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Puma Cup, will it even matter??????

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Post by scoregazam on 12/07/12, 09:24 am

Will this tournament even matter, looks like a few "top" teams that were orginally going to play in the Puma have switched to the King Tut. Anyone have any idea who is still playing in the Puma Cup. And for those playing in it will it be a true showing of their potential in QT
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Post by Whoseurdaddy on 12/07/12, 09:58 am

It looks like Fever, DT South, FCD Rangel, and Waco Blast did not join the Tut. That would be 4 of the top elevon ranked on the FBR so while not a majority still a decent mix.

Plus the top 02 team is playing up in the 01's in the Tut. Not sure that helps other teams in reguards to there performance in the Tut and possible seeding.

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Post by voiceofreason on 12/07/12, 10:35 am

For the top 4 it really doesn't matter, they will be seeded as the top 4, just too dominant. For 5-10 it matters as 1 or 2 up or down on the seeding can make a difference in getting it done in the first weekend or not. For teams like FCD South who's ranking purely came from Polaris as a carry-over it really matters as they have no record of their own. Tut will be interesting because of all the newly made teams, Stings, Andro, etc.

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Post by Guest on 12/07/12, 10:51 am

From my limited experience, it matters far less which tournament you play as compared to how you actually play in that tournament.

A "good" showing can bump your seeding - see Andromeda '01 in King TUT last year and Diamonds '01 in Puma Cup last year.

A "bad" showing can hurt your seeding - see FC Dallas '01 Premier and FC Dallas '01 from King TUT last year, Cosmos '01 Black from both King TUT and Puma Cup last year.

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Post by 4-4-2-Diamond on 12/07/12, 12:07 pm

bwgophers wrote:From my limited experience, it matters far less which tournament you play as compared to how you actually play in that tournament.

A "good" showing can bump your seeding - see Andromeda '01 in King TUT last year and Diamonds '01 in Puma Cup last year.

A "bad" showing can hurt your seeding - see FC Dallas '01 Premier and FC Dallas '01 from King TUT last year, Cosmos '01 Black from both King TUT and Puma Cup last year.

I don't know. Based on last year the ticket was to go where the competition was (King Tut).

Kicks SC was widely considered a top 5 team prior to QT last summer. While most all the other top 10 teams played King Tut, Kicks SC played up in U12 gold division of Puma Cup (against mostly D2 and D3 '00s). They didn't lose or tie and ending up beating D'feeters '00 to win the tourney. Nothing spectacular, but nothing to sneeze at either. LH dropped them to a 6 seed. (They played the LH 5 seed a few weeks after QT and beat them 6-1 in the Plano Labor Day final).

Kicks White won last year's U11G against mostly teams in the 10 to 25 range. I don't think they gave up a goal the whole tourney. LH seeded them 14, which is about where they were considered prior to the tourney...Puma Cup win didn't improve their seed.

Only team I remember helped by Puma cup was Blue Diamonds, who won the U11 silver division and was a borderline top 25 team. Their silver bracket wins were against teams well outside top 30, but they had good margin of victory in all their games. LH seeded them about 7 to 10 spots higher than any pre-QT poll or ranking. Everyone else was hurt or barely held serve playing Puma Cup.

I'd suggest go where the competition is. It probably changes year to year, as I recall people saying Puma Cup had solid comp when the 00s came through before their U11 QT.




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Post by 02Dad on 12/07/12, 12:11 pm

It will matter, of course.

However, I am very dissapointed in the people running the Puma Cup.

They are becoming more and more irrelevant as each year passes when it comes to a prep for LHQT.

Why the effort to keep the list of applied teams so secret? They are not releasing any info on applied teams even after registration is closed.

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Post by Its Me on 12/07/12, 12:17 pm

Yes, both tournaments will matter. Some teams that may have been on the bubble may have picked up a player or two that will help them win a game or two. So tell your DD that they need to play their best game. Not only is this a tune-up tournament but it's also looked at for qualifying.

Good luck and welcome to the Select Soccer World!
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Post by pitchnovice on 12/07/12, 12:18 pm

02Dad wrote:It will matter, of course.

However, I am very dissapointed in the people running the Puma Cup.

They are becoming more and more irrelevant as each year passes when it comes to a prep for LHQT.

Why the effort to keep the list of applied teams so secret? They are not releasing any info on applied teams even after registration is closed.


