Sunday, May 06, 2012

Qualifying to CCS. Is this fair?

The following was posted below in the comment section.  I think it's worth discussing as I have felt the same about the qualifying process.
"Results besides are unimpressive. A shame they only advance 2 (who will make state) in the 3200. Gibson is worthy to run CCS but now will not even get to run. Amazing how the leagues with such depth like the sccal get screwed. They should just go straight time standards like swimming does now and NCAA does. Seems silly that one league gets 13 min 2 milers in CCS but Gibson runs 11:32 and stays home. 

Albert, Hank or anyone else who attends the CCS meeting can you explain why this is considered fair? This is an individual sport and if the CCS determines 24 or 32 or whatever should advance shouldn't it be best athletes in that number? 

Gibson has run 11:09 and is ranked 7th in CCS. Heat, wind and she runs 11:30 and stays home. 

Please, those who can make this more fair please do something. Top 20 marks from leagues or major invites, a provisional mark. Or do nothing and make a minimum standard. Bottom line parents are pleading for something to be done! This girl had a shot to go to state. Now, season over."

The amount of athletes that are allowed to compete at the CCS XC and Track and Field meets is fairly small compared to other sections.  At the CCS pre and post season meeting, the term that is repeated quite often is that CCS is an elite meet.  Leagues such as the WCAL and the SCCAL only get two entries to CCS.  The only way you can advance to CCS from those two leagues, if you don't finish in the top 2, is to perform better than the at-large marks.  What happens if the league finals are held on an especially hot or windy day?  What if another league has perfect conditions at their league finals?  Why can't those at-large times be met at anytime during the season?  It gets tricky with Track and Field in that sprint and jump events need to have wind gauges present in order for marks to be valid.  Why can't we have a similar system like swimming were you can qualify and beat that at-large time during the season?  What about cross country?  Why can't those at-large times be met at anytime during the season?  Two years ago, the league finals at Crystal Springs were held under brutal conditions and teams were hard pressed to meet those at-large times.  Those same teams were also state meet contenders.

As I mentioned above, I think that it is a topic that is worth discussing.  Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below.


Tmo said...


11:46 at conference moves you on regardless of place in the SJS.

Anonymous said...

I'm having a hard time being overly sympathetic as the at large qualifying marks exist for just this reason. (They are determined by "the average of the last-place qualifying mark to the CCS Finals from the three [3] most recent years.) Not to pick on Gibson, but since she was the example used, I will continue with her. The at large mark for girls 3200 this year is 11:28.51. According to dyestat and, she's run 11:09, 11:23, 11:34, 11:47 and 11:54 this year. Given those marks, I would hardly call her a "lock" to make the at large mark and automatically worthy of running in CCS. Having yo-yo results isn't a sign of a great runner and while I think there is some merit to considering at large marks made during the season, she should have been able to muster the at large mark at this point in the season. The same is true of any athlete worthy of making CCS in his/her event. My $0.02.

Albert Caruana said...

CCS used to have north and south meets that led up to the CCS semifinals. The number of athletes that get to experience CCS have been severely cut since the elimination of those two meets. I understand your argument about the at-large mark and if you can't make it, too bad but Gibson would have qualified in most sections in CA. She is a 9th grader that would have benefited from competing in CCS but because she is in a super tough league for distance, she is done.

Rob Collins said...

I personally I still think we need to work on a better system to give our kids a better chance to qualify to CCS, The One thing we can all agree on is, we are out there for the Kids on teaching them on how to Strive forward and Better themselves! We all Love Coaching otherwise we would not be out there doing it! Yes, Most likely we might have to add a extra heat or two, but this could help improve CCS to get a better and deeper field throughout CCS! We have now used the qualifying system for awhile and alot of Good athletes have still missed Running in CCS in several Leagues throughout the years! This has happen to me Many times before through my years of coaching and others in our League and I'm pretty sure to others throughout CCS! This year again some will still be left out of CCS, Especially since alot of them should be in the trials and some of them could have been in the Finals actually, Just not in our League but I'm pretty sure in others also! Unfortuantely it was Very Windy and Very Dry Humid weather during the SCCAl Championships yesterday! Personally there should be a timed standard as there is Now, but they should have to hit that time maybe lets say after the 1st week of April up to your League Chmpionships! The athlete though Should still need to Run there respected Event in there League Championships to move on to CCS though, so they can't sit Back and Rest for the next Meet (CCS). If they Don't Run there respected event that they want to compete in at CCS then they Don't Move On! This is Just My Opinion!

Anonymous said...

The last qualifier is tough no doubt. More often than not trials is faster than the finals.

The standard has dropped as the quality has increased. I have no problem with a tough standard. But I do have a problem with the above statement. Different races call for different strategies. Pulling out stats and calling them yo yo is insulting. That person has obviously never run a hard race in extreme conditions. To imply someone who has run 11:32 with a PR does not deserve to advance is rediculous. In NCAA or usatf if you run the standard ONCE you are in. Should be the same here.

