BB: State Open Div. questions linger

Its not that anything earth-shattering regarding the CIF Open Divisions for basketball was expected from the CIF media teleconference this past Wednesday, and that’s a little sad, especially when the CIF brass continues to talk about it being about the kids.

When we asked if like last year we could have six teams from the Southern Region and eight teams from the Northern Region in either boys or girls, the answer from CIF Senior Director Brian Seymour was “yes we could.”

Seymour went on to say that “if you meet the criteria then you’re on the board. If you don’t meet the criteria then you’re not on the board. The committee selects the teams and determines how many.” Click here for that criteria.

What is problematic and unfair to the kids is that the committee is really two committees, one made up of the commissioners from Northern California and one made up of the Southern California commissioners, and the two don’t communicate, or make any effort to make it equitable between north and south.

When pressed on this, the answer was the same as after the north got shellacked last year. The CIF wasn’t making any changes in the first two years and it would be revisited after this year.

CIF Executive Director Roger Blake did make sure to point out that Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland) won the girls Open Division last year. Yes, and Elk Grove Pleasant Grove won the boys D1 crown, and some of the other games were close, but those were the only two games the north won.

Among the lingering questions:

Why did the north have to have more teams than the south in the Open Division, thus stripping out many more of the top teams from the north in almost every division, and leaving the south with most of its top teams in other divisions intact?

In girls, why was a Stockton Brookside Christian team that was wiped out by O’Dowd during the regular season denied a chance to possibly play Chatsworth Sierra Canyon in what would have been a true D5 state championship, while in the south multiple state championship title holder Long Beach Poly got to stay in Division I?

In fact, according to retiring CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Commissioner Pete Saco the disparity and non-communication did come up afterward.

“We did have that discussion afterward about the difference in the number of teams, but when we were in that meeting we had no idea what they were doing down there. Afterwards we thought how could they not have eight top teams,” said Saco, who added. “Now that you’ve reminded me about it, it will come up in our meeting.”

The one thing Seymour and Blake did admit upon questioning by Mitch Stephens of MaxPreps and the San Francisco Chronicle, and something Saco concurred with, is the concern that this year there may not be enough teams in the north to fill out an eight-team bracket in either boys or girls.

Saco tells Cal-Hi Sports he will be doing work for the CIF, probably in football, as a retired section commissioner. Those who’ve seen Dean Crowley in these roles for the CIF after his retirement as CIF Southern Section commissioner know that this role for someone like Saco will be beneficial to everyone.

CIF Swimming State Championships

Exact details and the location are still in the works, but the CIF will now have a swimming state championship meet to start in the spring of 2015. Swimming is arguably the greatest sport in California history, right up there with baseball, and to have a state high school meet is a terrific addition.

Health and Safety issues

Blake did talk about health and safety issues being at the forefront of the CIF’s concerns. This past Tuesday he met with a group of 25 doctors in Southern California with discussions centered around, practice time, hitting and concussions in football.

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