UPDATED: Vees coach gives take on BCHL’s new playoff format

New playoff format for the BCHL will take into effect for this season.

Late last month the BCHL board of governors approved a new postseason format for the 2017 BC Ford Dealers Road to the Fred Page Cup BCHL Playoffs.

In a press release, the league stated the need to carefully plan its playoff format is on three divisions – the Island, Mainland and Interior Divisions – but must arrive at two teams remaining to compete for the title.

Here is how the structure plays out, with all series a best-of-seven. Island Division: the top-four teams will make the playoffs with the No. 1-seed facing the No. 4-seed and the No. 2-seed facing the No. 3-seed in Round 1. The winners will advance to the division finals. The winner of the division finals will advance to play the winner of the Mainland Division, which has the same amount qualifying.

In the Interior Division all six teams will qualify, including a possible crossover team from the Mainland Division. With the teams ranked No. 1 to No. 6, the top two seeds will get a first-round bye.

Penticton Vees coach-general manager Fred Harbinson has two issues with the restructuring. The first is he doesn’t like the long layoff, 18 days, for the top two teams.

“Secondly, and most importantly, I don’t like and I have trouble understanding how you can make decisions on anything once 33 per cent of your schedule has already been played,” said Harbinson, who before the season started, said it was a disaster not having the playoff format in place before the season began.

The Round 1 matchups will see the No. 3-seed facing the No. 6-seed and the No. 4-seed facing the No. 5-seed. In Round 2, the No. 1-seed (having had a bye) will face the lowest-seeded team to advance. The No. 2-seed (having had a bye) will face the other team that advances.

Should fifth-place team in the Mainland Division in the Mainland Division have more points than the sixth-place team from the Interior, the Mainland team will cross over to the Interior and play as the No. 6-seed in Round 1.

At that time, the BCHL had decided to stick with the same format, which featured round-robin play in the third round between three teams to decide the final two. They were going to stay with that since the governors failed to come up with a better solution.

“We tried to come up with an idea in the summer that was shot down,” said Harbinson. “The brake should have been put on right there. Really grind it out to try to figure out what the solution was before the season started. Once the season starts, you play that many games, it’s easy to say ‘oh we’re going to do what’s right for the league.’ You can’t tell me that certain teams wouldn’t look at it and go, well this might not be a bad idea considering where we are at in the standings. It’s human nature to try and take care of your own. I think it was tough to put the teams in a situation to make decisions once they have already played 30 per cent of their schedule.”

BCHL commissioner John Grisdale said it was a decision made by the board of governors and not a proposal the league was involved with. He also said it wasn’t a non-unanimous vote.

“We hope that it is successful,” said Grisdale. “It’s different. There certainly wasn’t an appetite for round robin in the league. This is what they have moved to for this year. There will be further discussions at the semi-annual meeting in January.”

When asked if it will take the value out of the regular season for the Interior Division, Grisdale said “any time you have all the teams in the division making the playoffs, what we’ve experienced in the last three years when we’ve had the round robin in the Interior, there has been good divisional races for the final playoff spot.”

“We won’t see that this year. On the other hand, we will see the top two teams in the division, sitting out round one for 18 days,” he said, adding it isn’t ideal.

Prior to this decision, Grisdale said they tried to come up with a format, but failed.

Once the Interior determines its champion, that team will play the winner of the Island-Mainland best-of-seven in the Fred Page Cup BCHL Finals.


Just Posted

Bentley resting on a bench at Kal Park in Vernon not knowing there is a baby rattlesnake curled up below. Bentley jumped down and was bit by the snake. (Facebook)
Dog bit by baby rattler at popular Vernon park

The rattlesnake was hidden underneath a park bench when it struck out

Renderings of what the skating rink could look like beside City Hall between Martin and Main in downtown Penticton. (Activate Penticton image)
Outdoor skating rink back at Penticton council

City staff recommend going forward with rink which could host 2022 BCHL’s 60th year celebration

Longtime SOWINS volunteer Diane Fru (far left) walks with members of her family as they Walk To End Abuse Sunday, June 13, 2021. South Okanagan Women In Needs Society (SOWINS) raised a record amount this year. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Walk to End Abuse in South Okanagan breaks fundraising record

More than $53,000 raised so far while the pandemic has increased need for SOWINS’ services

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Geordie Fife exits the dunk tank during 2017’s Discovery House Father’s Day festivities at Skaha Lake Park. The fundraiser helps raise awareness of the work done at the house and break down the stigma associated with addiction. (Western News File)
Discovery House Father’s Day fundraiser goes digital

The addiction recovery program will be rolling out videos ahead of the fundraiser

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

(Heather Lueck image)
Crash north of Enderby knocks out power, slows Highway 97A traffic

A witness captured footage of a medical helicopter landing at the scene

Most Read