Goes hand in hand with the way the 01 Team signings were handled. Buyer beware and be skeptical. Not sure what this club is about.

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Post by 02Dad on 12/07/12, 12:23 pm

pitchnovice wrote:
02Dad wrote:It will matter, of course.

However, I am very dissapointed in the people running the Puma Cup.

They are becoming more and more irrelevant as each year passes when it comes to a prep for LHQT.

Why the effort to keep the list of applied teams so secret? They are not releasing any info on applied teams even after registration is closed.


Goes hand in hand with the way the 01 Team signings were handled. Buyer beware and be skeptical. Not sure what this club is about.

What happened with their signing? I must have missed that.

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Post by 02Dad on 12/07/12, 12:26 pm

Its Me wrote:Yes, both tournaments will matter. Some teams that may have been on the bubble may have picked up a player or two that will help them win a game or two. So tell your DD that they need to play their best game. Not only is this a tune-up tournament but it's also looked at for qualifying.

Good luck and welcome to the Select Soccer World!

They will need to play their best for sure...

I've tried to explain to my DD that these games (Puma and then LHQT) are much more than just about winning or losing a game. Every goal counts... If they are winning 4-0, they need to keep fighting and not give up a goal to keep the extra point. Likewise, if they are losing 5-0.. just getting in one goal to grab a point and steal a shutout point from the other team is important.
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Post by Guest on 12/07/12, 12:46 pm

In my humble opinion...

A coach should make their decision based solely on what they believe is the best path to get his/her team prepared to play their best in the QT.

Do that, and seeding will not matter.

Seeding is unpredictable. Trying to "outsmart" the system to get your team the best seeding is even more so. Wasted energy if you ask me.

Is seeding important? Yes.

Is having your team properly prepared to play at or close to their best in the QT FAR more important than seeding? Hell Yes.

Focus on the latter, not the former.

Again, just my humble opinion.

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Post by 4-4-2-Diamond on 12/07/12, 01:14 pm

If you spend that much time and money preparing for QT, and seeding is a massive factor in the success or failure of any team in QT, I would think you best pay attention to the impact your pre QT decisions could have on seeding.

I don't see how it could be logically classified as wasted energy given how much teams have vested in the outcome.

These are broad generalizations, but we could sum up last year's outcomes as

1) if you skip out on all pre-QT tourneys, your seeding could be hurt (i.e. Solar Monte last year).

2) If you over perform in a tourney with solid competition (King Tut), your seeding will be helped. (Andromeda last year).

3) If you perform as expected or with decent results in a tourney with solid competition, your seeding will not be affected. (Most the teams from King Tut last year).

4) If you under perform in a weak tourney (Puma) your seeding is susceptible to free fall. (Fusion Navy last year)

If you over perform in a weak tourney (Puma) your seeding is not likely to be helped.

Puma U11 appears to have more highly ranked teams this year than last, so it will be interesting to see how it all plays out. Can't disagree with you that having your team ready to play by QT is important, but to imply seeding doesn't have a huge impact on who eventually makes LH? You lost me on that one.

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Post by 02Dad on 12/07/12, 01:56 pm

4-4-2-Diamond wrote:If you spend that much time and money preparing for QT, and seeding is a massive factor in the success or failure of any team in QT, I would think you best pay attention to the impact your pre QT decisions could have on seeding.

I don't see how it could be logically classified as wasted energy given how much teams have vested in the outcome.

These are broad generalizations, but we could sum up last year's outcomes as

1) if you skip out on all pre-QT tourneys, your seeding could be hurt (i.e. Solar Monte last year).

2) If you over perform in a tourney with solid competition (King Tut), your seeding will be helped. (Andromeda last year).

3) If you perform as expected or with decent results in a tourney with solid competition, your seeding will not be affected. (Most the teams from King Tut last year).

4) If you under perform in a weak tourney (Puma) your seeding is susceptible to free fall. (Fusion Navy last year)

If you over perform in a weak tourney (Puma) your seeding is not likely to be helped.

Puma U11 appears to have more highly ranked teams this year than last, so it will be interesting to see how it all plays out. Can't disagree with you that having your team ready to play by QT is important, but to imply seeding doesn't have a huge impact on who eventually makes LH? You lost me on that one.

There are 6 teams that appear to be skipping the pre-QT tournaments.

(SRSA Colvin,Solar Gio,Fever Red,Waco Lady Blast,Texas Thunder,Lady Titans)

Four of the six of them are top 10 teams.

