North Carolina Little League team sent home after losing tiebreaker

WARNER ROBINS, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Parents of a North Carolina 12U baseball team are questioning Little League’s tiebreaker policy after the boys lost a tiebreaker and missed the semifinals of the Southeastern Region Tournament.

Southwest Forysth Little League from Clemmons, N.C., finished pool play at the tournament with a 2-1 record, the same record as Florida and Georgia, who both advanced.  In pool play, North Carolina scored more runs (26) than both Florida (21) and Georgia (8) and also gave up the least (8 runs compared to Florida’s 9 and Georgia’s 20).

But that’s not what decides which teams advance to the semifinals, so we reached out to Little League to find out what does.

“According to Little League International Tournament regulation, when teams have identical records, the first tiebreaker used to determine a seed is head-to-head match-ups,” wrote spokesman Brian McClintock in an e-mail Wednesday.  “If no team involved in the tie defeated every other team in the tie in head-to-head play, the policy is to use a “runs-allowed ratio” to determine the team that will receive the seed. The ratio is found by dividing the number of total runs a team allows in pool play by the total number of defensive innings played.

“The runs-allowed ratio awarded Florida with the number one seed. For the number two seed, there was a head-to-head match-up between Georgia and North Carolina, which Georgia won, awarding them the number two seed.”

Parents feel the policy is flawed.  North Carolina did lose to Georgia in pool play, but it also beat Florida.  We asked if Little League has looked into alternative formats for the future. 

“At the end of the year, Little League reviews all of their rules and regulations for ways to ensure children have a lasting, meaningful Little League experience,” McClintock wrote.

Florida fell 13-1 to Tennessee, the second place team in the other pool, in Wednesday’s first semifinal game.  Georgia plays Virginia, the other pool’s winner, at 5.  The championship is Friday at 7.

Categories: Across Georgia Sports, Sports

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