Some games don’t count for a whole lot. They call them “preseason games,” or “scrimmages,” or my favorite term, a “friendly.”
But tomorrow at Summit Kent Place School (N.J.), there is a different purpose.
You see, in the early part of the day, the four sitting NJSIAA state champions — Voorhees Eastern (N.J.), Summit Oak Knoll (N.J.), Pennsauken Bishop Eustace (N.J.), and Ocean City (N.J.) will take part in 25-minute scrimmages in a round-robin format. After the remnants of Hurricane Sandy took a two-week chunk out of the state tournament schedule and forced the cancellation of the 2012 Tournament of Champions, tomorrow’s action provides a note of closure to last season.
At the same time, however, it will pique interest and curiosity into the 2013 season, given the fact that all four teams have the talent to win their way into the 2013 Tournament of Champions which, as we mentioned, will have five participants this fall instead of four.
Which brings me to this idea: instead of playing down five state champions into one T of C winner over the course of a week, using four 60-minute games, why not have a five-team round-robin playday — a single, 10-period field hockey game in which each of the 10 separate matchups is limited to 30 minutes? With a short warmup before each game, the entire exercise can be over in six hours rather than taking a week.
I’ve seen something like this before, when three boys’ lacrosse teams in the Friends School League played a single six-period match to determine the league championship. Each team played four quarters on the day, a winner was declared, and everyone agreed it was the fair way to break a tie.
I’ll have more on tiebreaking tomorrow.