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March 9, 2017

Some reasonable solutions to the NCAA’s trouble with ties

Yesterday, Twitter user Jake Hesson (@HessonJake) slid on into our DMs like a dawg and posed the following question:

Hey so I know NCAAs this weekend could be a possible tie on paper (FL vs Oregon). I’d love to hear about/know, what would happen if there actually was a tie.

Great question, Jake. We didn’t know the answer off the top of our heads, so we dove into the meaty .PDF document that is the NCAA’s 2017/2018 rule book and found… nothing.

Turns out there’s no protocol for breaking a tie in team scoring, so should Oregon and Florida tie, that’s it. The tie is not to be broken.

That doesn’t sit well with us. It’s called the National Championships. Not the National ChampionSship, ya know? So we — Paul, Jeanne, Stephen, Ryan, Nicole, Chris and Scott, the rule-loving, tie-hating members of the Citius Mag staff — have offered up some suggestions on how to best determine a true winner in the event of a team tie.

We want Malcolm: After his shockingly inaccurate performance for USA indoor predictions, it is only the most logical possible conclusion to allow Malcolm The Cat to decide the winner. Place him in the infield and whichever team’s huddle he meanders closest toward after five minutes gets the crown and the spoils and the cake. Which brings me to another idea: why on earth does the NCAA D1 champion team get a trophy instead a giant 100 pound cake with all of their faces on it? -JM

Rerun the entire meet as a dual meet: That’s right, everybody. Put those spikes back on and take off the Minions pajamas. You’re doing your event (or events) again. Potentially against nobody, if the team your team tied didn’t field anyone in your event. If it’s an Oregon-Florida tie, we get to see Ches basically solo nearly six miles worth of racing. It’s the cruel, sadistic solution we both need and deserve. -PS

A Human Pyramid: Since this is a question of who was the best team, the winner should be determined through a superior display of Teamwork. I’m taking a page out of Corporate Team Building books everywhere when I say there’s no purer exhibit of teamwork than erecting an enormous human pyramid. Plus, you have all the building blocks: sturdy throwers for the base and pale, feeble distance runners for the top. If each team manages to build a human pyramid of the exact same height, it then turns into a feat of strength and endurance, the winner crowned after the losers collapse. -RS

Coaches 4×400: Yeah, a coach from each event group has to run the 4×4. Sure, you might have more than four staff members. Cool, you have choices. You just can’t choose two coaches from the same event group to be on the relay. Everybody stands on the track and screams. Whoever wins this, wins it all. NB

A-Ha: Each team selects three team representatives. They all sit in a room and have to sit through every single Take On Me cover that is on Youtube. Last person standing wins it for their team. – CC

Bone Density: That’s right folks, the name of this game is: Bone Density. We all know this is the most important aspect of running, so why not settle a few days of racing, throwing and smiling

with some good old fashioned hopping. In an homage to vitamin D and collagen, each team will have their athletes hop on one foot until:

  1. Cowardice kicks in
  2. A tibial stress fracture

This is the right way to see who’s been preparing their bodies for a season’s worth of pounding the mondo and who hasn’t. This makes a lot of sense and should be adopted immediately. -SK

Democracy: Each member of the opposing team and coaching staff forms a nice, orderly line and casts a vote, Survivor Style. This, in my mind, is the truest test of team allegiance. Perhaps there’s a few people who just hate their teammates’ guts, or a coach with a personal vendetta against their Athletic Director. Maybe two star crossed lovers from opposing teams would rather die than see the other’s team lose. There will be inevitable cries of mutiny and I imagine more than one person will be thrown off the loser’s team bus while flying down the Interstate.

(We’re aware that teams come in all shapes and sizes. For the sake of this tiebreaker, a few people will have to sit out. We’ll round down to the nearest ten.) -RS

Video Games: If I know student athletes,and I did at one point, they love and live to game. Get some sports stars in a room with an XBox, Call of Duty and a Jay-Z/Linkin Park CD playing and chances are you’ll have to intervene after several days to remind them to eat, use the toilet, and bathe themselves. So why not settle the score on the track, by determining who is best at manipulating some joysticks. The meet’s host school must provide a 32” LCD TV purchased on special at Best Buy, one XBox 360 with four controllers, and any old video game. The teams then select their designated gamers, who will duke it out in the virtual realm, for the spoils here in meatspace. -PS

Alternates: Oh yeah. That’s right free-loaders, you’re on the hook. All of the alternates who traveled with the team for various relays must put down the soft serve ice cream and don a speed-suit for a winner-take-all Mile race. You’re a 400 meter runner? Deal with it. You’re a senior coming off a very bad injury and the coach just wanted you at the meet for “leadership?” Don’t care, not my problem. Lane seeding will be assigned by the amount of per-diem that you received and anyone who got more than $200 has to wait an extra 5 seconds after the gun goes off to start. -SO

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