Divisional mess worse than ever

In an effort to ease the problem at the section level of there being not enough teams in some divisions and too many teams in other divisions, the Federated Council of the State CIF has made it possible for each section within the CIF to alter which teams are in which divisions based on enrollments. This may have solved difficult bracketing in some section playoffs, but the move has created potential problems at the regional and state level.

When compiling the state rankings, it was already difficult for us to place teams in their corresponding CIF state playoff division before this change was made as the addition or subtraction of just a handful of students can jump a school up a division or drop a school down a division. Now there are schools that have enrollments that would make it Div. III in one section but Div. IV in another section or Div. II in one section but Div. III in another section.

In the Southern Section, for example, Dominguez of Compton, Palm Desert and Rim of the World are three boys teams that are now Div. III within the Southern Section but would be Div. II according to the cutoffs used by other sections. Three CIFSS boys teams that are now Div. IV within its section but would be Div. III in others are El Segundo, Harvard-Westlake of North Hollywood and Chaminade of West Hills.

And don't think that the CIFSS schools will be playing in their corresponding CIF state division. As explained by CIF sports information director Jim Duel and Price of Los Angeles coach Mychal Lynch (a member of the basketball advisory committee), once a school begins the postseason in a particular division it will stay in that division.

Those six schools used as an example, therefore, will all be in the same division of the CIF regional and state playoffs. Continuing one of the examples, if Harvard-Westlake makes it to the CIF Div. IV regional finals it could face Horizon of San Diego even though Harvard-Westlake's enrollment is more than twice as large as Horizon's and even though Harvard-Westlake would be Div. III if it were a San Diego Section school.

Another example on the girls side is La Jolla Country Day. The defending Div. V state champions are still Div. V this year, but by only four students according to San Diego Section CBED enrollment figures. La Jolla Country Day, therefore, would be Div. IV if it were in the Southern Section but can stay Div. V since it's in San Diego.

The bottom line is that there could be a few schools in the state rankings that follow that have been placed in an incorrect enrollment division. If this is the case, let us know ASAP as we don't want to have to correct it later in the season and then drop another team that has been ranked for many weeks.

The state ratings also are now taking on a Southern California slant more than ever. No NorCal boys teams, for example, are in the Div. IV top 10. This is not a reflection on poor NorCal performance, but more of a reflection that top NorCal teams like St. Mary's of Berkeley, St. Joseph of Alameda, Bishop O'Dowd of Oakland and others continue to move up to Division I while suble rules changes are allowing more and more SoCal schools to actually move down. Mater Dei of Santa Ana, for example, is now Div. II instead of Div. I; Dominguez of Compton is now Div. III instead of Div. II.

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