Ok, so as I understand, the league members were surprised to see that JHill's team advanced and not the other team. The commissioner had sent a league email with the rules that said that ties were resolved by cumulative bench points. These are the rules for the regular season, and the commish was probably essentially copying the listed settings from the league rules page. It is interesting to note, however, that every team could have hypothetically viewed the league rules page and seen that the tiebreaker is resolved differently in the postseason.
Suppose I were in a league with default tiebreaker scoring before and I knew that the higher seed advanced in the case of a tie. I would then not have been surprised to see that JHill advanced instead of his opponent. For me, the league rules would have been available all season, so I would have known that I need not do something trivial like put all QBs on my bench to win a tiebreaker. Whether or not the league rules were understood by the league members is secondary to the fact that they were publically available, established ahead of time, and only changed retroactively IMHO. And even if one were to split hairs with me on that, they would have to agree that, at the very least, JHill has a valid complaint.
Perhaps you could do a three team championship game, simply awarding the scorers in order from most to least points (with a well understood tiebreaker
). Maybe include an incentive clause for the loser of the other semifinal to win some more money if they outscore other finalists since they no longer have a chance to play the third place game?