Announcing Changes For the Future
As you know, over the past two seasons and this upcoming season, MKU Staff have ran the MKU Conference format. However, after multiple suggestions and feedback overall, we're happy to announce some changes to the format going onto the future into S10 and onward.
What will change:
- Number of teams in each division has changed from 12 teams to 8 teams.
- Conferences have been shrunk to 4 teams each.
- The MKU Season is now 7/8 weeks long (5 week regular season + 2/3 weeks of playoffs)
Changes to the Playoff Format
With the 12 team conference format, we've had a bye for the conference winners, and then a 3v6 4v5 quarter-final system. However, with an 8 team format, MKU Staff has been split on which format to implement.
We currently have two ideas for playoffs:
1) A 1v4 2v3 playoff system (1 and 2 seeds are the conference winners, the one with the better record is the 1 seed). The 3 and 4 seeds would be the wild card teams. They'd play each other in a semi final, and then the winners of each of those matches would play in a final.
2) The winners of each conference play in a match, while the two wild card teams play in their own match. The winner of the match-up between the conference winning team goes directly to the final, while the loser of the match goes on to play the winner of the wild card team match. The winner of this match would go on to play in the final. This essentially allows a "double elimination" for the teams that won their conference, as a bit of a reward, which the other playoff format doesn't have. This would additionally add on another week to the season due to another playoff match-up needing to be played.
For a clearer idea, reference the graphic below:
MKU Staff has decided that team leaders will be allowed to vote for which format they prefer for Season 10. This vote will begin after Season 9 finishes. One vote will be allowed per team, and will be held in the #mku-reps in the MKU Discord.
Why these changes are being implemented:
Currently, with 12 teams, there is always one or two teams that sweep through a division, and others that get beaten down for 8 weeks straight. This happening defeats the point of divisions in the first place, as it's supposed to be teams around the same skill, however the more teams you add into the mix the more likely situations like this are going to happen. As a result, we believe that minimizing the teams per division will allow for more competitiveness overall, in addition to less or even zero teams getting destroyed every week.
Moreover, our biggest reason to switch for the future is because of the shorter length of each season. With the current 11 week format, the max amount of seasons we can realistically run in a year is 3 when you factor in off-seasons, and other events on Sundays that go on throughout the year. With this adjusted format, we can easily run 4 seasons in a year, at the expense of 2 less MKU weeks per year. However, it's not exactly a hot take to say that teams would prefer a whole new season playing against new opponents rather than just 2 more weeks of standard matches.
Promotion and Relegation
Because a smaller and shorter format typically leads to fluctuation in terms of transfers and changes during an offseason, MKU Staff has decided that promotion and relegation matches will no longer be used in the new format. Promotion and relegation matches would need to add another week to the season that nobody else would be playing in besides the teams in these matches, and a lot of the time the results of these matches aren't 100% used to determine a team's placement.
Wild Cards will still be staying in the format change, as with a smaller format, a potential wrong seed could totally change the tides of a season if it was top 2 make the playoffs in each conference. Seeds aren't 100% perfect, so to avoid any potential problems we'll be instituting the wild card system.
Season 10 is projected to begin sometime in the middle of May. Until then, good luck to everyone that's going to be in the playoffs this weekend, may the best teams win their respective divisions!
-- MKU Staff