New football divisions are out

The edict from CIF was clear on Thursday when the Southern Section office announced the football playoff division groupings for the upcoming season. Have success and you’re moving on up. The only question is how much.

The Southern Section had until early August to make public the new playoff groupings, but like last year, they are out early. And now all local teams know exactly where they stand and what the competition will be should they make the postseason this November.

Last year was the first season played under the current format of grouping football playoff divisions based on competitive equity rather than by league, as had been done for decades. Every year the divisions will change with teams moving up or down based on the previous two season’s worth of data.

Arroyo, which was the only area team to win a CIF championship, was a glaring example of the new system at work. The Knights won Division 12 and on Thursday found out they are being bumped up a notch to Division 11.

“To be perfectly honest, we thought we’d go to 10,” Arroyo head coach Jim Singiser said. “That was the big mystery. Nobody understood what impact last season would have on the placement this year. What was the cut off, if you made the playoff you were getting bumped up? If you made the quarters you were getting bumped up? If you made the semifinals or the finals you were getting bumped up two (divisions)?”

Well, in Arroyo’s case, a division championship meant going up one division. In Charter Oak’s case, making the semifinals in Division 4 was enough to help get the Chargers moved up to Division 3. La Mirada, which reached the Division 3 championship game is now in Division 2.

For some teams, there was no movement at all. Bishop Amat remained in Division 1 despite being ousted in the first round last season. The Lancers probably still carry a lot of weight because the 2015 team reached the semifinals and that season is still considered in the data.

La Habra shocked a lot of people by winning two games in the Division 2 playoffs last season and the Highlanders almost got bumped up to Division 1 because of it. Instead, La Habra was the last team after the cutoff between Division 1 and 2 and will remain in the same place at least for this season.

Los Altos made the Division 6 championship game last year and will be boosted to Division 5. And South El Monte, which made the semifinals in Division 13 is now in Division 12.

The largest division is the lowest, Division 13. There are 81 teams in that division while the top two divisions each have 18. Outside of the area, there were several moves worth noting. Calabasas, which has been transfer central in the past couple years and has had big success, flew up three divisions (the biggest jump of any program) to from Division 5 to Division 2.

Both Upland and Tesoro were dropped from Division 1 to Division 2. They were replaced by Murrieta Valley and San Clemente.

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  • Valley Athletics

    Even if they did not use the’data from 2 years ago Amat would still make D-1.

    • Jastrab


      • Valley Athletics

        yeah . Even Alemany whip went 5-5 and 3-7 with no playoffs last 2 years made it . So it would take some horrible years for Amat to drop .

      • AramT

        Exactly. They put big weight on SOS.

  • reality

    My question is: How does La Habra do it? Little public school on Whittier Blvd. Area does not seem like it should produce talent year in year out. They truly are the Jeffersons of our area. La Habra-Amat would be a good game.

  • Spam Burger

    Upland moving down? Pffft. What a joke.

  • General Turgidson

    That division 13 with 85 teams seems big, but it makes sense. There are so many schools that field teams but simply can’t put together 5+ win seasons consistently. It’s a lot of teams, but many are in the same boat with regards to talent and size. some of these small schools have a chance to make the playoffs every once in a while.

  • Valley Athletics

    This system works out for the upper 7 divisions but not the lower . For example Walnut is top 4 according to point system in D-13 but will go 2-8 at best and miss playoffs . Lower division teams who are in leagues with other lower division teams have best shot . When the top team in league is D-3 and worst team is D-13 it’s not fair and dangerous . I believe football leagues should have teams that are no more than 4 divisions apart . Best team in division 3 and worst division 7 .

    • General Turgidson


  • woanelly

    Do not see any “Local” teams mentioned, thought this was the Pasadena Star News”. This blog/paper should truly be called the “East San Gabriel Valley News” when it comes to sports.

  • Aaron

    I say again, cut down to 10 Divisions, place schools into leagues with other teams in the same Division, leagues must be 6 schools or they don’t exist.