If The Season Ended Today – Adult | BAFA NL ’19 – Week 13&14

We may know a lot about the Under 17’s and Under 19’s situation, but the waters are more muddy when it comes to the adult leagues… So muddy they could be hiding a new super bug that slays us all!

Just in case we’re all about to bowl-hug our way to our death beds, best we take a look at where things would stand If The Season Ended Today…


For 2019 the procedure to determine seedings in all National League Contact formats is as follows, except where explicitly stated:

i) Win-Loss-Tie record,

ii) Tiebreakers as follows:

  • Head-to-head record/aggregate score (where applicable)
  • Lowest Average Points Conceded in games played (walkover wins excluded)
  • Highest Won/Loss/Tied record for scheduled away games
  • Lowest number of players ejected
  • A coin toss by the Competition Management

Taking this into account, this would currently give us the following teams seeing their seasons extended in the Under 17 and Under 19s contact formats:

Key

(+) Denotes an awarded walkover victory

(-) Denotes a forfeited defeat

APC – Average Points Conceded

 

Premiership

The simplest of the three, top two teams from each of the two conferences qualify for semi-finals.

#1 Team from each conference plays host to the #2 team from the other, in a National Playoff format. The two winners advance to Britbowl XXXI.

As things stand:

#1 North hosts #2 South

Tamworth Phoenix* (7-1-0) v London Blitz (6-2-0)

#1 South hosts #2 North

London Warriors (8-0-0) v Merseyside Nighthawks (6-2-0)

Still in the race:

The Manchester Titans are currently only edged out by the Nighthawks by head-to-head.

Meanwhile, in the South the London Olympians could still see playoff football if they were to win out, beat the London Blitz by more than 7 points, and the Blitz lose to the Exiles as well.

Risking Relegation

The North still sees a hard-fought race between the Falcons, Giants and Wolves to dodge the drop.

I think the possible outcomes look something like this:

IF…

  • Falcons, Wolves and Giants win… Inconclusive*
  • Falcons, Wolves, Nighthawks win… Giants relegated
  • Falcons, Falcons, Giants win… Wolves relegated
  • Falcons, Falcons, Nighthawks win… Wolves relegated
  • Titans, Wolves, Giants win… Falcons relegated
  • Titans, Falcons, Giants win… Wolves relegated
  • Titans, Wolves, Nighthawks win… Giants relegated
  • Titans, Falcons, Nighthawks win… Wolves relegated

*Possible three-way H2H if Edinburgh beat Leicester by 11 or more points, meaning we’d have to look at the next set of tiebreakers. Elsewise Edinburgh would be relegated due to losing h2h to both Falcons and Giants.

In the south, the Kent Exiles, Bristol Aztecs and Farnham Knights are all still at risk of relegation.

To avoid relegation (shortest route to safety):

  • Bristol need to win one of their remaining two fixtures, or Farnham lose a game.
  • Kent need to beat Farnham, or Farnham lose two.
  • Farnham need Kent to lose remaining fixtures.

 

Division One

Division One sees regional (north/south) playoffs, followed by a National Final.

There are two playoff berths per conference, and regional semi-finals will be cross-conference – i.e. the #1 team in Conference A hosts #2 team from Conference B.

The highest remaining seed will then host the other remaining team for their respective regional championships, before the top remaining team from the North and the South square off in a National Final, 31 August.

As things stand:

The North

Seedings:

  1. East Kilbride Pirates: 1st, 9-0-0, 11.67 APC
  2. Sandwell Steelers: 1st, 8-0-0, 3.0 APC
  3. Northumberland Vikings: 2nd, 7-1-0, 3.88 APC
  4. Lancashire Wolverines: 2nd, 6-3-0, 21.78 APC
#1 NFC1North vs #2 NFC1South

East Kilbride Pirates vs Lancashire Wolverines

#1 NFC1South vs #2 NFC1North

Sandwell Steelers vs Northumberland Vikings

 

 

Still in the race:

The East Kilbride Pirates and Northumberland Vikings are both locked into playoff football, but the Vikings can still steal the top spot before the year is out if they win out and beat the Pirates by 4 or more points.

