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SFL Communications

November 14, 2020

The Simulation Football League took a big step in its preparation for Season 16 with the completion of the competition slate for Winter 2021. 24 teams will each play a 12-game regular season with no byes. Each team will play four divisional games: a home-and-home between the top two finishers and bottom two finishers from the division in the previous season, along with one home and one away game against other divisional foes. The rest of the schedule was based on opponent availability and strength of schedule.

“I believe this is the most competitive the SFL has ever been and this schedule reflects that,” said Commissioner Cameron Irvine. “Playoff teams have unique challenges and play many top opponents. Non-playoff teams from last season have challenges but also opportunities to break away from the pack and that’s what we want to provide. This league has so much potential and our hope is that we can put together a much-improved television product – from opening kickoff of the day to the final whistle of the night, and that is my next mission.”

Exact dates and times will be determined once the league has finalized adjustments to the schedule with television partners.

Adjustments to playoff format with increased number of teams

  • 12 teams will make the playoffs – the top four teams will receive a bye to the quarterfinals and will host Wild Card winners.
  • No. 5 will host No. 12, No. 6 will host No. 11, No. 7 will host No. 10 and No. 8 will play home to No. 9 in the Wild Card Round.
  • Six teams will clinch a playoff spot by winning their division. Winning a division does not clinch a bye to the quarterfinals or a home playoff game in any round

Unique schedules across the league

  • Sioux Falls: plays three-straight road games Weeks 9-11 and finishes with three-straight division opponents to end the season, the only team that does.
  • Denver: plays three-straight road games Weeks 7-9 and finishes with three-straight home games, the only team that does.
  • Mexico City, Arizona, Fort Worth: only teams that play on the road each of the first two weeks. The Aztecs and Toros play four of the first five on the road. The Aztecs are the last team to play a game within the division – Week 6 (Vs. Lone Star)
  • Jacksonville: will be first team in SFL history to have two, three-game road trips Weeks 2-4 and Weeks 9-11, giving the Kings four-straight home games Weeks 5-8.
  • Weeks 7 & 8 are the only weeks of the season that don’t have a divisional matchup on the slate. Week 12 is all divisional contests, while Week 10 has the second most (8 of the 12 games).
  • Florida: The only team that plays two divisional games in the first three weeks – both at home. Two divisional road games won’t happen until Week 10 (@ Charleston) and Week 12 (@ Jacksonville). The Storm also finish with three-straight road games, which Atlanta also does.
  • Las Vegas: Doesn’t play a road game east of the Mississippi all season, their longest road trip coming at St. Louis Week 11.
  • Los Angeles: Doesn’t play back-to-back home or road games all season, swapping home with away each week, the only team that has that schedule structure. Portland doesn’t play back-to-back home games – starting and ending the season at home, but does play back-to-back road games Weeks 2-3 and 8-9.
  • D.C.: plays Denver (1), Mexico City (1), Florida (3), Queen City (4) and Baltimore (1) on their schedule this season – a combined 10 former champions. Baltimore, the defending champs, play the most (12): Queen City (twice), D.C. (1), Denver, Atlanta and Mexico City. Jacksonville plays 11: Florida (twice), Queen City and Atlanta. And Lone Star does too (11): Florida, Mexico City (twice), D.C., Baltimore and Queen City. St. Louis is the only other non-playoff team that plays a combined 10 former champs: Florida, Queen City, Atlanta, D.C. and Mexico City.
  • San Diego: The only team that does not travel to face a team that made the playoffs last season. The Mavericks will host four of them, including two in the last three weeks of the regular season.

Updated tiebreakers with divisions now a part of the league

Breaking a tie within the division to determine division winner

  • head-to-head, or head-to-head sweep (if more than two teams are tied)
  • division record
  • common games (minimum of three)
  • strength of victory
  • strength of schedule
  • divisional point differential
  • season point differential

Breaking a tie for playoff seeding

  • head-to-head, or head-to-head sweep (if more than two teams are tied)
  • division winners over non-division winners
  • common games (minimum of three)
  • strength of victory
  • strength of schedule
  • season point differential
  • divisional point differential

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