There are just two weeks until the Missouri Comets season ends on the 22nd against the Tacoma Stars. And better late than never there's finally a playoff format this year. It's been known for a while that three teams from each of the four divisions would make the playoffs this year, the Comets wrapped up a playoff birth years, and recently the Milwaukee Wave clinched a playoff berth, leaving the Chicago Mustangs the likely third team. Chicago would need to lose their final fourth games while Wichita wings their final two games for the B-52s to have a chance at the playoffs. So it likely means the Mustangs will be facing the Wave in the Central Division playoffs in a home and home series, with the winner facing the Comets in a single game to try to win the Central Division on March 12th. The winner goes on to face the winner of the Eastern Conference which looks set to be Baltimore, Syracuse, and Rochester.
All of that sounds fairly straight forward and makes sense, although I'm not sure how to feel about the one game winner take all game, although it will be at the Independence Events Center. But then comes the description of the Western Conference. The Western and the Southern will also have three teams each in the playoffs, but instead of each team earning a home game, the 2 vs 3 seed match up will be just one game at the second seed. This is due to the fact that Las Vegas and Texas have arena availability issues, meaning Ontario and Dallas will host the single game playoffs.
While the reason for the format is understandable in a sense, on the other side of things, the assumption should be that teams would schedule dates around the time that the playoffs are supposed to take place aside in preparations for a potential playoff game. With the way things have gone for the league though, it isn't surprising that there was a lack of foresight in this situation from teams.
On top of all of that, some of the teams won't even be done with the regular season when the playoffs kick off. The first match up between the Chicago Mustangs and Milwaukee Wave will be scheduled for February 26th (assuming Chicago takes the last spot which is likely). When they kick off in the playoffs there will still be four regular season games kicking off later that same weekend.
Again, while it's understandable the format is a little crazy, it still doesn't speak well of the league and its forward planning that they didn't have this worked out before hand so teams could reserve arena dates to avoid things like this. Of course this is the same league that has a litany of problems throughout its first season.