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What pro sports league has your favorite playoff structure?

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1 hour ago, DiePerske said:

Needs to be some real incentive to winning a division. 

That's exactly my problem with how the NBA playoffs work. There is no longer any point to winning your division. It matters in every other sports league, why shouldn't it in basketball?

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The NHL playoffs would be 100% fixed if they made division champs 1-2 and used conference standings for 6-8. The division stuff is garbage

 

The rest of the sports are fine, tbh

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What if in NBA/NHL, division winners got an extra home game in their series', just to put added emphasis on the benefit of playing to win your division, rather than just to make the playoffs?

 

So, if a division winner was in a series against a non-division winner, it'd go 2-2-3, or 3-2-2, or something like that. SCF could be normal, since now it's two champions (conference) playing against each other.

 

 

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3 hours ago, BringBackTheVet said:

What if in NBA/NHL, division winners got an extra home game in their series', just to put added emphasis on the benefit of playing to win your division, rather than just to make the playoffs?

 

So, if a division winner was in a series against a non-division winner, it'd go 2-2-3, or 3-2-2, or something like that. SCF could be normal, since now it's two champions (conference) playing against each other.

 

A best-of-seven series already has a 4-3 split. Giving a divisional champion an extra home game would result in a 5-2 split. This is good — even if not as good as giving divisional champs a bye in the first round.

 

It's astonishing how far the NBA and NHL have gone in devaluing their basic product, the regular season. Any measure that mitigates this devaluation would be welcome.

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6 hours ago, Ferdinand Cesarano said:

NHL have gone in devaluing their basic product

I think the NHL made the right move by reverting back to a division semi -> division final -> conference final format. But the problem I have is semantics. They're still crowning division champions before the playoffs begin, which is wrong. While it doesn't change anything, I would not officially use the term "division champion" until after the second round of the playoffs. While it would never happen, I always thought making the earlier rounds less than 7 games might be interesting. Make the division semis a best-of-3, the division finals a best-of-5, then the conference finals a best-of-7. Short series are interesting because they can lead to upsets, but best-of-5 and best-of-7 will generally result in the better team winning.

 

Since fewer teams in the playoffs will never happen, I think shorter series is a decent way to keep the regular season from being too devalued. A shorter series, home ice will become that much more important.

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On 10/17/2018 at 6:11 PM, BringBackTheVet said:

You do get the occasional crap with a 7-9 division winner making it, but that's more a function of having so many divisions rather than the playoff structure.

And this is why I would much rather see 4 divisions of 8 rather than 8 divisions of 4 if/when MLB expands to 32.

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I'll take this a slightly different direction in that I believe all postseason systems of North American pro sports are flawed at least in some respect.  Instead, I'll put forth how I'd like to see them conducted, and in some cases offer alternative possibilities.  Make of it them what you will...

 

Major League Baseball

Either...

 

Tighten things up by having only division champions qualify.  The team with the best record in each league gets a bye while the other two division champions play a best-of-3 series.  The winner advances to a best-of-5 LCS, then a best-of-7 World Series; or

 

Loosen things up by expanding the field to three division champions and four wild card qualifiers.  The team with the best record in each league gets a bye straight to the LCS, while over the course of a week the other two division champions and four wild cards play a series of single-elimination games:  (i) the four wild-cards play first on a Sunday, (ii) the winning wild cards play the other division champions on a Tuesday, (iii) the two survivors play each other on a Thursday, and then (iv) a best-of-5 LCS begins the subsequent Sunday.  A best-of-7 World Series ensues.

 

Major League Soccer

No playoffs at all.  MLS is faux-European, let them go all the way faux-European.

 

National Basketball Association

Six division champions and ten other teams qualify and are seeded #1-16, league-wide.  For the first and second rounds, do it NCAA tournament style:  one and done.  The remaining four play a best-of-5 series, while the NBA Finals are a best-of-7.

 

National Football League

Either...

 

Tighten things up by having only division champions qualify.  No byes, no two-week break for the Super Bowl, and go back to ending the damned season in January rather than February; or

 

Obliterate the distinction between the AFC and NFC.  Eight division champions and eight wild cards qualify and are seeded #1-16, league-wide.  Make an Eagles-49'ers Super Bowl possible, or a Raiders-Chiefs, or a Dolphins-Jaguars, etc.

 

National Hockey League

Once the league goes to 32 teams, go to 8 divisions of 4 teams.  Either mimic the latter NFL format mentioned above; or

 

Have fun with it and expand the playoff field to 24 teams, with the 8 division champions earning byes from the first round.  The #9-24 seeds play a best-of-3 first round.  From there, reseed and play best-of-5 rounds until the best-of-7 Stanley Cup Final.

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On 10/22/2018 at 11:29 AM, Mac the Knife said:

Major League Soccer

No playoffs at all.  MLS is faux-European, let them go all the way faux-European.

 

Leagues in other countries play a perfectly balanced home and away schedule. MLS now has too many teams and too much travel to do that (remember most of these leagues are playing in countries smaller than Texas and only have 16-20 teams). The unbalanced regular season is the reason for playoffs.

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On 10/22/2018 at 12:29 PM, Mac the Knife said:

Major League Soccer

No playoffs at all.  MLS is faux-European, let them go all the way faux-European.