The issue here is that much slower runners qualify. If the standard I'd 11:29 make it 11:29 for everyone. Not to pick on certain leagues but it is rediculous to think a 13 min mark is worthy but an 11:30 is not.

If you want an elite meet, take the top 24 athletes from their league results regardless of league, wind, heat, whatever. Or install a minimum standard. League qualifying does not make CCS elite but rather takes away from the quality of the event.

Things that should improve:
1. 3200 meters should mirror state as should CCS. Trials Friday night, finals Saturday night. 3200 straight final. This sends the athletes that can handle that kind of back to back.

2. Ease the qualifying times to the median (16th place) or that you can hit an auto wind legal mark at any time in the season at a major invite. Another possibility is to have an A and B standard. Hit the A and you are in (maybe the state auto time). Then provisional times fill in the remaining spots from league meets. If you are trying to make the meet elite or determine a team champion the fastest athletes should qualify regardless of leagues. If league representation is important than move to divisions like xc and advance to a meet of champions.

3. If no changes are made a minimum time standard should be implemented that is equivalent to the 24th time the past 3 years. If you have to meet a time to get into invites but not for CCS? Seems simple. For example you must hit 11:59 for girls 3200 or you don't go. That is "elite."

Something needs to change. Has nothing to do with Gibson or anyone else. Real simple, top 24 advance.

Albert Caruana said...

I stand corrected. Gibson qualified in the 1600 by running faster than at-large mark. Thanks to Hank Lawson for pointing that out in the comment section below.

Anonymous said...

So in these super leagues what you are saying is be good enough to be top 8 or 12 (distances) in CCS or you don't deserve to go? And you don't feel sympathetic?

That leaves out a lot of kids. Look at how many leagues have kids hit the auto time at their league meet, including the leagues that get 5 or 6 or 8 auto qualifiers. It's very few.

hank said...

My comment on the other thread was on Gibson in the 1600 where she hit the qualifier - I didn't look at the 3200 results or what the qualifier was there. She still can run the 1600 if she wants to.

All good ideas about standards throughout the season. The main question here is, who's going to keep track of all that stuff? Would need to be someone from CCS since it's their meet and it will all be done on the up & up, but does that mean another person to hire...? If it costs more money, I doubt it will get done.


Anonymous said...

Gibson's average 3200 given the previous times is 11:33, or 5 seconds slower than the at-large mark. She has clearly not demonstrated that she bleongs at the CCS meet in the 3200.

Albert Caruana said...

I don't believe you need another person to keep track. The athletes who qualify under those circumstances could be entered just like the other athletes by the league rep.

Anonymous said...

But the 8th place finisher in BVAL is worthy? The 5th place finisher in PAL who ran 12:15 is more worthy?

Please explain your rational that a 12:15 is "worthy" but an 11:32 is not.

Please explain your thought process. Her slowest time is better that that.

But please understand something. There is a reason NCAA and Usatf make you hit the standard once. Your "averages" argument is rediculous. Thing like weather, training cycles, level of competition, illness, injuries, fitness levels all come into play. Clearly you have no understanding of training or coaching. My guess is if you do coach you do not have any athletes who can hit the auto time or you have an elitest attitude. Time to do what's right for the kids and the sport.

One simple fix, give these leagues known to be strong more auto qualifiers. Give Sccal and wcal 4 spots, keep everything else the same.

Problem solved.

p.hadley said...

Having coached swimming for many years before entering the running field, I am still perplexed by the the track and field model of qualifying for State. In swimming, each event has 40 qualifiers, as per:

1. Swimmers who achieve the automatic time or faster will qualify in each event.
2. If there are fewer than 40 swimmers per event that qualify by achieving the automatic time, the swimmers with the fastest
times between the automatic time and the consideration time will be awarded entries until the 40 qualifiers-by-time field is
3. Qualifying for the NCS/Les Schwab Tires Championship Meet may be achieved in the following ways: high school dual
meets, league/conference meets, or league/conference qualifying meets (time trials may only be scheduled as part of the
league/conference qualifying meets) or any other interscholastic competition. NOTE: THESE TIMES MUST BE MADE
Automatic time based on the 16th place time in the 2011 NCS/Les Schwab Tires Championship Meet Trials. Consideration
times are based on the 55th place entry time or close to it from the 2011 NCS/Les Schwab Tires Championships. Time may
be adjusted by the NCS Swimming & Diving Management Committee on an annual basis.

Now, high school swimming in CA has its own issues that I won't go into here, but I think they've got it right on how to qualify for meets.

