Kevin Price Commentary: Tiebreakers not always clear

November 11, 2013 

That led to plenty of confusion in Region 1-AAAAA this past weekend.

The region's tiebreaker came into play on Friday after Harris County beat Thomas County Central and Lee County beat Bainbridge.

That results in Harris County, TCC and Lee County all being 4-1 in region play.

Like most every other tiebreaker starts, the region's starts with head-to-head.

This failed to break the tie since the teams all split, i.e., Harris County beat TCC but lost to Lee County, and TCC beat Lee. So they went to the second tiebreaker, which is points allowed against the other teams involved in the tie.

Using that tiebreaker, TCC and Lee County would have tied for first with 52 points allowed. Harris County was third with 79.

So tie over, right?

Since most tiebreakers state that once there are two teams left then head-to-head is used.

If that was the case here, then TCC would have been first and Lee second and Harris third.

But according to region president Matt Bell, who is the principal at Hardaway, the region bylaws are clear that the tiebreaker they came up with is used only to decide the No. 1 team.

And since TCC and Lee County were tied for first under that tiebreaker, the tie was not broken and all three teams remained tied. So they went on to the next tiebreaker, which is points allowed in all region games.

That brought in each team's results against Bainbridge, Hardaway and Northside.

Lee County had given up 66, TCC X82 and Harris County X137. That gave the region championship to Lee County.

At this point, the three-team tiebreaker had done its job and determined the first-place team.

At this point, TCC and Harris County were left in a tie, so a two-team tiebreaker was used.

First tiebreaker is head-to-head, so Harris County got the second seed and TCC third.

Why all of this matters is, of course, the state playoffs, which start Friday.

The top seeds in the region host games against the bottom two seeds from another region, while the third and fourth seeds have to travel to the top two seeds from another region.

Lee County will host Effingham County, the fourth seed from Region 3 on Friday, and Harris County will host Glynn Academy, the third seed from that region.

TCC, which ironically is the No. 4 team in the latest Georgia Sports Writers poll, will play at second-seeded Richmond Hill.

The team that turns out to be the loser in this is Richmond Hill, which is facing the best No. 3 seed in the state.

-- Kevin Price, kprice@ledger-enquirer.com, 706-320-4493

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