Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Do you have a question for an athlete, coach or parent?

If you are an athlete and you have a question about race strategy, training or anything else that is pertinent to Track & Field and/or Cross Country, please feel free to add your question in the comment section below.

Same goes for any coaches or parents out there. I will do my best to answer your question(s) and if I am stumped, I am sure there are plenty of others out there that can help answer your question(s).


277 comments:

1 – 200 of 277   Newer›   Newest»
Anonymous said...

Why do some leagues have trials and finals for distance races while others put their top runners from the season through directly to the finals? Which is a better test for moving on to sections?

Albert Caruana said...

I think the number of runners will dictate whether or not a league will have trials for the distance races. In our league, we do have trials in the 1600 and 800 and go straight to finals in the 3200.

Considering that most section level athletes will have already participated in competitive invitationals, I think that aside from winning their league races, most of them are focused on advancing to the next round.

Anonymous said...

How close to the league finals do you start speed work? Also, do you hold off 3200m runners late in the season - having them run more 1600m races leading up to leagues?

Albert Caruana said...

I think it's a misconception that speed is added late in the season for distance runners. Speed should be in place along with other components throughout the year. I believe that runners run fast late season because of a lighter training load and a more concentrated effort to finish in a top spot.

I think you only need about 3-4 3200s during the season before league finals. The other meets can be used to race 400s, 800s and 1600s.

Anonymous said...

Are the league entries to CCS equitable? Seems like allowing entries based on school and league size when there are no divisions in track hurts the medium size league with lots of talent (WCAL) and advantages a smaller league with much more concentrated talent. No?

Murr said...

I have always thought the CCS entries need to be revised to be more fair. Look at the 3200. 10 of the top 30 (typical number that go to the CCS semi) current times come out of the WCAL yet only 2 (possibly another 1 or 2 on time) will go. Meanwhile the WBAL has 2 of the top 30 and both will go (is Jake allowed to go yet). How is that fair to the other 4 to 5 WCAL kids that currently rank in the top 20?

Albert Caruana said...

No, the league entries to CCS are not equitable. When you base entries purely on size of schools, you will get athletes that belong in CCS who can't advance from their own league. The at-large marks don't really come into play because if you get under the at-large mark, I would say the majority of athletes and teams are already in an automatic qualifying position.

I have contended for many years that CCS should have two divisional meets after their league finals. You have a Division I-III meet and a Division IV-V meet (can go 1-II and III-V as well). That way, more athletes get to experience participating in a post season meet. The majority of the sections in California already have divisional competition in track, why doesn't CCS?

Albert Caruana said...

The WCAL is the league that gets really screwed in terms of athletes/teams that advance to CCS. With the quality of their programs, there is no way that their league gets only two auto bids.

Jake will be eligible to compete in CCS action next season.

Murr said...

Albert, that is a great suggestion. How do we get that done? We have too many great distance runners in the CCS to leave them sitting on the bench at the end of the year. Just look at the great F/S kids that could benefit from a big meet at the end of the year to push them to the next level in subsequent years. How else can we catch up to the larger sections down south?

Anonymous said...

Why does the WCAL put up,with this? Can they join the San Fran Section and take all their talent with them? I think it is time they demand better representation at sections.

Albert Caruana said...

In order to make such a change, a league has to start the process from within and then present it at the CCS Track and Field pre or post season meetings. If it is passed by the league reps, that potential change will then go forward to the ADs and board of managers. The process takes at least a year so that change could possibly be made for next year but not very likely.

WCAL will not move to San Francisco section. That does nothing for all their other programs as far as competition. You have to think about all sports and not just XC and TF when you consider such a move.

Sal said...

Albert, when you are putting together your XC and Track schedules, do you consider different invitationals based on the talent you have that year or do you go to the same ones each year. Example: you have a sure state qualifier - do you schedule the Clovis invite vs staying home and going to CS (especially if CCS is at Toro)?

Albert Caruana said...

I think for the most part, most teams go to the same invitationals each season provided the date still works for that upcoming season. As coaches, we prefer meets that are organized and give our athletes good competition. When you do have a talented athlete that could potentially make it to the state meet, you have to consider more quality meets for that athlete.

For XC, you have to consider the timing of your league meets as well as location of your league final and section final. Your runners should experience racing on both courses before those meets. The same goes for Woodward Park if you have an individual or team that you think can really compete at the state final.

Anonymous said...

Coaches, do you ever have your kids jog the regular league meets if they are coming off or going to a big invitational?

Albert Caruana said...

I don't know about jogging because if that is the case, they can just do an easy run on their own. I think some coaches may have their athletes do events at their league meets that may set them up for their next Invitational.

Anonymous said...

It goes beyond distance running. Would you like to be a thrower in that league with only two spots that are pretty muck locked up? No thanks.

The argument has always been that the kids who are supposed to go to state go. So who cares.

It will only change when coaches or ultimately parents complain. Make your voices heard.

Albert Caruana said...

A little historical perspective is that the impetus for the at-large marks for qualification to the state meet was due to two shot putters in the Northern Section. I believe both had throws over 60 feet but the NS only got one automatic bid. That led to the addition of the current at-large marks.

For those people that believe that only section finalists should compete at CCS beyond the auto bids, I disagree. In NCS, you have four meets that take place after the league finals and they are AWESOME! You have three area meets and one class (divisional) meet. Teams compete as a team and vie for section team titles. From there, athletes and teams qualify to the section semifinals.

The experience for young athletes to compete in a section meet is invaluable. It shows them what the next level looks like and excites them for the following season. The way it is now, most athletes think their league final is the final meet.

Murr said...

At the very least the CCS should change the auto entries to either 1 or 2 per league and then fill out the rest of the field with the at-large kids and then the fastest from the season, including the league finals. E.g. 9 leagues contribute 18 kids to the 3200 from league finals, the next 12 kids kids come from the fastest registered (pick MS or athletic.net) times. Works for sprints and field events too. Who do we call to get this done? I am sick of complaining and not taking action!

Albert Caruana said...

Such a proposal needs to be initiated by a league.

Hank said...

Albert - You know why there is no Divisional meet, you were around (weren't you?) when they had the North/South meets and then they got cancelled. Same reason applies now (although it'd be an interesting experiment to reinstate the North/South meets for one year and see if the reasons for cancelling the meet still do apply).

hank

Albert Caruana said...

Hank I do remember which is why I brought up the divisional meets idea. You can have awards for the top teams (top 2-3) which I think would eliminate a lot of those scratches. There would be more of an incentive for athletes to compete at the meet.

Anonymous said...

Take a look at the following and let me know if the CCS entries are not fair or just bat S crazy. BVAL gets 8, SCAL gets 6, PAL gets 5, MBL gets 5, and WCAL gets 2. Remember that the WCAL has 10 of the 30 best 3200 meter times (this works for most distances as well). The last qualifier as of today in each league has a current time of (CCS rank): BVAL #8 10:08.43 (CCS #62); SCVAL #6 9:50.39 (#30); PAL #5 10:37.11 (#138!), MBL #5 10:01.13 (#47); and WCAL #2 9:31.27 (#8). The other WCAL kids that probably will not make it because of this rotten system are CCS #: 8, 9, 12, 14, 16, 17, 23, 24, and 29. Fastest of which is 9:31.27 and the slowest 9:50.33, about 47 seconds better than the #5 PAL qualifier.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, double counted WCAL #2 (CCS #8) but you get the idea.

Murr said...

This is an outrage. Can someone with a statistical background put together a spreadsheet for all of the track and field events? If this is truly representational of the entries over the last 3 to five years then we will have something to take to the CCS. They are great at taking our money at the gate but looking after the kids that work so hard and should be rewarded is not at that top of their list. I think we should start a new group to make sure this never happens again.

Albert Caruana said...

You can't strictly use school size numbers to determine CCS automatic qualifying when quality is a pretty big factor in the next round. Every league should be represented and I think 2 auto from each league is fair. From there, you can then use the next best marks.

Anonymous said...

Albert, I agree. You can't base entries on size and then have a sectional race that does not have divisions based on size. You have to do one or the other. I think that it is time for the coaches to step up for the kids and demand the CCS make this right. I know that it will be a hard sell to the BVAL and SCVAL coaches but I have to think they know what is right for the sport and want the CCS to be fair to the kids.

Albert Caruana said...

It sounds like we all agree that the current system needs to be changed/altered. The next step is coming up with a proposal that could potentially replace the current system.

Joe said...

I have been following along and the post from 1:17 made me sick and ready for action. We need to form a working group, get all of our stats together, and make a proposal. Because everything takes a year to enact, we MUST do it now to make a change for next year. Albert, if you and Hank put out the word to everyone that needs to be in the room, I will commit the time to head up the effort. I'll email you separately to come up with a game plan. In the meantime, if you agree with the idea that the system has to be changed to make it more fair to the kids, chime in now so we can add you to the list.

Anonymous said...

@1:17 Your WCAL analysis was off just a little, probably just based on when you looked at the standings.

WCAL #2 is 9:24. = CCS #5.
WCAL #4 is 9:31. = CCS #10

And yes, if WCAL could send 8...
WCAL #8 is 9:41. = CCS #18
CCS 24 = 9:46.

The cutoffs are out of whack. There is little sympathy for WCAL on this site, but it's supposed to be about the kids. It's simply sad if the CCS trials or finals don't reflect the best athletes that chose to compete.

Joe said...

Anonymous 2:55, you are now on the stats team. Please give us your contact info so we can add you to the working group.

Anonymous said...

It shouldn't matter if people are not supportive or even care about the WCAL. This is about the kids. This year it is the WCAL, next year it could be the MTAL, WBAL, or the SCCAL that gets screwed. Why wait to find out. Let's act now!

Anonymous said...

The SCCAL is in this fight too. You need to be a sub 5 girl to get out of league. A cold or rainy day and elite runners are staying home.

I appreciate the outrage but no way the league reps and Steve Filos will not vote this through.

Those currently sitting at the table of power do not like the performance list idea due to the wind factor with sprints. So you will need to think of another way.

