Playoffs, Problems and Prevailing

Published on 21st September 2021
Author Mythman

There might be no Bandits action upon which to speak of but there is still plenty of action still to come with the arrival of the playoffs impending, albeit with the finishing order and who’s facing who still to be determined.

The playoffs are somewhat of an emotive subject with some people saying it should be the team who finishes top of the pile at the end of the regular fixtures who are crowned champions and there shouldn’t be any playoffs.

Now admittedly it isn’t exactly earth shattering news that those with that view do make a fair and valid point, but I personally think the playoffs do have a place in speedway.

Do I think it should decide the league winners? Honestly, it wouldn’t really bother me too much either way. But what I will say is that for those who do make the playoffs, it provides them with a real opportunity to not only extend their season, but with it being virtually guaranteed that a bumper crowd will flock to a league decider there is plenty of incentive to make that top six, in the case of the Championship at least.

At that stage, it all comes down to that one meeting and it really becomes a case of those who finished top having to further justify that position by going on to win it all.

Seems simple enough right? Well I thought so, until a thought popped into my head…

Now I’m talking Championship here where the top six go through to the playoffs and much of the talk and emphasis has been finishing in the top two and sealing a semi-final spot. That allows the remaining four teams to fight it out for the right to face the top two, who presumably sit back and watch it all unfold.

Is that an advantage though? I’m not so sure.

Surely the playoffs are a case of momentum. Let’s say for instance that the top two end up being Poole and Redcar and that Edinburgh and Glasgow end up battling it out for the right to face them. So Glasgow dispose of Edinburgh and carry that momentum into a big semi-final clash against say Redcar, who at this point may not have raced in over a week and potentially go into the clash cold.

Of course this is me just playing devil’s advocate but let’s be honest here, it wouldn’t exactly be the first shock result of the season and it certainly wouldn’t be the first shock result in a playoff meeting.

On the face of it all of the top six, irrespective of the finishing order, look more than capable of taking points off each other which should ensure that every fixture has the potential to be close and if the season as a whole has taught us anything, we can expect the unexpected.

Over the course of the next few weeks we will of course know the winners and losers but in reality I think every promoter up and down the country deserves massive praise for getting racing on in 2021 given the difficult circumstances surrounding us all.

Sure it isn’t exactly sunshine and roses with the premature closure of Eastbourne and the likelihood that Newcastle may have raced their final fixture at Brough Park, and those are the ones we know of. There is still hope that these clubs can be saved and I sincerely hope that happens, because as a sport we simply cannot continue to lose clubs at the rate in which we have done over the last few years.

2021 was always going to be taxing for speedway and so it’s proved to be and simply put, the aim for British Speedway for the year was to make it to the end of it with as many teams intact and see where we go from here.

So where do we go?

Well if by some minor miracle the likes of Eastbourne and Newcastle can be saved that would be a huge boost, but the return of Oxford and hopefully Swindon would be an even bigger boost. Then there is still the potential of our sport returning to Bradford and there has even been talks to bring Speedway back to Southampton in recent months, not that I expect that to happen overnight.

In the case of Oxford though it just shows that as long as there is a stadium there, there is hope and that hasn’t gone unnoticed by the folks of Coventry either, who still have hopes of seeing the sport return to Brandon.

Sure there is no quick fix to speedway’s problems and it would be ignorant of us to pretend otherwise. But anyone who is reading this will know that when it’s right, by god it’s magical.

It’s been said plenty of times before, but at the AGM which decides on the rules and regulations for 2022, there are some absolutely HUGE decisions to be made.

Of course if you wish to agree, or disagree with the Mythman, have an idea for a feature, or you simply want to chew the fat over all things speedway, you can email me or get in touch via the JB Speedway Media Facebook page. If your compliments, or indeed gripes can be contained to limited characters, you can send me a tweet @Mythman666.

Until next time…and there will be a next time.
Right I’ll hae’tae gan


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