Courtesy of www.lynbrooksports.com, Hank Lawson, Ernie Lee (Gunns HS) and Walt VanZant (Wilcox HS).
Some people have asked about how the divisions are determined so here are a couple of explanations by Ernie and Walt.
11-23-09 Folks, Here's a chronology of how the divisions for the State meet have been determined (as far as I recall, my memory may be suspect on some details): 1. At the beginning, the divisions were split on a statewide level. That is, all sections had the same enrollment cut-offs (with all SF, O, and LA schools in the largest schools division). Pretty soon, however, there were large disparities within sections where sections like the CCS would have a large imbalance in terms of the number of schools in each division. This led to.... 2. Allowing schools to "opt up" in division. That is, a school could move up into a larger schools division as long as it did so by a certain date (sometime in October). The thought would be that the best schools would move into Division 1. But what ended up happening (particularly in the CCS where the top schools were generally not the largest schools) was that schools would cherry-pick divisions to try to win CCS or qualify for the state meet. This seemed to hurt competition within a section, so that led to.... 3. The CIF banned "opting up", but allowed each section to determine the enrollment cut-offs between divisions within a range. This was very good in maintaining competitive balance within each section. However, as the disparity of school sizes between sections continued to grow, the ranges started to limit the sections. In particular, Division 1 in the SS started becoming much bigger than the other divisions. Which led us to... 4. The current set-up, where each section could pretty much align the divisions however they want (with the exception of "protecting" the smallest division). Coach Ibarra commented above about the State meet being the meet that mattered most. Whether you agree or not, note that ALL of the changes in the past have been geared towards improving competitive balance at the individual section level. -ernie lee. Gunn Cross Country. 11-24-09 There has been extensive coverage of the CCS cross country division splits in recent days. So, I thought that I would provide background information that I received when attending the 2008 post-season cross-country sports committee meeting. Although some (and maybe many) might disagree with the decision of the committee that recommended the present division split system, the committee members had knowledgeable and experienced individuals who carefully considered the subject when making their decision. In May of 2008 the CIF Federated Council decided to allow the individual sections to determine placement of their schools for volleyball, basketball, and cross country. The Executive Committee of the CCS unanimously supported the CCS president’s recommendation to from a “Blue Ribbon” Committee to research and suggest various methods of splitting the divisions in the CCS for the three sports in issue. Assistant Commissioner Steve Filios was put in charge of this committee. Ten members were placed on the committee, including – John Detar of Thomas More Doc Scheppler of Pinewood Jeff Lamb of Milpitas Stu Waters of Soquel Chris Hansen of Leland Kevin Donohue of Serra Bill Daskarolis of Aragon Roger O’Sullivan of NMC Terry Ward of Bellarmine Rich Young of Serra The Committee considered the following items – 1. Review of current system. 2. What are other sections doing? 3. How does our section membership compare with other CIF sections? 4. What is best for our section considering our membership? 5. What proposals might accomplish our section philosophy while maintaining competitive equity in State competitions. The Committee spent a considerable amount of time reviewing information in order to come up with a philosophy when determining how to split its divisions. The philosophy was as follows: 1. All division championships in the CCS are important and valid. 2. Altering the division placement to insure success in a state championship or to insure that the strongest teams/programs are grouped into a single division are not a primary objective. 3. Division placement should be based on fairness and equity for all member schools eligible for post-season play. The original proposal was to split all five divisions equally. This proposal was presented to the volleyball, basketball, and cross country sports committees, the Athletic Directors, the League Commissioners, and the Executive Committee of the CCS for their comments. The final decision was to split divisions 1 through 4 evenly and all schools with enrollment of 500 or less would be placed in division 5. Walt VanZant Wilcox HS