Personally track has changed the last 20 years. I don't think we'd see the scratches. A simple fix is an honest effort rule. If you scratch you're done the rest of the meet. This will allow alternates a chance to fit in.

I like the idea of top 24 north, 24 south (allows 48 qualifiers, just 3 heats) in a regional qualifying by time. If you are on the list you can pass and it goes down the list until heats are full. You can set the standard at the start of the season that averages the previous 3 years.
Top 8 in each advance to semifinals. (Heat winner, next 5 marks)

Anonymous said...

It's interesting that the CCS top 8, a very well respected meet and possibly a more exalted meet than the CCS meet itself (if only because they take the best kids regardless of arbitrary league alignment), uses current times and nobody has a problem with that. Why then would anyone have a problem using times to send the best kids to the section "best" meet at CCS?

Joe said...

Welcome SCCAL 4:16. Your input is welcome in this fight. Please send your contact information and you can be part of the working group. Joe

Albert Caruana said...

Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, it's important to note that all leagues have to be represented (top auto places whatever that number is) and all the best athletes will not always be able to participate at the section level. My contention is that the qualifying procedure is too restrictive and we can do a better job of allowing more kids to experience section races.

Anonymous said...

Clearly all leagues have to be represented. That's why the top 2 from each laegue and then the next X fastest is the best way to go. Can't see how that isn't fair to all involved.

Albert Caruana said...

Also, you have to figure out if you are indeed another another level and week of competition. For this season, that would mean all league meets have to be completed by Saturday, May 7th. The first round of competition (divisional finals) would be on Saturday, May 14th, semis on May 21st and Finals on Friday, May 27th.

Another option is to keep the league meets as is with final date of competition at Saturday, May 14th. The next round of competition would be Saturday, May 21st with the semis on Friday, May 27th and finals on Saturday, May 28th. You can also go Semis on Thursday and finals on Friday if you want to stick with the section final on Friday.

Those are logistics that need to be figured out before you make your proposal.

Joe said...

Everything other than what the CCS is doing now should be on the table. We have to get the best minds to join the working group.

Anonymous said...

If you want to make CCS run faster. You aren't making the final whether you run 9:40 or 10:05. So who cares which ones make it one more week.

Anonymous said...

The freshman that runs 9:40 and makes the CCS, runs 9:25 the next year and makes the finals, then runs 9:11 and goes to state as a junior. Who are you to tell him he can't run as a frosh because he can't run fast enough to overcome the insane CCS rules? Obviously you have no heart and no sense of fairness. The best kids should go no matter how far you or anyone else tells them they can go!

Anonymous said...

Sure, and the guy that makes the Olympic team but can't get past the prelims, and the dumb guy that makes the prelims and can never make the finals should just stay home and not waste their time if they can't just "run faster." Why should anyone try if they can't be the best. That's what I tell my kids. If you are not the best, just give up! Nice.

Anonymous said...

Kid runs in Salinas in a 2.4 headwind and runs 11.18 and doesn't make it.
Kid in San Jose runs with a 2.4 tailwind runs 11.13 and makes it.

Fair?

If you want change you need to think beyond the distances.

Anonymous said...

That's the point. It's not a one size fits all issue. Maybe sprints are different from distance are different from jumps, etc. I think they already have a wind correction but is that good enough? What is fair is that the greatest number of kids who are near the top in their distance get to go. If you take 24 kids to CCS, the 20th kid might get screwed and there may be no system to address that, but should the 10th kid get screwed? Surely we can come up with system that works better and rewards the most kids.

Anonymous said...

Adding another week of competition is a huge hassle. Simply take the top 4 league finishers plus the next top times to complete the CCS heats.

Should FS & JV athletes be eligible? My heart says yes. Seriously though, coaches should enter them in the right level of competition in the first place.

Pierre Chan said...

The meet is called ccs semifinals. Why not base at-large qualifition on the 16th place data instead of 8th place? As it stands now semifinalist quality athletes are being excluded at the trials level by finalist data.

Anonymous said...

How much time would you subtract from a (Foot Locker West) Mt. Sac 5k in order to compare it to a time on the "standard" 2.93 mile course?

Anonymous said...

Hank's converter says a 17:00 time at Mt Sac 5k should be reduced by 1:25 for the 2.93m course at Golden Gate Park.

Albert Caruana said...

Here is the link to the converter just in case you didn't have it:
http://lynbrooksports.prepcaltrack.com/ATHLETICS/XC/CONVERTR/converter2007.html

You can also go back and look at race results from both races and find runners who ran both. You can find a pretty consistent difference for most of them.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I was referring to the CCS-Semis.

There is no sensible argument for a 9:30 kid to stay home while a 10:10 runner advances just be slaughtered, (possibly lapped) in the semis.

Adjusting the at-Large times and limiting the league qualifiers to 2 is an easy solution.

These are just examples for boys. 10:00, 4:30, 2:00, 52, 23, 11.5.
These could be minimum standards as opposed to auto-qualifers.

Ironically setting a lower CCS Semi qualifying standard would lead, better participation and a better competition. Yay!

Anonymous said...

You aren't thinking. Do you think any league that has more than two qualifiers currently will vote for less spots for their league.

What you are saying is fair. But will never pass a vote.

Anonymous said...

That's why we need 90% participation from the leagues and schools that are getting shafted and around 15% of the schools who benefit and know that the system is wrong and hurts the kids. Surely some will dig in their heels but if they care about the sport and put the kids over their private concerns, we can make make it happen.

A-fast-one said...

The primary issue i would have as a runner is not being able to qualify to section or state (by time) at any point in the season..

In this day and age of FAT times we should be able to perform our best all year-round and if it sticks, it fits! (swimming does this at the section level, no?)

In the case of having a "CCS Semi-Finals" as you called it, why not have Section "A" and "B" standards? A student who runs well during the year at a fair-weather invitational should make one or both of the section meets, despite what the weather/conditions are the day of league.

It's preposterous that this isn't already the case...

Anonymous said...

A-fast-one, some combination of automatic entries for each league, times at the league finals (at-large), and times during the season would be the best way to assure that the best kids get to the CCS semi-finals.

Gustavo Ibarra said...

1) every league gets 2 auto berths to CCS based on finish at their league finals.
2) soften the at-large marks a bit to allow more top athletes into the meet
3) qualifying marks can be throughout the season and sprint marks need to be made with wind gauges and legal winds (meets need to step up in this case)
4) cap entries to a certain amount based on desired heats at CCS semis. If you make the cut off you're in...
Sad to see so many deserving kids out after league...

Anonymous said...

Gustavo,
That sounds great!
How do the head coaches feel about this suggestion? How about more feedback from them?

Anonymous said...

Gus, This is right on the money. Can't imagine any coach, even from the larger leagues, who would not support this idea since it is most fair to the kids that have run the best during the entire season. Reduction in the current number of auto entries to make room for the truly deserving kids is the best way to go. This is now a movement and we have to start getting coaches and league officials on board to make a pitch to the CCS. Coaches, let's start hearing from you. Parents, whether this impacts your kid today, next year, or not at all, talk to your kid's coach about support the idea of bringing more equity to the leagues and, more importantly, fairness to the kids that bust their butts all year.

Anonymous said...

Um... Not one league will ever vote in reducing their entries. Ever.

Also remember BVAL is a combination of three leagues. SCVAL two. Thus they will not go lower than 6 and 4.

Anonymous said...

If they can't come to agreement on the number of entries, then there should be a better automatic minimum standard. They can send their #6-8 athletes to get lapped as mentioned earlier. But no one wants to see that, unless it's a special hardship case. Then it's actually inspirational.

I've seen how hard it has been for some boys to break 5:00 in the 16. So why on earth would you send a 5:05 runner and reject a 4:35 kid? IT MAKES NO SENSE!

Sometimes events may have extra heats. Consider it a banner season/bunker crop and move on. That just means more athletes, fans, concession revenue! And more recovery time for doubles & triples.

Pierre Chan said...

In most of these proposals, you are asking some leagues'coaches to relinquish automatic qualifying spots. The larger public school leagues will resist these proposals. I believe lowering the at large-mark to a semifinal standard (16th place) is the way to go. If we used this standard in 2015 (using 2012-2014 data) 124 at-large berths would have been created (WCAL-69, SCCAL-23, SCVAL-17, MTAL-5, WBAL-5, PAL-3, MTAL-1, BVAL-0). Only one event would have been significantly impacted-the girls 100m (14 berths based on 12.91 as avg 16th pl mark). This would self-correct over time as the quality of entrants improves. Laned events like the boys 100m and girls 100mh would have had 8 at large qualifiers. For distance the 1600m would have seen 7 at large berths for boys (4:28.03) and 8 for girls (5:15.99). The 800m standard would have let 1 more competitor in for each gender (1:59.55, 2:22.46) the 3200m (9:43.79, 11:43.85) would have allowed 5 boys and 6 girls to compete. The 16th place mark is still very strong. I don't feel that adding these athletes to the meet would add more than hour to the length of the meet, and they would certainly improve the meet's quality. More importantly, none of the leagues would have to give up anything. All but one league would stand to gain.

Hank said...

Gus - I agree with you, great idea.
Anonymous(s) - I agree with you, no League will want to reduce their automatics.
CCS folks - Without having talked to Filios about this, I'm sure their stance is still the same for why they dropped North/South, they won't want to add another meet.

So, 3 objectives, let's meet them all. My 2 cents...

Instead of advancing 32, let's go with 48. Two extra heats of the sprint events (per gender), one heat of the 1600 each and fold 8 additional runners into the two existing 3200 heats. Field events mean an extra flight for all events. No extra meet (CCS is happy), no one looses their automatics (Leagues are happy) and we advance 16 more all based on mark from Leagues and/or through out the season (all of us happy). I'll let someone else figure out the time schedule for all this, will make for a longer day but could it be any longer than K-Bell, I doubt it.

hank

Pierre Chan said...

* In the above post the MTAL would gain 6, MBL 1

Pierre Chan said...

Sounds good Hank

Anonymous said...

