This is the Class A baseball playoff bracket. Why yes, it is ridiculously complicated. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is where I come in. Bust out your flowcharts!
Class A, as opposed to AA and B, works on a pseudo-double elimination format. So, to quote many an old school hip hop song, let's break it down.
FIRST ROUND -
I'm a 1-to-8 seed! Congratulations! To borrow another line - this one from National Treasure Britney Spears - you've got "nine lives, like a pussy cat." Ok, not quite nine, but this is how it works.
Winning teams receive a bye into the third round. Losing teams, however, get to duke it out in round two.
I'm a 9-to-15 seed! You're living on a prayer.
Nine to 15 teams play single elimination games in the first round. So, if you lose, it's over. It's a system that greatly benefits higher seeds on multiple levels - including the choice to hold your top starter until later in the week, in a do-or-die situation. Lower seeds don't have that luxury.
SECOND ROUND -
This is where things get fun. And by "fun," I of course means, "slightly confusing." While the 1-thru-8 seeds grab the bye, the losers of those games have an elimination game on May 16. Their opponents are the winning 9-thru-15s.
So let's say I'm No. 14 Seaford, the lowest remaining seed (they defeated No. 11 Valley Stream South in the upset). Seaford has the task of trying to dispatch No. 2 Clarke. This may seem like an impossible task, but Class A is one of the most competitive classes on the Island. Let's take the example we just used, Clarke and Seaford. The teams both make their homes in Conference A-VI and, while the Clarke is a formidable 17-3, Seaford, at 12-8, is hardly a slouch. (However, Clarke did sweep Seaford in the regular season series).
The winner of those games gets to advance to the third round. To clarify, the matchups go: second highest seeded loser vs. second lowest seeded winner, etc. etc.)
Teams get reseeded going into the quarterfinals, so all bets are off when it comes to matchups. Games from here on out are best of three. Eight teams makes it to this round, following basic bracket format - 1 plays 8, 7 plays 2, 6 plays 3 and 5 plays 4. Those games are May 18, 19, and 20.
Best of three: May 23, 24 and 26 at higher seed.
SUNY Farmingdale, best of three: May 30, 31, and June 2.
And that's how it works.