Considering that some leagues around the world play some form of playoffs after their normal season, most notably our neighbors to the south... Playoffs aren't exactly completely abnormal in soccer.

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FWIW, I favor a balanced home-and-home schedule for MLS.  In an April-early November timeline, one would think teams should be capable of playing 50 or 52 games.  The EPL covers 38 games with several breaks during the course of its season, with multiple weeks off for various other competitions.  So why not?

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Why play best of 7 to begin with? Why didn't leagues find it suitable to play best 5 or even 3? I understand current regards to revenue and marketing, especially television, but historically why play so long? 

 

I do know the World Series used to be best of 9 so is this the improvement?

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2 hours ago, Cab24fan said:

Why play best of 7 to begin with? Why didn't leagues find it suitable to play best 5 or even 3? I understand current regards to revenue and marketing, especially television, but historically why play so long? 

 

I do know the World Series used to be best of 9 so is this the improvement?

Best of 3 or 5 is too much of a coin flip. A single freak play changes everything. Best of 7 is long enough that it generally shows who the better team is. I think best of 9 was a bit redundant for that reason. 

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The NHL's was pretty much perfect until they goofed it with the new divisional playoffs format. 2017 was the most :censored:ed it's been. That year the team with the third best record in the East had to go on the road in the first round against the second best record meanwhile the team with the sixth best record in the East had home ice advantage against the team with the 7th best record. How the eff does that make any sense to anyone? 

 

 

I think I've decided baseball's is my favorite even with the wildcard game. 

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EPL. 

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On 10/24/2018 at 11:28 AM, Mac the Knife said:

FWIW, I favor a balanced home-and-home schedule for MLS.  In an April-early November timeline, one would think teams should be capable of playing 50 or 52 games.  The EPL covers 38 games with several breaks during the course of its season, with multiple weeks off for various other competitions.  So why not?

In a word: Weather. 

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32 minutes ago, mr.negative15 said:

In a word: Weather. 

 

And I'd also add that a 50 game season doesn't leave much room for the auxiliary competitions unique to soccer that run alongside the regular season, like US Open Cup and Concacaf Champions League and maybe possibly Copa Libertadores in the near future.

 

MLS needs a pretty serious restructuring across the board, I think. The playoffs are confusing and lack momentum, the regular season faces fixture congestion and collisions with international weekends. And it's hard to see an endgame plan with the expansion plans seemingly still, well, expanding.

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19 minutes ago, Digby said:

 

And I'd also add that a 50 game season doesn't leave much room for the auxiliary competitions unique to soccer that run alongside the regular season, like US Open Cup and Concacaf Champions League and maybe possibly Copa Libertadores in the near future.

 

MLS needs a pretty serious restructuring across the board, I think. The playoffs are confusing and lack momentum, the regular season faces fixture congestion and collisions with international weekends. And it's hard to see an endgame plan with the expansion plans seemingly still, well, expanding.

Also, Mac's April-early November calendar is about two months shorter than the English calendar and contains more conflicts with the international matchdays.

 

EFL clubs play 46 each, but there's no reason at all to do that at the top of a pyramid.

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18 minutes ago, Digby said:

 

And I'd also add that a 50 game season doesn't leave much room for the auxiliary competitions unique to soccer that run alongside the regular season, like US Open Cup and Concacaf Champions League and maybe possibly Copa Libertadores in the near future.

 

MLS needs a pretty serious restructuring across the board, I think. The playoffs are confusing and lack momentum, the regular season faces fixture congestion and collisions with international weekends. And it's hard to see an endgame plan with the expansion plans seemingly still, well, expanding. 

 

It has to be two 40-team, semi-autonomous leagues, right? Like the old AL and NL?

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1 hour ago, mr.negative15 said:

In a word: Weather. 

EPL plays in January and February.  You have to do better than that for an argument.

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16 hours ago, Cab24fan said:

Why play best of 7 to begin with? Why didn't leagues find it suitable to play best 5 or even 3? I understand current regards to revenue and marketing, especially television, but historically why play so long? 

 

I do know the World Series used to be best of 9 so is this the improvement?

The World Series was best-of-9 on only a handful of occasions, the last of which (I think) was 1919.

 

Why best-of-7's?  MONEY.  Why have a truly intense, tightly-wound, nerve wracking best-of-3 series played over the course of a weekend when you can milk the cash cow for everything it's worth and drag your postseason out for 10 days to two weeks with each round?  A 4 game minimum means more money than a 2 game minimum.  Simple as that.

 

18 minutes ago, crashcarson15 said:

Also, Mac's April-early November calendar is about two months shorter than the English calendar and contains more conflicts with the international matchdays.

 

EFL clubs play 46 each, but there's no reason at all to do that at the top of a pyramid.

And there's also no reason, given MLS' single-entity structure, not to continue expanding and set up its own promotion/relegation structure.  Unlike EPL or other leagues, we're not talking about a structure where relegation would result in revenues dropping off a cliff - the risks and the rewards would balance themselves out, no matter what 20 teams were in the first tier and what 20 were in the second.  Go January-November if it suits the situation.  Have a meaningless in-season cup competition between teams from the two tiers if it makes them feel good and draw more revenue.  There are no sacred cows where MLS is concerned.

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