Playoff Procedures 2023
The 2023 season shall consist of two halves of 27 scheduled League games for each West Coast League member team. Eight teams – four from each of the two divisions – will qualify for the postseason. The four qualifiers in each division will be the first-half winner, the second-half winner, and the two teams in the division with the best overall records who did not win the first or second half (or otherwise qualify). Please track the 2023 West Coast League standings during the season, and see below for detailed postseason procedures.
Winners of the first half in each division automatically qualify for the playoffs, with winners determined by overall winning percentage in officially scheduled League games.
Every effort shall be made to play all games scheduled in the first half before the completion of the first half (the first half is considered complete for a team immediately prior to the date on which it’s originally scheduled to play its 28th official League game).
– In the event that a game scheduled in the first half cannot be completed until the second half, that game or games will count in the second-half standings.
– In the event of a first-half tie between two or more teams:
Tiebreaker #1: best head-to-head record (minimum of 3 games), determined by winning percentage, among all tied teams;
Tiebreaker #2: best head-to-head run differential;
Note: In the event of head-to-head records including first-half games for one team and second-half games for another, those games will count as first-half games for first-half head-to-head tiebreaking purposes.
Note: In the event that more than two teams are tied, “head-to-head” records for each team will consist of that team’s record within the entire tied group of teams. This applies to all tiebreakers that involve head-to-head results. Example: If Teams A, B, and C are tied, consider Team A’s overall record vs. Teams B and C; Team B’s record vs. Teams A and C; and Team C’s record vs. Teams A and B. If two teams are tied for the best head-to-head record within the group, then the third team is eliminated, and two-team tiebreakers are implemented, beginning with Tiebreaker #1.
– In the event of a further tie or no head-to-head games,
Tiebreaker #3: best run differential against all WCL opponents through first half (according to schedule calendar);
Tiebreaker #4: best home win-loss winning percentage through first-half games (according to schedule calendar);
Tiebreaker #5: coin flip.
The team with the best winning percentage in the second half of the season, as originally scheduled, wins the second half (which could include more than 27 games if rescheduled game(s) from first half is/are played during the second half of season).
– If the team that won the first half also wins (outright) the second half, the remaining team in the division with the best winning percentage over the full season qualifies for playoffs as a wild card and #2 seed in divisional playoffs.
– If the team that won the first half finishes the second half tied for first place (by winning percentage), and that team is tied with only one team, the latter team qualifies for playoffs as second-half winner.
– If the immediately preceding paragraph does not apply and there is a tie for second playoff spot between two or more teams tied with best overall record OR tied for the second-half lead (as determined by winning percentage), the following tiebreakers apply:
Tiebreaker #1: best head-to-head record over the course of the entire season (not just the second half)
Note: In the event that more than two teams (not including the first-half winner) are tied, “head-to-head” records for each team will consist of that team’s record within the entire tied group of teams. This applies to all tiebreakers involving head-to-head results. Example: If Teams A, B, and C are tied, consider Team A’s overall record vs. Teams B and C; Team B’s record vs. Teams A and C; and Team C’s record vs. Teams A and B.
Note: If multiple teams are tied for the best head-to-head record within the group, remaining team or teams are eliminated before returning to Tiebreaker #1.
Note: If the team that won the first half is among the teams tied for the best second-half record, then that team is not considered for head-to-head tiebreaking purposes. In the first Note above, if Team C was the first-half winner, then head-to-head results are exclusively between Team A and B.
Tiebreaker #2: best full-season record against the team that won the first half
Tiebreaker #3: best run differential against divisional opponents over entire season
Tiebreaker #4: best home win-loss record for the entire season
Tiebreaker #5: coin flip
In each division, two additional teams shall qualify as wild card playoff teams. These shall be the teams with the best overall, full-season winning percentages that did not qualify as first-half winner, second-half winner, or (if the same team wins the first and second half) second postseason qualifier. In the event of a tie for wild card positions, the second-half tiebreakers shall apply. The top-qualifying wild card team in each division shall be the #3 seed and the second wild card team shall be the #4 seed.
WCL Divisional Series: Playoffs start the second full off-day following the last scheduled regular-season game of the WCL schedule.
Format for opening Divisional Series round is Best of 3, with two Game 1’s in each division hosted by the third and fourth postseason qualifiers, and Games 2 and (if necessary) 3 hosted by the first-half qualifier (#1 seed) and second-half qualifier (#2 seed). In the Opening Round, #1 and #4 seeds meet, and #2 and #3 seeds.
There are no scheduled off-days during the WCL Divisional Series. Opening round matchups and sites may be adjusted by the League, based on extraordinary circumstances including potential travel difficulties and site availability.
WCL Divisional Championship Game: Following the Opening Round, the winner of each series with the higher full-season winning percentage will host a single Divisional Championship Game. The date of the Divisional Championship Game will be determined by the League, in consultation with participating teams.
WCL Championship Game: Following the Divisional Series Games, the winner with the higher full-season winning percentage will host a single League Championship Game. The date of the League Championship Game will be determined by the League, in conjunction with participating teams.
Tiebreakers for Divisional and League Championship Game seeding
In the event that both teams in a Divisional or League Championship Game finished with identical full-season records, the following tiebreakers shall be applied to determine higher seed/host team:
Tiebreaker #1 – full-season divisional record
Tiebreaker #2 – full-season run differential in all WCL games
Tiebreaker #3 – coin flip