Historic Tiebreaker Scenario at Columbia Fall Classic – Girls Weekend

Elite Tournaments has run hundreds of youth soccer tournaments since the company was founded in 2000. Throughout the years, there have been several ties and scenarios that our tiebreaker system has successfully worked through to determine advancements and flight champions. In our Columbia Fall Classic – Girls Weekend, held in Howard County on the weekend of November 19-20, we witnessed a scenario that we have never seen before!  The Girls U14 Cup bracket contained 5 teams: Arlington SA 2009G Black, Delaware Union 2009 Girls Navy, Maryland Rush 09G, Potomac SA Premier II 09G, and Steel City FC Pittsburgh Hotspurs 2009G Yellow. The format for the weekend initially consisted of each team playing two randomly drawn group play games on Saturday, and in turn using our points and tiebreaker system to determine seeding for a playoff bracket. What happened next will amaze you. All games on Saturday finished with a final score of 1-0, with each team finishing with a total of 3 points in the standings. All 5 teams were deadlocked on points, most wins, goal differential, goals for, and goals against. With the clock at 8:30 PM on Saturday night after the final game concluded, the tournament committee stared in disbelief at the flight standings with all 5 teams tied in every single category. The playoff format for Sunday was supposed to place the #1 seed directly into the final, to play the winner of the #2 vs #3 seed semifinal match. The #4 and #5 teams would play in a consolation match. With all teams equal on points, it was time to decide on how to proceed to ensure that all teams get a fair shake at a run for the championship. “We had never seen a tiebreaker of this magnitude, so it turned into more of a brainstorming session, rather than following our predetermined protocols,” said our Tournament Director, Colin Sporer. Some options that were floated out included a random draw that would be streamed over FaceTime to teams, seeding teams by the date of their application submission, or a coin flip bracket. Ultimately, the tournament committee decided that the fairest way to determine a true division winner would be to scrap the bracket format and let the teams play against the remaining two teams in the bracket on Sunday. Whichever team finished with the most points would be the winner, and the second most would be the runner-up. The schedule was restructured, game slots were added, fields were shifted, and referees were briefed to make this happen.  Read more here