…pertaining to home/away scheduling. I thought I remembered all the sports using 2-3-2, (maybe not) but now only baseball uses it. Cynic that I am, I presume that the 2-2-1-1-1 setup, despite being more difficult because of the extra travel, has become popular because of tv money. Why do the different leagues use different schedules?
Not TV money. Ticket revenue. Especially in the NHL, home playoff games are worth a significant amount of money (compared to revenue from other sources like TV). The 2-2-1-1-1 format guarantees that the higher seed gets at least as many, and sometimes more, home games than the opponent.
Personally I much prefer the 2-2-1-1-1 system because I feel that 2-3-2 gives the advantage to the lower seed.
I suspect that baseball uses the 2-3-2 schedule because it dates from the days before airplane travel. Going from Chicago to New York, for example, would require at least one off day between games. That would stretch out the final portion of the series. The did use alternating schedules sometimes when they had a NY-NY series as I recall.
Another consideration is that baseball is generally played almost every day. Hockey and basketball might have back to back days with games, but don’t usually do so. So there is a natural travel day in any case, and the 2-2-1-1-1 might seem fairer.
BTW back in 1918-20 when the World Series was best of nine, the plan was 3-4-2 in 1918 and 1920 and 2-3-2-1. (I’m not sure where the ninth game would have been in 1919.
Baseball uses 2-3-2 because baseball can be played every day. Unlike hockey, especially, a baseball team does not suffer from a significant degree of fatigue from playing two or three days in a row.
Thus, by using 2-3-2, a seven game series can be concluded in nine days, giving the teams two travel days. Concluding the series in a relatively quick fashion is important in baseball because the baseball season faces the prospect of cold weather later in the year in some cities. You don’t want to run into mid November if the World Series is being played in Boston. As it is it can get pretty cold, as we saw last year. Hockey and basketball, being played indoors, don’t have to worry about that.
In hockey, and less so in basketball, seven games in nine days would be hard on the players and would result in a significant decline in the quality of play. A seven game series will almost always take 13 days to finish, so they might as well use the travel days.
But the higher/lower seed isn’t necessarily accurate because of the different schedules played by each team. I like the 2-3-2 because it transfers the advantage to the other team if the higher seed doesn’t take care of business at home. It seems to even out the harshness that gives not only games 1 and 2, but the pivotal games 5 and 7 to the higher seed. It’s almost an unfair advantage.
Very true. There are extra days for travel, but why travel two extra times? Relax at the hotel, or take a day of leisure around town.
There NOT on vacation! They’re trying to win a championship!
Ok, so schedule a practice on the off-day. My point is that just because the teams have a day off isn’t a reason to fly to a different city.
I don’t think the TRAVEL really matters that much, really. These teams are taking chartered flights in exceptional comfort.
So why doesn’t hockey do 2-3-2? I suspect it’s may be because one team doesn’t want to spend five or six days in the other city.
The NBA switches to the 2-3-2 format for the Finals in order to minimize travel. Since the conferences are split between east and west teams, long flights are improbable before the Finals and much more likely during the Finals (in which coast-to-coast flights are thought to detract from team performance).
So - baseball uses 2-3-2 to avoid running into colder weather, and hockey and basketball use 2-2-1-1-1 to increase home ticket revenue, and in the case of hockey, to permit more rest days between games. What about the difficulty of selling tickets to a 40,000-50,000 seat stadium (baseball) vs a 20,000 seat stadium (basketball/hockey) in the event a game has to be rescheduled? Could that also be a factor somehow?
Somewhat off-topic, but here’s a recent Grantland piece about NBA travel in the old days. There are a lot of crazy stories in there. I don’t have any issue with travel days, but it does put them in perspective a bit.
I like the NFL’s 1 format.
Maybe they should play the second and third quarters in the other teams stadium, and return to the higher seed’s home town for the pivotal fourth. They could triple ticket sales!