What do you think of the new CIF-SS basketball playoff divisions: La Verne Lutheran in 4A; Damien in new 3AAA Division, check it out, the public vs. private debate should rage on

The CIF-Southern Section has finished the boys and girls basketball division realignment, which combines enrollment with how teams have done in the CIF playoffs the past four years. However, looking at it, enrollment played a bigger role than past CIF success, which should further infuriate the public vs. private debate when you look at the Divisions. There will be plenty of talk about the Boys 4AA Division that includes powers La Verne Lutheran, Price, Harvard-Westlake and Serra, but is that fair for teams like Workman, Blair, La Salle and Maranatha in the same Division? In Damien’s new 3AAA Division, Bonita is there with Westside power Pasadena, making an interesting and somewhat fair Division, but one of the big local winners is Bishop Amat in 3A with area teams like La Puente, Monrovia, Pomona, San Dimas and other locals, though power St. John Bosco also is in the division. In girls basketball we won’t get to see another Bishop Amat-Bonita playoff game unless it’s in the state playoffs. Bonita is in 3AAA and Amat is in 3A, which it should dominate with teams like Azusa, El Monte, Gladstone, Mountain View and Pomona all in it…Hey, I’ll let you break it down and get back to us. What do you think?

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  • rankings?

    When are we gonna see some SGV rankings for this year?

  • basketball

    looks like damien and amat’s division are pretty much the same competition wise

  • Not Public vs. Private but Have’s and Have’s Not

    How crazy is this? Salesian is in the same division as Sherman Oaks Notre Dame, La Verne Lutheran, Crespi, Oak Christian, J Serra, Chaminade, Harvard West Lake, Compton Centennial and Price…how crazy is that?

    Does any one wonder why it’s appalling to listen to schools complaining about being in the Baseline/Seirra Leagues or coaches complaining about being in the Inland or Central divisions?

    Maybe CIF needs to look at something other than attendance to determine divisions. Seems like CIF is doing a good job of spreading the wealth among the have’s and have not’s.

    I think it nuts how Football’s Pac 5 “athletes” are let loose in lower divisions in other sports. Well so much for fair play.

  • criteria

    cif looks at enrollment AND recent playoff success

  • Is the moon made of cheese

    Criteria….I respectfully disagree.

  • criteria

    I will respectfully point out to you that my previous comment was not a matter of opinion. It was a matter of fact. Perhaps other criteria should be considered, as you suggest, but for now the divisions are decided by enrollment AND recent playoff success.

    I will also respectfully point out to you that La Verne Lutheran, Crespi, Oak Christian, Harvard West Lake, Price, Besant Hill, Serra, Sierra Canyon, and Winward all moved UP (because of playoff success) into Salesian’s division. Sherman Oaks Notre Dame, J Serra, Chaminade, and Compton Centennial were placed in Salesian’s division because of enrollment.

  • criteria

    Also, Salesian will probably move down if they have a few more seasons like last year.

    Past 4 seasons for salesian:
    10-11 no playoffs
    09-10 1st round
    08-09 2nd round
    07-08 Semis

    I think that 4 playoff wins in the past 4 years is keeping Salesian from moving down. If their current division proves to be inappropriate for them (which it probably will) they will move down soon.

  • Haves and Have Nots

    Salesian State rank

    Notre Dame Sate Rank

    Oaks Christian State Rank

    Damien Sate Rank

    LV Lutheran

    Can you tell me which team doesn’t belong in this group?

    Criteria…I see your point but still think State rankings should trump enrollment as LVL proved Basketball is the easiest sport to monitor, improve and climb the ranks.

    But like you said neither one of us were asked and we have to accept things as they are and compete ..right?

  • criteria

    CIF doesn’t do state rankings. Those numbers you got (BTW only 3 of the teams you listed are in Salesian’s division) are from some other website, like maxpreps or calpreps. Maybe if CIF did state rankings, they could use them, but they don’t.

    It’s not about enrollment trumping anything. Enrollment is one of the factors considered when placing a school in a division. The other factor is playoff performance over the past 4 seasons. Salesian were in the Semifinals a few seasons ago. If they prove on the court (rather than in a preseason ranking) that they don’t belong, then they will move down next season.

    On another point, what happened to Salesian? They went from CIF Semis to missing the playoffs in just 3 seasons. What happened?

  • Joe Amat

    Far more thought and effort goes into dividing the divisions than most people think. Essentially “criteria” is correct, but I’ll spell it out for you as the CIF Office spells it out for us.

    The CIF-SS Basketball Advisory Committee and SCIBCA Executive Committee have reviewed the basketball division criteria that we have used the previous 3 seasons. The following recommendations to adjust the original mechanics of this process have been adopted by these committees for implementation in the 2011-12 season. This is being done to further enhance the goal of this format which is to speak to the needs of each member school.

    Every year, schools will be placed into 2 groups based upon the predetermined state enrollment guidelines. One group will be for schools at 1250 students and below and the other group being schools at 1251 and above. These numbers are derived from the previous years CBED enrollment figures.

    1250 students and below: Schools will be placed into 5 original enrollment divisions. Divisions 4AA, 4A, 5AA and 5A will have 40-49 schools. A single Division 6 will be larger to allow for a larger pool of schools to fully fill a 32 team playoff bracket. This has been a problem the last 3 years in this division. 1251 students and above: Schools will be placed into 7 original enrollment divisions. These 7 divisions (1AA,1A,2AA,2A,3AAA,3AA,3A) will have 40-49 schools.

