TUCSON, ARIZONA – As the Tucson Sugar Skulls head into the final stages of their inaugural season, their playoff scenarios include the possibility of hosting a playoff game, which would take place the weekend of June 22. The next step in their playoff quest is a home game this Saturday against the unbeaten Arizona Rattlers. Kickoff is 6 p.m. at the Tucson Arena.
Riding a three-game winning streak, Tucson is in a tie for fourth place with the Green Bay Blizzard with a 6-5 record. The Sugar Skulls and Green Bay will not play each other this season. The third- and fourth-place teams will host first-round playoff games against the sixth- and fifth-place teams, respectively. The first- and second-place teams get first-round byes.
One game behind Tucson and Green Bay with a 5-6 record is the Nebraska Danger, a team that holds the head-to-head tiebreaker over Tucson by virtue of a 53-47 victory over the Sugar Skulls on April 6 in Nebraska. The Quad City Steamwheelers also are contending for a playoff spot and are another game back at 4-7. They also have a victory over the Sugar Skulls, but the two teams will meet in the regular season finale for both teams on June 15 in Tucson. The Steamwheelers visit Nebraska on Friday in a game with significant playoff implications.
The task for Tucson is formidable over the next two games. After Saturday’s game, they have a bye and then travel to Phoenix to take on the Rattlers again on June 8. Arizona won the first two meetings, 63-28 on March 16 in Phoenix, and 55-41 in Tucson on April 14.
With four teams in close proximity in the standings, and with a number of possible scenarios for ties in the standings, here is the IFL tiebreaking procedure from the league’s Operations Manual:
1) Member Teams with matching winning percentages will be selected on a series of tiebreakers. The first Member Team having an advantage in tiebreaker categories will be considered the higher seed. In ties involving three or more Member Teams, once a team is eliminated by the tiebreaker process, the process reverts back to Step 1 for all remaining teams. The tiebreaker process continues in a similar manner until the highest seeded team is determined. The following are the tiebreaker categories in order of relevance:
- Won/Loss Percentage
- Head to Head Record vs. Opponent(s) Involved in Tie
- Opponents Win Percentage (Strength of Schedule)
- Head to Head Point Differential vs. Opponent Involved in Tie e) Point Differential for the Season (Total Points Scored Minus Total Points Allowed)