As for Anonymous that stated, "Not to pick on Gibson," You did exactly that! If you are going to criticize someone, at least don't hide behind anonymity. I don't know this Gibson, but I'll give her the benefit of the doubt of being a hard working runner who does it not for money and fame but sweat and success. I'm sure she doesn't run so that her name and best efforts can be batted about on a blog. If she has the misfortune of reading your comments, then I don't see how she wouldn't take at least a little pain in being called out for being a "yo-yo", not a "lock", not a "great runner" and not "worthy".


Athenian XC
Athenian T&F

Anonymous said...

Why do you think this is unfair, but if a sprinter has one false start they are out of the race and therefore out of the possibility of CCS, State, etc? To me, it is the same sort of situation. One bad race DOES effect if you make it on to the next round or not. Sorry, but that is the way it is. What if a soccer team just misses a winning goal by 2 inches (but made that same shot in an earlier game), do they get to advance? You have to perform when it matters. It isn't just about the time, it's about knowing how to race (strategy) and getting it done when it counts.

Coach Small said...

This seems to come up every year.

As a member of the WCAL, which only receives two automatic qualifiers and is traditionally very strong, it is no surprise that to make CCS athletes often have to run the CCS Auto-Qualifying time to advance. As the depth and quality has increased so has the qualifying times, as it should.

It was two years ago that in the WCAL Trials in the 200 meters 8 runners hit the CCS Auto-qualifying time but only 7 got to advance to the League Finals. Talk about a tough break… you are good enough to make it to the CCS Final the last three years but not fast enough to make it to the League Final. Now that is a tough break.

The question originally addressed here is: “Is it fair?”

Yes. Everyone knows the standard and you must hit it to advance. Leagues do not have to put the 3200 meters at 3 pm in the heat of the day. You could run it in the morning, or at night under the lights. A time standard is about as fair as it can possibly be.

This leads us to the next part of the question. Is determining automatic qualifiers by a percentage of population the best way of qualifying for the Section Championship?

No. There are years that some leagues have enormous depth and then a few years later are not as strong. The size of population can never be an indicator of “elite” performances.

I do not know the answer but I must say that every qualifying system has its issues. Previous posts have mentioned the NCAA so I will use that as the example. While the regional system has worked in my opinion (Top 50 qualify for regionals from a performance list, Top 12 from regionals advance to Nationals), it could have issues if one Region was extremely stronger than another.

I think our current system is sufficient, though could use some tweaking to allow a more elite meet. One fast or slow year can dramatically throw off standards. Perhaps a longer average needs to be taken (5-10 years) or the 16th time (median) that was mentioned above. Or as Albert has suggested, more auto qualifiers: one more heat to allow “provisional” athletes in would not be the death of CCS. And one might argue make the meet more competitive and “elite.”

Just my thoughts which probably aren't worth the 2 cents.

Anonymous said...

BVAL has 24 schools. So we are happy with the 8 we get. Some years we are strong, and some we're not. Good luck everyone!!!

hank said...

Albert said
"I don't believe you need another person to keep track. The athletes who qualify under those circumstances could be entered just like the other athletes by the league rep."

But what happens when your league doesn't have a League Rep as is the case this year with the SCVAL? And what happens if the League rep isn't a Stats Junkie like some of us and doesn't keep tabs of athletes marks throughout the year, then what happens? DA & AN don't cust it for not all meets are loaded into those systems. Believe me, it would be a ton of work - I know.


Anonymous said...

Speaking to the NCAA comparison. D1 is split into 2 super regions to qualify for Nationals. The Western Region is basically everything west of the east side of Texas. The west is so strong that in the women's 10K 12 of the nations top 14 are from the western region. So, you could be 13th at Regionals and not make it to nationals while 83% of the people qualifying from the other region ran slower than you did.

Anonymous said...

It can't be harder than entering an invitational.

It's on the coaches... give the time, the invitational, the date and verify.

When all else fails check Hank's top 20 list!

Anonymous said...

Not to hijack the thread but is Sara Robinson done? She did not run in the SCVAL Qualifier.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Coach Small
How would you like to run 11:11 in a league meet and not advance? That’s what happened in the Bay League in the Southern Section. Kelli Sugimoto ran 10:47 this season at Arcadia, but could (only run) 11:11 in the Bay League for 4th. The automatic qual for prelims in the southern section Div. II is 11:07. Ouch!! All schools from Palos Verdes High north to Santa Monica High are divided into the Bay, Ocean and Pioneer. The top teams are placed in the Bay. They beat each other up and still only get three automatic qualifiers, just like the two other leagues in the area. There is a Gibson every year in this league. There are times when three athletes from this league are in the State Final of an event.
Take a look at the distance times in this league final-
Gibson had a great cross country season. She has the talent to do something in the 3200, but ran into a tough race at league. Now it becomes a teaching moment. Just like in the real world we have to move on and make lemonade out of lemons. The 1600 is the premiere race at State/CCS anyway (only half serious). Good Luck and Have Fun

Anonymous said...

couple things:

1. gibson's "average time" thing - whoever suggested that is dumb. She's a 11:09 2-miler, not a 11:33 average 2-miler. you are judged by your PRs, nothing more, nothing less.

