Monday, December 03, 2012

CA State XC Entries for 2013

Thanks to former Gunn HS coach Ernie Lee for figuring out the changes for next season.  Please keep in mind that the following numbers are unofficial and definitely not set in stone.

DI boys - CCS up to 3, SDS down to 2
DI girls - no change
DII boys - SDS up to 4, CS down to 2
DII girls - NCS down to 2, no one qualifies for the vacant spot. I don't know how this will be resolved
DIII boys - no change
DIII girls - SDS up to 4, CCS down to 2
DIV boys - SDS up to 3, NS up to 3, CCS down to 2, CS down to 2
DIV girls - no change
DV boys - SDS up to 3, NS down to 1
DV girls - no change

For reference, here are the entries for this season.
http://www.cifstate.org/images/Cross_Country/2012_XC_Team_Entries.pdf

Here is an explanation on how the process works from Ernie:
"Basically, you count up the number of top 10 finishes in the past 4 years for each section and the fraction of those out of the 40 total possible positions is the fraction of the "extra" team spots available (note, because the baseline numbers are different for the different divisions, there are 5 extra spots in DI, 7 in DIV, and 8 in the other divisions). If sections are tied, then the tie breaker is the section with the most recent top 10 finish and if it's still tied then it's the highest placement for the most recent top 10 finish."

20 comments:

NCSftw said...

It seems like NCS D3 and D5 boys should get extra spots.... They both had several teams in the top 10. Isn't that how spots are decided/allocated?

Albert Caruana said...

Explanation on how the numbers are crunched is added above.

Nils said...

Since sum of top ten finishers in the past 4 years is a rolling number, this tends to smooth out variation, rewarding consistently better sections; do I have that right?

Anonymous said...

Doesn't sections with more teams have better odds to push out teams in the top 10?

Nils said...

Is the objective to give every RUNNER, every TEAM, or every SECTION an even chance? Seems to me that these are not necessarily compatible goals.

Marty Beene said...

Regarding the DII girls, it wouldn't seem to make sense to take away a spot from NCS if no one qualifies to take it. Isn't the purpose of the re-calibration of how many spots each section gets to reward a section that is performing exceptionally relative to other sections. If no section qualifies for an increase in spots, that would seem to be an indication that the status quo is appropriate.

I took a quick look at the results from the past few years and found a couple of things to support not taking away a spot.

Yes, it is true that the average performance of NCS girls teams has dipped a little over the past 3 years.

However:

No NCS team has finished in last place, so it's not as if they are jogging along at 8-minute pace or anything;

This year, which was the "worst" average performance in the past few years, was actually completely appropriate if you look at who they are, specifically their experience level. If you take the average grade of the scoring 5 of all the teams, you would expect the most experienced teams to be near the top and the least experienced to be near the bottom. Casa Grande came in 21st place - they tied for the youngest scoring 5 at an average grade of 10.0. The next "worst" NCS team was College Park in 20th place, and then Maria Carillo was 17th. Those two teams were tied (with 2 other schools) for the 3rd youngest scoring 5 at 10.2.

I know average age/grade is not one of the criteria, but in the absence of some other section "qualifying" for an additional spot, it makes sense to look at the big picture, i.e., is NCS under-performing at State? I don't think they are.

Albert Caruana said...

The interesting point about the Division II spot is that it should go to the SS but they are already capped at 7 (the maximum allowed for all sections) so the question is who takes that spot or does it just stay the same?

Jamie Pugh said...

Also don't forget that those SS and SD section schools in DII can have a thousand more students in them than the NCS DII schools. DII for the State is an Issue in my opinion.

Marty Beene said...

Just out of curiosity (because I am interested in how teams finish relative to their experience level), I compared the DII girls age/grade ranking with actual finish place (for this year only), and then averaged that for each section. Using that measure, I found that the "best" performing sections were the Sac-Joaquin and Southern, which averaged about 5 and 4 places higher than their experience would suggest they should. Next was NCS, at 0.2 places higher. The San Diego Section came in with an average placing of 1 spot below where experience would put them. CCS and Central were the final two, at about 6 spots and 10 spots below the "experience" ranking.

Anonymous said...

On the topic of NCS D2, shouldn't the conversation be on the boys teams? If we're using data from the previous 4 years, then it seems the boys teams from NCS D2 are the ones that should be under discussion.

Anonymous said...

Jamie has a great point... Seems as if section qualifiers really should be capped since there is no state CBED. Of course Nor Cal schools will be hurting in D1-D4 as you pointed out we are at a major disadvantage regarding size of schools here.

Peter Brewer said...

If the SS should get that extra spot, but they are already capped, then the previous tie-breaker goes into effect.

Ernie Lee said...

Folks,
The problem in DII girls is that several sections do not have ANY top 10 finishes in the past 4 years.

In DII, after allocating each section with their baseline number of qualifiers, there are eight additional spots "up for grabs". The SS, with 28 top 10 placements in the last 4 years, should be getting at least five of them, but they are capped at 3. Thus, they receive the maximum of 7 spots (baseline of 4 plus 3 additional). The SDS, with 9 top 10 placements, get 2 additional spots. The CCS with 2 top 10 placements get one extra spot, and the SJS gets one extra spot with just one top 10 placement in the last 4 years. That accounts for 7 of the 8 available extra spots.