In the NFC 1 South, the Sandwell Steelers are locked in as Champs, but the Shropshire Revolution can still claim the #2 berth if results go their way… possibly the Caesars too, but it’d require a three-way tie we’re unlikely to see.

Out of the running:

In the NFC 1 North, the Aberdeen Roughnecks, Glasgow Tigers and Yorkshire Rams are all out of the running for postseason action, however all are also safe from relegation with the 0-9-0 Gateshead Senators set for D1 football next summer.

In the NFC 1 South, the Doncaster Mustangs are locked into relegation owing to their Week Eleven forfeit.

 

The South

Seedings:

  1. Solent Thrashers: 1st, 8-0-0, 7.50 APC
  2. Cambridgeshire Cats (+): 1st, 8-1-0, 9.25 APC
  3. London Hornets: 2nd, 7-1-0, 5.25 APC
  4. Hertfordshire Cheetahs: 2nd, 7-2-0, 15.44 APC
#1 SFC1Central hosts #2 SFC1East

Solent Thrashers vs London Hornets

#1 SFC1East hosts #2 SFC1Central

Cambridgeshire Cats vs Hertfordshire Cheetahs

 

In the race:

The Solent Thrashers and Cambridgeshire Cats are both locked into playoff football, but yet to completely secure their crowns.  Solent can secure their crown with one more win, while Cambridge need either a Hornets loss or to not lose against the Gladiators in Week Sixteen.

The Hertfordshire Cheetahs can still swipe the Central crown if they’re able to win out, while the Thrashers pick up an extra loss from somewhere, but are also at threat from the Sussex Thunder who would displace the Cheetahs from second should the two teams finish the season with equal records.

The London Hornets will finish second in the East, regardless of their result versus Bury, so long as Cambridgeshire beat the Gladiators.

 

Out of the running:

The only team not already locked into playoffs, but with a chance to steal a spot, are the Sussex Thunder in the Central.

The Ouse Valley Eagles will be relegated out of the East due to their forfeit earlier this season.

However, things are more complicated in the Central where Oxford, Portsmouth and Berkshire could still potentially finish out the season tied with 3-7 records.

The Saints currently hold the weakest hand, though winning out would almost certainly ensure they survive a three-way tiebreak at least (I think Berkshire would be the team to take the drop).

 

Division Two

Division Two sees two regional postseason tournaments, with no national playoffs.

In each region (North/South) eight teams will head to postseason football from the three conferences therein, selected as follows:

  • The three teams ranked #1 in each region’s conferences will be seeded #1-#3.
  • The three teams ranked #2 in each region’s conferences will be seeded #4-#6.
  • The two best third-place teams across each region’s conferences, as determined by tiebreakers, will be seeded #7 and #8.
The North
  1. Birmingham Bulls: 1st, 7-0-0, 1.86 APC
  2. Halton Spartans: 1st, 6-0-0, 4.83 APC
  3. Clyde Valley Blackhawks (++)1st, 6-0-0, 6.5 APC
  4. Leeds Bobcats: 2nd, 5-1-0, 9.83 APC
  5. Dumfries Hunters (++): 2nd, 5-2-0, 13.0 APC
  6. Lincolnshire Bombers: 2nd, 4-2-0, 10.33 APC
  7. Inverclyde Goliaths (+)3rd, 5-2-0, 14.0 APC
  8. Staffordshire Surge: 3rd, 3-4-0, 16.71 APC

 

This would give Round One fixtures of:

  • Birmingham Bulls host Staffordshire Surge
  • Halton Spartans host Inverclyde Goliaths
  • Clyde Valley Blackhawks host Lincolnshire Bombers
  • Leeds Bobcats host Dumfries Hunters
In the race:

Very little has changed since we last looked at the shape of the northern half of D2, as we’ve only actually seen a walkover win for Leeds and two fixtures in the NFC 2 South, none of which actually changed the seedings.

The Birmingham Bulls are locked in as NFC 2 South Champions, but at least the Week Thirteen fixtures cleared a few things up – Humber can no longer make the playoffs, though notably Crewe could potentially still sneak in if they win out, beat Surge by at least 8, and results go their way in the NFC 2 Central.