2. the system as it is does make sense. every athlete knows exactly what must be done to make it to CCS before they compete. its not like some arbitrary decision is made after the qualifiers that so-and-so gets in, while someone else gets left out. no. the competitors are aware of the stakes of the race, and have a responsibility to compete to the best of their ability if they want to make it to CCS. i say less complaining, more training. if you're in a tough league, train so you can hit the auto mark. if not, train to get top-5 or whatever it takes.

3. "having a bad day" at league finals is justification enough for missing CCS. "deserves" is not a factor here. league finals are races, and the winner will be the best runner on that day. if you miss the mark or the top-5, then there are others better than you on that day who deserve it. not you. that's how qualification works in all meets, events, and sports. not just track.

4. justification for the 13min qualifier vs. 1130 non-qualifier: the 13 minute girl knew what she needed to do before the race, trained to that standard, and accomplished it on race day. she deserves to go to CCS because she did what she had to do to make it. whereas the 1130 girl knew what she had to do but did not accomplish it. therefore, she does not deserve to go to CCS because she did not do what was required to make CCS. i can guarantee you that they won't give Usain Bolt the gold medal in the 100m in london until he actually crosses the finish line and does what is required to deserve the gold, namely, win that heat of that race on that day. nothing else matters.

Anonymous said...

"Not to hijack the thread but is Sara Robinson done? She did not run in the SCVAL Qualifier."


Anonymous said...

^ Sooo... yes?

Coach Tim said...

Every system has flaws, and any system can produce situations which are unfair.

Sure you can add spots, but to do so do you take spots away from someone else? If you expand the field, how do you address qualifying from semis- to finals? Is "heat winners only" or "top 8 times only" really fair?

You can add a third day, but how long do you want your top kids out there when their friends have all finished their seasons? (and in some cases, their school year)

I think getting rid of auto-qualifiers is the wrong way to go; at the very least, league champions should advance regardless of league.

If the concern (based on the original example) is the "I ran faster than person X, but she qualified and I didn't" situation, then the "fair" solution would be something like "So-many auto-qualifiers and any athletes faster than the slowest auto-qualifier". Which seems like a very risky solution.

Anonymous said...

". justification for the 13min qualifier vs. 1130 non-qualifier: the 13 minute girl knew what she needed to do before the race, trained to that standard, and accomplished it on race day. she deserves to go to CCS because she did what she had to do to make it. whereas the 1130 girl knew what she had to do but did not accomplish it. therefore, she does not deserve to go to CCS because she did not do what was required to make CCS."

Agreed and well said.

However what you are describing is a broken system. If the goal is to have an "elite" meet a minimum qualifying time is needed. They knew the rules and trained to it. Awesome. If you want an elite meet then lets do that and have a minimum standard.

Coach Tim said...

Additionally, I strongly agree with the "this is a teaching moment" argument. Especially about getting it done on the day. This isn't only true in Track & Field, it's true in life. If you have a big presentation for your boss/clients/investors, no one cares how well you did it in practice if you blow it when it matters.

That said, "more fair" is something worth shooting for. Especially when the reasons for the unfairness boil down to "not enough people live here".

Anonymous said...

We compete in athletics to simulate real life situations. The current system works just like the real world. You don’t qualify for CCS in preferred event, but you do in second choice. Great, time for plan B, run a PR in the 1600 at CCS and see if that’s enough to get to state. Sounds like the system worked just like it was supposed to. A good athlete got to CCS and has a chance to move on to state.

Albert Caruana said...

Thank you for all the comments. I figured that this is a topic worth discussing and based on the feedback, that is certainly the case. Thank you also for the mostly positive comments. Just like any topic, not everybody can agree with everybody else but we can all respect someone else's opinion and still be able to get our point across.

Anonymous said...

CCS Swimming Qualifying:

The three (3)-year average of the 40th-place time for individual events and the 32nd time for relays
will be used as a guideline for adjusting the qualifying standard in each event the following year.

Athletes can hit the standard any time during the season.

So if you have it right in swimming... why a different qualifying procedure for track? Both are individual events.

Seems simple to me. Works for swimming, should be the same for track.

hank said...

Swimming also scores the top 16 for team scoring (or is it more...?).

Remember, we're talking about qualifying to CCS Trials here, CCS Finals IS the elite meet.


Anonymous said...

^ I would be in favor of the above.

40 divided by 8 = 5. Seems like a reasonable number of heats. If more or less than 40 make the standard add or take away a heat.

Top 40 would allow equality through the divisions, leagues, school sizes etc.

