based on the most recent draft order (as standings alone cannot be used to rank all 32 teams).

In baseball, waiver priority is the reverse order of the "current standings" as waiver claims are most often made during the season. I would imagine (although I do not know for sure) that waiver claims in the NFL can also be made mid-season. It would therefore be good to know if teams have priority based on the current standings or based on the most recent draft order.

Come to think of it, Kyle Orton was claimed mid-season by the Kansas City Chiefs. I'm pretty sure it was based on the current standings (reverse order) with all AFC teams having priority over all NFC teams due to Orton being released by an AFC team (Denver).



Last point:

"Seeding" is the wrong word!

"seeding" only refers to tournaments. I have never heard this word used for drafts or for waivers. I would use "draft position" for drafts. and "waiver priority" or "waiver position" for waivers.

Hope this helps!



Since: Dec 18, 2008
Posted on: February 3, 2012 11:24 pm
 

NFL Tiebreaking Rules and Procedures Discussion

Jerry,
I have several comments about your most recent version. They are meant to be constructive comments not criticism.


<span id="internal-source-marker_0.5516003059859717" style="font-size: 16px; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">Seeding for rounds two through seven of the Selection Meeting
<span style="font-size: 12px; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">For the 2nd and subsequent rounds, clubs will be seeded as follows with selections occurring in reverse order.

<span style="font-size: 12px; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">    1-2.  &
nbsp; Super Bowl winner and Super Bowl loser

<span style="font-size: 12px; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">  3-32.    Non-Superbowl teams ranked from best to worst record

This is incorrect. You must have been referencing an older version of the procedure. All non-playoff teams draft ahead of all playoff teams in every round. This is easily verified by looking at draft results from the previous two seasons.

<span style="font-size: 12px; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">

<span style="font-size: 12px; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: italic; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">Ties will not be broken for clubs with the same record in rounds two though seven.  Instead they will be ordered by rotating position using the following process:

I don't like the wording above. I like to think of it as "ties are always broken". By breaking the ties, the 1st round is set, and via the rotation rule, so is the order set for all subsequent rounds.

How about this wording:
"Tied teams (tied according to the above [correct] ranking procedure) rotate draft positions. From one round to the next, the team with the top position drops to the bottom, while the other teams move up one spot in the order.

<span style="font-size: 12px; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">A.    For each group of clubs with the same record, order them by highest to lowest seed from the previous round.

<span style="font-size: 12px; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">B.    Next, move the club seeded lowest in the last round to the top of it’s group.  This is the order clubs shall be seeded for the given round, with selections occurring in reverse order.

<span style="font-size: 12px; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">C.  Repeat this rotation process for each subsequent round


"with selections occuring in reverse order" - this is unnecessary and confusing. It doesn't make sense to me to (1) rank teams, (2) rotate the teams, then (3) reverse the order. Too many steps if you ask me. I think my sentence above communicates the rotation rule quite effectively.


<span style="font-size: 16px; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">Seeding for waiver claim order
<span style="font-size: 12px; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">NFL Waiver claim orders are assigned in reverse order of the pre-postseason league standings.  Clubs are seeded from best record to worst record.
"pre-postseason"? Is this a fancy term for "regular season"?  I would double check this fact to make sure it is current. If it is based on the previous years final regular season standings, then it would have to be based on the most recent draft order (as standings alone cannot be used to rank all 32 teams).

In baseball, waiver priority is the reverse order of the "current standings" as waiver claims are most often made during the season. I would imagine (although I do not know for sure) that waiver claims in the NFL can also be made mid-season. It would therefore be good to know if teams have priority based on the current standings or based on the most recent draft order.

Come to think of it, Kyle Orton was claimed mid-season by the Kansas City Chiefs. I'm pretty sure it was based on the current standings (reverse order) with all AFC teams having priority over all NFC teams due to Orton being released by an AFC team (Denver).

<span style="font-size: 12px; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">

Last point:

"Seeding" is the wrong word!

"seeding" only refers to tournaments. I have never heard this word used for drafts or for waivers. I would use "draft position" for drafts. and "waiver priority" or "waiver position" for waivers.

Hope this helps!
<span id="internal-source-marker_0.5516003059859717" style="font-size: 16px; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">Seeding for rounds two through seven of the Selection Meeting
<span style="font-size: 12px; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">For the 2nd and subsequent rounds, clubs will be seeded as follows with selections occurring in reverse order.

<span style="font-size: 12px; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">    1-2.  &
nbsp; Super Bowl winner and Super Bowl loser

<span style="font-size: 12px; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">  3-32.    Non-Superbowl teams ranked from best to worst record


<span style="font-size: 12px; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: italic; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">Ties will not be broken for clubs with the same record in rounds two though seven.  Instead they will be ordered by rotating position using the following process:


<span style="font-size: 12px; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">A.    For each group of clubs with the same record, order them by highest to lowest seed from the previous round.

<span style="font-size: 12px; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">B.    Next, move the club seeded lowest in the last round to the top of it’s group.  This is the order clubs shall be seeded for the given round, with selections occurring in reverse order.

<span style="font-size: 12px; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">C.  Repeat this rotation process for each subsequent round



<span style="font-size: 16px; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">Seeding for waiver claim order
<span style="font-size: 12px; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">NFL Waiver claim orders are assigned in reverse order of the pre-postseason league standings.  Clubs are seeded from best record to worst record.
<span style="font-size: 12px; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">



Since: Dec 18, 2008
Posted on: February 3, 2012 10:46 pm
 

NFL Tiebreaking Rules and Procedures Discussion


If Final League standings ties exist they are broken by the following tiebreaking process.
  1. Strength-of-Schedule.
  2. Best previously determined Division Ranking if all teams from same division.
  3. Best previously determined Conference Ranking if all teams from same conference.
  4. Coin toss.
I don't understand #3. Why would non-playoff teams from different divisions (and same conference) be "previously ranked"?



re: coin flipping

I understand your two examples where better ranking is preferred over the better draft position. However, after the season is over, there is no doubt that the beter draft position is preferred over the better ranking. How about: before the season starts, a "coin flipping" tournament with all 32 teams? That way all teams can be positioned on a "ladder" such that if the tiebreaking step, "coin toss", ever came into play, the ties would be broken according to the previously determined "ladder" ranking. I doubt this idea would ever fly, but it's the only way I could ever see the loser of a coin flip getting the better draft position. Sorry for not supporting you on this one.



Since: Jan 8, 2010
Posted on: February 3, 2012 1:11 pm
 

NFL Tiebreaking Rules and Procedures Discussion

Where's Joe?



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