Hank, great suggestion. The quality in the area is only getting better and having more (and mostly better than the lower auto) kids in one more heat will showcase the depth of talent in the CCS. We need to get the ball rolling on this as soon as possible.

Sal said...

Even the WCAL haters can't disagree with this direction.

Anonymous said...

So BVAL gets 12 qualifying spots and WCAL gets 3 or 4? Isn't that making the problem worse?
After the automatic qualifiers (2 per league, so BVAL still gets 6) I'd suggest instead of CBEDs that give automatic qualifiers to leagues fill remaining spots with a performance list. Marks must be done at an invitational & wind legal after APRIL 1. These are at large qualifiers until a field of 48 is filled. This way most of the deserving athletes get in and automatic qualifiers stay with the leagues.

Anonymous said...

No, the BVAL (otherwise known as the hog of the CCS) gets their 8, as is the case today. If they have a kid beyond 8 that runs the at-large time or is In the top 48 (doubtful, and that is why we are where we are) they get to go. Let's face it, anything beyond 2 auto qualifiers per league is a nod to their power and a way of bypassing their veto of a more equitable system. Politics is the imposition of power. Works the same in HS sports as it does in DC.

Sal said...

What the F are we talking about! In the 3200 the #2 in the BVAL is #18 in the CCS. Their #8 (their last man with auto in) runs 10:08 and is #62 in the CCS. How is this even a debate???? Why do we care what the coaches say when they are wrong and the stats on our side?

Anonymous said...

If we advanced the top 48 3200m kids, WCAL would have 15 guys in the field. The top 32 would see 11 WCAL kids. As it is, they will get 3 or 4 kids. This is BS!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Have every league give up one automatic spot and then fill in these newly created open spots with a descending order lists of marks achieved only from league championships meets. Would the WCAL give up one of their two spots to get a shot at more entries?

Anonymous said...

This was going so well, but someone above touched on major flaw in the dual system.

If the at large times apply at any point in the season then after my top athletes qualify, I can put anyone I want in the league meet, and they advance to semis too. So I could have the real contenders and any other random kids too.

It not a wise plan but it cold happen.
Also the plan and penalties for scratches and no shows should be revisited.

Just use qualifying times like the Top8 meet.

Anonymous said...

A lot of you are confusing constructing higher-quality races with being fair.

If the emphasis is on qualifying by merit then why should leagues get ANY auto qualifiers? Answer: equity. Allowing top leagues to populate section races based on the merits of their runners will limit the representation of athletes from socioeconomically depressed schools with a high percent minority students. If you are the among best from your little region, league, neighborhood etc., you have earned the right to go get paced to a PR, or get your ass kicked, or maybe even squeak through to a final.

The spots a league gets for section IS and SHOULD REMAIN proportionate of the amount of students they represent. Any solution you come up with that changes this, tips the balance toward inequality.

I’m all for more participation. I’m not an expert on meet management, but I was under the assumption that CCS was already taking on his many athletes as they thought was reasonably possible.

You all have determined that leagues will fight to hold on to their auto qualifier spots, but you also need to see that lowering the at-large time to allow more runners is just circumventing the objection. If it is determined that more kids going to CCS would be possible, and is better, than those additional spots should be divvied up in the same exact proportions as is currently practiced.

In regards to arguments about “doing what’s right for the sport”, let’s make one thing very clear. The very top of the field makes it through league qualifying in any scenario being debated. Would having more 9:30 3200m runners replace 10:10 runners improve the race? Probably a little, but this would come at the cost of producing a section championship that caters to students who are not only faster but probably have more privilege in many more important ways as well.

Sal said...

At-large times only work in the league finals. Think of it as a last chance qualifier for those outside the top 32 or 48. Otherwise you get a number of auto qualifiers per league (I still think it should be 2 per but maybe that is a hard sell to the HOG leagues at first). The rest qualify on eligible times made during the year. A11:37 above mentions the Top 8 meet - again nobody argues about how kids qualify for that meet. The best get to go, as measured by times made during the season. Good enough for the best meet of the year - good enough for the CCS.

Coach Tim said...

I can understand why this would be infuriating from a WCAL perspective. You're doing everything right, getting great results, and then getting the shaft right when it's starting to get good.

Let me share my perspective as a public school coach in one of those "Hog" leagues that are sending kids "to be slaughtered, (possibly lapped)".

First, we don't have FAT at all of our meets. In five league meets this season, Only one featured FAT (And that timer did it pro-bono). We're in the top division - I'm willing to bet the lower divisions didn't have FAT at all.

Second, we don't all go to invitationals. I'm fortunate enough that my school pays for a full schedule of meets. But most schools in our league don't race every weekend, and some don't go to invitationals at all. $5 per entry adds up really fast when you're on a tight budget.

Third, we don't all use athletic.net. I wouldn't use it at all if it wasn't required for CCS Top-8. When your home meets feature FAT/Hy-tek, it's really easy to upload results to the database. But when your meets feature hand-times and paper results, it's really hard to use. The last time I uploaded dual meet results, it took me about 4 hours to convert from paper. At the end of all that, I got an error message and the upload failed (support never responded).

3a. Some of our league's coaches deliberately avoid uploading results, to obfuscate their entries for dual meets and championships. Yes, it's ridiculous. But part of the reason you see that 10:37 from the PAL in a qualifying spot, is because the kid running 9:56 wasn't in the database.

Fourth, while I agree the system could be improved, the 'have sympathy for these poor oppressed WCAL kids' is not the most effective argument you could use. It actually probably works against you. Every kid on a WCAL team would probably have also been successful on a public school team. Coaches are people, and most of us proud of the work we've done. So when a family essentially tells us 'our school isn't good enough' for their children, it stings. Example: There's a top sprinter at the local WCAL school, who lives near my school. He does his spring break workouts at our track. His older brother went to my school. But I'm left to imagine what my team might have been with his contributions. And here's the thing: Every coach in our league has a story like this, and so does every public school coach in the section. And it happens over and over again. So when you stand on the pinnacle of privilege, pluck up our best athletes before we have a chance to work with them, and then in the same thread condescendingly deride us while begging us to fix this great injustice that has been done to you, don't be surprised when we don't rally to your "cause".

Finally, I'm not saying the system is perfect. And I'm not saying I wouldn't support a reasonable improvement. But as a league rep, I'm going to represent the interests of my league's coaches. So if you want to change our minds, understand where we're coming from, so you can use the arguments and language that actually work (hint: don't ever insinuate that my athletes are animals again).

Anonymous said...

Albert, I tried to post this last night but it did not show up....

A lot of you are confusing constructing higher-quality races with being fair.

If the emphasis is on qualifying by merit then why should leagues get ANY auto qualifiers? Answer: equity. Allowing top leagues to populate section races based on the merits of their runners will limit the representation of athletes from socioeconomically depressed schools with a high percent minority students. If you are the among best from your little region, league, neighborhood etc., you have earned the right to go get paced to a PR, or get your ass kicked, or maybe even squeak through to a final.

The spots a league gets for section IS and SHOULD REMAIN proportionate to the amount of students they represent. Any solution you come up with that changes this, tips the balance toward inequality.

I’m all for more participation. I’m not an expert on meet management, but I was under the assumption that CCS was already taking on his many athletes as they thought was reasonably possible.

You all have determined that leagues will fight to hold on to their auto qualifier spots, but you also need to see that lowering the at-large time to allow more runners is just circumventing the objection. If it is determined that more kids going to CCS would be possible, and is better, than those additional spots should be divvied up in the same exact proportions as is currently practiced.

In regards to arguments about “doing what’s right for the sport”, let’s make one thing very clear. The very top of the field makes it through league qualifying in any scenario being debated. Would having more 9:30 3200m runners replace 10:10 runners improve the race? Probably a little, but this would come at the cost of producing a section championship that caters to students who are not only faster but probably have more privilege in many more important ways as well.

Albert Caruana said...

Tim,
Thanks for the post and your perspective at Mills HS. I can tell you from personal experience that private schools lose athletes to other schools as well. There are definite advantages and disadvantages from both sides. For example, I teach and coach at a school with 250 students. Public schools have the advantage of starting with a much larger pool of students.

If we go back to my original proposal, I said that there should be more athletes participating at the CCS meet. I think the qualifying procedure for CCS is too restrictive and we can do a better job of giving more students the experience of participating in CCS. My intention is definitely not to take "spots" from any league. I will have to do a little more digging and research into other sections but I know that SS, SJS and NCS all have divisional meets before their semifinals. CA is one of the few states that does not have a divisional state final which is great. The competition at that meet is fantastic. That format should stay the same but we can change the meets leading up to the section finals for the betterment of our sport.

Albert Caruana said...

Just a reminder that all comments have to be approved by me before they are posted. I am not able to approve all comments 24 hours a day (whew!) so sometimes there is a delay.

Anonymous said...

I don’t think speaking negatively about a league is ever going to promote real change. You do not need to look very far to see the talent that comes out of the BVAL or any of the other leagues some commenters have deemed undeserving.

As mentioned in a pervious post the BVAL is three leagues combined into one. They compete in separate league championships (WVAL, MHAL, STAL) then advance to a “CCS Qualifier” meet that seeds much like CCS trials with the top seeds in different heats. The BVAL is worthy of 6 qualifying positions, not just by rule but by the quality of competitors. This is also true for the SCVAL, PAL, MBL, etc. I strongly believe each league needs to be represented and if a league should combine then they should retain those automatic qualifying spots.

That said, there is room for improvement. As a coach in the WCAL I welcome change but I think we should be inclusive rather than exclusive. I am with Hank in that adding time qualifiers from the league meets would resolve many of the "fairness" issues. The one issue is the length of the meet (for whatever reason we can sit through an all day invitational but not at CCS Trials).

One solution to this issue is to hold semi-finals at Gilroy High School, that has a 9 lane track. With the current 32 automatic qualifiers we can add 13 provisional qualifiers (based on times from league meets for a total of 45). That's 5 heats, only one more than it is now. As mentioned there is a lot of down time between events, one heat could certainly fit in without effecting the schedule more than 30 minutes.