I could very well see 10-12 from the large conferences like BVAL move on. This clearly is the way to go!!!

Anonymous said...

What are qualifying times for the State meet, should the person not meet the place standards? I am wondering about SJS specifically. Thanks.

hank said...

OK, now we're talking! - business is slow right now. If I get a chance I'll find out what the swimming scoring is and try to apply that (means using trials results as well) to the 2011 CCS results and see how the team scores would shake out. Could be interesting.


PS - love the conversation - it's like the old DyeStat.

Albert Caruana said...

The at-large marks for all sections to the state meet are all the same.

Here is the link as posted on the SJS website:

Anonymous said...

In 2007, all 15 girls in the 100M at BVAL's would have qualified to CCS if they ran at In the SCCAL. It's tough to be in a league with Hilitz, or Tarmoh. If you're out you're out. It's gotta be somebody. It's not like she didn't know which place she had to get. So I guess Hilitz would have run 4:35 if not for the weather?

Anonymous said...

Hank you are the man! I agree that swimming does it right. Top 40 list, it's so simple. Hit the time and your in. Fair enough for everyone. I'd bet everyone would get additional qualifiers in.

2 heats of 20 for the mile and 2 mile is no difference than there is now.

More sales at the gate, tshirts, concessions, etc.

CCS finals an even more elite meet.

Does anyone have an argument against this?

Anonymous said...

^ I agree. Can someone come up with an argument for not qualifying like swimming?

Leagues go up and down. This helps everyone, all leagues here in the CCS. It makes the meet elite and sets one mark, one bar to achieve. Run that time in an invite and you are in. Same for everyone. After all this is an individual sport, should we not all qualify the same way?

BVAL is stronger in the girls sprints, sccal in the girls distances. It all works itself out, the strengths of teams are highlighted and the best team champion is crowned.

Seems simple. But hanks list will need to be top 40 from now on!

So what are the arguments against? And can this really change? This to me is a no brainer.

John said...

I have no skin in the game as I live in NCS territory but I don't like basing qualification on a top 20, 30 or 40 list for the following reasons:

1) it encourages chasing times versus learning to race. As Albert has said in the past, the goal of every program should be to run best when it counts - during championship season. Fast times are great but going off a top performance list means you're possibly rewarding athletes who only did well at the beginning of the season but are now injured, out of shape, etc.
2) it devalues the league championship. Let's say an athlete is banged up or sick. Why race if they have a qualifying time already?
3) Every other section doesn't do it this way so why CCS? Southern Section is even tougher to get through the various rounds of meets.

Personally I like the way NCS does it. League, regional, MOC.

Albert Caruana said...

John. I agree with your comments. I think a complete change to a swimming protocol is not the way to go. The majority of qualifiers to CCS should still come from the top placers in each league. I just feel that the current format can be tweaked a bit to give athletes in tough events another opportunity to make it to CCS. That was the reason for the at-large marks, right?

Anonymous said...

CCS swimming does it. Why not track? Because everyone else does it is a poor argument. Is PAC 12's devalued in college?

It works in college it would work here. And by the way kids already chase times every meet. (PRs). And they are chasing them now at league. This makes it equal across the board for all. It could be a time standard at league only for all I care. But it's the way to go.

CCS is concerned with the section meet, not league meets.

hank said...

Top 40 - no way.
I'm "old School" - do it at Leagues or wait til next year (yes, even for seniors their is a next year, I'm a "senior" and I'm STILL chasing that qualifier).
Swimming & Track - Apples to Oranges (I just like the "what if's" - an old HP tag line).
I still think that the "Top Athletes" make it to the CCS Finals and that's what the CCS Finals are about (IMHO).


Albert Caruana said...

I don't think a radical change like using the swimming format can pass which is the reason I would ask for a small tweak to the current format.

John said...


Is there a simple summary of how the quailifying process works from league to CCS? For example, in NCS, top 6 in an event at DFAL move on to Tri-Valley with the top 7 there (+ at large) going to MOC.

Does CCS have an area meet after league and if not then maybe this is the answer?

Albert Caruana said...


The amount of qualifiers to CCS from each league can be found here:

Basically it's 32 athletes per event (plus those that surpass at-large marks) to straight to the CCS Semifinals. From there there 8 (100 to 800), top 12 (1600/3200) and top 8 field event athletes advance to the finals.

Coach Tim said...

As long as we're tossing out radical solutions...

Move up the league meets so there's a week before semifinals (PAL had this this year), and in that week throw a section-wide "last chance meet" specifically for anyone who didn't get an auto-qualifier. Heck, include top Frosh/Soph athletes too. In a venue known for top conditions. The top X athletes in each event move on to fill out the field.

+Maintains focus on league meets
+Offers solution to situations like Gibson
+It'd be a lot of fun

-Someone's gotta pay for it
-requires moving some league meets
-It'll never happen

John said...

