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CIS Playoff Formats

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Old
12-27-2009, 06:10 PM
  #26
Hollywood3
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Revisiting This Point

Since we discussed this subject I have been thinking about the various formats and to most cost-effectively promote CIS hockey.

The current 6 team system suffers from awkwardness, both in qualification stages and in the tournament itself.

The oddness of the current system is that it admits the 3 conference champions, one runner-up (from the OUA), a wild-card (which could be a 2nd or 3rd place team depending on the hosting arrangement), and a pre-determined host. The CW and the AUS can have anywhere from 1 to 3 reps per year while the OUA gets 2 or 3. There is no logic to it and the year-to-year variation is unwarranted.

At the tournament itself, teams are often (but not always) knocked out after one loss and quite often are playing a game where they have no mathematical chance to advance. TV has no true semi-final games to show. The format evolved out of a mish-mash of playoff systems in years when there were 4 or 5 conferences.

From a purist stand-point, a tournament from conference champions ONLY would be the best. The issue raised by AUStrooper about Ontario East and Ontario West being separate conferences would then decide whether this would be a 4-team or a 3-team tournament.

A 3-team tournament would have round-robin games from Thursday to Saturday and a final on Sunday between the top 2 teams.

A 4-team tournament could go with semi-finals on Friday night and Saturday afternoon or a Saturday double-header, followed by a Sunday final.

In either case, it would be pre-determined which conference would host but there would be no berth for a "host" team. Since the tournament would involve only 3 or 4 teams it is likely that any school could host. The contenders from the host conference would know in advance to book a suitable arena for the event.

As an option, the Memorial Cup format could be used, i.e. 3 conference winners and a pre-determined host. This system would be familiar to hockey fans. The downside is that one team would be pre-determined to be in the top 4. IMO, that is too much of an advantage to give a team. The only advantage to this is that it gives TV networks and possibly competing teams absolute certainty as to their destination for the tournament.

Therefore, my conclusion is that if you have to have a pre-determined host it is better to have the 8-team system as historically used in basketball and volleyball. This has never been tried for hockey. I would guess that there would be 2 teams from each conference, the host, and a wild-card from outside the host conference. The pluses of this format would be:
* The host would have to beat somebody for a place in the final 4.
* The tournament would have guaranteed semi-final games.
* The conference representation would be more consistent in each year (i.e. it would be either 2 or 3 teams, depending on the format used.)

IMO, the best system would be the one I posted about 4 regionals with 4 teams in each (one hosted by each conference champion and a pre-determined host). The problem is the potential cost. This would not likely happen unless such an event were to garner a significant sponsor.

So, when all is said and done, I would vote for an 8-team system. I give tis an edge over the 3 conference champions only system by a hair simply because I think you would have a hard time convincing everybody to dispense with the host concept.

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Old
03-10-2010, 01:36 PM
  #27
Hollywood3
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Bringing up an old idea ...

Remember that old idea about having regionals for hockey? If we did have it we would be wrapping up conference play this weekend and then next weekend would be regionals. Here's what it would look like:

HOST REGIONAL @ THUNDER BAY
#1 Host - LAKEHEAD
#8 CW 3rd - SASKATCHEWAN
#9 AUS 3rd - NEW BRUNSWICK
#16 OUA 7th - RYERSON

WEST REGIONAL @ EDMONTON/WINNIPEG
#2 CW winner - ALBERTA/MANITOBA
#7 AUS runner-up - ST. FRANCIS-XAVIER
#10 OUA 3rd - WESTERN ONTARIO
#15 OUA 6th - WINDSOR

EAST REGIONAL @ HALIFAX
#3 AUS winner - ST. MARY'S
#6 OUA runner-up - UQTR
#11 CW 4th - CALGARY
#14 OUA 5th - GUELPH

CENTRAL REGIONAL @ MONTREAL
#4 OUA winner - MCGILL
#5 CW runner-up - MANITOBA/ALBERTA
#12 OUA 4th - CARLETON
#13 AUS 4th - ACADIA

Note that since Lakehead is host the rest of the quarter-finalists in the OUA get their 7 places.

This would be the weekend schedule:

Lakehead v Ryerson
Saskatchewan v New Brunswick

Alberta or Manitoba v Windsor
St. Francis-Xavier v Western Ontario

St. Mary's v Guelph
UQTR v Calgary

McGill v Acadia
Alberta or Manitoba v Carleton

Now those match-ups would spark some interest.

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Old
03-10-2010, 03:19 PM
  #28
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Fine in theory, but consider the cost of Calgary flying to Halifax to play perhaps one game. Also, why would the host want to get involved as they have a spot booked?