I think an honest effort rule could be useful as well. Scratch by the deadline so alternates (next fastest time, not by league) or you're done the rest of the meet.

Coach Tim said...

Here's a solution that might be a lot of fun: Decide how many spots to add to the meet, then have all interested non-automatic qualifiers join a meet on the Tuesday before CCS, and race for the spots.

Preserves the equity of the automatic qualifiers, allows the possibility for the better athletes to move on, and (dramatically) improves the postseason participation numbers. Also eliminates the no-show and scratches problems: it's a voluntary meet, so the ones that show up really want it.

Anonymous said...

Nobody is calling any of the students animals. I believe the reference of "HOGS" is to the leagues that the writer thinks are hogging up the auto spots. Let's try to be civil in this discussion that is very important to many of us, both in public and private schools.

Albert Caruana said...

I think considering the topic and the amount of comments, everybody has been very civil with one another. Lots of good ideas so far.

Keep them coming.

Anonymous said...

Not a bad idea Tim.

Anonymous said...

I agree that the conversation is civil and very informative. I just don't like people taking things out of context. Nobody has and nobody should ever call any kid, runner or not, an animal. If someone thinks that the larger leagues are "hogging" the entries, that is their opinion of those leagues and is not directed at the kids.

Now, I agree that the inequity needs to be solved. many of the suggestions here would do that. I like the idea of getting us all together to work on it. If the CCS wants to participate that would be great. If not, we should go to them with a proposal. There is a way to make it more fair and still allow the larger leagues to contribute proportionally to the auto pool of qualifiers.

Anonymous said...

And then there is North coast...#10 in the 3200 runs a 9:23, compared to a 9:36 in CCS.

Albert Caruana said...

It fluctuates from year to year in terms of talent from CCS to NCS but distance wise, NCS trounces CCS this season. They have quality and quantity in all events. The only event where you might have a toss up if not tilting toward CCS is in the boys 800. In the other events...fuhgeddaboudit/

Coach Ozzie said...

I haven't been paying attention to this thread, but I was bored and gave it a click. Wow. Lots going on. Prior to this year the four leagues that qualify for the NCS Tri-Valley meet (EBAL, DFAL, BVAL, and DVAL) have each gotten 6 automatic qualifying spots to that meet. This year we are trying something different. Each league will get 3 automatic qualifying spots and the next 12 qualifiers will be determined from a pool of all the athletes in their league finals. Some leagues are stronger at some events than others and we thought it would enhance the depth of the NCS Tri-Valley Meet and potentially the NCS Meet of Champions. One thing that makes our situation easier than yours is that each league was giving up the exact same thing, 3 automatic qualifiers. If there's interest, I'll report back when it's all over and let you know how that process goes.

Pierre Chan said...

Based on the comments I am surprised at how little support there is for my suggestion of easing the at-large marks to the median (16th) place qualifier. It is too conservative for most of the folks asking for change, but it really would alleviate so many of the extreme examples of exclusion from the meet. This is a mark that will be less affected by the fluctuation of talent that has seen the at-large mark drop to ridiculous levels in some events. For instance, the current girls 1600m at-large mark of 5:05.22 would have been good for 3rd place in 2012, 5th in place in 2011 and 4th place in 2010.

I know my proposal is not the sweeping change many people want, but it is one that is practical and can be implemented very easily. (FYI I coach in WBAL, which often gets pointed at for having one too many spots. As an athlete I benefited from running in the PAL, a league which often gets pointed at for having too many spots).

Hank said...

Tim - I hear your complaint about athletic.net and how to load meets that are timed NOT using HyTek. I created a very simple excel file (with a macro that runs underneath it) where you enter your data, hit ctl-S and poof, a HyTek looking results text file is created that easily pastes into athletic.net for loading. I have given this to folks in the SCVAL that sometimes have to use hand times. They can create their results file and load into athletic.net (although they usually send it to me to load since I'm a Site Supporter and my loads get into athletic.net quicker than the non-Site Supporters). Let me know if you'd like the excel file for next year or not.

hank

Anonymous said...

Pierre, keeping the auto slots the same (or maybe a small reduction based on league performance over time) and easing the at-large times, with a maximum number to advance (cut the slowest if more than desired heats would result), is a good start.

Anonymous said...

Is anyone actually working on this? Or is it just the usual chatter with no action?

Albert Caruana said...

The plan is to draw up a proposal. That proposal will need to be approved by our league ADs and then present it at the CCS post season track and field meeting.

Before we get to writing that proposal, we have to single out the best one that has been mentioned above. We also need to have valid reasons why the current format needs to be changed. Finally, we have to come up with what the format would look like for the future. Are we adding meets (divisional or north and south) or are we staying with the current semifinal/final format staying a week apart?

Anonymous said...

I own the "slaughtered" comment. I never once thought of anyone as an animal.

Anonymous said...

Albert,

My take on it is easing the At-Large times at the league finals would be a huge step.

So one little change improves the situation for athletes. Provides a more robust competition, and it may add heats in some events some years. WHO CARES? Let them run.

1) the leagues keep their automatic advancers. 2,4,5,6 whatever. If its a weak league then only the automatic advancers, advance. That's okay with most people here. As long as it's not at the detriment of the stronger performers.
2) you have to run the AT-LARGE time the league championship. Some years weather may be a factor as it is today. No change.
3) You're committing your athletes to the event by running at the league meet. No Change.
4) Yes, a league may send +6-12 if they qualify by place or time. THAT'S GREAT.

So, this topic comes up a couple of times per year. This is the most activity I've seen on any topic lately. So kudos to you for providing a forum. It would be great if the powers-that-be ie League Directors can take it up one more step this time. Is there an AD that wants to take the lead?

Anonymous said...

To make sure that we keep moving on this, we need to form a working group of interested and connected coaches, league officials, and parents. The proposals should be based on a problem statement(s) and backed up by statistical analysis. We have had a lot of good ideas so far, we just need to know what issues we are solving for and what the likely impacts would be of each proposal. Most of all, we need the overwhelming support of the leagues (both big and small) so we will be successful when we sit down with the CCS.

Anonymous said...

The easier qualifying standard gets voted down almost annually. The reasoning is that CCS is about making State and "the kids that can make state do."

The argument against this is that it is also about the section championship. With 8 scoring leaving out athletes that can potentially score has an effect on team scores.

Of course you need to get past the elitists who sit at the table and have the vote. While we seem to agree we should add qualifiers that is not the opinion of those voting. So keep that in mind.

On a side note swimming CCS has an automatic standard of the 32nd fastest time but I believe they score to 16th.

I think you should write three proposals. One for the extra meet. If that fails go for the time qualifiers and an extra heat. If that fails go for 16th as the time qualifier.

Another note, you are taking the time it takes to get to the finals, in a faster meet a week later in the season. Asking kids to do that 1-2 week before is not fair. Perhaps average from the CCS qualifiers rather than finalists.

Anonymous said...

If we're going to get this through, K.I.S.
Too many variations will slow it down and discourage coach/AD support.

Anonymous said...

Just heard about another HS that had some problems operating it's new timing system. It wasn't a disadvantaged school either.
That surprises me.

Albert Caruana said...

I am not sure what disadvantaged school is supposed to signify. There are plenty of good teachers and coaches at every school just as much as the opposite is true as well.

Pierre Chan said...

"The right athletes are getting to the state meet." This is the statement that needs to be challenged for any kind of change. Since this is a Distance focused forum I'll start with this:

In 2011 Ben Rainaro De Haan of the San Francisco International School had a 1600m PR of 4:23 going into the NCS Class A meet, ran 4:25 to win that meet, then went on to run 4:20 at MOC trials, 4:16 and state berth in Finals, and dropped down to 4:12 at state and made the State final.

In 2012 George Baier of Menlo-Atherton finished 3rd in the PAL 1600m and finished 13th at CCS Trials/Semis. He got into the final on a scratch, and went on to win the meet. His PR was 4:21.99 prior to ccs.

Last year Alex Condotti of Pacific Collegiate ran a PR of 4:23 at the MTAL final but finished 3rd in his league. Sophomore Roman Munoz of King City ran 4:24 right behind him. Miles Meijer of Bellarmine also ran 4:23 at the WCAL final but finished 3rd and did not qualify. Was it right to have a system that ruled out the possibility of these athletes qualifying to state? Who knows what could have happened if these competitors were given a chance?

If other posters could detail surprising berths from their sections it would certainly help us to collectively build a case.

Albert Caruana said...

Pierre, those are very good points and I am quite familiar with all three of those cases. You must have had an excellent high school coach to come up with that...:D

Anonymous said...

Alex Scales of Bellarmine didn't even run varsity last year (4:23/1:59/9:41 at the WCAL league meet) and ran Frosh-Soph because he didn't have a shot at the automatic qualifying time.

Albert Caruana said...

Alex is a great example of a young runner that would have benefited from participating in CCS last year as a freshman. He definitely had the times that deserved participation in a section meet.

Anonymous said...

As stated here before, the talented freshman who makes the CCS semi and runs a massive PR, makes the finals the next year and gets through to state as a Junior and/or Senior. The CCS is denying what we all know is a natural progression in elite running, thus keeping the section from fostering what is an explosion of talented distance girl's and boy's. We talk about wanting to produce state winners but we do little to create the means of getting there. Relegating our talented boys to the FS ranks for 2 years until they are strong enough to make a lofty at-large standard actually hurts their progression. The pervasive "why bother, they can't win anyway" idea has to be overturned so we can start producing massive PR's and multiple big-meet winners.

Anonymous said...

How many have hit the current at-large times based on athletic.net 30 minutes ago?


100m 11.15 = 15
200m 22.39 = 12
400m 50.37 = 11
800m 1:57.01 = 6
1.6km 4:22.83 = 10
3.2km 9:29.73 = 6

Easing the marks slight to get 24...
Also how many are WCAL?

