Wednesday, August 11, 2010
NHIAA New Standings System
Well it looks like the Heal Points experiment is over after just 1 season. The new system is called the "New Hampshire Index Plan." The NHIAA explains the new system right here. This will be used for ALL sports, not just the ones where the teams are grouped by class (of course now in all sports teams are grouped by division and not class).
Here are my initial thoughts after looking over this new system.
First off, this system assumes that all teams within the same division are all the same ability level. In boys basketball, a win against Keene is worth the same as a win against Trinity (sorry Keene!). This is one thing that I actually liked about the Heal Points System that we had last year - the amount of points that you were awarded for a win was determined by how good the team you beat was. If you beat Laconia last year you wouldn't rise much in the standings (in fact you might actually drop!). But I liked this, because in reality if you beat Laconia last year you really didn't prove anything (sorry Laconia!)
Not only does this system assume all teams within the same division are equal, but it accounts for a win away being worth more than a win at home. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind the home/away thing, especially since there is only a difference of 1 point between a home win and an away win (home field advantage is a factor, but not a huge one). But to me, strength of schedule is definitely a bigger factor than home field advantage. If you're going to account for one or the other it would be strength of schedule within each division, NOT home field advantage. For example, if Nashua North plays Concord in football, North is going to win that game easily no matter where it is played. But if North is playing Salem instead of Concord, it is a MUCH tougher game for North (once again, regardless of where it is played).
According to this new system, a win over Concord in football is worth the exact same amount as a win over Salem. This is wrong. Now of course in Division I everybody plays everybody once so it doesn't matter. But if you're a D-II team looking to schedule a D-I opponent, why would you schedule Salem and risk losing when you could schedule Concord and earn the same amount of points?
What I Like About the New System
Crossover games count now. I made a lengthy post last football season about how ridiculous it was that we had crossover games in the middle of the season that didn't count towards the standings. You can read it right here.
Now when Salem and Timberlane meet in the middle of the season it will actually count towards the standings - good stuff.
But Here's the Catch
I like the fact that these crossover games will count. What I don't like is that strength of schedule won't be accounted for in the standings with regards to these games. So Salem and Timberlane will keep playing each other. But with this new system if I'm Timberlane I get the same number of points for beating Concord as I do for beating Salem. This is wrong! Now all of the strong teams will be falling over each other when they're scheduling their non-division games to schedule the weaker teams in the division above them.
What I Also Dislike About this System is...
Now this is the part that I REALLY don't get. Look at the chart on the NHIAA's website and it's easy to see what's wrong wit this picture. For Division I teams, a win for them against another D-I team is worth the same amount as a win over a D-II team. Are you kidding me? So NHIAA, are you saying that ALL D-I and D-II teams in ALL sports are equal? If that's the case, why don't we just combine D-I and D-II into 1 division?
Oh, but wait! Here's some more hypocrisy. If you're in Division I, you get the same amount of points for beating a D-I or D-II team. BUT, if you're in D-II you get more pints for beating a D-I team than you do for beating a D-II team. Now that makes sense. Except for the fact that D-I teams get the same amount of points for beating a team in either division. So make up your mind, NHIAA! Are D-I and D-II teams equal or not?
And it's the same all the way down the divisions. Like D-I teams get more points for a win over a D-I team (which makes sense), they also get the same amount of points for a win over a D-III team as they do a D-II team. So now the NHIAA is saying that D-II and D-III teams are equal? Again I ask, are you kidding me? If I'm a D-II team I'm just going to schedule as many games against bad D-III squads as I can (since strength of schedule within divisions isn't accounted for with this system) and since I know I'll win all of those games no matter what I will make as many of them road games as possible (since with this system more points are awarded for away wins than home wins).
So for a D-II team a win against a D-II or D-III team is worth the same amount, but if you're a D-III team you get more points for beating a D-II team than you do for beating a D-III team. So again we see hypocrisy. Are these 2 division equal or not? Then if you're a D-III team you get the same amount of points for beating a D-I team as you do for beating a D-I team. So now we're back to thinking that D-I and D-II are equal. But that was contradicted before, since D-II teams get more points for a D-I win than they do for a D-II win. So which is it? Furthermore, if I'm a D-III team why in God's name would I EVER play a D-I team if I can get the same amount of points for beating a D-II team?
I'm going to stop there. I could go on, and keep going through each of the 6 divisions and explain all of the hypocrisies. But they all basically go back to the ones I just described.
None of it makes sense to me. Just look at the chart. You look at it for 2 seconds and you can already tell it makes no sense. The only thing I like is that crossover games count in the standings. But even then the point values for these games makes no sense.
C'mon, NHIAA. It can't really be this hard to get it right...can it?