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Old
03-19-2010, 10:15 AM
  #29
Island Husky
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Quote:
1987
- six teams (one from Atlantic, one from Quebec, two from Ontario, and two from CW)
- the current format of two round-robins followed by a sudden-death final was used

1988, 1989, 1990, 1991,1992,1993
So until 1989, I was an ardent UPEI Panthers backer. UPEI won in 87 and 88. In 89 I began working for Saint Mary's, I remember Moncton won the national championwhip that year. What I don't remember is more than four, yes four only, in the National Championships for all of those seasons. Ontario might have considered it national championship play, but it was so unfair, and so unrepresentative, but we didn't seem to argue! When PEI won the AUS in 1988, they had a big physical team, big physical and mobile defencemen,, had lots of scoring, Anyway, they win the AUS, 3-2 and 5-0 over Moncton, away to Toronto they go, that was another thing, all games were played in Toronto, at Varsity Stadium. PEI were No. 1 for most of the season, they play Western in game 1, York and Calgary are the others. It is just straight one game knockout. PEI lost the first game 3-1, out of the CIAU toournemanet. York wins their game. I remember thinking, well of course they won, they are playing practically in their own backyard. What's more, York wins the National Championship the next day defeating Western. Don't know how thee got there in the first place. But this went on for some six years. four teams, all in Toronto, one game knockouts...Good Bye (weakest link goodbye)


Last edited by Island Husky: 03-19-2010 at 10:07 PM. Reason: wrote it when I was asleep I think
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Old
03-22-2010, 03:50 PM
  #30
Hollywood3
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New link?

Here's the link that started the thread:

http://www.universitysport.ca/e/m_ic...ckey-final.pdf

Does anybody know where it went?

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Old
03-23-2010, 07:42 AM
  #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Island Husky View Post
York wins the National Championship the next day defeating Western. Don't know how thee got there in the first place. But this went on for some six years. four teams, all in Toronto, one game knockouts...Good Bye (weakest link goodbye)
The teams qualifying that year got there basically the same way the teams currently get to the tournament, except there was no host and no wildcard. If I'm remembering this correctly, UQTR, McGill, Concordia, and Ottawa joined the OUAA hockey league in the 87-88 season after the QUAA had shut down the at the end of the prior year. That's when the OUAA went to the four "Far" and "Mid" divisions. Originally, York played in the Mid-East division, with U of T, Queen's and RMC. Ryerson, who were in the Mid-West, switched divisions with York a year or two later. Anyway, that year York won the Eastern conference and Western won the Western conference and then York won the OUAA championship. So they got to the Nationals as OUAA champion, and Western got there as the OUAA runner-up. The rationale with the the runner-up getting a seed was the same as it is today - it is basically the Quebec seed.

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Old
03-23-2010, 10:27 AM
  #32
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After Reading different post on this subject, from suggestions of anywheres between 4 to 8 team tournaments, with some ideas being good, some being unrealistic. I have come up with what I think think would be the most realistically possible CIS Hockey Championchip, Both in the possibility of Games Played, Success at the Gate (Attendance) and rewarding of what the teams have actually done throughout the season and in their playoff Drive. I don't think a large 8 team tournament is good for the respective conferences and their playoffs runs, as it eliminates the goal of winning a conference Championchip, rather some teams just doing enough to qualify as some conferences would have upwards of 3 teams competing. In a perfect world the best possible way to determine a true CIS Hockey Champion would simply be a 4 team tournament featuring the CW Champ, OUA East and West Champs and the AUS Champion, playing a round robin, all getting a crack at each other for a total of 3 games each. The first place team getting a bye into the Championchip game, and 3rd and 2nd facing off in a Semifinal. Identical to the Memorail Cup format, with the Exception we have 4 Conference winners and no host. The 2 reasons this format is not possible in Canadian University Hockey is, No University Teams can fit in 3 to 5 Games each in a 4 to 5 day span, its not possible obviously, they could not expand this tournament to a week long event because of school. The other with no predetermined Host Attendance would be guarenteed to Fail unless that Host City's school earned their way to the Championchip, which you could imagine would not happen often.

My Proposed Idea, calls for a new 5 Team Tournament, 1 straight out Pool of 5 Teams Where the Playoff ending rankings have a serious meaning and importance to the games played at the National Championchip, the 5 teams would consist of...
-Canada West Champion
-OUA East Champion
-OUA West Champion
-AUS Champion
-Host Team

The Top 3 Ranked teams would be considered amongs the Canada West Champion, AUS Champion and the OUA Queens Cup Champion, the 4th Ranked team would be the Queens Cup Finalist that lost the overall OUA Title and the 5th Ranked team would be the Host Team every time.
The Teams would continue to play a 2 Game Round Robin like they Do Today, but with the Tournament seedings having a Impact on who they play

#1, would play againts #5 and #4
#2, Would play againts #5 and #3
#3 would play againts #4 and #2
#4 would play againts # 3 and #1
#5 would play againts #2 and #1

This way all teams will have played 2 Round Robin Games, the Team who earned their way as the Number 1 Seed gets to play the 2 Lowest Seeded Teams and the Team who would be designated host and presumably has not earned their way to the Championchip like the others teams did, would have to prove themselves againts the Number 1 and 2 Ranked Teams. When the 2 Game Round Robin is Complete you could go a couple of different ways. The Top 2 teams of the round robin face off in a Championchip, or my prefered way would be for first place to get a bye into the final and to throw in the 1 extra semifinal game with number 3 and number 2 facing off for the right to get to the Championchip. Their is a high chance 2 Teams could finish with 2-0 records each and it will be a well derserved championchip if you go with the top 2 teams in the final, but on the other hand, I hate in the current format when teams finish locked at 1-1 and make it to the final, so incase of 1 team finishing at 2-0 and 3 teams finishing tied at 1-1, I like the extra semifinal game being played to get that other team into the championhip with a hard earned 2-1 record.