100m 23th @ 11.25s wc 8
200m 24th @ 22.7s wc 5
400m 24th @ 51s wc 6
800m 24th @ 2:00 wc 10
1.6k 24th @ 4:26 wc 8
3.2k 24th @ 9:46 wc 9

Large leagues with lots of automatic spots may add some slower athletes. Those may be offset by kids that drop/scratch events.

Anonymous said...

Note those are season bests, not those who actually will hit it in their league meet.

Peter Brewer said...

Just to chime in with want the NCS does . . . for as long as I have been coaching in the NCS (34 seasons and counting) the section has had some variation of an intermediate meet between league finals and the section finals. At times the meets were arranged by school size, and then was reconstituted by geographical regions, and now has a hybrid model of a small school sub-section meet, and three regional (or "area") meets.

Each league is assigned a certain number of qualifiers, designed to get 24 athletes (three heats) in each event. We now have NCS standards for auto advancing to the next level (league to subsection, subsection to section finals) based on the 4-year average of the last qualifier to the section championships finals (top 8). These standards have to be met at each level (league finals, or the subsection).

This puts a lot of athletes into play for the process. Yes, it is an additional meet. And yes, it winnows out athletes very quickly. And we also don't leave anyone out since typically each league sends about 6 athlete on.

I don't know if this model is adaptable for the CCS, or how long it would take to effect any change. It's just a system that seems to be working for now over here.

Peter Brewer
Northgate High

Murr said...

I think adding a race before the CCS semi is problematic for the 1600 and 3200. The kids have to peak twice in a week as it is. Adding a third potential peak in a 2 week period will be taxing and not produce a great state representative who will have to peak yet again in Fresno.

Anonymous said...

The NCS plan would work if the subsection meets replace the CCS Semi.

Anonymous said...

This issue will heat up again 1 week from today when the qualifiers are announced and it is evident that the CCS has devised a system that leaves a large number of quality kids on the bench. Not only must there be a better system, one could hardly think of one that is worse.

Anonymous said...

CCS qualifying already taking its victims. With only 2 qualifying spots Matti Peoples (Aptos) and Abby Meck (SLV) stay home in the mile.

Peoples was CCS cross country champion (17:37) with a 5:02 PR

Meck ran 17:58 at Woodward Park in XC and has run 5:01.

Both ran 5:08 in their league final (three weeks before semi finals) and don't advance.

Anonymous said...

"Not only must there be a better system, one could hardly think of one that is worse."

Hyperbole much? It would be worse if there were no at-large provision at all. It would be worse if every league only got 2 qualifiers (similar to the system in Texas). It would be worse if entries were all decided by committee (similar to how some countries select their Olympic teams). I could go on.

The "system", that is, a combination of automatic and at-large qualifiers is far and away the best system. Now, the details of the system can be optimized (number of automatic qualifiers and the at-large standards) and the current details appear not to do that.

Other changes in the "system" have significant implications if they are to be implemented. Allowing marks from throughout the season may seem more fair to the top kids, but you have to realize that not every athlete would have the same opportunity to achieve these marks (no FAT timing at their dual meets, limited resources for attending invitationals, etc.). The argument that the NCAA does this is not the same as all college meets are FAT times and even the most limited college in terms of resources can send their top athletes to bigger meets. If anything, allowing in-season marks would actually increase the unfairness of the "system".

In terms of FS or JV kids moving on, this is both a team issue (teams have a choice as to what division their athlete competes in) and a fundamental competition issue. No matter how good the Bellarmine FS basketball team may be, they will never be allowed to compete in the CCS tournament. Perhaps a FS championship like how the SJS does it would be the solution to this.

The best solution is probably the simplest. Just lower the at-large standard. I think the suggestion of the 16th best mark may be a bit soft, so I would lean towards the 12th best mark. Probably wouldn't add too many participants so it wouldn't impact the length of the meet too much, but would address the largest complaints that have been presented in this thread. If you are worried about adding athletes, then just re-calculate the automatic qualifiers using a pool of 28 instead of 32. Many leagues wouldn't have their number of automatic qualifiers change and at most it would only drop by 1.

Anonymous said...

How is this any different than giving top football programs an extra spot in a football playoff bracket for it's JV team. If you choose to go to a stacked program is there not any assumption that playing time is a sacrifice you might make at a young age. Especially come playoff time. Isn't this the same as a parent of the JV quarterback on a #1 ranked team saying, "my kid is good enough to start at most all other schools so we should get an extra spot"? The auto marks do seem to have gotten quite stringent. 2 years back I think girls 3200 was mid 11:30's, and now its 11:14.

Anonymous said...

12th is not soft. That is what makes finals in the field events.

16th will be plenty hard once you increase the depth.

Anonymous said...

Our sport is not subjective in its assessment of ability like the JV QB example above. If you run the time and deserve to go, no matter if you chose to go to a "stacked program" or not, you should go. Running is pure sport unlike the ball games that the CCS seems to think more about when they get together in their ivory tower.

Brian said...

Can we face facts: the CCS is getting better every year and we have a system and governing body that is inattentive and not looking out for the best interests of the kids and schools. We need a total reset so we can get our kids to the section and state with the best chance at success. Who wants to make the call to the home office?

Anonymous said...

Congrats to the CCS for devising a scheme where only the top 6 boys are deemed "worthy" of making the semis. To date, only 6 boys have run the at-large time in the 3200 (that's for the entire season). Something wrong with the system? #letthebestrun

Anonymous said...

I think you need to run varsity to advance. And that argument will never make it through.

If you want to start somewhere, out of fairness, let kids qualify at league trials or finals. If a kid jumps 24 feet in trials but at finals it's raining and a huge headwind does he not deserve to go? Open a one week window for trials/finals (or league finals/"qualifier").

Lower the time standard to 16th average last 4 years.

Start there as that has the best opportunity to get through.

But let's be honest, there is greater interest in sticking it to the private schools than there is for fairness.

Anonymous said...

"Congrats to the CCS for devising a scheme where only the top 6 boys are deemed "worthy" of making the semis. To date, only 6 boys have run the at-large time in the 3200 (that's for the entire season). Something wrong with the system? #letthebestrun"

Sigh. The at-large provision isn't to determine who is "worthy" of making the semis. That only six boys have run the at-large time in the 3200 is more of a statement on how much slower the section is this season compared with the past three seasons.

Anonymous said...

It's a comment on the futility of the at-large to get the best kids in the semi in any given year. Once again, the best kids should go! The at-large has nothing to do with determining the best kids, especially when very few can make the time and 32 kids are automatically entered, even when the majority can't run anything near the at-large time.

Anonymous said...

False. It's always like this. The times are taken from the semi-finals, arguably the fastest meet in CCS every year.

These times run during the season and at league early in the season just reflect how hard it is to qualify BEFORE the semifinals.

Unless you are in a super league how many will go sub 4:22, 1:57, 9:28 in league?

Answer: not many. They have to do it the next week.

The time standards are directly responsible for faster times. If you want CCS to be better make them harder, not easier.

Anonymous said...

Does everyone understand how the at-large is determined? It isn't arbitrary; it is set by averaging the 8th place time in the trials from the last 3 years...if in fact this year is slow, then the at-large mark will go up. 5 years ago, it was 9:48, and there weren't very many kids who ran that time that weren't automatic qualifiers. ALSO, more than 6 boy runners have run 9:2973; the athletic.net database is for some reason in error right now...Doblar and Scales have run 9:24/9:27 respectively...and many more will run that time at CCS trials...I think.

Anyway, the at large numbers are not arbitrary.

Anonymous said...

So the at-large is there to supposedly compensate for an overweighted auto qualifier that advantages leagues with large numbers but lesser overall talent, but it only applies to 6 kids (which will likely make it on auto anyway)? Why go through the charade? Just tell the kids that run 9:30 to lump it when they see the bottom third of entries running slower, some over 10:00. They should learn that life is not fair in HS! Thanks for trying kid, now sit down.

Albert Caruana said...

Basically if you don't make the auto qualifier from your league, you need to be good enough to make the finals in order to compete in CCS.

Brian said...

Anon 9:17.... I think I can speak for the people who want to change the system to make it more fair - we understand that the at-large marks are based on previous times and are not arbitrary, we are just saying that it is idiotic to dole out auto qualifiers (with an unfair distribution) and then tell kids who don't get an auto, but run faster than some who do in other leagues, to meet a time that would otherwise get them into the final (as Albert says above). It is unbelievably idiotic to tell a kid who is ranked 10-20 in the CCS but third in his league to sit down. See, it is not about phantom complaints about arbitrary times, it is a complaint about a system that needs to be changed so that the kids who deserve it get rewarded for their hard work and better results.

Anonymous said...

Brian: Yes, you are right, and in re-reading my comment at 9:17 I realize that it can be misconstrued. I absolutely agree that changes should be made and more students should be able to compete at CCS. I was responding to people that made it seem as if they thought the at large marks were disconnected from past performances. I certainly hope that the powers that be will listen and respond to concerns with the current process--but have little to no confidence that they will!

Brian said...

Yes, it is hard to convey an exact meaning on such a complex issue in a few sentences in this comment section. I think the vast majority agree that we have to make changes. It is now up to the people who should care most - coaches, AD's, and league administrators - to get their act together and stand up to the CCS. Or they can throw up their hands and admit their kids will always get screwed by the system and wish them good luck in the at-large sweepstakes. Time to act is now!

Anonymous said...

Is anyone here happy with the system as it is today?
If the large leagues can keep their 6-8 automatics and more kids with very good times get to the semis/subsection meet, does anyone have an argument against this?

The subsections (North/South or County) meets could be very interesting. Less travel for teams, easier coordination. Though deciding how many advance per meet will require another 100 posts. :)

Albert Caruana said...

So I have a timetable for us in terms of presenting our proposal.

The WBAL post season Track and Field meeting is this coming Monday. The WBAL ADs meeting is the following Wednesday. The CCS post season Track and Field meeting is on June 7th at 4pm.

I need to forward the proposal to the WBAL AD rep by this Wednesday and then the WBAL coaches will vote on it. If approved, then we can make our presentation at the CCS post season meeting.

