Monday, June 6, 2011

Football Update from Sweden

We have a late update from Sweden due to a rare Monday afternoon game today. Apparently Sunday was some sort of Socialist Holiday I am told. Today is the Swedish Flag Day Holiday, the anniversary of the day that Gustav Vasa was chosen the first Swedish king in 1523 and also of the day that one of Sweden's constitutions was signed in 1809, thus the Monday game.

2011 Division I Södra Standings
The top two teams at the end of the regular season will play in the 2011 SAFF Division I Playoffs along with the top two teams from each of the other three Division I Conferences.

Kristianstad Predators (5-1)
Ystad Rockets (5-1)

Lugi Vikings (3-2)
Limhamn Griffins (2-2)
Hässleholm Hurricanes (0-4)
Ekeby Greys (0-5)

Week 7 Results
Ystad 13 - Kristianstad 7
Lugi 50 - Ekeby 16
BYES: Hässleholm and Limhamn

Week 8 Games
Saturday, June 11th
Kristianstad (5-1) at Hässleholm (0-4)

Sunday, June 12th
Limhamn (2-2) at Ystad (5-1)

BYES: Ekeby (0-5) and Lugi (3-2)

SAAF Division I Södra Notes: With today's victory by Ystad over Kristianstad 13-7, the conference title is all knotted up as both teams are 5-1 and have split their two games. Should they both win out, we will then get to see Sweden's tie breaker system in action. Better check your birth certificates (see yesterday's Italian Football League post).

Kristianstad won the first game two weeks ago 13-0, so if they go by aggregate score, the Predators would get the nod by virtue of outscoring the Rockets 20-13 in the two games. The importance of whatever tie breaker is employed is simply logistics and finances. In Sweden's two four-team pool playoff system, a conference's #1 team is guaranteed two home games and only one road game. A #2 seed gets just the opposite, one home game, two road games, a bigger travel tab and more logistical headaches. We'll see how it all pans out.

This coming week, our own Hässleholm Hurricanes (0-4) play their first home of the season against Kristianstad (5-1). The reason for the delay in playing a home game was the construction of a roof over the stands at Göingevallen Stadium. The Predators won the Week 1 game between these two clubs 50-0.

And the Byes just keep on coming. Now that both Division I Södra leaders Kristianstad and Ystad have completed their sixth games of their ten game schedules, let's revisit the interesting scheduling of the Swedish league.

To review, each team in the six team Division I Södra Conference is scheduled to play their ten regular season games over the course of the 19 weeks between April 23rd and August 27th.

Byes are an almost weekly fact of life in the Södra as there are only two weekends where all six teams are in action, the first was on May 14-15 and it will happen again on August 13th.

Because of the AWESOME Midsommar Holiday on June 24th (I love a good pagan oriented festival as well as the next man) no games are scheduled on the weekend of June 25-26.

Two games will be played on July 2nd and then the fun begins, the Summer Break.

The traditional Summer Break which gave us eight weeks between games last Summer has been mercifully shortened to only four weeks, July 7-30, this season.

Thus coaches in Södra face their toughest task, keeping their players focused, in shape and, most importantly, attending practices down the stretch. For a young coach like our own Ryan Bolland of the high flying Kristianstad Predators, this will be an interesting challenge as his squad plays their last four games of the regular season over a period of the next 12 weeks!

I thought that we should take a look at the other three conferences in SAFF's Division I this week, looking specifically at the top teams vying for each conference's two spots in the playoffs. Again, the playoffs bring the top eight teams together from the four conferences and 24 teams that make up SAFF's Division I.

In the eight team Division I Norra we have the Västerås Roedeers at 4-0 followed by the Uppsala 86ers and the Gefle Red Devils both at 3-1.

In the five team Division I Östra, the Nyköping Baltic Beasts (Best Nickname in Europe) lead with a perfect 3-0 slate. In the hunt for a playoff spot are the Roslagen Bulldogs and the Södertälje Truckers sharing identical 2-1 records.

Finally, in the five team Division I Västra, the Göteborg Marvels stand alone at 3-0 with only the 2-1 Karlskoga Wolves in contention to challenge for a playoff berth at this time.

Baltic Beasts, I love it!


Ryan Bolland said...

The first tiebreaker is indeed aggregate score (20-7, as you said), so we narrowly retain first place in the Södra by virtue of a very late, but still very timely, 4th quarter TD.

I am told the 2nd tiebreaker (which almost came into play, as Ystad was ahead 13-0) is total points scored, in case you're curious.

George said...

At what point does "average age of the team's roster" come into play as a tie breaker in the Swedish system?

Ryan Bolland said...

I'm not sure, but probably after SAFF fines you a few thousand crowns, you play a team north of Stockholm, and take another 7 week break.

Johan said...

Socialist holiday?

George said...

That is what Ryan relayed to me.

I think it was Ché Guevarra's niece's uncle's birthday, not sure.

Tom Rowley-Conwy said...

Here are a few things that are going on in English football at the moment, check it out!

With the FIFA Presidency crisis and FA Grassroots proposal falling on deaf ears it's very imporant!