Anyone (bwgphers?) remember how many teams last year completely skipped pre-QT tourneys? And how to they end up getting seeded? 4-4-2 mentions Solar Monte, where there others?


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Post by Guest on 12/07/12, 02:10 pm

O.K., let's look at all of the cases you mentioned...

1) Kicks SC. Seeded #6. Qualified D1 week #1. Finished U11 in 4th place. Playing D1 for U12 season.

2) Kicks White. Seeded #14. Qualified D1 week #2. Finished U11 in 14th place. Playing D2 for U12.

3) Solar Monte. Seeded #10. Qualified D1 in week #1. Finished U11 in 6th place. Playing D1 for U12.

4) Andromeda. Seeded #4. Qualified D1 in week #1. Finished U11 in 10th place. Playing D1 for U12.

5) Fusion Navy. Seeded #21. Qualified D3 in week #2. Finished U11 in 28th place (8th place D3). Team no longer exists.

In ALL of the cases you listed, the team qualified as expected based on their seeding. Furthermore, with the exception of Fusion Navy, all of those teams ended up getting placed in the same U12 division that their U11 QT seeding suggests they should have been placed in.

You complained about Fusion Navy "freefalling" based on Puma Cup. Based on the actual results from U11, Fusion Navy didn't fall as far as they should have based on their Puma Cup results.

So explain to me again how any of these teams' choice to play in King TUT vs. Puma Cup, and the impact that had on their QT seeding, ended up being totally unjustified by where the team ended up qualifying, how they played in U11, and where they are today heading in the U12 season?


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Post by 4-4-2-Diamond on 12/07/12, 02:51 pm

Kicks SC seed would not have mattered. They were a top 5 team. Based on results its clear they were not a 6. Their winning puma cup playing up didnt help their LH seed.

Kicks white won the tourney and their seed didnt change. Good thing they won it.

Andro over performed at King Tut and got a great seed. They came back last minute to get a tieing goal against FWFC to make D1 first weekend. Otherwise FWFC wouldve been D1 instead of D3 where they ended up after having to play tough teams 2nd weekend.

Solar monte ended up where they belonged, but I guarantee you it was more stressful than it would've been had they been properly seeded. They had to squeak out a draw against kicks white to qualify week 1. All the other top 5ish teams (other than Andro which we just discussed bumped their seed at King Tut) breezed thru week 1.

The onlyest coaches that can afford to be totally ambivalent about seeding are those with true top 5 teams. To everyone else it matters.....quite a bit.


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Post by Guest on 12/07/12, 03:17 pm

4-4-2-Diamond wrote:Kicks SC seed would not have mattered. They were a top 5 team. Based on results its clear they were not a 6. Their winning puma cup playing up didnt help their LH seed.

Kicks white won the tourney and their seed didnt change. Good thing they won it.

Andro over performed at King Tut and got a great seed. They came back last minute to get a tieing goal against FWFC to make D1 first weekend. Otherwise FWFC wouldve been D1 instead of D3 where they ended up after having to play tough teams 2nd weekend.

Solar monte ended up where they belonged, but I guarantee you it was more stressful than it would've been had they been properly seeded. They had to squeak out a draw against kicks white to qualify week 1. All the other top 5ish teams (other than Andro which we just discussed bumped their seed at King Tut) breezed thru week 1.

The onlyest coaches that can afford to be totally ambivalent about seeding are those with true top 5 teams. To everyone else it matters.....quite a bit.


You got me there... FWFC's fate would have been much different if Kicks was the #4 seed instead of Andro. They got screwed.

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Post by 4-4-2-Diamond on 12/07/12, 03:27 pm

Had FWFC been seeded higher they wouldnt have played a #4 in first week. Had Andro been a 10 instead of a 4 they would've had much tougher bracket games week 1. It's not that hard. Ask the coaches if seeding matters and get back to me on that.

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Post by Guest on 12/07/12, 05:16 pm

Coaches can think whatever they want. The data I've looked at says that roughly 90% of the time, seeding doesn't matter in the long run. Teams qualify where they should, and it's backed up by their performance over the full season following QT.

Both your and my examples prove that the seeding process is highly unpredictable.

I'd rather have my DD's coach focus 100% on preparing the team to play their best at QT and choose a tournament based on that philosophy as well, rather than spend any energy trying to figure out or make any decisions based on seeding.

To each their own...