There have been so many proposal ideas. I think we have to narrow it down to a proposal that is simple and more likely to get passed. I think getting the north south meets would be great but not sure if that is something that will be passed. The other option is to have all leagues keep their auto qualifiers and then adjust the at-large marks. What else do we feel is another viable option?

Anonymous said...

Track is an INDIVIDUAL sport. So if anything qualifying from league based on a CBED is what is arbitrary here. Give leagues their qualifiers. But then add one more heat (8 qualifiers) of the fastest times not automatically advancing. If those include kids hitting the auto so be it. If more than 8 hit the auto take them all.

Done.

By the way. What if the kids in the 1600, 3200, 800 all agreed to protest. Could you imagine if they all stood at the start line for 1 minute with a gentleman's agreement then start the race on their own. Or 2 min or 3? Then the average would be more reasonable. Of course you need to have someone time it so all heats are the same and everyone agree. One kid taking off from a later heat ruins it.

Anonymous said...

I like the proposal from 12:58, and others over the last week. An extra heat makes sense. The 8 additional kids could come from a lowering the at-large standard or from taking the next fastest 8 after the auto advance. Either is better than what we have now.

Hank said...

I gave my 2cents earlier but need to chime in again...

Brian @ 10:52 - You make it sound like CCS is against everyone where that is the farthest from the truth. CCS wants to do what the Leagues want CCS to do as long as it's not a drain on resources. The North/South meet was discontinued for it was such a drain. Come up with a proposal (as it looks the WBAL is doing) and present to CCS (as well as promote it to your AD and Principal) and if it's reasonable and not a drain, it will pass. CCS is here to help.

Now, another item to consider, this has to be simple, think of the timer trying to put all this together (I know I am). Mark McConnell (the CCS timer for years) already has a big job in front of him. Now you want him to track all of the top marks throughout the season and add anyone that hit an At-Large time? Where would he get his data from, Athletic.Net? As someone who's spent the last 3 years trying to move the CCS Top Marks list over to Ath.net, I can tell you, it's still missing some of the top marks.

I think the easiest (from a timers point of view) is that all marks must come from League Finals or whatever is your qualifying meet to CCS. The timer is already getting all of the marks sent to him via the HyTek database that each League already sends in. This would require no additional work on the timer to try and find additional marks. The HyTek system is already set up to take the correct # of auto qualifiers from each league (so let's not mess with that since it already works). Alter HyTek to take an additional "x" number of marks (8 seemed to get thrown around). Then create the seedings based on these new qualifying marks. Now I have no idea if HyTek can do this or not since I use a "homegrown" system and not HyTek but I'm guessing that it can (or it should) do this, I'll leave that up to the professionals.

It must be kept simple for no one's getting rich timing a track meet.

hank

Anonymous said...

Added heat is the best way to go. It is already in the cards if kids make the at-large time. No changes to rules other than adjusting the way we calculate the mark.

Anonymous said...

So each running event will add another heat?

Joe said...

Yes, for now we add a heat of the fastest kids not to make the auto qualifier and then work on a more equitable way to distribute the auto spots among the leagues next year. Those 8 slots in many cases would pick up the number 10-17 ranked kids that could otherwise stay home. Not perfect but easy enough for the CCS to approve this year while we work on a larger plan to to get rid of the CEBED based qualifying system.

Anonymous said...

We should also look at the scratch system as a way of getting more deserving kids in. Something like: if a kid scratches from a league with more than 2 autos, the league does not get to send the next kid (which would be the #9,7,or6 kid in the larger leagues), as it is today, the league would lose that auto and the next fastest kid from all league finals goes. That would be the 9th fastest kid since the 1-8 fastest kids will go in the new added heat. Since there will be less pressure from a league for a kid to scratch before the entries are due, we will have a more scratches on the day of the meet. In order to fill those slots, we should have an alternate system like the Top 8. Those alternates are the next fastest from league meets not to get into the new added heat.

Anonymous said...

I like the fast 8 lane mondo track at SJCC for finals but can we look at a 9 lane track for semi-finals? We have DeAnza, Gilroy, Stanford (though I doubt that will happen). Any others? If we add one more heat (5 total heats) with 9 lanes that is an additional 14 provisional "time qualifiers" that can be added to the meet. I think if you add in 14 of the best marks the fairness issue is gone.

Leagues can keep their auto qualifiers "Q"... next 14 fastest "q" advance to the next round. You won't need to worry about an automatic qualifying mark as it would be irrelevant (and is now).

Field events get three attempts instead of four. Or keep it at 4...

Anonymous said...

To the coach who can not afford to enter kids in invitationals:

Coach, we are in a similar situation as you with little financial support for our track & field team. We have to fight just for a bus to dual meets and event then we don't get them and have to shuttle kids back and forth around town. Coaching is not considered part of the teaching job and to make sure kids get to the meet I often have to take a personal day off work. So I feel you.

One thing I have done is e-mail meet directors and explain our financial limitations as a program. We offer to run an event, such as a long jump or triple jump for the entire meet as "payment." Sometimes they take us up on the offer, other times they already have it covered and waive our entry fees. I have never been turned away and we always offer and are happy to work the meet so our kids can compete. Its a lot of work not many are willing to do.

Anonymous said...

Albert, do you have a proposal to forward to the WBAL and what is it?

Anonymous said...

On athletic.net, you have to select "all" in the timing method section up top to see all of the runners.

Anonymous said...

Are hand times considered official?

Albert Caruana said...

We are in the process of finalizing a proposal.

I can't remember the last time we have used hand times for a meet. I am positive those are not acceptable for league or section meets.

Anonymous said...

Let us know what you put in front of the WBAL for review. I am sure many of us are ready to support your effort with our own leagues.

Hand times are not official and can not be used for current standings.

Ron Ernst said...

What seems best to me is to start with the system exactly as it currently stands and then add 8 athletes per event. Don't touch the league allotments or the AQ's The 8 athletes should be the next 8 athletes from any league with the best marks at their league finals. This will still have some issues. High Jump, PV and other events may need some additional criteria to ensure that tie-breakers are clear for the 8 alternates. Some trials will have bad weather while others had perfect conditions, someone will have been DQ'd who ran great at Top 8, an alternate for a blazing fast league 100M will not even be considered since they just missed out on their league final, the list goes on. It will still allow for 8 more kids to have a chance to compete and maybe, just maybe, one of them will bust a great race and push on to State. Trials will go longer, but not much.

By the time you get to CCS trials you pretty much love a day hanging out at the track and enjoy watching the best compete. The line has to be drawn somewhere to limit the competition but I think it makes sense to stretch it out a little and include a few more competitors. After 8 more kids the likelihood of an athlete with the ability to make a State Qualifying mark drops exponentially, barring someone who just had a bad day at leagues, for those kids it's just a bad break, sports.

Would sure be great if some of the hate didn't exist between the leagues and the comments were a touch more positive. Try to keep it about the kids while keeping it in perspective folks.

See ya at CCS.

Brian said...

Ron, it sounds like that is the proposal we landed on. Is this something that can get approved by the CCS in June for next year? I think most comments have been respectful of the leagues, have acknowledged that the small leagues, especially the WCAL, are getting screwed, and have placed the blame of the bad system on the CCS, where it belongs.

Anonymous said...

Why 8? We have 9 lane tracks... why not use those tracks for trials? All too often auto qualifiers require meet management to make another heat which results in 6-7 athletes per heat. Why have empty lanes? Just say you have 5 heats. If it is at Gilroy, (9x5=) 45 qualifiers. If at SJCC (8x5=) 40. Fill the meet with time qualifiers (as a greed upon). But lets not have empty lanes.

Pierre Chan said...

Regarding Gilroy,

One thing to consider about Gilroy is the weather. If I recall it was very hot one year down there and as a result the times for some of the distance events were slow. The ensuing At-Large mark was "soft" for one year (2011?) and the field was huge. I believe this occurrence was used as an argument against expanding the field or softening the at-large mark.

Anonymous said...

Who cares about weather... it rained on Saturday causing slow times in league meets. Gilroy, San Jose... run where you get most people through. DeAnza then?

That was the year there was one heat of 3200 to "save time." Two heats of 20 (or even 24 like every invitational) is fine.

Anonymous said...

Who are the best athletes not to make CCS from the 2 league meets. What is the hardest event in each league to advance in?

Albert Caruana said...

I don't know what leagues you are talking about but the events fluctuate from year to year. You never know when in a given year, you have multiple top athletes in the same event.

Anonymous said...

8 lanes is standard and gives us more locations to host.
A few tracks have 7 or 9.

Anonymous said...

Is this the longest comment section on CCE?

Albert Caruana said...

It might be although I have had to close down a few of them before.

Anonymous said...

Results from today's BVAL?

Pierre Chan said...

Does anyone know the reasoning for the change in the 2015 ccs bylaws from 2014 in at-large qualification? Previously, in events that advanced 12 athletes to finals, the at-large was based on 12th place data. What was once listed in the bylaws as "last place place qualifying mark" was replaced with "8th place qualifying mark." Many of the recent ridiculous examples of athletes not getting out of league can be traced to this change.

Anonymous said...

"The at large marks are there not for CCS qualifying but for state. This ensures the few individual that have a shot at state are in the meet."

Perhaps people should contact the CCS office directly and explain how unhappy they are regarding the qualifying procedure. Things aren't going to get better unless they know they are is a problem. I doubt CCS is reading this or even aware coaches are unhappy. Until the constituents are more "annoying" than the League Reps (with the votes) at the table are more vocal, nothing will be done. League reps are not "voted" in by those they represent. They are coaches who want the power or forced into because no one wants to do it.

This is not a WCAL vs. everyone else. The qualifying procedure has effected SCVAL, SCCAL, MTAL all in the last year. If this is an individual sport, the fastest should be at the meet. (Swimming has a simple time standard, you hit it and you are in the meet). If this is about the "section championship" as a team, and scoring goes to 8, doesn't the 10th fastest have a shot at scoring for a team title?

Change needs to happen. Personally I have e-mailed everyone below and let them know of this thread and how unhappy athletes, parents, and most coaches are with the current system. But I am only one person. One e-mail by a hundred people might get some attention.

