LONG BEACH >> It’s a new day in the CIF Southern Section.As many expected, Proposal SS522, which is known as the “Playoff Groupings by Competitive Equity” proposal, passed at Wednesday’s CIF-SS council meeting at the Grand in Long Beach.The proposal was approved by a vote of 74-10-1. The voters were made up of representatives from the 88 leagues in the Southern Section, as well as a handful of at-large representatives.School enrollment size will no longer determine playoff divisiod, nor will league placement. Instead, each school in each sport will be evaluated on an annual basis by their performance over the last two years, using regular season record, strength of schedule and playoff performance to determine what division they’ll be placed in starting this for the 20-16-17 season.Power rankings updated each year will determine playoff divisions for each sport. Six different teams in one league could all end up in different divisions if that’s where the power rankings place them.The new proposal will affect every “bracketed” sport in the CIF-SS, including football, volleyball, soccer, basketball and baseball, among others. Not affected would be “meet” championship sports like cross country and track and field.
CIF-SS Commissioner Rob Wigod: “I’ve been saying and I believe that this is as big a change as we’ve made in our history, in a 100 years.”
— Mike Guardabascio
LONG BEACH — Without any debate or conjecture, the CIF-Southern Section passed a historic motion on Wednesday that will drastically alter the way playoff divisions are grouped.Instead of grouping playoff divisions by league, they will now be grouped by teams based on competitive equity beginning with the 2016-17 school year. The motion applies to all sports.This means that teams from the same league could be placed in different playoff divisions depending on their competitive equity rating based on the past two season’s worth of data. Teams will find out their playoff divisions each August and their placement can change annually.The motion passed Wednesday with a vote of 74 to 10, with 1 abstention. As for the local tally, only the Hacienda League voted against it. The Baseline League, which has only one local team in Damien, also voted against it.
West Covina AD Brian Murphy: “I don’t think it’s so much that we weren’t in favor of it. My perspective, and I’m not going to speak for the rest of the schools, is that I think it’s a good idea for all sports, except for football. And I don’t think we know how football is going to play out as far as how they’re going to re-division it and how they’re going to do their rankings. Some of us weren’t comfortable with maybe a second place or third-place team not guaranteed entry into the playoffs depending on how the divisions played out. I’m curious how they’re going to do the rankings and do the divisions. Where does Los Altos get placed? This year they missed the playoffs and two years ago they made the finals. Do they get moved up a division?”
Damien baseball coach Andy Nieto: “I look at it different, doesn’t make it right or wrong. I would welcome the challenge and try to figure out how to compete at that next level.”
— Aram Tolegian
Stephen Ramirez’s take: I like the new plan, which should allow most playoff brackets more balanced than they have been in the past. The only problem I see is a “tweener” program, which can get stuck in a playoff division it’s not competitive in. If it has some success, but not a lot, or is not really bad, it can get stuck. But I like it, because in theory all the divisions in all sports should be competitive. But the really challenge will come when and who sets up the divisions. Let’s hope its not like the now defunct Bowl Championship Series computer. Give it time.