If The Season Ended Today – Adult | BAFA NL ’19 – Week Twelve

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 (7-0-0) v Merseyside Nighthawks (5-2-0)

Still in the race:

The Manchester Titans are currently only edged out by the Nighthawks by head-to-head. Also, the Leicester Falcons are still in the race if they can win out from here, and by enough points to swipe the head-to-head from both Merseyside and Manchester.

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

Out of the running:

The Sheffield Giants and Edinburgh Wolves are now only fighting to dodge the drop. The Leicester Falcons are also still at risk.

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

 

 

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. Sandwell Steelers: 1st, 8-0-0, 3.0 APC
  2. East Kilbride Pirates: 1st, 8-0-0, 11.38 APC
  3. Northumberland Vikings: 2nd, 6-1-0, 4.43 APC
  4. Shropshire Revolution: 2nd, 5-3-0, 14.38 APC
#1 NFC1North vs #2 NFC1South

East Kilbride Pirates vs Shropshire Revolution

#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 Lancashire Wolverines and Nottingham Caesars can both still claim the #2 berth if results go their way.

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 both are also safe from relegation with the 0-8-0 Gateshead Senators set for D1 football next summer.

Looking to the NFC 1 South, nominally the Chester Romans would still be at risk of relegation if they were to lose their remaining two fixtures (including against Doncaster by 43+pts), but the Doncaster Mustangs‘ Week Eleven forfeit has locked them into relegation regardless.

 

The South

Seedings:

  1. Solent Thrashers: 1st, 7-0-0, 7.58 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, 6-2-0, 14.25 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 either a Herts loss, or wins over the Saints and Renegades in Weeks Thirteen and Fifteen respectively, 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.

Finally, the Bury Saints can potentially nudge the London Hornets out of second in the East, but they’ll need both help from the Stallions this weekend, and then to beat the Hornets by at least 7pts when they play in Week Fifteen.

Out of the running:

The Portsmouth Dreadnoughts, Berkshire Renegades and Oxford Saints all find themselves with no shot at extending their seasons, and indeed all remain at risk of relegation. Currently lagging the furthest behind are the Saints, who lost the head-to-head advantage against the Renegades last weekend and now need to pick up at least one more win from a gruelling selection of three final fixtures else see a return to Division Two football.

In the East, the Wembley Stallions cannot make the playoffs, but they can potentially sabotage the Hornets’ season at their charity game this weekend. On paper, it’s left to the Ouse Valley Eagles and Colchester Gladiators to contest the drop to Division Two, but following the Eagles’ Week Four forfeit the Eagles are locked into relegation regardless of the results of their final two fixtures.

 

 

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, 6-0-0, 2.17 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, 3-2-0, 11.2 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:

The Birmingham Bulls are locked in as NFC 2 South Champions, but outside of this it gets a bit messy! For a start, all four other teams in this conference can still theoretically make playoffs!

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… off, 45 points.

 

Out of the Running:

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

 

The South
  1. Essex Spartans: 1st, 6-0-0, 3.33 APC
  2. London Blitz B: 1st, 6-0-0, 7.17 APC
  3. South Wales Warriors: 1st, 6-0-0, 8.0 APC
  4. Torbay Trojans: 2nd, 5-1-0, 13.0 APC
  5. Norwich Devils: 2nd, 4-1-1, 9.33 APC
  6. Bournemouth Bobcats: 2nd, 4-2-0, 11.83 APC
  7. Bristol Apache*: 3rd, 4-2-0, 17.83 APC
  8. Ipswich Cardinals*: 3rd, 3-0-2, 11.6 APC

*Not 100% on these two. BAFA currently list Norwich above Ipswich, courtesy of having more wins, even though Ipswich have a higher win %. As such, I’m assuming 4 win Bristol would seed above their 3 wins.

 

This would give Round One fixtures of:

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

In the West, the South Wales WarriorsTorbay Trojans and Bristol Apache just need to play to form to stay in the running… though theoretically any one of them could yet swipe first, second or third. The Warriors are the only team out of the West guaranteed postseason action, even if they finish third. The Somerset Wyverns could still snag a spot if the Apache lose out and Somerset swipe the h2h.

The South saw the London Blitz Bs lock up the title last weekend, and the Bournemouth Bobcats just need one more win to secure the #2 spot. The Swindon Storm are still just about in the running, but can’t really afford any slip-ups from here, and should they find a way to win out the Jurassic Coast Raptors can theoretically squeeze into the postseason if the Apache lose out and concede a whole bunch of points.

Finally, in the East the Essex Spartans are guaranteed playoff football, but both the Norwich Devils and Ipswich Cardinals could each still theoretically be dropped out of the top three by the East Kent Mavericks.

Out of the Running:

The Cornish Sharks and Worcestershire Black Knights both fell out of the race a while back.

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