Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Is the California State Cross Country meet fair competition?

Check out the comments below as the discussion continues
Check out Walt Lange's (Jesuit HS coach) terrific work on this topic which you can find at the following link:

Thoughts and comments? Ideas?


Coach Ibarra said...

Walt did a great job with this at the clinic and it's great having such a great coach leading the charge on this issue. Funny thing towards the end of his presentation, I was remembering back in 2004 when our team was bumped up to DII that year and I saw the enrollment figures for the schools we would face at state, I almost died! Ironically, Jesuit was in DII that year :)
Although we got very lucky and beat them that year, I would rather stay in DIII and not have to face them again ;)
I would LOVE to see the state streamline the figures across the state and not leave it up to the sections to determine things. It's a can of worms that has been opened. If that doesn't work then I hope the NCS can lead the way in making some much needed changes... Press on!
Coach Ibarra
North Monterey County

Jason J said...

Ingenious. I regret not attending the clinic now.

George Ramos said...

I agree something should be done.

What if the sections and the State had different enrollment criteria? For instance, allow the sections to determine their own enrollment brackets for divisions, but at the State Meet a school's enrollment might change according to the Statewide enrollment brackets. Don't they already use this strategy for basketball in California?

The week of the State Meet would be chaotic in that it would not immediately be clear as to who was racing whom. Since I'm not the one who has to deal with logistics, I can propose anything I want!

On a loosely related note, I'm not exactly sure what the real point of the first slide is (the one from Coach Reeves, my mentor btw). I may be an English teacher who doesn't know how to manipulate statistics, but would that slide be more effective if it charted the actual size of the schools, not the division (since the divisions include schools of varying sizes, the point of the whole presentation)?

Educate me, someone!

Albert Caruana said...


The reason why Walt used that slide first is that it clearly shows that bigger schools run faster than smaller schools. The SS has the biggest schools in most of the divisions which gives them a big edge.

Coach Small said...

Coach Ibarra,

While I agree with you that it would be nice to see fair competition at the state level it is unrealistic. The majority of schools in the CCS would be D3 leaving a major void in D1 and D2.

The State Cbeds would likely be based on the Southern Section standards since they have the most schools:

D1: 2650+
D2: 2150-2649
D3: 1251-2149

(D4 and D5 currently have state standards)

That would leave only 4 schools that would compete in D1 (Independence, Ballarmine, San Benito and Milpitas)

13 schools in D2.

49 schools in D3.

27 schools in D4.

19 schools in D5.

This is why I think the top 3 schools over-all should qualify for an open division. It would settle the question who's best of the best and equal out the divisions a little.

There is no easy solution. The thing is not everyone makes state and equality at the CCS is more important to most.

MissionHarrier said...

If something is to be done, then I propose creating statewide enrollment divisions and have a committee select teams and individuals to participate.

I suggest a meet between Southern Cal (LAS/SS/SDS)and Northern Cal (all other sections) in order to ensure statewide representation.

For example, an even number (such as 20) of teams with half from Northern Cal and half from Southern Cal.

Off subject, but this proposal impacts individuals from non-qualifying schools since section divisions will not match state divisions. I suggest only selecting 12 individuals from each half of state, regardless of enrollment, and put them in the DI race. My belief is that the best individuals should compete in the most competitive race.

KO said...

I noticed most of us become much better coaches by taking our teams state meet results and plugging them into the next lower division. It's beyond ridiculous to contest a "state championship" and hand half the teams this advantage.

How about adding another division -1A boys / 1A girls - to accommodate the larger southern schools and we can then compete in "divisions" that are actually level, equal, and fair.

And while we're at it - shouldn't private schools be ...

Kevin Ostenberg
Del Oro XC

Anonymous said...

On a separate note.....maybe not... it came to my attention today that the NCS adopted a policy last December that took effect July 1st that moves teams up a division if they win three consecutive NCS Titles. I was not aware of this. So.... University will compete in D-4 next season in Cross based on this. The theory is that a team should face "tougher" competition if a "dynasty" appears to be happening. There will be no place for D-1 schools to go. It will have no effect on them

So..... this will be interesting to this topic. While were looking to level the playing field our section could penalize teams for winning and then make us move up divisions.... Penalizing success?????

Albert or anyone aware of this policy??

Jim Lynch

Anonymous said...

i think oregon has 6 divisions and a lot less athletes than ca. why not add yet another division?

George Ramos said...

That new NCS policy seems to conflict with the state mandated enrollment ceiling for Division V.

What happens when section policy conflicts with state policy? I would imagine that state policy wins out.

Albert, I do know the intention of Walt and Ken's first slide; I think, though, that it hides smaller school in higher divisions who perform well.

Anonymous said...

"That new NCS policy seems to conflict with the state mandated enrollment ceiling for Division V."

No, it doesn't. The ceiling only prevents school larger than 500 students from dropping down to DV, not the other way around. In other words, there is no enrollment floor for any division.

Coach Ibarra said...

Good posts...
Josh, I do see how the CCS schools don't match up with SS figures but this can be resolved by leaving our CCS meet the SAME. The figures we have can be used to set up a divisional championship for CCS. Teams would win titles based on racing schools of similar size at CCS...
Now, the tricky part is taking results from the CCS Championships and placing teams in appropriate races at STATE...
I think we need to think outside the box a bit and see how we could get CCS schools to line up at state and actually race schools "about" their size. It does mean that DIII in CCS would be very well represented but so be it! I would LOVE to see how the best CCS teams do against whatever the other sections have to offer... For one, I think CCS would would do very, very well, especially in DIII.... The one year we were bumped up to DII and almost won state, we could have easily won DIII, where most teams our size were racing...
Think about some of our best DII and even some of our DI teams and think about how they would perform at state by going down one division...
Would this change who makes state and who stays home? Of course.
I'll just say this, we've been very lucky to got to state quite often BUT I, for one, would rather stay home and allow a better section team represent CCS at state if they are DESERVING. If we are deserving, let's go!
It would take quite some work to figure things out and see how things could look...
Food for thought...
Coach Ibarra

MissionHarrier said...

I agree with Coach Ibarra in that CCS schools shoud be competing against like sized schools at CCS.

With the current system of allocating spots in the state meet based on finishes over the past three years, it would benefit the CCS to SELECT teams to compete at the state meet based on enrollment divisions of the largest section. Continuing the current selection process hinders CCS representation at the state meet.

A couple of examples: 1. A mock output of results from the CCS meet with schools within the enrollment divisions of the largest section to determine the teams. 2. Fastest team times of schools within the enrollment divisions of the largest section

I believe that CCS in the future will should send one Division I school to state, but will increase numbers at Division 2 and Division 3 based on better state meet results.

MissionHarrier said...

Also, Oregon only races 4 times (combining lowest three levels into one race)with its six divisions. Plus, Oregon places its schools in leagues/regions based on like division (enrollment). So, Oregon qualifies teams to the state meet where all teams are at the same enrollment division across all regions.

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