Thanks Albert. I think I saw it mentioned earlier but one suggestion would be to open semifinals to more athletes by splitting it into two meets (i.e. North and South). This might create issues as a league like WCAL has schools from San Jose to SF.

Then make CCS Finals a two-day event to mimic the CIF schedule. The athletes should learn how to handle heats and finals on consecutive days.

Is this type of setup a cost and logistics issue?

Albert Caruana said...


CCS used to have North and South meets following the league meets. From there, athletes qualified to the CCS semi-finals.

The North and South meets were eliminated completely due to too many scratches (my best guess). Maybe others can chime in on the reasons for the elimination of those meets.

That's a lot of athletes that don't get to compete in CCS now.

Anonymous said...

Problem is some leagues get 8 qualifiers some get 2.

Some running almost a minute per mile slower qualify while others do not.

A better qualifying format is needed. In today's sue happy society it is not long until a lawsuit is brought against the CCS. There is no justification here other than to purposely punish smaller leagues and private schools.

Coach Tim said...

At-large standards are divided according to CBED enrollment of the schools in the league. So the justification is you're giving the most chances to the leagues with the most students. Which, on the surface, seems fair.

Albert Caruana said...

The at-large standards are computed from marks that qualify to the CCS finals track finals.

In XC, the at-large standards are indeed different for each division.

Anonymous said...

My 2 cents:
At large qualifiers come from a descending order list that will fill out the field to a number greater than 24 auto qualifiers (32/40??) Throw in the hitch that the first non automatic qualifier from each league (such as 3rd place in SCCAL) must advance before the second non-automatic qualifier. This is my thought to make top athletes still race to qualify at their league meet and not bank on their top mark to qualify. For example, Hank has the the #1 time on the descending order list and finishes 4th (2nd non-auto qualifier)in SCCAL. Albert takes 3rd (1st non-auto qualifier) in SCCAL and is 30th on the descending order list. Once Albert is declared in the field, then the next spot goes to Hank if there is one still available

hank said...

^ But I would never let Albert beat me so this scenario is pointless. :)


Anonymous said...

This would be solved if each league had a minimum 4 qualifiers. Give the other leagues the same based on CBEDS.

Amazing that football in the WCAL is forced to have 4 teams in the open division because they are "stronger." But come track the stronger teams are penalized with less entries? Seems backwards.

Distance Guy said...

If you want to have a "qualifying standard" that gets you to CCS Trials it should be a very tough standard like the State Meet "At-Large" times. You can use the 6th place mark for the last 3 years in CCS for each event as the standard. If a person hits this tough standard and doesn't qualify from their league then they can be let in to CCS Trials. The CCS at-large marks are too SLOW to justify allowing someone in to CCS Trials if they can't run well at their League Meet.

Anonymous said...

^ Agree.

But this should be taken a step further and add in a CCS minimum. Take the 40th time run from the performance list and find the average the last 5 years. That is your minimum standard.

Or just an arbitrary number that doesn't fluctuate.

For the distances I could see for boys 2:04.99, 4:39.99, and 10:29.99 and for girls 2:29.99, 5:39.99 and 12:29.99 as reasonable cut offs.

You wont get into major invites with those marks you shouldn't get into CCS.

The issue I have here is you can't say a slower time is more "worthy" because they have a league with a larger population. This is track, not football or basketball or whatever. You must run the times to get in.

Of course this all gets sorted out from semi's to finals but it is a joke seeing runners lapped in the distance races. If you want an elite meet with the best athletes then change is needed.

By that reasoning India deserves 25 entries into the Olympics and Kenya 1. But I think we would all agree it is more than likely the other way around.

Coach Tim said...

Oops, obviously in my last I meant "Automatic qualifiers are distributed according to CBED..." not at-large. The at-large are calculated as Albert describes.

Anonymous said...

"If you want an elite meet with the best athletes then change is needed."

But the CCS meet is a sectional championship meet, not an "elite" meet. If you want an elite meet, you would do away with rounds of qualifying and just have an invitational.

hank said...

The link below scores the 2011 CCS Finals going 16 deep like swimming does (I use the swimming scoring as well):

I will work on the ladies next but wanted to get something out there.

I wonder if swimming had a State Meet if they would qualify differently to CCS then they do now...


Albert Caruana said...

Thanks Hank. Great stuff as always. Very interesting to look at the difference between scoring through 8 and scaring through 16.

Matt Tompkins said...

Hi guys, Sarah Robinson is currently competing in Guatemala with the U17 soccer team so was unable to run at the league meet this year for GUNN. She was voted MVP for the game against Trinidad. She will be running some unattached races to complete her season in late may and june.

Anonymous said...