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Post by 4-4-2-Diamond on 12/07/12, 05:52 pm

I must have missed the data proving seeding doesnt matter.

What % of teams seeded outside the top 30 make D1?? Or make LH at all?

If seeding didnt matter seems like we'd regularly see high seeds make and low seeds miss out. And it's a straw man argument about a coach spending "time" on seeding. Coaches make the choices on what to do to prepare for qt. LH is the only party spending any time projecting seeding (other than parents).


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Post by 4-4-2-Diamond on 12/07/12, 07:18 pm

bwgophers wrote:Coaches can think whatever they want. data I've looked at says that roughly 90% of the time, seeding doesn't matter in the long run.


I've gone back and looked at last year's data and can only conclude you must've meant to say 90% of the time LH gets the seeding CORRECT, not that seeding doesn't matter.

Otherwise I have no idea where you're coming from. The data show:

1) If your team is not seeded in the top 30 you have slim to zero chance of making a 20 team D1.

2) A very small percentage of teams seeded outside the top 20 make D1.

3) If your team is seeded outside the top 30, the odds are against you making LH at all. Only 2 teams managed to do it last year.








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Post by GOTB@LLZ?? on 12/07/12, 07:28 pm

4-4-2-Diamond wrote:
bwgophers wrote:Coaches can think whatever they want. data I've looked at says that roughly 90% of the time, seeding doesn't matter in the long run.


I've gone back and looked at last year's data and can only conclude you must've meant to say 90% of the time LH gets the seeding CORRECT, not that seeding doesn't matter.

Otherwise I have no idea where you're coming from. The data show:

1) If your team is not seeded in the top 30 you have slim to zero chance of making a 20 team D1.

2) A very small percentage of teams seeded outside the top 20 make D1.

3) If your team is seeded outside the top 30, the odds are against you making LH at all. Only 2 teams managed to do it last year.








Sounds like the seeding committee is doing something right. If you're seeded outside the top 20 and/or 30, there must be a reason for it.
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Post by Guest on 12/07/12, 11:17 pm

4-4-2-Diamond wrote:
bwgophers wrote:Coaches can think whatever they want. data I've looked at says that roughly 90% of the time, seeding doesn't matter in the long run.


I've gone back and looked at last year's data and can only conclude you must've meant to say 90% of the time LH gets the seeding CORRECT, not that seeding doesn't matter.

Otherwise I have no idea where you're coming from. The data show:

1) If your team is not seeded in the top 30 you have slim to zero chance of making a 20 team D1.

2) A very small percentage of teams seeded outside the top 20 make D1.

3) If your team is seeded outside the top 30, the odds are against you making LH at all. Only 2 teams managed to do it last year.


No, that isn't what I am saying.

What I am saying is:

Out of 43 teams that played in QT last year, there are only 3 teams where you can make a legitimate argument that they ended up in the incorrect league/division as a direct result of being incorrectly seeded in the QT

Redstar - Seeded 17th. Qualified for D1, but only won 1 game and scored 6 pts in league play. You can make an argument that they qualified for D1 due in part to a favorable seed, but really belonged in D3 instead of D1.
FC Dallas East - Seeded 30th. Qualified for D3, but finished in 2nd place in D3, earning promotion D2 for U12. Can make an argument that maybe they would've qualified for D1 if they had been given a higher seed and didn't have to play the #8 and #15 seeds in their 1st weekend.
FC Dallas Pratt - Seeded 35th. Missed LH. Went 18-0 in PPL. Could make an argument that they would've easily qualified for D3 if they were seeded higher and didn't end up in the Week #2 "bracket of death" with Tx. Spirit, FWFC, and Cosmos.

Other than those 3 teams, you can not make an argument that there was any team that took advantage of being "overseeded" to qualify for a division they didn't belong in, and then underperformed in league play, nor can you say that any team was "underseeded" and didn't qualify for the division they deserved to be in because of that, and then went on to dominate the division they were in during league play.

That means that 40 out of 43 teams (93%) in last year's QT, ended up exactly where they belonged, irregardless of what their QT seed was.

Now, a lot of that reason is because Lake Highlands does a pretty good job with the accuracy of their seeding. However, there were exceptions, where Lake Highlands clearly missed on the accuracy of their seeding:

Diamonds - seeded #16, but only qualified for D3 and finished in 5th place in D3.

LP Rush - qualified for D1, despite being seeded #23, and finished in 15th place in D1.

