FORT MYERS, Fla. – Sometimes
tournament directors are left with difficult decisions. The 17u BCS
Finals championship created one of those situations this week.
BCS Tournament Director Justin Amidon experienced several of those
tough decisions this week in Fort Myers, Fla. Rain and lightning
delays were the common theme causing issues with the schedule,
especially during the final couple days. Teams were then seeded based
on pool play performance and scheduled into the playoff brackets with
the top four seeds. The East Cobb Astros earned the top seed with the
GBSA Rays, Banditos of Austin and Next Level Baseball 17u rounding out
the top four.
first round was set, but weather hit quickly and that forced several
teams to leave due to either travel plans or an unalterable schedule.
Play resumed on Friday with 19 teams remaining of the initial 28 with
three play-in games before the second round could begin.
teams were re-seeded in order to maintain fairness and all games were
scheduled to complete play on Friday, what was supposed to be last
day of the tournament. The first two rounds of playoffs were
completed before 11:00 a.m., and one team managed to clinch a spot in
the semifinals with the other three quarterfinal games in the middle
of play before yet another delay.
Amidon went right to the
top before making a final decision.
got a hold of PG President Jerry Ford just to make sure we did the
right thing," said Amidon before deciding how to restructure the
The tournament rules state that the highest seed is
declared the champion in the event the tournament is called off
before the championship game. In this case the highest seed among the
teams left was the GBSA Rays from Milburn, Ga. GBSA as a team was led
by righthander Charvez Carter who utilized three different arm slots
on the mound to fire 14 innings for the club. In that time he earned
three of GBSA’s wins and one save while amassing 17 strikeouts.
they were led by Jaquez Williams who went 9-for-15 in the tournament
with three doubles and an opposite field homer in their
rain-shortened quarterfinal game.
team as a whole went undefeated in the tournament (6-0-0) going into
their quarterfinal matchup against Xtreme Tornadoes 16u. They relied
on dominant pitching throughout the tournament posting a 0.90 ERA
with 38 strikeouts.
they could not stay the extra day to complete the tournament. So this
left Amidon and Ford with yet another dilemma. Does Perfect Game and
the BCS declare GBSA the champions and call an end to the tournament?
That would have been the simplest and the cheapest way to end
“Jerry and I talked about every possibility,”
Amidon said. “We couldn't punish the GBSA Rays for leaving, because
by rule, they were the Champions. At the same time, it was difficult
to tell those teams that made arrangements to stay an extra day that
they were done.”
always want to be as fair as possible to all teams,” Ford added.
“With that in mind, we decided to do something that has never
before been done at any PG event.”
The decision was that
there would be co-champions. The GBSA Rays 17u were awarded a
championship trophy and their players will receive the individual
championship rings. It was also decided that the remaining teams will
stay and compete for a share of the championship. That team will also
receive a trophy and each of their players would also receive
After it was learned that GBSA could not play out the
tournament, the highest seeded team left in the tournament, Next
Level 17u, said they also could not stay. So again, by rule, they
received a second place trophy. This created a scenario where there
would be co-runner-ups, with the other coming from the loser of the
game played on Saturday.
“We were going to do everything in
our power, at all costs, to give every team willing to stay a shot at
being co-champions,” Amidon stated of the decision.
can't allow the cost to keep us from being as fair as possible,”
Ford again added. “Rules are important, but nothing is more
important than being fair.”
2015 17u BCS Finals
GBSA Rays 17u and Elite Squad Select 17u
17u BCS Finals co-Runner-Up
Next Level and Team Elite
2015 17u BCS Finals Third Place
Xtreme Tornadoes 16u and IBAHS 2016