Well Looked like the Weather didn't Bother Hiltz or Maxwell. Hiltz 4:44 and Maxwell's 4:51! Looks Like Hiltz ran four events all with quality Times and Maxwells 10:34 in the 3200m, I heard that Fraiser doing all the Work and Maxwell took off with 800m's to Go! Is Hiltz focusing on 1600m and 800m at State what is Maxwell focusing on 1600m and 3200m or just 3200m at State?

Albert Caruana said...

Well if last year is any indication, Hiltz doubled at CCS (1600/800) and dropped the 800m. after CCS. Maxwell doubled at CCS and State in 1600/3200.

hank said...

Hey all, I just added the Girls with swimming scoring:


Rob Collins said...

Anna Plans On Running only the 3200m at State This year!

Anonymous said...

Here is a valid question... Is Bellarmine (the school) better than most leagues?

With 5 boys Varsity under 10 min in the 3200 this year, with a frosh soph top 4 that ran under 10:14... one might argue that Bellarmine receive 2 automatic qualifiers and the rest of WCAL can fight for the other 2.

Anonymous said...

Just looking at the ebal varsity trial heat sheets and it looks like the B800 will be very competitive with seven boys having raced under 1:57.

LIVE Schmierer 1:54.03
MOVI Fuhriman 1:54.04
SARV Holmgren 1:54:09
AMVA McKinnon 1:55.39
SARV Deuel 1:55.89
SARV Hardy 1:56.20
SARV Wilke 1:56.77

Anonymous said...

Hope they get more than 2 qualifiers.

Albert Caruana said...

With Track and Field, the number of CCS qualifiers is based mostly on population and not on quality. That means the amount of qualifiers will remain the same no matter how well a certain league performs at CCS. My premise was not to take spots from certain leagues but reward individuals and teams for dipping under the at-large marks at other times of the season. An idea somebody brought up is that you can use the last month of the season instead of the entire season as the window to hit those standards. As it stands now, the conditions can be a major factor for competitors who are up against some of the top athletes in CCS. If their only way to qualify for CCS is by the at-large marks, most have to hope for perfect conditions at their league finals in order to make those standards.

Anonymous said...

It's only supposed to be 90 degrees Saturday. No biggie for the 3200 right?

Why leagues refuse to move the 3200 to early times like 8 am (hello, cross country) or late like 9 pm under the lights is amazing.

Or leagues that have trials on Wednesday and finals Saturday. For a league like ebal that is insane. Why not have trials the Saturday before. Kids have AP tests this week. I know many that miss races because of this. Can we not begin to think of the kids a moment.

It's easy. Qualifying window opens April 1. That way you can hit the qualifier at league trials. Or Arcadia or Top 8 Invite, etc.

Then trials Saturday followed by league finals next Friday / Saturday NIGHT.

Think of the kids please!

Anonymous said...

"Think of the kids please!"

I would imagine that most of the meets are scheduled for Saturday during the day specifically to avoid other school conflicts (say, proms).

I remember one year when it was cold and windy in the evening (a CCS qualifier on a Friday night) and people were complaining on why it wasn't moved to Saturday day when it was warmer with the same, "Think of the kids!" line.

Anonymous said...

RE: Sarah Robinson.

Curious why the coach's at Gunn won't let her go? This season was a bust. A meet early season and now after traveling the world come back an run unattached?

Try to do both xc and club? Seems like a strain on the kid. Shouldn't you just let her go play soccer?

Ernest Lee said...

"E: Sarah Robinson.

Curious why the coach's at Gunn won't let her go? This season was a bust. A meet early season and now after traveling the world come back an run unattached?

Try to do both xc and club? Seems like a strain on the kid. Shouldn't you just let her go play soccer?"

Sarah Robinson herself requested to run as much as she could and to try to do some more races after she returns. Knowing that the World Cup qualifier was her top priority, we adjusted her training and racing schedule accordingly. Note that we did not race her in any high level invitational and structured all of her races as workout sessions even though Sarah was more than happy to run whatever race we asked her to in dual meets to help out the team. In fact, if she had her choice, she would have wanted to quadruple in every meet. If anything, the coaches here at Gunn do we can to limit the amount of running that Sarah does.

As for her season, given that she recorded significant PR's in every distance event, helped her team throughout the season, improved her soccer game (as a mid-fielder, her strength is her endurance), and played an important role in the US team qualifying for the U-17 World Cup, neither the coaches at Gunn or Sarah herself consider this season a bust.

Concerned Parent said...

I'm all for the 2 and 3 sport athlete. But today with club sports dominating the culture of today's high school athlete while demanding tens of thousands of dollars it is no wonder parents listen to who they are paying and receiving the sales pitch from.

Club soccer (club anything really) has taken over. To ask student athletes to play a full commitment to the club soccer schedule, race and practice as a high school runner, take a full academic load, etc. in my opinion is too much.