If this format was used at this years Nationals the Tournament would look like this

# 1 Alberta
# 2 McGill
# 3 St Mary's
# 4 Lakehead
# 5 UQTR (would be host due to Lakeheads Queen's Cup Appearance)

Manitoba would not have qualified with the elimination of the Wildcard

Alberta would play UQTR and Lakehead
McGill would play UQTR and St Mary's
St Mary's would play Lakehead and McGill
Lakehead would Play St Marys and Alberta
UQTR would play McGill and Alberta

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Old
03-23-2010, 06:14 PM
  #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cishockeyfan View Post
My Proposed Idea, calls for a new 5 Team Tournament, 1 straight out Pool of 5 Teams Where the Playoff ending rankings have a serious meaning and importance to the games played at the National Championchip, the 5 teams would consist of...
-Canada West Champion
-OUA East Champion
-OUA West Champion
-AUS Champion
-Host Team

#1, would play againts #5 and #4
#2, Would play againts #5 and #3
#3 would play againts #4 and #2
#4 would play againts # 3 and #1
#5 would play againts #2 and #1
I like this, but if you're going to us a day to play a single semi, I would suggest playing two semi's on the same day. This way the top finsher plays forth and second plays 3rd. This, statistically should knockout the host.

The down side to 5 teams, it will take 3 days to play the 5 games, another for the semis and a 5th for the final. It means the winner will have played 4 games in 5 days.

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Old
03-24-2010, 02:50 PM
  #34
Island Husky
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Quote:
The rationale with the the runner-up getting a seed was the same as it is today - it is basically the Quebec seed.
Although thanks to a spelling error, it was not clear on "who was there in the first place" that perhaps shouldn't have been..but it was York that I meant, so I guess you understood it nevertheless. I hadn't realized that was the year of the switch, but I might have as UPEI was there the year before, and it was totally different. They had reached the semi final, losing to Saskatchewan, having beaten Western in a quarter final. So the three champions I was well aware of, it was that fourth. I still don't understand the reasoning. There was once an independent conference, the OQIAU, depending on the sport, they had, seven teams in there for football, not bad in those days, a good competitive conference Queens for football, Carleton in basketball, Concordia in various sports, Queens in hockey too. Anyway they merged it with the largest conference in the nation, by far, what more than double the teams the other conferences had to start with? what did this bring them to? I know it isn't like football, four divisions, one Ontario, one Ont-Que, . So ever since they adopoted that, every year Ontario-Quebec gets two automatically, plus the wild card if it's their year, or how does it work, I should know by now, just never sort of pay attention to it.

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Old
03-24-2010, 03:30 PM
  #35
Hollywood3
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On the various points:

* I see no value in the 5 team system because in a large percentage of years you would have 3 teams all at 1-1 and it would always come down to tie-breakers.

* Giving the OUA a place for Quebec makes no sense. Otherwise, why not give the CW a spot for GPAC? Even back when they were separate conferences they almost never got 2 spots at nationals anyhow.

* I would have no problem with an 8-team tournament. That way the OUA, AUS, and CW would just have their "wild-card" spot every year.

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Old
03-24-2010, 06:44 PM
  #36
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I'm intrigued by all this talk about regional tournaments or an eight-team tournament, but who would pay for the additional costs involved? It all comes down to money and it doesn't sound like the CIS or its schools is awash with money these days. No format is perfect. It is what it is, right? Maybe a four-team tournament (host team, CW champion, AUS champion and OUA East/.West champion) with a round-robin would give the best team (or best team that week) the best opportunity to prevail because it would allow for a second chance. I like the idea of regionals, but the cost of flying teams all over the country is quite prohibitive. Unless Hollywood's got a few million bucks to spare, or some CIS white knight comes to light, I can't see this idea ever flying. An eight-team tournament also means additional costs. These are hockey teams, not b'ball teams, and they've got expanded rosters.
Yes, it's a difficult trophy to win for the majority of teams in the country. A few teams seem to have figured it out. A big part of success comes down to recruiting and money, which usually go hand in hand.

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Old
02-14-2012, 12:52 PM
  #37
Hollywood3
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Bump: Remember this discussion?

I saw this old thread and thought it was interesting to look back at it. Also, there exists remarkable consistency in the relative strength of programs from year to year.

Anyhow, I still loathe the 6 team format. And I don't like having three OUA teams in a 6 team field.

That 8 team idea is still IMHO the best.

And a 3 or 4 team (depending on the Quebec issue) tournament would be second best.

The regionals idea would generate the most interest but it looks like it is not happening in basketball so it is not likely in the cards.

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