As of Summer 2019/2020, CitySide Sports has made significant changes to its grading process.
Previously, prior to teams being split into divisions, each season would have up to five Preliminary Rounds. These were used to assist with grading and did not count toward the season ladder.
The new format has grading split into two categories: ‘Grading Rounds’ and ‘Preliminary Rounds’.
The first grading round is played only by new teams or teams that have had an extended break. This first game gives us a good starting gauge on a team’s ability.
The second grading game is played between the new teams, and teams from the previous season that did not make finals. This is an important round as we can now get a better handle on where new teams sit within the competition based on their results with current teams.
At the start of this period, our system will rank all teams in the competition – somewhat of a seeding – based on the first two rounds of grading and the previous season results, with more weight placed on consistency over the season as opposed to finals (example: A team who is undefeated all season, except the Grand Final would likely seed higher than a team who lost 3 games but made it through to the Grand Final and won).
During the Preliminary Rounds, teams will be matched up closely with seeds around them, to hopefully ensure (but not guarantee) closer results.
Results during Preliminary Rounds WILL count toward the end of season ladder, if you end up in the same division.
There are many examples and reasons we could give for this change. The one example we will give applies to both the top seeded team and the bottom seeded team.
If we know that the top seeded team is going to be in Division 1, and we know the bottom seeded team is going to be in the lowest division, it becomes irrelevant and possible a waste of time and money to play teams expected to be in a lower or higher division respectively, and end up in very one-sided games.
Instead, we can match the bottom seed against other teams we believe will be in the bottom division and have a closer grading games, and the games still count toward results – but if an opponent ends up in a different division, it makes it fair to not have a loss against them.
This also makes the Preliminary Rounds more exciting, ensuring that games where possible, mean something toward your season.
When fixturing the competition rounds, our system will consider previous games played during Preliminary Rounds when deciding play orders.
Each season, we get some teams who contact us believing they have been placed into the wrong division. Any team on any matter, is always welcome to contact us.
However, it is important to remember that we need to be fair on all teams, and every division has a bottom team.
We try to be fair to teams across seasons and give teams a go. For example, if you were the bottom team of your division the season before, there is a high chance we will move you down – and any top teams can possibly expect to go up. However, there are no hard rules on this – as team registrations change from season to season – and a Division 1 in Autumn, may look completely different in Spring.
Split divisions is also a major part of what we do at CitySide Sports, when we determine that 4-5 teams are worthy of one division status and another 4-5 lower Rather than play each other every few weeks, we might put the divisions together to name it Division 1 & 2, and then have split finals so more teams have a chance to ‘make the big dance!’
This is more commonly seen in Volleyball in general and/or any new competitions. No matter your sport though, most teams want a challenge and a close game. We understand that.
However, our advice is always to stick it out. Especially for the new competitions we start up.
Over 25 years in the industry our Management team have seen the same pattern in most social sporting competitions. A new comp is put on offer. 10 teams sign up for the very first season of it. Not bad.
The top team beats everyone convincingly, the bottom team keeps losing by a lot.
Both teams leave at the end of the season as they want to go find somewhere else (or they move to another night in the competition). 2 new teams then join the competition.
Now because the top and bottom teams left the competition, there are still only 10 teams instead of 12 – and the comp cannot split in to two divisions.
Stick with it, talk to us – see what is coming up the next season, find out from us about our patterns and team numbers, and what we have planned for your competition – before you decide to move.