You cannot fully give 100% to either team. You miss practices, or come late. And as much "understanding" as there is it will eventually creat a culture of "unfairness." I cannot speak to this case but in general athletes at this age should not do two sports simultaneously. It is not healthy.

As a parent it is my belief this is too much. At some point you need to teach your children to make decisions. I see too many kids at high academic school stressed and over committed. I see them drug every which way for meaningless team points. I am sure she wants to but is it right? Again, not my child but I think kids need to learn you can't do it all. It's why CCS has rules about not being in a club the same time you are in season. It is too much!

Coach Ozzie said...

To the person bringing up the EBAL, the first thing to address here is that the conversation here is about CCS. CCS qualifying procedures are different than NCS schools because we have area meets (NCS Tri-Valley is an area meet, which allows for an extra round of qualifying, and thus an extra round of participation, that CCS does not have). If EBAL's was in an equivalent position to the leagues in the CCS, the EBAL would probably only qualify the top 3 athletes in each race and they would qualify directly to MOC's. Everyone outside those 2 or 3 automatic qualifiers' seasons would end after EBALs if they had not met the standard at the final.

The EBAL has had different procedures for holing the league finals over the years. In the early 2000's they actually followed your suggested Saturday/Saturday format. I know that this format was used in 2000 and 2001 because they were my junior and senior seasons. I don't know when the league went away from it, but I can tell you why they did. The problem was that the date where trials would be held always had the SAT in the morning and somebody always had a prom at night. After a few years in this system, it was unpopular enough that the league scrapped that plan.

Before the Saturday/Saturday format, the trials were all held on Wednesday (frosh/soph and varsity) and the finals on Friday. Students would get out of school at 11:00 or so and the meet would start at 1:00 or so. Students who had AP tests had to take the make-up test (I don't even know if that's allowed anymore, or if there's a such thing as a make-up AP test). Then the league finals would start at 4:00 on Friday and run like a regular league meet.

The complaints regarding that format were obviously related to the amount of class time missed. This is why we now have trials for frosh/soph and varsity on different days. Again, with the emphasis being placed on keeping students in class as much as possible, the finals were kept on Saturday. Again, the issue with placing a Saturday championship in the evening is with conflicting proms/dances. Last night was Monte Vista's prom and I don't know if anyone else had one or not.

Everyone knows that the current system is imperfect, but whatever we do, will never be perfect. The system in place was installed to best meet the scheduling goals and academic goals of the league's member schools.

The reality is that every decision that has been made regarding the league finals and its format has been made with the kids in mind, but there's always going to be a flaw with any format. The people who make those decisions do their best with the options they have.

hank said...

"I see them drug every which way for meaningless team points."

When I first read this I thought, "Wow, what circles do you hang out in", then I took the "step back" and realized you are just a concerned parent and you were expressing your concern to this, and other, athletes. I know that if you wanted to meet with Ernie and/or Matt to talk to them about your concerns on Sarah over coffee they'd be more than happy to take you up on the offer to relieve you of your concerns so that you could see that they are indeed thinking about the athlete first and "points" last. These are two coaches that I would let coach my kids if they were so inclined to compete. But I also must admit, I do have a bias. :)


Anonymous said...

I think that the way it should go is that the top 5 finishers at each league meet get thrown onto a big list. From there, only the guys with the top 32 fastest times (run at the league meet) get to move on to CCS. So, if at one league meet, the top 5 finishers run 10:20 or slower than, sorry, but they don't get to go to CCS that year because there are other guys who run faster than them in other leagues that may not have qualified. I think it's pretty unfair how some schools (Bellarmine is just one example) only get two qualifiers even though there are 4 Frosh/Soph runners running under 10:10 and 5 of the varsity run under 10:00 (and they can't all qualify for CCS) but schools that have runners with a 10:20 do qualify. So, I think that it should just be culmination of the 32 (or so) fastest times at the league meets. Just my two cents.

Anonymous said...

^ I agree. But this will not change for one reason... why would those with the automatic qualifiers want a change?

BVAL gets 8, SCVAL gets 6... They never have more than those numbers qualify. CCS Time standards are NEVER in play. So why would they, the majority of schools in the CCS want to make it harder on them? Or for that matter easier on anyone else?

If Bellarmine (or whoever) gets screwed it is all the better for them, less competition.

This is why the way the qualifying currently is done it does not accurately depict a true team champion. Is does not represent the best 32 athletes, instead it is a representative of the population in the CCS.

But it will never change. That is until a lawsuit is filed on discrimination of private schools or smaller communities such. It gives too much power to the super leagues and that is a problem. There is a reason monopolies aren't allowed and this is why, they make up their own rules. Punish others not in the club for being good.

The fact has been brought up here, some teams are forced to play in the Open for football because they are good, while in other sports they are limited in their entries. This is biased, discriminatory and unlawful.

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