Make your voiced heard:

CCS Office: (408) 224-2994

Steve Filios sfilios@cifccs.org

COMMISSIONER: Duane Morgan dmorgan@cifccs.org
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONERS: Jennifer Watson jwatson@cifccs.org

EVENTS COORDINATOR: Ray Miailovich rmiailovich@cifccs.org
ASSISTANT ADMINISTRATOR Michael Mancuso mmancuso@cifccs.org
OFFICE MANAGER: Rachel Jack rjack@cifccs.org

Anonymous said...

@ 8:11, thanks for the email addresses. My emails are forthcoming. I urge everyone to do the same.

Joe said...

Below is the email I wrote to the CCS officers above. Please send your own. Be respectful and ask for their help. I think we can get them to see the problem and make corrections. Joe

"I am writing to urge you to review the Track and Field qualifying procedures at the June CCS meeting, and to make substantive changes to the bylaws to produce greater equity among the leagues and ensure the best kids get to participate in their section championship. As the father of two runners in the CCS, I spend a lot of time at the track talking to other parents and coaches. More and more I hear complaints about the inequity of the CCS qualifying procedures. If you have not already done so, you should review the passionate comments left on the Cross Country Express website. Clearly people really care about this issue. The main complaints are: 1) the auto qualifiers are weighted too heavily to the larger leagues; and 2) the at-large marks are too hard to achieve (essentially having to run a time that would otherwise qualify for the section final). The result is many of the better runners in the section could be left at home while slower runners, both during the year and at their league final, could qualify for the section meet.

I believe at least one of the leagues will put forward a proposal to you in June to either relax the at-large standard, or to add a heat of 8 runners with the fastest non-auto qualifying times at the league finals. I urge you to review these proposals and change the rules for next year so we can get more of the top-ranked kids in the meet. I also ask you to direct a more comprehensive review of the qualifying procedures with the goal of producing more equity among the leagues, and more representation from kids based on talent and track times and not on the size of their school or league. The resulting recommendations should be reviewed at your June 2017 meeting for action and incorporation into the bylaws for the 2018 track season. Thank you for your consideration in this matter."

pmccrystle said...

Pierre: Patrick McCrystle here from Bellarmine. I do not know the history of that change, but as you point out it radically changed the at large marks. The by-laws clearly state now the 8th place qualifier, but used to say several different things, which led to confusion and errors in calculating the marks!! I would be interested mostly to know who made the change and when; I assume it was at an end of year CCS meeting...does anybody know?

Ron Ernst said...

Patrick - My understanding is that the at large entries were to be calculated yearly and should be equal to the average of the 8th place time at CCS Trials over the last three years.

Here are two events with the 8th place finisher from 2015, 2014, 2013 respectively and the average does meet the '16 at large time.

Boys 1600m: (4:23.10, 4:21.66, 4:23.72) = 4:22.83

Boys 100m: (11:03, 11:15, 11.27) = 11:15

Hope this helps. Looking forward to watching your team next weekend.

Anonymous said...

SHC runner 1:57 staying home (6th)
Doblar of Bellarmine 9:32 staying home, Saint Francis freshman 9:32, staying home.

Not good enough for semi finals?

Pierre Chan said...

I think it was at the 2014 post season meeting. i don't Know who made the change. I just remember Scott Chisam telling us at the meeting that the at-large was moving to 8, but that the fields would expand to 12 for the 800 and field events.

Anonymous said...

#5 in CCS Doblar does not make CCS running 9:32 even though he ran 9:24, 5 seconds faster than the at large, in April. He tried to double with the 1600 and got punished for it. That is the unfortunate qualifying system that we have right now. He should get a spot to race for state. The SF freshman looks like he will end up in the top 15 in CCS. Does he deserve to go in a field of 32+? You tell me.

Anonymous said...

Tale of two sections...

I follow NCS but have been trying to keep track of this thread. Yesterday 13 boys ran sub 10 in the 3200 at the DFAL (NCS) finals while another 12 were under the time at WCAL (CCS).

As Coach Ozzie mentioned a 100 comments earlier DFAL is one of 4 leagues (also EBAL, DVAL & BVAL) that feed into the NCS Tri-Valley championships. This year top 3 in each event in each league automatically qualify on to Tri-Valley and the next 12 performances across the 4 leagues move on as well. Plus there are At-large standards in case someone meets it but is outside the next 12 across the 4 leagues.

So back to yesterday's 3200s at WCAL and DFAL. Only 4 of the 12 sub 10 boys from WCAL move on to CCS as noted above. However 12 of the 13 sub 10 boys from DFAL should qualify on to Tri-Valley. In fact across the 4 Tri-Valley leagues, after the 3 autos per league, the boy with the 12th best performance ran 9:57.67. Next week 22 of the 24 finalists in the Boy's 3200 at Tri-Valley will have run sub 10 at leagues.

Anonymous said...

Of course they deserve a shot. Scales had an off day.
Hard to see kids run 4:40 and 10:20 make CCS when multiple kids running 45 seconds faster stays home. Do away with extra qualifiers based on school size and go by time. It's quite simple.
Anyone get a response via email. I was told these are the rules in play that are voted on by coaches. It's a shame. I hope someone does put in for a change. But league reps have to push it through. And as noted last time they voted to make it harder, not easier so I have little hope.

Brian said...

Can someone check to see if anyone in any other section is sitting out their first round meet after running 1:57 or 9:32 (SS maybe)? Seems ridiculous to think a system we all agree would be more fair is currently being used in the NCS but it is said to be impossible to get our coaches and league reps to vote for it. That points to a previous comment from a coach on this thread "I coach in X league and I am going to do what is best for that league." Congratulations, that is why we have the mess we currently have.

Hank said...

"Power Merge" of all Leagues Qualifying meets to CCS (will add WBAL once loaded into athletic.net)

http://www.athletic.net/TrackAndField/Division/Top.aspx?List=13787&SchoolID=29324&S=2016&type=1

hank

Pierre Chan said...

At 4:46, people are working on it. That being said, I feel some folks are being too harsh on the public school kids. I was a public school kid and a lot of the passion I have for the sport was because I was given an opportunity to run at the next level. The kids running for schools with only 2 qualifiers run all out because they know they have to. If you look at the PAL results, you can tell that it was a tactical race for the auto-qualifying spots. Some of those "10:20" runners are quite better than that. For instance, the 3rd place runner at PAL almost won the D3 CCS championship this past fall.

Anonymous said...

Hank, very interesting. Since the WBAL 3200 guys ran a tactical race, they will not make it to the top 10 merge. I would like to congratulate the CCS for devising a system where the number 7 (Doblar) and 8 (Colonna) guys are sent home.

Anonymous said...

There is a bitterness toward teams that become successful. Be it public or private. It is sad but most coaches only have concern for their athlete and not the sport as a whole.

Anonymous said...

I don't know about the 1:57 but I do know a 2:05 made CCS this year!
Congrats league reps on allowing a system that keeps top athletes from advancing.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Hank. So, the WCAL has 6 of the top 8 3200 guys and they only get 2 autos? Brilliant!

Sal said...

Pierre, thanks for all you do. With all due respect, this is not a public vs. private issue, it is a fairness issue. The PAL case you brought up is a perfect example. The 5th auto qualifier in the PAL ran 10:20 (a PR for him on Athletic.net) and the 6th guy ran more than 2 seconds slower. You could say that the race was tactical and that is why the times are slow, but if you look at the PRs of the 5 qualifiers you find that only the #1 guy has ever run as fast as the at-large time - a very legitimate 9:26. The others: 9:57, 10:05, 10:16, 10:20. Of those PRs, only 2 were made at the league final. Tactical, yes and that points to a much bigger problem. The WCAL final was a dogfight. Every kid put it on the line to finish in the top 2 or make the at-large time one week before the CCS semi. That means, while the lead guy in the PAL ran a tactical 10:06 and looked forward to peaking at CCS, the WCAL guys are trying to recover to run the their fastest race next week. Is all that fair to the kid with who ran his heart out and finished 3 seconds off the at-large time, or to the kids who qualified but are at a big distinct disadvantage because their league final was a true championship race?

Anonymous said...

Anyone know how the auto qualifiers impact the other distances including the sprints? If we are trying to make a case for change, don't we have to talk about more than the distance races?

Anonymous said...

I think the bitterness towards the successful private schools is much worse. It doesn't help when you get to operate at an unfair advantage, and complain about how kids are getting screwed at every occasion. I see only one group complaining about this. As stated before, a kid racing for 2 spots has much more incentive to hit the auto. This would explain why the WCAL distance races are so strong every year, but very few seem to advance to state. There's a small chance the BVAL and PAL 3200 leaders might run a tad faster for the first 1600 if they were after only 2 spots. Tactical races are a huge part of the end of the season elimination rounds. So are race conditions. You can't just throw up in season times and say that's who deserves to go, now just change the system. Or at least CCS doesn't think so. Just because we don't care if everyone of the these club kids who starts training at 8 and now all have to go to the same 3 schools has a clear and easy path to CCS doesn't mean we don't care about our sport. Plenty of kids in other leagues had to drop events with the idea that it might affect their primary race. If Doblar was so concerned with the 3200 he should have run it fresh. I'm willing to bet he knew the risk. You got 2 extra participants in 3200, and 3 in the 800. It looks like some kids got in "going for it" and some just missed while running a personal best in the process. I don't see how the system failed. The 3200 is an easy target this year because it is not as strong as the past few years. Remember that your "The best times should be at the meet" plan doesn't look so good when you apply it to CIF qualifying. So now Sum, Pina, Foster, and Johain have to blast a crazy first 1600 so they can ensure they hit the auto to get in? Nope. Tactical first mile, and then blow out all the 9:35 kids out on the final 4 laps.

Anonymous said...

