March 29, 2011

Championship Season Gearing Up in Collegiate Water Polo Association

BRIDGEPORT, Pa. -- As the 2011 season begins to wind down towards the Collegiate Water Polo Associaiton Eastern and Division III Eastern Championships at Indiana University and Macalester College, respectively, a slew of questions regarding topics ranging from how the teams will be seeded, to how ties will be broken and why the championships are both in the Midwest are being bantered about.

To clarify the process, let's examine the possibilities:

CWPA Eastern Championship (April 29-May 1 @ Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana)

  • Unlike past seasons in which only eight teams made the field, the 2011 CWPA Eastern Championship will feature all 11 active league Division I/II members battling it out for the organization's automatic bid to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Championship, hosted this year by the University of Michigan.
  • Also unlike past seasons, there are no division championships (Western/Southern) as the league members elected to use regular season records to determine the two divisions champions.
  • What if two, or even three, teams tie in the division standings?  Well, let us use the Western Division for an example.  As Michigan defeated Indiana 9-8 on Saturday, and the Wolverines and Hoosiers both need to play Hartwick in two weeks, the division title is still up for grabs.  If Hartwick defeats Michigan, but falls to Indiana, the three teams would all have one loss against one another and would "technically" tie for the title.  However, there can be only one champion in each division per league policy.  To break these ties, a fair and balanced system was enacted with the league's founding to guarantee that the seedings for the division championships is based not on the opinion of coaches or the league office, but on the performance which advanced the tied ties to that point in the season. It is important to note that the tiebreaker procedures set forth by the league are used to eliminate one team at a team.  If a tie remains following the implementation of the procedure, the process begins again at head-to-head competition between the two teams and follows the set forth guidelines until no ties remain in the league standings.
  1. Tie Breaker System - All Situations - If two teams are tied using the tie breaker system below and they have played each other, the head-to-head competition is used to determine ranking.
  2. Tie Breaker System - Two Teams - If the won/loss records of two teams are the same, the team that won in their head-to-head competition is the higher seed. If these teams each beat one another, the goal differential in their games is used to break the tie. If the goal differential in their contests against one another is the same, the total of goals scored against each other is used. If the total of goals scored between the teams is equal, the differential for all common opponents seeded higher is used. If no common opponents are seeded higher, the goal differential against the highest seeded common opponent is used.
  3. Tie Breaker System - Three or More Teams - If more than two teams are tied in won/loss records, goal differentials among the teams tied serves as the tiebreaker to determine the best team within the group until only two teams remain. The final two teams use their head-to-head results to break the tie. If the top two teams based on goal differentials are tied, the tie is broken with the results of their head-to -head competition. If the goal differential among all teams tied is the same, the total of goals scored against each other is used. If the total of goals scored between the teams is equal, the goal differential between common opponents seeded higher will be used to determine ranking. This may require averaging the goal differential per game if the number of games between common opponents is unequal. Should teams be tied in won/loss record and they have not played each other, goal differentials against common opponents that are seeded above them are used. If no common opponents are seeded higher, the goal differential against the highest seeded common opponent is used.
  4. Goal Differential - Goal differential is a term used to describe the difference between goals scored against an opponent and the number of goals scored by an opponent against a particular team.
  • So, if Michigan, Indiana and Hartwick tie (as an example) for first place in the Western Division, first head-to-head and later goal differential will be used to break the tie.  The lowest of the three teams will be eliminated and finish third in the division, while the head-to-head result of the remaining two teams will be used to crown the Western Division champion.
  • Winning the Southern or Western Division titles does not guarantee a high seed for the Eastern Championship. Rather, a committee of coaches will seed the 11 teams for the championship based on the squads results in their division and all of the results of games when two league opponents played each other - both within their division and versus the other division (e.g. West vs. South, West vs. West, South vs. South)).  It is possible that the top five teams for the championship, which also receive first round byes, will come from one division.
  • Similar to past seasons, the All-Conference teams, Coach of the Year, Rookie of the Year and Player of the Year for the Western, Southern and Division III divisions will be voted on by each divisions' coaches and announced at the CWPA Eastern Championship Banquet on Thursday, April 28.
  • Unlike past seasons in which only 12 games were contested (four on each day), the 2011 CWPA Eastern Championship will feature seven games on Friday, six on Saturday and five on Sunday for a total of 18 contests.  Here is the complete Eastern Championship schedule
  • Why does Indiana get to host in 2011?  The league has a policy of rotating the championship to each division (2002-11 Women's Varsity Site Rotation).  Due to the league restructuring from three to two divisions last June, the sites for the 2012 Eastern, Eastern College Athletic Conference, and Division III Eastern Championships were not selected but will be determined at the league's Annual Meeting this June in Plymouth Meeting, Pa.
  • Will the championship be streamed?  Yes, the CWPA will provide live pay-per-view coverage of the event from Indiana University.  Check the CWPA front page for more information in the coming weeks.

CWPA Division III Eastern Championship (April 29-30 at Macalester College, St. Paul, Minn.)

  • Unlike the CWPA Eastern Championship, the Division III Eastern Championship is seeded exclusively based on the head-to-head results of the teams in accordance with the league's tie-breaker procedures. 
  • The Division III Eastern Champion is not eligible to advance to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
  • Why does Macalester get to host in 2011?  The league has a policy of rotating the championship to each division (2002-11 Women's Varsity Site Rotation).  Due to the league restructuring from three to two divisions last June, the sites for the 2012 Eastern, Eastern College Athletic Conference, and Division III Eastern Championships were not selected but will be determined at the league's Annual Meeting this June in Plymouth Meeting, Pa.
  • Will the championship be streamed?  Yes, the CWPA will provide live pay-per-view coverage of the event from Macalester College.  Check the CWPA front page for more information in the coming weeks.

 

Have more questions about the championships? Submit all inquiries to office@collegiatewaterpolo.org for a response.


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