September 23, 2010 CSL--Explanation of Playoff format (from CSL website)

ALMOST PLAYOFF TIME IN THE CSL ......8 teams will qualify for the CSL Championship series

Serbian White Eagles lost the final in a thriller in 2007, won in 2009 and lost to the current CSL champions, Trois-Rivieres Attak in 2009.

It's playoff time in the CSL. Well, almost. The CSL regular season will wrap-up early October and the First Division playoffs will begin on Tuesday, October 12 or shortly thereafter. Here’s how it all works.

The top eight teams in the 13-team First Division will qualify for a playoff berth.

There will be a two-leg quarterfinal home and away series (Game 1 October 12, 13 and Game 2 October 15,16 or 17) followed by a one-game semifinal for the four surviving teams (October 22, 23 or 24) and a one-game final on Sunday, October 31.

Teams will be seeded in keeping with their regular season final standing and games will be scheduled as follows:
1 vs.8, 2 vs.7, 3 vs.6, 4 vs.5

Teams seeded in the top four league positions will have first option to play their first quarterfinal game at home or away and the home venue will be awarded to the top seeded teams that advance to the semifinals. The CSL Championship Final will be played at Centennial Stadium in Etobicoke on October 31 at 3 pm.

In the event teams are tied on points in the final league standings, CSL rules provide for the following tiebreakers in the order listed:

1.                  Total wins in regular season games.
2.                  Head-to-head record based on total points in league games.
3.                  Goal difference in regular season games.
4.                  Goals scored in regular season games.

In the unlikely event teams are still tied, the rules provide for the lowest number of disciplinary points during regular season games and if necessary, by the luck of the draw.

In the quarterfinals, the two-game home and away series will be decided by total points and if tied on points, it will be total goals over the two games. There will be two 15-minute periods of extra time and FIFA penalty kicks in each game, if necessary. The semifinal and CSL Championship Final will each be one game, with two 15-minute periods of extra time and FIFA penalty kicks, if necessary.

Look for more bulletins about the CSL Playoffs, including the CSL Reserve Division, and the CSL Championship Final, in the days ahead.

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