@7:22 I love tactical races. The 3200 should be tactical most times it is run. But that only works when the number of qualifying spots match the league talent. it is obvious that the distance auto spots are not commensurate with the talent in many of the leagues - too many in some cases and too few in others. Without going to a "best times go to the meet" approach, the next best thing would be to assign auto spots based on talent in each of the distances. The WCAL might get 5 or 6 spots in the 1600 and 3200, but might only get 2 in the sprints. Why are we using a "one size fit all" system when there is so much variability? As for the private school "club kids," I have no idea what you are talking about. The vast majority of the kids I know in the WCAL that run XC and distance came from soccer and other sports. They turned to running after getting pushed out of baseball, football, and soccer by other "club kids" (better know as little league and clubs like MVLA) and found running as a great alternative.

Anonymous said...

I have no horse in this race as my kid is in NCS but if you want to make a case for changing the CCS qualifying system then someone needs to analyze the data across all events not just the Boys 3200. Even better get the data from previous years and see if there is a consistent PATTERN of deserving kids being left out.

Also use only league performance data because early season performances is meaningless in this context. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

This is an issue with any league with 2 spots no just private school kids. King City had some fast kids not make it. Aptos had the D3 cross country champion an 5:01 miler not advance. Lots of 4:25 boys in SCVAL not moving on.

There's kids in every event in the top 10 not moving on. I don't have the time to make a list but you can take the auto times and look for the leagues with 2 spots. Those are the ones who get screwed.

This is not just a distance issue either. Jumpers, throwers, sprinters, relays all effected. They complain just not here.

Anonymous said...

The people who want to make changes agree that this is an issue for all of the "small" leagues that only get 2 spots and for every event, not just distance. This is mostly a XC site so we are focused there but agree that all events need changes. I like the idea of relaxing the at-large for next year and studying the issue next year for more changes in 2018. Fewer auto spots, based on talent in the league and not size, with more at-large spots, based on best times made at league finals and not a set mark, is my preferred approach.

Anonymous said...

Here's the thing. The best don't always make the playoffs, get over it. You make the auto time 16th but let in faster runners In a few years you have the same problem and times are likely the same they are now. If you want to make it, run faster.
I'm tired of spoiled rich brats who recruit and get the best of everything cry because you don't make it. Boo hoo. I don't mean to be offensive, just my opinion.

Unknown said...

Is to best to do xc as training for track and field as a 200/400 runner?

Anonymous said...

Run XC but do a modified training plan. 200/400 runners have a long run of about 40 min in the fall, not 10+ miles.

How about a bump on this to the top Albert?

Anonymous said...

@ 6:49 No, calling kids rich brats is not offensive at all. It also points to the truth in the inequity - it's on purpose and meant to punish a particular league. Nobody is crying, we are pointing out the truth, now confirmed by you and others that have a bias against "spoiled recruits."

Coach Tim said...

@Unknown - Cross country training isn't the best way to prepare for the 200/400. That said, for most high school sprinters, joining cross country is the best thing they can do in the fall and here's why: Accountability and consistency.

A consistent, well-planned sprint training program would be best for 200/400 guys. But chances are, you'd be out there by yourself. Every day. For several months. And most people aren't committed enough to do something like that.

Cross country gives you a team, training partners, and a coach. It gives you goals to achieve and a support system to hold you accountable. It's far easier and more fun than trying to beat the world on your own. Give it a try - you might even like it ;-)

Anonymous said...

@ 6:49 You must not live in the Bay Area. The public schools typically have the best tracks and facilities in the area, and most of the kids have just as much wealth or more than the kids going to most of the Catholic schools. This has nothing to do with privilege and everything to do with justice.

Anonymous said...

@6:49 You are also ignorant of the facts. Who are the rich brats that are crying? DO you think the 6th place finisher in the WCAL from Sacred Heart Cathedral who ran 1:57.55 is a "spoiled rich brat", or a deserving high school athlete who obviously worked had enough to get a shot at CCS? Also, I assume from the sentence you wrote that you are saying the coaches, who do the alleged recruiting you allude to, are the spoiled rich brats...uh, do you know how much a high school track coach gets paid...and lastly, rummage around on your grandparents book shelf until you find a thing called a 'dictionary'. then look up the words 'opinion' and 'offensive', so that you can use them correctly next time you want to slander a whole group pf people...

I guess I'm sick of people who don't see this isn't a class issue but a justice issue concerning the top student-athletes being given a chance to compete at the highest level available to them...

Anonymous said...

At this point in the conversation, everyone seems to understand each other. People simply do not see eye to eye.

Some faster runners get left at home as a result of the current structure.

Either you believe CCS spot allotment should be based on CBEDS enrollment numbers, or you think it should be based on times.

Switching to a time based system will likely result in a faster bottom half of the semi-field.

Sticking to CBEDS allows representation at CCS to remain an equal representation of the various regions of our section.

All of this debate (and name calling) boils down to a faster bottom half of the semi-field versus continuing to allow leagues that largely represent poor and minority children to get a proportionate cut of the pie so to speak.

Facts:
Nobody slow is getting into CCS.
It’s hard to be unbiased when you stand to benefit or lose out based on a change to the current structure.

Opinions:
I think the current at-large marks can potentially leave someone who has the chance of making a final at home. If we “softened” the at large mark to maybe reflect the 10th or 12th fastest time from semis, this would probably solve that problem in the future. I don’t advocate going down as low as 16th as was suggested before. I don’t think we want to go out of our way to create a larger semi round. I don’t want to create a massive amount of qualifiers in the name of “fairness”. You have to draw the line somewhere.

To me, fair means giving a potential finalist a chance regardless of what league they are in. Beyond that, I think the current system allows for the most balanced representation.

There seems to be a lot of support in this blog for sweeping change. I am here to tell you that many people do not agree. Knowledgeable, fair-minded people who care about the sport do not agree.

Anonymous said...

@ 6:30 AM

"I think the current system allows for the most balanced representation.There seems to be a lot of support in this blog for sweeping change. I am here to tell you that many people do not agree. Knowledgeable, fair-minded people who care about the sport do not agree."

As an outside observer, I think CCS has an opportunity to allow more deserving athletes to participate post-league championships. Automatic qualifying spots based on school size just doesn't make sense in my opinion. How does NCS, SJS and Southern Section handle this?

There has to be a better way and I consider myself knowledgeable about the sport and fair-minded. Just my 2 cents.

Anonymous said...

This is how the State meet handles it. After we're done fixing this, just remember to fix the CIF qualifying so more deserving SS kids get in. Automatic qualifying spots based on section size must not make sense either. There has to be a better way. Just my 2 cents.

Anonymous said...

@ 11:01

LOL- your sarcasm is not lost on me.

Albert Caruana said...

There are athletes that would benefit from competing at the CCS meet when they are not quite ready to compete for a state meet spot. That doesn't mean they don't belong in the meet. And I disagree that the our section meet should follow the same format (for the most part) of the state meet. It seems like any format changes are shot down by "well that is how the state meet does it". The CCS meets are not the state meet. Not even close.

Anonymous said...

Once again, the freshman that makes the semis PRs in the semis, next year makes the finals, next year makes it to state and then places. What is wrong with sending the best kids to the show so they can get better? We alternate between saying CCS is not developmental and sending slower kids that are going NOWHERE!

Anonymous said...

SS probably does deserve a few more spots.

Want a quick fix? Merge WCAL and BVAL qualifier and give them 10 spots.
Problem solved.

Anonymous said...

@ 7:28, Great suggestion. This is how the 3200 would have worked out under that system: WCAL gets first 8 spots 9:22 thru 9:42 (with 4 kids under the at-large); WVAL gets 2 spots 9:45 and 9:47. BTW - this is the exact opposite of what the current rules give us. Yes, 8 kids in the WCAL ran faster than the fastest kid in the WVAL, and 4 of those WCAL kids are staying home. Granted, some of the WVAL kids were holding back because they get 8 spots but that argument falls apart because the third place kid ran a PR 9:49.42, slower than the ninth place kid in the WCAL (who is also staying home). Is this fair to the kids?

Anonymous said...

@8:44 you are being too kind. Looking closely at the BVAL 3200 final, setting aside the first 2 places which most would argue is minimum auto standard, all of the kids 3 through 8 (each of which is going to the CCS) PR'd in the league final (no tactical race at all). Their finals times and new PR's: 3) 9:49.42; 4) 9:52.43; 5) 9:53.60; 6) 9:54.62; 7) 9:57.18; and 8) 10.01.14. One has to wonder what the great defenders of the current system are actually defending.

Anonymous said...

3200 state qualifier the past 3 seasons. BVAL 2, WCAL 0. Boys under 9:20 the past 4 seasons including 2016. BVAL 6, WCAL 1(9:19.51). Just this last month.

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous 6:28: So what about the kid who, as a freshman PRs in the F/S championship, as a sophomore PRs to make the varsity prelims, as a junior PRs in the prelims to make the varsity finals, and as a senior PRs in the varsity final to make CCS? Why is his development less important or meaningful? Is he "going nowhere", or has he completed a road that was just as long, arduous, and personally meaningful as your hypothetical athlete's trip to the State meet?

Anonymous said...

Why don't they just get rid of the league meets and make the CCS meet 4 weeks long?

That first week's meet couldn't take any longer than K-bell.

Anonymous said...

@ 7:28

You clearly did not watch the BVAL 3200 final. It was a tactical race. The race had a clear favorite, Dozier, (2nd through 8th were a wide open race) and he did not see the need to throw down the hammer untill 800 to go. Surely you understand seed times (and even PRs) are an incomplete picture of competiveness.

I agree it would have been nice to see how BVAL + WCAL race would have played out.

Albert Caruana said...

No question that with 8 qualifying spots, here is no urgency to run fast as the main goal is to finish in one of those 8 positions.

Anonymous said...

"No Slow Kids Make CCS"

Please look at the trials entries... Some very poor marks are in CCS. And that is ok, someone needs to lose. But you can't tell me the "X" athlete deserves a spot while "y" athlete does not.

How about we continue to punish WCAL and keep them at 2 spots but give more spots to SCVAL, SCCAL and other deserving leagues. Would that work for you?

Anonymous said...

CCS 3200 finalist 2012-1015. WCAL 4, BVAL 12.

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