Bluffton to start with road trip after softball bracket snafu

mmccombs@islandpacket.comMay 10, 2014 

Bluffton's home opener Saturday against Stratford in the Class 4-A Lower State softball playoffs turned into a road opener Thursday.

According to Dru Nix of the S.C. High School League, the brackets for the 4-A playoffs were correct as far as teams and pairings. But it was brought to the league's attention Thursday afternoon that home and road teams for the first round, which alternate yearly between even and off seeds were incorrect.

As a result, the entire bracket was changed, and the teams that thought they were at home are now on the road, and vice versa.

"It wasn't just us," Bluftton coach Bill Ball said. "It affected every single team in the 4-A bracket."

To complicate the issue, Bluffton athletic officials weren't made aware anything might be wrong until they were questioned by the Island Packet during Thursday night's boys soccer game.

At the time, Bobcats athletics director Dave Adams and Ball both said they were hosting a game Saturday, to the best of their knowledge. The school confirmed the change Friday morning.

"Most people didn't get the information until after the school day was done on Thursday," Ball said. "The bracket has been set up for months. It just amazes me that it took that long for someone to figure it out."

The change set off a chain of events for every school in the playoffs.

"Everyone had to scramble," Ball said. "Coaches had to get buses, transportation. My opposing coach had to scramble to get the field mowed. You know, crazy stuff."

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