Monday, September 28, 2015

Rotating Schedule for Stanford Invitational

I am fairly certain that I am not the only coach that feels this way but I hope that the Stanford Invitational will go to a rotating schedule starting next year. As it stands now, the schedule has the Division IV races first followed by the college races, Division I, Seeded, Division II, Division III and Division V. 

I sent an email to the meet directors which you can see below that includes my suggestion for an improved schedule. I would also be supportive of them moving the seeded races to 9am, follow with college races and then rotate all the other divisions. 

If you agree or disagree, feel free to comment below. If you have a better idea, feel free to email the meet director. His email address can be found at this LINK.

Here is the email I sent.
Thanks again for another successful Stanford Invitational. I was there from the first to last race and everything went off without a hitch. 

I am emailing to share my thoughts on the current schedule which has been the same for at least the past 5 years. I coach at a Division V school and every year we compete in the last two races (3pm and 3:30pm). Before the schedule was changed (I believe when coach Miltenberg was hired) we used to have the first two races every year (9am and 9:30am). I certainly have been able to experience the best conditions (1st two races) and toughest conditions (last two races).

I believe that in fairness to all competing schools, my suggestion is to leave the college races where they are and move up the seeded races to follow the college races. That way, those four races get the best conditions regardless of how warm it is on that day. From my own experience, it's usually quite hot on the last Saturday in September. The rest of the divisions can be rotated yearly so that no division gets the worst conditions every year. This year the order was 4, college, 1, seeded, 2, 3, 5. That would mean next year, you can have the schedule as 1, college, seeded, 2, 3, 5, 4. The following year, 2, college, seeded, 3, 5, 4, 1. And so on.

The Clovis Invitational and the CA state meets both rotate their schedule and it works out very well. You have a top notch prestigious meet which will always attract many teams no matter the schedule. However, I think a rotating schedule would be very well received and an improvement from the current one.

Anyways, that is my 2 cents worth. Thank you for reading.


Anonymous said...

Stanford only cares about the $$$'s. That would be a big effort to change the schedule.

Anonymous said...

I'm usually not a big fan of Rich Gonzalez at PrepCalTrack, but he nailed it this year when he said Stanford had great performances but not great showdowns. There are too many races and the fields are watered down. They could easily cut the number of races in half, improve competition and avoid the mid-to-late afternoon heat with this set up:

- Seeded (top 25-30 teams)
- Large Schools (1500 enrollment and up)
- Small Schools (less than 1500 enrollment)

If they rotate races every year great, otherwise here is a sample schedule:

Seeded Boys 9:00am
Seeded Girls 9:25am
College Women 9:50am
College Men 10:30am
Small School Boys 11:00am
Small School Girls 11:30am
Large School Boys 12:00pm
Large School Girls 12:30pm

A better meet in my opinion but honestly I don't think Stanford really cares about the HS portion of the meet.

Albert Caruana said...

I don't think changing the schedule is that much of an effort. It's a very simple change.

As for the 2nd poster, I do like your schedule idea. My only hesitation is that the Stanford Invite gives us small schools one of the few opportunities to race schools our size. It also gives really good teams a chance to race similar competition in the seeded race.

As for Rich Gonzalez and his comment, the Stanford Invitational has always been a primarily NorCal meet. Over the past few years, we have seen teams like Arcadia, Mayfield, La Costa Canyon etc make the trip up north. We will never see many of the top SoCal teams come down to the Stanford Invite because they have plenty of competitive meets in their area like Woodbridge and Mt. SAC and when they travel they go to meets like Clovis which is more important to them then running at Stanford.

Anonymous said...

Albert, I should have quoted Gonzalez's 38 state ranked teams spread across 12 races. At the end of the day, 14 races is too many and D3 and D5 have been getting the worst part of the weather going back 6-7 years. Frankly it's a missed opportunity for the sport and Stanford as a majority of the HS athletes/parents don't even get to watch the morning college races since their races are in the afternoon...

Anonymous said...

This is the exact schedule, 12 races, we will see at the future state championships. The seeded race is a reality. But teams will be forced there so we will see teams like Santa Cruz, Aptos and Campolindo go head to head.

As for Stanford I have no problem with the set up. It gives more teams a chance to race. Clovis, Mt. Sac, Woodbridge all have divisions. You have to with such a huge number of teams want to run. Which ultimately our sport is about.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Albert's suggestion about a rotating schedule. Having coached D5 for years, I vaguely recall being the first, or maybe second, race in 2010. Prior to that, we went first in 2006 or '07. I no longer race Stanford. Going last occasionally is okay, but year after year, no thank you, and creating a rotating schedule would not be difficult at all. I disagree with the complaint about too many races. The meet is organized and timely. A few of you might recall back to 2005, the last year Stanford ran a JV short-course event!

Sure, it's always about the money. Would going BACK to a rotating schedule reduce income? I think the current schedule actually reduces income, because there are others who also have pulled out.

Coach Tim said...

I am in favor of rotating the schedule, and propose they adopt the same schedule as the state meet (with the obvious difference of the College and Seeded races getting preferred time slots). Give the teams with section and state aspirations a chance to race at a similar time of day. Logistics for a 9am race are different than a 3pm race, and having an early season chance to go through the motions could prove valuable later on.

They're pretty firm about limiting the field sizes, so if they had fewer races they'd accept fewer teams and make less money (I doubt a smaller meet would cost proportionally less). If they were willing to do the legwork to make a "Sweepstakes, Fast, Medium, Slow" structure, that could get really interesting, but I doubt it would be feasible.

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