Conference tiebreakers are needed in high school sports


Photo by Ben Rosen

Junior Katie Burton cuts down a peice of the net at Westfield High School after defeating HSE 50-42 to win the sectional 8 championship on Feb. 8.

HSE and Brownsburg tied for 1st place in the Hoosier Crossroads Conference boy’s basketball standings this past season. In the HCC ties are not broken, so this results in conference championships being shared. This is a problem. A tiebreaker should be used. That tiebreaker would be head-to-head results, and HSE beat Brownsburg in their regular-season meeting meaning they would be conference champions in this scenario.

FHS did not have an issue with a lack of tiebreakers in winning the HCC girl’s basketball championship outright. Meaning they did not have to share a conference championship trophy with another school.

In college sports split conference championships are very common. During this past season in the Big Ten the University of Wisconsin, University of Maryland, and Michigan State University all won a share of the conference’s men’s basketball regular-season championship. Other conferences have occurrences like this as well. The Big Ten women’s basketball regular-season championship also saw a shared championship, this one between the University of Maryland and Northwestern University. The full standings for the Big Ten can be found at this link which is the conferences website.

Head-to-Head results would serve as the first tiebreaker. In official IHSAA team sports that the HCC sponsors, other than baseball and softball, have each team playing everybody else one time during the regular season, this easily allows for a head-to-head tiebreaker to be used. The HCC website can be found at this link the conference standings can be accessed through a link within the website.

Sports like baseball and softball having each team play two conference matchups against each conference opponent makes things a lot more complicated. The head-to-head tiebreaker can still be used where applicable. If the two teams split the matchups then the team that allowed the least amount of runs in the two matchups gets the championship. Another option is to play a tiebreaker game. This may not be the most ideal way to settle it but it works. The game would either be played at a neutral site or hosted by the team with the best overall record.

HCC, please no more shared conference championships. Tiebreakers need to and can be utilized so that all sports can have an outright conference champion.