Scratching my head with the heads or tails coin flip to decide area champs and tourney hosts
Sitting in his classroom Wednesday morning, T.R. Miller’s varsity boys basketball head coach Juan Johnson had a little uneasiness about him. In just a few short minutes, the two quarters he had in his pockets would be flipped in the air to determine if he and his Tigers would be the No. 1 seed in the area tournament or if they would be the No. 2 seed. The quarter would also decide if TRM would be the host site for the upcoming area tournament or if that would go to the Jaguars of Hillcrest High School.
The other quarter would determine the same fate for TRM’s girls head coach Ron Jackson.
Both Jackson and Johnson’s team finished their area schedule with a 3-1 record, just the same as Hillcrest. The ultimate regular season winner and host site would be determined by a coin flip Wednesday morning and would ultimatley be won by both Johnson and Jackson.
But really…should there be some other forms of breaking a tie between teams with identical records than a coin flip? I am good with a coin flip, as part of the tiebreaker, but with other options ahead of them.
You have two teams, and sometimes more than two teams, play their hearts out on the court, and in the case of TRM and Hillcrest, it all comes down to a coin flip. Or in another word, just being lucky.
In the case Wednesday, it turned out good for our local team TRM. Both saw tails as the winning side of the coin and TRM claimed the victory.
But should this be the way to determine a winner?
Case-in-point: football. Now I know football will always be king in this area, state and part of the world. But if teams tie in a particular football region, if you consult the AHSAA’s fall book, there are seven parts to the tie-breaking procedure with another section labeled letters a-q to break the tie.
See for yourself:
2014 MASTER Fall Book 11-3-14)
Even in our own Escambia County basketball tournament that is held every year, we had four tiebreakers to determine a champion. The fourth and final one was a coin flip. The others included: 1. head-to-head, 2. points allowed, and 3. points scored.
This year in the girl’s tournament, the tiebreaker had to be used as TRM, Atmore, and Flomaton all went 2-1. TRM defeated Atmore, Flomaton defeated TRM, and Atmore defeated Flomaton. The champion ended up being TRM by virtue of allowing the least amount of points.
“In basketball, they just throw us a bone,” one person told me when we were discussing the tiebreaking procedures.” They need to grow up and let us be like football.”
What is your thoughts on the current format of the coin flip? Do you like it? Should there be other options in place before the coin flip?
As of now, this is the format that is in place and we will have to abide by it.
Congratulations to TRM on their coin flip victory today and good luck to our local teams as they play in the upcoming area tournaments.
Until we meet again here or out in the world of sports, God bless!
TRM coin flip video from Wednesday: