BY JIM MISUNAS
It’s impossible to understand why American Legion baseball’s rule-makers can’t compose a fair three-team bracket.
Tuesday’s Legion Zone 3 tournament at Great Bend illustrates how misguided National American Legion tournament rules are.
It’s simple to run a three-team bracket.
Here’s what’s you DON’T do — provide the chance for a double bye for the team with the best record in a postseason tournament.
But that’s exactly how the archaic postseason brackets are scrutured.
This is not high level calculus (which I passed in college).
If the Hays Eagles win their first bracket game over the Great Bend Chiefs (or Newton Knights), the Chiefs (2-1 with two potential wins over Newton) would play two more games than Hays – three games to one.
That’s just wrong.
The Chiefs would be forced to throw its three best pitchers. The Hays Eagles would laugh all the way into the winner’s bracket finals by playing one game.
If a three-team bracket is done correctly, the team with the best record (the Hays Eagles) would play the game 1 winner, then the game 1 loser. That way each team will have played two games.
That’s absolutely fair — no argument is required.
If Hays wins its first bracket game and loses its second game, then the Chiefs and Newton would play a second time. Hays would get a second opportunity to not play a bracket game.
If Hays win its first two bracket games, the surviving team would still have to beat the Eagles twice. Again, that’s no disadvantage for Hays, being 2-0.
But it’s not because Legion rule-makers aren’t smart enough to think this through.
A potential double bye for Hays is completely unfair for the Great Bend Chiefs and Newton Knights.