Sting East - who qualified for D1, despite being seeded #25, yet managed to finish in 18th place and get double digit points in D1.

Sting West O'Keefe - who was seeded #22, but missed LH and only managed a 4th place finish in PPL.

Cosmos - seeded #33, but still qualified for D3 and finished in 6th place.

In all of these cases, and the other 35 teams I haven't mentioned, how the team PLAYED in QT, was the determining factor in where they ended up, NOT where they were SEEDED.

Furthermore, how these teams played in QT was highly indicative of how they played during the rest of the year, and further evidence that they ended up where they belonged because of their level of play, not because of where they were seeded in the QT.

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Post by 4-4-2-Diamond on 13/07/12, 06:45 am

How a team plays in their QT games is the PRIMARY determining factor. No argument there. How a team is SEEDED is a major, contributing factor. Easy stuff.

It's the mechanics of the LH bracketing. Where a team is seeded dictates the quality of opponents they face the first weeekend, which in turn affects the number of points they can get first weekend, which affects the quality of opponents they face second weekend.

Roughly equivalent teams will have their QT fortunes impacted by their seed - the schedule says so.

Not only that, but where a team manages to end up after qualifying dictates what teams they play during the league season. Thus you never really know how good or bad a poorly seeded team would've done in a different division, you can only know that they either performed up to their qualifying position over the year, or they didn't.

The end result is I could make a case for far more teams than you listed, with results after QT that didn't line up with their finishing position at QT.

Let's take DT North and FWFC. DT North was ranked 19 in FBR pre-QT, FWFC was ranked 17. By any measure, these were roughly equivalent teams going in.

LH gave DT North the 15 seed, and gave FWFC the 19 seed. I'd be interested to hear what pre QT tourneys both teams did.

In any event FWFC had to play a tough opponent week one (tied a #4 seed), ended up with a tough 2nd weekend bracket, and ultimately Qualified D3. DT North meanwhile at 15 seed had no such #4 seed in their bracket, and qualified D1 first weekend.

Of course you can argue DT North took care of business. They did. But their higher seed ALSO meant they played weaker teams. Switch those two seeds and leave all else the same, and there is an argument DT North ends up D3 or at best a 2nd weekend D1 qualifier, and FWFC ends up in 20 team D1.

Their records over the course of the season back that up. DT North finished QT @ 9th, indicating they were a top 10 team. But they ended up fighting it out with a close pack of teams to keep from getting dropped to D3. FWFC went on to win D3 and is now headed to D2, indicating they probably would've fared just as well as DT North in a 20 team D1 @ U11.

Two equal teams, a 4 position difference in QT seed, different strength of QT opponents, and different outcomes.

Of course there are other scenarios like that from last year's results, but for some reason you picked out a handful and made a definitive claim those were the only ones impacted by their seed? It's a stretch.

The seed, and the resulting schedule driven from that seed is clearly a factor in QT outcomes. Common knowledge. Data supports the notion (i.e the very small % of teams that overcome poor seeds, and the very small % of teams that fail to qualify with good seeds).

You can say LH does a very good job with the seeding. They do. The data support that also. But you'll need politician worthy spin to cobble together any convincing data supporting seeding doesn't matter.

If it didn't matter we wouldn't be talking about it, and LH wouldn't put so much effort into getting it right.

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Post by Sent to the Stands on 13/07/12, 07:15 am

How do you know that the difference between a team's QT performance and their subsequent performance during the season is an indicator that the team was mis-seeded? That interpretation assumes that a team's level of performance is static. What about the fact that teams continue to train and develop during the season? Isn't it just as likely that the team played better than their initial seeding/QT performance because they became a better team?
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Post by 4-4-2-Diamond on 13/07/12, 07:26 am

Sent to the Stands wrote:How do you know that the difference between a team's QT performance and their subsequent performance during the season is an indicator that the team was mis-seeded? That interpretation assumes that a team's level of performance is static. What about the fact that teams continue to train and develop during the season? Isn't it just as likely that the team played better than their initial seeding/QT performance because they became a better team?

It's a good point. And probably true in some cases. In most the examples I went through the indicator of mis-seeding was a team being seeded differently by LH than their historical results warranted.

In several cases where the team's history reflected they should've been X, and LH bumped them higher (or lower) than X, they may have qualified different than X but over the season it became apparent they really were suppposed to be an X.

Those are pretty clear cases in my opinion where seeding hurts (or helps) teams.


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