Provide a redemption series for good teams that missed playoffs by virtue of conferences.
A team with higher overall points (but cross-conference) will be eligible to compete for a wildcard playoff spot. Winning this series would have them move cross-conference for the remainder of the playoffs.
This idea was inspired by what happened in ZHL Season 6.
Standings / Points:
New Gettysburg: 27
In the traditional system, Redstone played Shakuras in Round 1 of the playoffs. As people who watched the games remember, the games were not at all competitive(7-0 Shakuras, 9-0 Shakuras, 3-1 Shakuras).
Under the new system a dynamic wildcard slot is available. Since the Yetis beat the Reapers in overall points, they are eligible to challenge the Reapers for their playoff spot by virtue of a Bo3 series (with the DEFENDING team having home advantage)
Note: Only the 4th seed can challenge the 3rd seed cross-conference for the wildcard slot.
Assuming the Yetis proved they were the team that deserved the playoff spot by winning the Best of 3 series, they would move to the opposite conference for the remainder of the playoffs as the third seed, eliminating Redstone. Playoff Standings would look as follows:
New Gettysburg: 27
Redstone: ELIMINATED from playoff contention
Allow for the best teams to make playoffs regardless of conferences. Conferences are great at shortening the season, but sometimes it's at the expense of quality playoff matches. With this system we get the best of both worlds.
Additionally, being in the tougher conference isn't necessarily the end of the road for good teams. This system gives motivation for teams to keep playing and winning in order to earn their shot at the wildcard slot.
- ONLY the 4th seed can challenge for the 3rd seed cross conference
A Best of 3 series will be played prior to playoffs to determine the wildcard slot
The HOME team will be the team defending their playoff future (The 3rd seed team). The AWAY team will be the 4th seed team cross-conference challenging for their right to play in the playoffs. This is the way the wildcard spot will always work. The home/defending team will always have server advantage (2/3 games on their server of choice)
This change may not necessarily be applicable to future seasons. Some may argue that the Yetis missing playoffs was just an outlier event caused by Free Agency League™. However in this potentially rare circumstance, the wildcard playoff slot will be available.
Attendance locked players will be restricted to 1 of 3 games in the wildcard match.
Feel free to ask questions, and stay tuned for more ZHL8 league announcements in the near future!