However, the CS, NCS, and NS do not have any top 10 placements in the past four years (O, SF, and LA do not get any DII qualifiers). That's why the last spot is unallocated based on the state criteria. In this case, do you go back 5 years to find another top 10 placement? Does the spot just get unused? Do you give the SDS the spot because they have the largest "fraction" out of the sections with top 10 placements?

Back when this procedure for determining team qualifiers for the state meet was implemented, I brought up this "nightmare scenario" to the Advisory Committee but we never specified how it would be resolved. Note that this same scenario is close to happening in DIII boys as well.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone else have a problem with SS and SD sections running schools with 2000+ in D3 when nor cal schools are nearly half the size? No wonder spots are being taken away. The State CBEDS need to be resolved here to make a fair playing field. Of couse schools double the size will be in the top 10 as the have greater depth. Ernie, Peter you seem to have some leverage here. Can or will anything ever be done? Or are we helplessly trending toward 16 spots for schools south of Bakersfield? Which would be fine if we too had 16 spots for nor cal + CS. Either level the playing field or expand the number of teams. Also there's a rumor of a SS split so they can get 7 spots x 2. What then?

Marty Beene said...

I don't think this is a nightmare scenario at all.

In my professional life, I know that it's important to use a tool as one step to determine the organization of something, but it's probably more important to look at the big picture. Why do we look at the section performances over the past 4 years (the tool)? I think (like I posted above) it's to account for a relative imbalance of performance. If one section is performing way better than others and another section is performing way worse, this system is a way to balance that. You take a spot away from one section and give it to the other. But there isn't an imbalance here. According to the tool (reviewing top 10 finishes over the past 4 years), it might appear that one or more sections are "under-performing." But in order to make a change, there should be another section that is over-performing. But there isn't, except for one section that generally has larger schools than all of the others, which the "cap" seems to accidentally address, at least partially.

If a lack of top 10 performances is, in and of itself, a reason to take spots away from sections, then should we just whittle down the total number of teams to 10 over time? Of course not.

So the tool says to take away a spot, but (to me) looking at the big picture says to just leave things the way they are unless something else happens (i.e., one section starts over-performing).

hank said...

I believe, that in case of a tie, they ought to then look at Top 12 placing for the last 4 years, if still a tie go to Top 14 and so on until the tie is broken.

hank

Peter Brewer said...

Much of what has been said here has been duly noted the last few years. There was even a proposal floated by the Sac-Joaquin section to add a 6th division for cross country to accommodate the largest schools. It would have then evened out the remaining division for all of the non-SS sections. It was forwarded by the management committee to the Federated Council but was denied essentially on the fact that the new Division would have been, at the State level, mostly a replication of the SS Finals. This was seen as adding a division that was not a state-wide competitive area.

The concern has not gone unnoted, nor unaddressed in discussion. The current thought is to add more boxes on the starting line at the State meet and thus add more entries per division. This discussion has been made possible by chip timing, which removes the finish line bottle neck of previous years. This idea remains in the discussion stage, but is at least a beginning towards bringing more teams to the championships that merit inclusion.

Al Berrin said...

Al Berrin: If we were all starting from a level playing field, this system would make some sense. But the St. Ignatius team which took ninth in the state meet this year, has 1000 students less than some of the other teams on the starting line.
If we are not going to address the problem of sections being able to decide where they can cap each of their sections, then our section should protect our interests by making sure we distribute our teams in a way which will bring the section the most success. St. Ignatius has been moved up to Division II next year which means we will be competing against teams which are double our size. When we talked to Steve Filios about this, he threw up his hands and said it was out of his hands. This was something that was going to be looked at by a "subcommittee" to see if it is unfair. It is appalling to me that Northern California coaches continue year after year to see the inequality and don't do anything about it. I talked to Walt Lang at the state meet. He has the figures concerning how inequitable our present system is, and unless there are some changes and action from our coaches, it really doesn't matter how good northern California coaches are at their jobs, we will continue being pummeled because our teams are in the wrong divisions.

Anonymous said...

"But the St. Ignatius team which took ninth in the state meet this year, has 1000 students less than some of the other teams on the starting line. "

That's not true. SI has a CBED of 1451. The DIII upper cut-off in the SS is 2099. And remember that that SS range for DIII is 1251-2099, so even in the SS St. Ignatius would have been a DIII school.

Because of the large disparity in school sizes among the sections, the only way to have the same ranges for every section and maintain some semblance of section level fairness is to reduce the number of divisions.

Anonymous said...

This is a simple way to make it fair on a section level:
Each section gets a certain number of entries based on CBEDS. Sections determine their own divisions and qualify teams per that divisions. Then before state they take the top 30 teams for D1, next 30 D2. It's a simple, simple fix. They do this currently for football, soccer, softball, etc. on the section level. Thus 4 or 5 teams may be in D3 from ccs but only on in D1. On a side note I find it hilarious that SI is crying foul. For a school that is 500 larger than some of the other D3 schools they beat up on is crying about racing schools 500 larger then they are. Fact is I don't think any WCAL school can say anything as they give financial aid to top athletes (how much do you think Gordon from Mitty basketball pays to go to school). Get over it. Truth is, you are an "open" division in football and basketball and should be D1 in cross. If you disagree open your books. Yes state is not fair. But I'd rather have a fair section any day. Until cif fixes this on a state level section is what needs to be preserved.