Some Advice On The Dreaded Coin Toss


Last year, about the time the Longhorn football team was scheduled to participate in a three-way coin flip to decide seeding to the state tournament, I e-mailed former Payson High School baseball coach Teddy Pettet, who is now teaching and coaching in Idaho.

I wanted Pettet's advice on the coin flip, because I remember he had been involved in a slew of them during his 17-year coaching tenure at Payson High School.

The flips are needed when two or more teams tie in the regular season standings and seedings into the state tournament are determined by a coin toss.

In the fall of 2005, a coin toss was called for because Payson, Round Valley and Blue Ridge wrapped up the regular season tied for the East region championship

While e-mailing Pettet, I threw a few barbs his way, because I remembered he had never been very successful in winning the flips.

Because the Lady Longhorn volleyball team could soon be participating in a coin flip to determine the East region's top seed to state, it's time to revisit Pettet's answer to my query.

His reply was:

"To answer your question, I have, honestly, never won any coin toss of any importance regarding seeding to any sporting event that I can remember. My record is perfect and I will attempt in the future to avoid the temptation of calling one. My record probably stands at around 0-18, give or take a few.

"The only coin toss I ever so-called ‘won' was when we had a three-way tie with Fountain Hills and Globe for the two remaining playoff spots the year we won the state baseball tourney in 1999.

"We all threw up a coin and the ‘winner' got to sit out the first game and wait for the loser of the first game to play for the chance to win and go to state. After the toss, which I ‘won,' Globe and Fountain Hills each had tails and I had heads. Globe then beat Fountain Hills in the first game, sending them to state. Eldon Dallas (Globe head coach) then came over to me and the Fountain Hills coach (Mike Briguglio) and said, ‘Hey, let's just flip a coin now and determine who will be the No. 2 seed and who will be the No. 3 seed.' I called tails and, of course, it came up heads. Globe was then the No. 2 seed and the winner of our game (vs. Fountain Hills) was the No. 3 seed.

"After I thought about ‘winning' the coin toss, I suddenly realized that Fountain Hills and Globe each had two chances to qualify for state while Payson, the ‘winner' of the coin toss only had one. Go figure. Anyway, it all worked out and we won it all. I'll gladly lose coin tosses for the opportunity to win the state title."

Pettet doesn't exactly have a sterling record when it comes to winning coin tosses, but let's ask his advice if the Lady Longhorns do indeed have to participate in an upcoming toss.

"I have now made it a habit to never call a coin toss. Period," he said. "I let the other coach call it and if he wins, he wins. If he loses, I win. There must be something to this method, because I let the other coaches call the coin tosses at the Idaho 3A State Baseball Tournament last year and we were the home team every game. Go figure."

Oh yes, what about the coin flip a year ago that involved the football team?

True to Payson tradition, the Longhorns lost twice and fell from the No. 1 seed to No. 3.

That loss prompted then football coach Jerry Rhoades to ask, "Dang, has Payson ever won a flip?"

Pine team fifth

Cousins Paul and Jake Randall of Pine finished fifth in the BestBet Aluminum Boat team bass fishing tournament held Oct. 16 at Roosevelt Lake.

The two weighed in a six fish limit of 11.09 pounds and earned $700 in prize money. The pair fished topwater twitchbaits and drop shot finesses worms on points in the main lake and the Tonto Creek Arm.

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