Timeout with Tambo: CIF comes up with new formula for sports divisions
Enrollment is not a factor when comparing public schools to private schools. Enrollment is not a factor when comparing regular public schools to charter schools or schools with an “academy” in their district.
Private schools, charter schools, and schools with academies in their districts are not limited to students living in their enrollment areas. Private schools do not have enrollment areas. Schools with open enrollment don’t either.
Coach Damon Baldwin once asked at a CIF meeting, “Can students from the boundaries of the Ramona Unified School District participate in athletics at a private school, a charter school or a school with open enrollment?” The answer was “yes.”
“Can students who do not live in the Ramona Unified School District that attend private schools or charter schools participate in athletics in the Ramona Unified School District?” The answer was “no.”
Some changes needed to be made.
The San Diego CIF Section established two committees in October 2011. After several meetings, the discussion in the two groups began to take similar paths. The topics of competitiveness, divisional breakdowns, and playoff participation were reviewed in both committees and the decision was made to merge the two committees.
The concept of having divisions based on enrollment was questioned since there was a lack of correlation between enrollment and competitiveness. Several solutions were discussed, including separate divisions for private and public schools, which is done in some areas of the country.
A new formula was reached. Divisions will be made up based on ranking teams in each sport, based on their history of competitiveness in that sport. The divisions will be changed annually, based on a formula that takes the records of the past five years into consideration. It is complicated.
Football, girls volleyball, boys basketball, girls basketball, and baseball will use the past five years of Max Preps rankings. Trust me, not all schools report to Max Preps and that will not change.
Lax Power rankings will be used for girls lacrosse and boys lacrosse. Rankings for field hockey, boys and girls water polo, boys and girls soccer, and softball have yet to be determined.
The following individual sports will continue to have divisions based on enrollment: cross country, golf, tennis, wrestling, gymnastics, swim and dive, and track and field.
In the first year, teams can only move up two divisions and one division per year in the following years. The same goes for moving down. In football, schools with an enrollment of 1,250 or more cannot be placed below Division IV, no matter how bad they are.
There will be an open division which will have first consideration for state playoffs. The open division will have eight teams and every team in the open division will advance to the playoffs. The number of teams in each division below the open division will be equal to or greater than the teams in the above division.
There will be either 12 or 16 teams in the playoffs in Divisions I through III and eight teams in Divisions IV and V.
Schools will be able to petition for a change in divisions only for statistical error information used for rankings, request to move to a higher division if they can find somebody to move down, or dispute of commissioner’s placement for teams with no rankings.
The Open Division Champion will be designated as the Section Champion. The other division champions will be designated as Division Champions.
Baseball and lacrosse will pilot the divisions this spring. If a ranking system can be reached for softball, it will also start this spring.
If a school has a significant shift in population or the CIF office determines that there are circumstances that lead to a school being grossly misplaced in a division, the CIF office has the authority to adjust the school’s placement.
Confused? Next week I will endeavor to confuse you more with my take and my suggestion(s). Until then, let it be known that Ramona will be in Division I in baseball, football and volleyball playoffs. Girls’ lacrosse will be in Division II.
Think about it. The NCAA has been doing this for a long time and we all know how fair the NCAA has been in all sports. Does the BCS formula sound familiar? How about the NCAA basketball tournament seeding committee?
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