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I’m the Most Confused of Everyone

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Take a glimpse at a high school baseball or softball sectional tournament schedule. Just like they tell you in preschool, they're all unique in their own special way. It can get very confusing, very fast. This is especially true for my sports department that is tasked to cover as many games as possible. This is not an excuse. It's a statement.

Sections are a lot smaller in baseball and softball than other sports. That's because several schools in the state don't have teams or maybe they have one and not the other. The majority of the sections that include North Central West Virginia schools are made up of just two local high schools. All sectional tournaments are double elimination. Here's where the confusing part comes in.

Schools have several different ways they can play a sectional tournament. It's one of those things like, all possible combinations are 750 different ways. Admittedly, 750 is a stretch.

For two-team sections, the schools can play every night until someone is eliminated (with no guidelines as to what day of the week to start the sectional tournament). They can play a double header and hope that one team wins in two games. They can play a double header at the higher seed but if a third game is needed, move the final game to the other school's field to make up for travel expenses. They can even play all three games in one day if they'd like.

It's also a little mind boggling that everyone seems to do something different, starting at any time of day they choose.

Three-team and more sections are worse. Sections that have to play at least four games have even more options of how to run their tournaments. The general consensus is that the highest seeded team should host the tournament, but teams play well into the night for sectionals so there are times I find myself at the lowest seed's field, just because they have lights. Three-team sections can play the two lowest seeds against each other, in a double header, in the first night, essentially a death match to knock one squad out on day one. I've also seen the loser of game one go play the highest seed. The opposite is just as common, the winner of game one plays the highest seed and then the two losers face off to get one team eliminated. Again, this could all happen in one night or it can be stretched across several days. It's really the coaches/site-coordinator's prerogative.

We do our best to keep it all straight. I'm indebted to the athletic directors from our local schools for keeping me up to date. This wasn't meant to be a blog where I'm complaining about something either. I have no ideas on how to make it better. Just making a statement that if you're confused, we are too sometimes.

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