The Halton Spartans have secured playoffs, but not yet the crown, while in the NFC 2 North we know the Clyde Valley Blackhawks, Dumfries Hunters and Inverclyde Goliaths will all see playoff football, but who snags which seeding is still entirely up for grabs!

Finally, the Knottingley Raiders and Morecambe Bay Storm are both still in with an outside shot, so long as results in the NFC 2 South fall their way (particular teams will need to suffer HEAVY losses for one of these two to squeeze through). Potentially, the Raiders can still displace the Leeds Bobcats from the #2 spot, too, if they win out, Leeds lose out, and Knottingley best the Bobcats by… ouch. At least 45 points.

 

Out of the Running:

Surprisingly few teams stand no chance of postseason football at this point, as only the Furness Phantoms, Darlington SteamCarlisle Sentinels and Humber Warhawks are out of the running, with Carlisle, in particular, returning to associate status following withdrawal from the league earlier this season.

 

The South
  1. South Wales Warriors: 1st, 7-0-0, 7.71 APC
  2. Essex Spartans: 1st, 6-0-0, 3.33 APC
  3. London Blitz B: 1st, 6-0-0, 7.17 APC
  4. Norwich Devils: 2nd, 5-1-1, 11.00 APC
  5. Torbay Trojans: 2nd, 5-2-0, 12.57 APC
  6. Bournemouth Bobcats: 2nd, 4-2-0, 11.83 APC
  7. Bristol Apache*: 3rd, 4-3-0, 15.43 APC
  8. Ipswich Cardinals*: 3rd, 3-1-2, 14.17 APC

*This is on the assumption BAFA are counting 4 wins, 2 losses as better than 3 wins, two ties, one loss.

 

This would give Round One fixtures of:

  • South Wales Warriors host Ipswich Cardinals
  • Essex Spartans host Bristol Apache
  •  London Blitz Bs host Bournemouth Bobcats
  • Norwich Devils host Torbay Trojans
Still in the race:

In the West, the South Wales Warriors have secured the crown and the Torbay Trojans are locked into playoffs despite their away defeat courtesy of the Apache losing to the Wyverns. Bristol Apache need to most likely win their final fixture, and for results to go their way in the South and Wast to secure playoffs.

The London Blitz have secured the Southern crown, with the Bobcats needing another win to concrete their place at #2. The Swindon Storm are still very much in the running thanks to the Apache’s loss in Week Thirteen, and so, too, strictly speaking, are the Jurassic Coast Raptors – though they’d likely need to win out from here.

Finally, in the East the Essex Spartans are guaranteed playoff football, though not yet the crown. Ipswich’s loss to the Devils drops them down to third, and we assume the title race (if 5-1-2 is counted as worse than 6-2-0?) but can still earn playoff action. Norwich’s win, meanwhile, means they can finish no worse than third with a 5-2-1 record that would guarantee them playoff football as the top third-place finisher.

Finally, the East Kent Mavericks could still potentially displace Ipswich from the top three.

Out of the Running:

The Cornish Sharks and Worcestershire Black Knights both fell out of the race a while back. The Somerset Wyverns, despite a heroic turnover win in Week Thirteen, were unable to snag the head-to-head and so are locked into fourth, at 4-4.

The Hastings Conquerors can’t make playoffs, but theoretically they’re the only side in the South 100% out of the running.

And last up, both the East Essex Sabres and Maidstone Pumas are too far gone to clutch the #3 spot in the East, and therefore fall from the race.

 


 

Disclaimer and proviso: These are the seedings and fixtures as best as DC can figure them. THEY ARE NOT OFFICIAL IN ANY WAY AND SHOULD NOT BE VIEWED AS SUCH. No seedings, fixtures, dates, venues, or methods of determining any of the above should be considered ‘confirmed’ until released by BAFA or its partners.

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Nick

Nick 'Willy Tee' Wilson-Town hails from the South West where he's spent the last decade bouncing around various teams at the university and senior level. He came to fame on the now departed unofficial forum thanks to his regularly irreverent Uniball predictions and general 'BUAFL wafflage'. Follow him on twitter @WillyTee1