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Centennial
Conference tweet


BASEBALL CHAMPIONSHIP CANCELLED
“Due to unplayable field conditions, games 3-4-5 of the Centennial Conference baseball tournament will not be played today.

Therefore, the Centennial incomplete tournament policy will be invoked:

Incomplete Tournament Policy:

If the tournament has not
completed five games by the end of Sunday, and if all teams have completed at least one contest, the highest remaining seed will receive the Conference AQ.

Top-seeded Swarthmore is deemed conference champion.”

Johns Hopkins, Franklin and Marshall, and Washington College players and parents are PISSED.

High winds blew the school’s tarp, which they just got this year, off the infield  and the rain had already been falling for three days.

Making things look worse is the conference softball tournament was also at Swat, 50 feet away from the baseball field. That tournament went ahead as scheduled. I guess softball’s tarp did it’s job.

I was at Swat when all this went down. It was bizarre to be around the guys. They didn’t know whether to celebrate or not.  Very low key presentation of trophy, A lot of photos taken with teammates and parents but there wasn’t any boisterous behavior. No dog pile. They’re excited to go to regionals and they did finish first in season. But they know something about having games suddenly taken away. They had the same Covid experience as everyone else in 2020, of course, but added to that Swat cancelled ALL sports for the entire 20/21 academic year.

Note: Apparently all four head coaches wanted to play this coming weekend, but were overruled by the conference.

"Don't be mean now because remember: Wherever you go, there you are..." Buckaroo Banzai

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Last edited by smokeminside
Original Post

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I heavily edited the original post, which may clear some things up.



Responding to your questions—

I do NOT know why they didn’t move the tourney to a playable venue in Philadelphia.  There are several options, including even other grass fields that might have handled the weather better  

It might be that  JHU wasn’t considered because it would’ve given them “home” field advantage and, as the lowest seed, they hadn’t earned the privilege.

To be fair to the conference its member schools were allowed to compete in 20/21 but some of the conference members chose not to. Hopkins, for example, played and they ended up in the ‘21D3 world series.

Last edited by smokeminside
@old_school posted:

It is a terrible decision made by conference of schools who have spent the last 2 years making terrible decisions...you should be used to this. To the rest of us non top 3% of population it is kind of amusing, your schools and conference have doing doing stupid things and congratulating themselves for it for some time!! Enjoy!

Anyone who has read my posts the past two years knows I am used to it. I predicted it. At least, I did on this site.

What I didn’t predict among fellow HS Baseball Webbers was someone who would find the Centennial situation “amusing.” And to learn that 97% are just as amused by this is breathtaking.  

Is this vast, unprecedented majority equally amused by other sad stories? It must be a fun group to hang out with.

What does being allowed to play in 20/21 have to do with this year's tournament?

My point was that last year several colleges in the Centennial Conference (and NESCAC) found ways to get their teams on the field. Their conferences didn’t prohibit play. i thought lumping  poor conference decisions with poor individual college decisions wasn’t fair to either group. Yes, the 97% here, including me, think they’ve made dumb choices, but they’re not the same dumb choices.

First I want to say congrats to Swarthmore.  I hope they make a deep run in the NCAA tourney.

But as the father of a player on one of the other three teams in the Centennial tournament, I think the conference really screwed this up.  Like smoke, I heard all four coaches were willing to play elsewhere, and that this was a conference decision.   

I especially feel for Franklin & Marshall, who finished with the same conference record as Swarthmore and split with them in the regular season.  Swat won the tiebreaker and was the #1 seed, but I know F&M wanted their shot in the tournament.  For that matter, all the seniors deserved to play their last games, especially after missing so much because of COVID.  And the conference champs (from whatever team) should have gotten their chance to celebrate on the field.  What a mess...

That is a brutal outcome and the collateral damage to the kids (and really everyone involved on a personal level) is so gross. Sorry to all. What appears to be the inflexibility on multiple issues and situations over the last couple years is egregious. Many kids are starting to break all over the place...at least these baseball players in the Centennial Conference will have each other thru what appears to be a dumb decision.

I just relived the anxiety.

It almost happened in the CAA conference in 2016 by not getting the games finished on time due to a rain delay.  It wasn't a normal rain delay.   If they didn't get the games finished, even after playing for several days, it would just go to the top seed.  It could have been a huge bummer because William & Mary had come from behind in the bracket to get to the championship game, come from behind in the game to tie it in the 9th, THEN A 27 HOUR RAIN DELAY! They squeaked it in within minutes of the deadline, by W&M players helping on the field to get the field ready (they felt like UNCW was dilly-dally-ing because they wanted to default to the top seed), and W&M wound up winning it in 12 innings:

https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=740003453437424

Moving the venue, I would venture, is a nightmare to getting many hotel room reservations for several different teams and the travel logistics on short notice (and in the CAA the top seed gets the best hotel, the bottom seed gets a flea bag motel - - really).