    Secondly, each member school will then have a cumulative CIF-SS playoff four-year point profile logged for the preceding four seasons (07-08, 08-09, 09-10, 10-11). These totals are accumulated with points earned by a win in rounds one through the finals of each season.

    (Schools receive 1 pt for wins in 1st round, 2 pts for the 2nd round, 3 points for Qtr Finals, 4 pys for semis and 5 pts for a championship)

    The 4 year profile will then be weighted at 90% for the past 3 years (30% per year) and 10% for 4 years ago. This will put more focus on recent success in indentifying power schools while minimizing what was accomplished 4 years ago.

    At this stage, schools failing to qualify for the CIF-SS playoffs or not winning a playoff game over a preceding four-year span, thereby accumulating 0 weighted points, will then be moved down one-half division from their original enrollment grouping, in an effort to address competitive equity.

    Next, those power schools that have collected significant weighted point totals over 4 years will be moved up accordingly from their original enrollment grouping based upon the following:

    0.1-5.7 weighted points No movement, will remain in original enrollment grouping
    5.8-6.4 weighted points – will be moved up division (example: 2A to 2AA),
    6.5-7.1 weighted points – 1 full division (example 2A to 1A)
    7.2-7.7 weighted points 1-1/2 divisions
    7.8-8.3 weighted points – 2 full divisions
    8.4-8.9 weighted points 2-1/2 divisions
    9.0 weighted points and over – 3 full divisions.

    What hurts Salesian and other schools in 4AA is the 1250 ceiling for schools to move up. Some of those schools would have moved into D3, but were capped at D4. This was really done in reaction to the “public/private” debate to prevent successful private schools from being scattered throughout all divisions and gobble up more championships.

    But the good news is at the end of this year the Salesian semifinal pts will fall off

  • My Pal Joey

    As always Joey you’re a fountain of information however the system can be explained it’s flat wrong and serves who’s interest ultimately. Knowing how and why something happens doesn’t make it fair, but then who said life was fair…Salesian will compete as they always do. As we’ve seen when the right school pushes their self serving agenda the mountain moves. Isn’t that how the Lancers were done dirty and how the Spartans “lawyered” up once.
    Two years ago Baldwin Park’s Soccer Coach came whining about Salesian’s soccer program and now is a CIF Champion as well. I guess he forgot how close the Bladwin Park -Salesian games were or how hard his team fought…now they are the #1 team in that division, good for them. Let’s hope we still play each other considering how gracious the Mustang coach was on this blog to them.

    Criteria I knew that only 3 were in Salesian’s division…I was making a comparative point to show Damien’s ranking and how they were more in line with three. Point being it’s not playoffs points that matter as much as who’s NOT winning Championships.
    AS far as Salesian’s Basketball team goes…well they went the “youth” movement route…lol In Basketball “circles” that’s code for all the Freshmen play on the same travel ball team…lol

  • Joe Amat

    My Friend,

    The Mustangs are in a tough spot for sure. However, I do think this is as close to a good system as there can be, given there are 500+ schools, some public, some private. some big some small, plenty of demographic differences, and the need to fit into some kind of standard system for state playoffs.

    This way they start with what their enrollment says they are. Then where they are placed is in their own hands. If they do well over a span of 4 years, they gain point sand are moved up. But if they don;t win a playoff game over 4 years they move down.

    That being said if they win no playoff games the next two years they’d move DOWN to 4A and would have to get to the semifinals to move back up. Or, over the course of 4 years garner 6 pts, meaning they could get to the playoffs and win a game all 4 years, make it to the quarters in one year, and still not move up.

    What CIF didn’t want is a couple of those schools moving to 3A another couple to 3AA ending up with private school champions across the board. So they kept them all in 4AA. That’s why the 4AA/1250 cap is there.

    It seems that this is a system that will continually self-correct over time and be as fair to public/private , big or small.

  • My Pal Joey


    That’s where the system is flawed…at least in Basketball where enrollment size has less to do with a school’s proper division placement. La Verne Lutheran is a great example of a school which downloaded a slew of next level players and a next level coach and suddenly they’re playing Gorman and gaining national attention.

    Maybe that speaks to your point and mine as LVL will see what life is like after Coach Cooper moves on and LVL is how many divisions from where they once were…how is that fair to any one?

    Success shouldn’t be punished…nor should it be manipulated for the benefit of the few.

    So where does that leave Damien next year after we win CIF and play in the State Championship Game?

    Still think the Lancers should be in the Sierra League/Inland Division for everything including Football…hey If Notre Dame, Crespi and others did it why not the Lancers…see sometimes the haves get what the have nots can not…and that was my point all along.

    BTW…I hear Damien will be a monster in Baseball this year and St. Lucy’s will play La Salle for their back to back CIF chance.

    Would it be possible for their to be an Open division where teams could petition inclusion annually? Does that work?

  • Blah Blah

    Listen, all this talk about playoff success and enrollment is the periphery of what the real issue is in these new divisions. It’s all about the money. CIF doesn’t want smaller enrollment private schools in the upper divisions when it comes to playoffs since CIF takes a tremendous hit when it comes to the gate receipts when these smaller schools make it to the semi-finals or finals. Now with the smaller private schools capped at 4AA and relegated to places like Colony H.S., which is good venue but nothing like the Galen Center, CIF will make more money.