Wanna know why the semis aren’t a Fri./Sat. thing any longer? Blame the coaches …

Until this season, fans of a team fortunate enough to reach the semifinals in their respective CIF-Southern Section playoff divisions would have the opportunity to go see not only their teams play, but their possible opponent in the championship game, too.

Take, for example, the Mid-Valley Division this year. Under the previous set-up, the Monrovia-Covina game would be Friday night, giving fans of San Gabriel and San Dimas an opportunity to go watch. The following night on Saturday, San Gabriel and San Dimas would play, with likely a nice contingent from the Monrovia-Covina winner on hand to see who they’re going to get in the final.

What happened? The short answer is: blame the football coaches.

According to CIF-SS Director of Information Thom Simmons, the Southern Section football coaches advisory committee decided to get rid of the Friday/Saturday format in order to put both games on Friday night.

“It was brought up at one of the football coaches advisory committee meetings and the feeling was football Friday nights are football Friday nights for a reason,” Simmons said. “The games are played on Friday nights and very few are played on Saturdays. The feeling was let’s keep those games on Friday nights.

“The second reason was, if you play on that Saturday and your championship is the following Friday, that’s a short week for you and an unfair advantage for the team in the other part of the bracket who played on Friday. The coaches wanted to level that playing field and in that meeting they voted unanimously to make them both Friday night.”

The decision certainly won’t help the CIF-SS financially. With games on different nights, it allowed for more people to attend both. But Simmons pointed out that the casual fan of no team in particular who just likes to go watch games is a dying breed, and he won’t know just what type of financial impact not playing the game on separate days has until after this week’s games.

“I don’t think there is a casual football observer anymore,” Simmons said in reference to declining numbers at CIF-SS sporting events, including football, the top draw. “Our numbers don’t indicate that there are. There seems to a very school-specific base that goes to these games. The only guys that are really those casual football observers are those guys on your blogs and for the most part they’re going to go to the same game that night anyway. They’re not going to another game.

“If there’s one thing here at CIF that we get accused of, it’s being money hungry. If that’s the case, then why would we ever cut our gate?”

The good news for fans interested in games beside the one they’re attending is that modern technology, like this newspaper’s weekly Coveritlive broadcasts with Mike “The Cousin” Robledo, allow them to follow the action elsewhere by using their smartphones. Fans can also keep other fans abreast of the action taking place at the game they’re attending.

Follow me on Twitter @ChemicalAT

  • Did the tribune Right a open letter to get this rule change as well?

    ?????

  • New York

    Friday/Saturday was great for fans but unfair for the Friday night team matter if the championship was played the following Friday OR Saturday. This was the case in 1998 when Monrovia played Santa Ynez in the semis on Saturday night with Paso Robles captains and coaches sitting in our stands.

    Basically, the winner Friday night gets more rest and more focused scouting. One extra day of rest and preparation regardless if it is a Friday or Saturday championship. The team in the semis on Saturday likely watches the POTENTIAL opponents on Friday night, but that is a huge distraction from their own semifinal game. It is more practical with our local disvisional allignments, but it is still a struggle. Actually, I think in 2009 San Dimas was in the stands for our Saturday night Whittier Christian game.

    As far as “casual observers” restricted to this blog: They could be right. I know I went to Citrus at watched the Upland-Los Osos championship the night before I was on the sideline watching the San Dimas championship. Maybe your blog is full of a bunch of football fans, not just fans of their local teams. That’s a good sign!

  • New York

    This articel jinxed the San Dimas-San Gabriel game. Now Monrovia’s coaches can watch their semifinal game….In my opinion, though, San Gabriel should be required to find a suitable field to host the game Friday night in order to maintain equity going into the Finals. One of the many schools around should step up the way Arcadia did for Monrovia’s championship game last year. Maybe Temple City or San Marino High School???

  • GetReady

    As far as I am concerned Aram, having Saturday games allows the real football fan to enjoy 2 games in one week…what about the Thurs and Friday games that happen before the playoffs? Some of those games have playoff implications and require the same preparation as if it were a play-off game. Take for example if West Covina and Arcadia played this year on a Thursday nite. A lot of parent’s kids that play football also know of other kids that played football with their son before high school, my son had 7 friends who are/were starters playing for different schools this year and I only got to see 3 of them becuz of the thursday games. If San Gabriel plays on Saturday, I’ll get to see another one (my son plays on friday nite).

    Thanks Aram, I was wondering what happened to those Fri/Sat semis for this very reason and thanks for shedding some lite on the subject. Can you also find out the origin of the NON-Lineman positions being called “Skill Players” as far as I know, it take alot of SKILL to allow those SO-called “Skill” players to showcase their skills, don’t you think?

    Anywayz, To the Coaches: you have blown an opportunity to promote your sport/team to a wider audience and are missing out on some DESPARATE needed revenue. Our newspapers, parents, athletes, school administrators, the blogs are doing what they can to promote your sport…I guess this is what we get when winning is the…”only thing” that matters? You preach that it is NOT but, your actions speak differently.

  • GetReady

    As far as I am concerned Aram, having Saturday games allows the real football fan to enjoy 2 games in one week…what about the Thurs and Friday games that happen before the playoffs? Some of those games have playoff implications and require the same preparation as if it were a play-off game. Take for example if West Covina and Arcadia played this year on a Thursday nite. A lot of parent’s kids that play football also know of other kids that played football with their son before high school, my son had 7 friends who are/were starters playing for different schools this year and I only got to see 3 of them becuz of the thursday games. If San Gabriel plays on Saturday, I’ll get to see another one (my son plays on friday nite).

    Thanks Aram, I was wondering what happened to those Fri/Sat semis for this very reason and thanks for shedding some lite on the subject. Can you also find out the origin of the NON-Lineman positions being called “Skill Players” as far as I know, it take alot of SKILL to allow those SO-called “Skill” players to showcase their skills, don’t you think?

    Anywayz, To the Coaches: you have blown an opportunity to promote your sport/team to a wider audience and are missing out on some DESPARATE needed revenue. Our newspapers, parents, athletes, school administrators, the blogs are doing what they can to promote your sport…I guess this is what we get when winning is the…”only thing” that matters? You preach that it is NOT but, your actions speak differently.