Smoke, will be rooting for Swarthmore!

Last edited by keewart

My point was that last year several colleges in the Centennial Conference (and NESCAC) found ways to get their teams on the field. Their conferences didn’t prohibit play. i thought lumping  poor conference decisions with poor individual college decisions wasn’t fair to either group. Yes, the 97% here, including me, think they’ve made dumb choices, but they’re not the same dumb choices.

Totally agree, they are not the same dumb choices, they are just more dumb choices...I live in the area, I know the schools in the area, I know the facilities in the area, they cancelled because they chose to or because they didn't really care about it but there would have been plenty of other options in the area.

I especially feel for Franklin & Marshall, who finished with the same conference record as Swarthmore and split with them in the regular season.  Swat won the tiebreaker and was the #1 seed, but I know F&M wanted their shot in the tournament. 

After the decision, F&M seems to have scheduled a last-minute game at Scranton (non-conference, but an extra game nonetheless) because they are hoping for an at-large bid. Game is at 6 PM tonight.

Was the decision a way for the administrators to emphasize these are academic institutions where athletics is very secondary? In the moment the decision really sucks. But in the big picture of what these kids will accomplish in their lifetime it’s not that relevant. But they won’t forget. Someday, when the kid is a dad he’ll tell his kid about the jackass decision made in his conference tournament.

@RJM posted:

Was the decision a way for the administrators to emphasize these are academic institutions where athletics is very secondary? In the moment the decision really sucks. But in the big picture of what these kids will accomplish in their lifetime it’s not that relevant. But they won’t forget. Someday, when the kid is a dad he’ll tell his kid about the jackass decision made in his conference tournament.

We can only speculate as to the conference's motives.  I have heard (purely rumors) that the affected schools' Athletic Directors had no problem with moving the games.  IMO, it was mostly inertia/lack of imagination.   The conference rules say that if games couldn't be completed by the end of the day, then the #1 seed is the champion.  There are no specific rules about moving games or playing beyond the arbitrary deadline if all the schools involved agree.  So to take a different path would have required some leadership and creativity.  For whatever reason, that was in short supply on Sunday.

What really rankles is that this was not an "act of God."  It rained, but the conference softball championships were played on Sunday on a field literally adjacent to the Swat baseball field. The issue apparently was that the tarp (which smoke says is new) blew off the baseball field during the night.  I'm confident this was just a mistake--I don't  think for a second that Swarthmore had any ill intent (and again, their coach agreed to move the games and play out the tournament).  But this isn't the kind of situation the rules had in mind.  The conference effectively rewarded Swat (and punished three other teams) for Swat's groundskeeping error.  (Once again I hasten to add--Swat did not try to take advantage of the situation.)  I think Swarthmore's baseball team is going to hear a lot of chirping next year (there already has been a lot on Twitter).  That's not fair--the conference made the decision, and Swat did win the regular season title.  But it's one more way things are twisted, and one more source of discontent.   

@RJM posted:

Were any of the remaining schools in the middle of finals? This could have had a bearing on the conference level decision. Otherwise, there wasn’t a rush. A D3 team a friend coaches is just starting g their conference tournament tomorrow through Saturday.

Good question.  Based on the briefest of Google searches, looks like a mixed bag:  one school had finished exams, one was in the middle of them, two started finals this week.  All the teams were planning to play as many as four games on Sunday.  Hard to see how moving the games to another field would have made much difference to players already used to managing school and baseball.  And the conference didn't offer academic calendars as a reason for its decision. 

Anyhow, it's done.  I'd like to see them revisit the rule for next season.  But for 2022:  Good luck to Swat.

The latest report from son:

Yesterday, all four teams petitioned again to continue the tournament.  Its unclear who exactly the petition went to. It could’ve been the conference office, or all the league athletic directors, or a select group of some kind.

Today, word came back that the petition was denied. No other details.



The rule should be revisited. one option would be to start league play a week earlier so there’s more time to complete a tournament.

As RJM mentioned, finals may have been an issue. Son’s in the middle of his now.

Last edited by smokeminside

I got the same word from my son that smoke did:  Last night the 4 schools/teams filed a petition (with the conference, as I heard it) asking to play the remaining tournament games, but the petition was denied today.

Kudos to Swat for joining the petition.  Time to turn the page.  (In my son's case, the pages in his stats and chemistry notes, so he can get ready for exams...)   

The latest report from son:

Yesterday, all four teams petitioned again to continue the tournament.  Its unclear who exactly the petition went to. It could’ve been the conference office, or all the league athletic directors, or a select group of some kind.

Today, word came back that the petition was denied. No other details.



The rule should be revisited. one option would be to start league play a week earlier so there’s more time to complete a tournament.

As RJM mentioned, finals may have been an issue. Son’s in the middle of his now.

I think this has escalated past "contretemps"

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