Earlier this year
Rule 61.2 Final Placings - This could get ugly.
Should two or more teams be tied on game winning percentage at the conclusion of the home and away fixture, final placings shall be determined by the win/loss ratio in only those games played between the tied teams.
Should there still remain a tie; rankings shall be determined by the difference between the total points scored for and against each team in only those games played between the tied teams.
If teams still remain tied, rankings shall be determined by the points for over the points against percentages for the entire season.
So, we know that if two or more teams finish on 14 wins, it goes to a mini-table.
What is not clear is how ties within that mini-table are resolved.
The article published by the NBL claims that in that instance, it reverts to head to head, but that is simply NOT correct.
The result hinges on the interpretation of 61.2.3
Clearly what counts is the "difference between the total points scored for and against each team".
Now in reality, if you look at any two teams, the winner of the split most likely also wins on total points. (Although it is possible for a team to win 3:1, but lose on aggregate points.)
As I read it, there are two major ambiguities in this clause.
Firstly, it only states "should there still remain a tie". So, let's say that 3 teams finish on 14 wins, the mini-table places one team clearly 1st, and the others tied.
So, there remains a tie. Nowhere does it say that the team placed 1st is excluded from any further consideration. Logically we assume that to be so, but it is NOT clearly stated.
The second problem in part stems from the first.
When It goes on to refer to games between the tied teams, it is unclear WHICH tied teams. Is it the 3 originally tied, or have we excluded one and are now down to two tied teams.
Again, I think it is logical to assume that team clearly 1st in the mini-table be excluded, but the wording is at best ambiguous.
It’s hard to get my head around this in an equitable fashion.
Nobody would dispute that in the event of a tie, the team with the split (or the points lead) should triumph, but that is NOT the primary factor. If Say the Cats finish on 15 and NZ finish on 14, then the Cats are ahead, and the split is irrelevant.
Again if it goes to the mini-table, the 2-team split remains irrelevant.
The reality is that rather than drive to the 2-team result at the earliest opportunity, the total aggregate results should be used where possible.