This is basically an informational post, folks, about this final regular-season round, and how the post season’s gonna be handled. So grab onto something and hold on tight for the thrill-ride that is DISCUSSION OF RULES AND PROCEDURES!

First of all: Tonight’s results will be a bit of a cliffhanger. One of the judges is not going to be able to judge until sometime tomorrow, so you’ll have to keep your glands on ice for a few more hours.

Secondly: We deserve a little break, all of us, so the first round of the playoffs won’t be due until NEXT Wednesday, December 19th at 9pm. This will give folks some time to chill, or if you’ve got some weirdo holiday plans that will wrench you away from the computer at the start of next week, you know in advance and can plan to write accordingly.

Thirdly: It seems like the majority of folks who voiced an opinion in the comments last time are into the idea of an expanded field of competition, and possibility for the lower-ranking regular season finishers being involved for this post season. After weighing our opinions a bit, the judges have decided to go with the following scheme:

  • The playoffs will consist of an EIGHT person single-elimination bracket with NO byes, ranking #1 against #8, #2 against #7 and so forth
  • Any players NOT in the top eight are welcome to submit a story as well.
  • If ANYONE in the Top 8 is a non-sub, their place in the bracket will be replaced by the NEXT HIGHEST RANKED writer who DID submit, from the bottom 8 pool of players. This means if there are two non-subs among the top 8 in that first round, and players who ranked 11th, 13th, and 16th were the only ones who submitted from the bottom 8, #11 and #13’s stories would take the place of those players in the top 8 who did NOT submit.
  • ALL OTHER SEEDINGS WILL NOT BE ADJUSTED. In other words, if Seed #2 is a non-sub, we don’t bump everyone up by one seed and put #3 (who’d be bumped up to #2) against #8 (who’d be bumped up to #7). ALL SEEDINGS STAY THE SAME ONCE THE REGULAR SEASON ENDS, and if any bottom-8s need to be moved up into the bracket, they basically become the seed they’re replacing. Yes, that means there’s a potential that whoever finished in, say, 14th place will wind up ranked #3 in the post-season, assuming all the non-subbing were to work out that way. That’s just  the way it is, and it’s basically meant to make the life of our story gatherer a bit easier.
  • ALL THESE ANCILLARY SEED-REPLACEMENT RULES APPLY ONLY TO THE FIRST ROUND OF THE PLAYOFFS. After that, unseeded players don’t need to submit stories anymore, and non-subs from seeded players count as a FORFEIT.

And what about those seedings anyway? What’s the tiebreak regimen gonna be? Well, I’m certain that Kelly has a better nuanced understanding of what makes for more fair tiebreakers than I do, but I think the best hierarchy goes like this:

  1. Win/Loss record for anyone finishing with the same overall regular-season record (since there’s a possibility of more than two people finishing with the same record, this is not strictly the same as a head-to-head matchup thing)
  2. Most total votes from the judges.
  3. Fewest non-subs.

I think that should take care of ties, but if anyone worries about it still being an issue at this point, we can discuss further tiebreakers in the comments.

Stay sweet, y’all.