Last week, I pointed out that the one good thing about District 4's "just in time" playoff scheduling is that it allows two teams from the same school to play together, a benefit to almost everyone involved - most especially you, the fans.
But in District 6, the usually smooth-running playoff system hiccupped this week, and fans from Juniata paid the price: The Indians had two teams in action Monday, boys and girls soccer, and they played at the same time, on fields that are 75 miles apart. There's no reason such a poor scheduling decision had to be made.
The Juniata girls, who are the top seed in District 6 Class AA, indeed were entitled to a home game against No. 5 Somerset. The Indian boys, at No. 3, are behind defending champ Westmont Hilltop, the second seed.
The boys already got a break in that regard - theirs was the only semifinal in Class AA that was not being played as a home game (they traveled to a neutral site). And, both Johnstown-based Westmont Hilltop and Somerset are roughly equidistant from most of the available neutral-site fields in District 6.
In other words, this could have been resolved to the benefit of all schools. Easily.
I can't believe the lack of concern here for the fans and families whose children have worked so hard on the pitch this fall, only to have their faces slapped with the ridiculous placement for these two games. I'm sure the girls could have played well on the road, whether entitled to a home game or not.
I'm wondering why the Juniata administration, never afraid to get knee deep in athletics, didn't raise its voice over such a bonehead move.
Soccer isn't the only sport in which District 6 scheduled playoff games before engaging its brain. Lewistown, which made it into the volleyball tournament for the first time in school history, was to play its opening contest two hours before Penn State and Michigan kicked off Saturday night - just 40 miles from Beaver Stadium.
I'm shocked that it took so long for someone to realize what an incredibly bad idea this was.
Thankfully, the little gray cells, as literary detective genius Hercule Poirot called them, kicked in somewhere along the line, and the contest was moved to the afternoon. Actually, it may have been necessity over brains - rumor is, no one was willing to work the game at the original time. Who'd have seen that coming?
And then there's Mount Union, the No. 3 team in the Class A bracket, which, based on the wording posted on the District 6 website - "Teams seeded highest host game" - should be at home tonight against No. 6 Bishop Guilfoyle.
Think again - the district apparently meant only those teams seeded highest in the bracket. The Trojans - who did end up at Bald Eagle Area - were originally slated to pass BG on the way to their game against the lower-seeded play-in winner. At Northern Cambria.
Now there's a just reward for having such a good season.
I know it's easy to sit on the outside and look in. But in cases like these, it seems even easier when the people planning the events think their needs are more important than those of the kids their decisions are affecting.
The D6 field hockey tournament changed as well - Indian Valley and Forbes Road now will meet Thursday instead of today for the District 6 Class AA title.
That news came in the form of a memo from State College athletic director Ron Pavlechko, whose school is hosting the game. Pavlechko informed the teams last Friday, in plenty of time to make the necessary arrangements.
And a quick hit from out of town, also in field hockey. If you take note of the bracket for the Class AA state tournament, you'll see that one spot has three potential entrants. Districts 2, 4 and 11 are sharing a line on the card for the next two years, which the three districts' runners-up must vie for in a pair of play-in games.
I'm half surprised, what with the small number of teams in the west - 15 across three districts, roughly same number that each of the aforementioned districts has - that the PIAA didn't add a play-in spot to this side of the bracket.
Jeff Fishbein is sports editor of The Sentinel. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.