On Wednesday, May 7, CIF executive director Roger Blake and other CIF staff met with members of the state’s media corps, including Cal-Hi Sports, in a conference call to answer questions from topics such as the 2015 basketball championships heading to Cal’s Haas Pavilion, more on the new CIF swimming and diving state championships, mandated practice time limits for all teams in all sports and the possibility of every section football champion eventually getting a bowl game.
State Basketball — It was confirmed that Cal will be on spring break during the March 27-28 dates for the 2015 basketball finals, which should ease concerns about parking nearby Haas Pavilion. Blake also confirmed that USC’s Galen Center was in the mix to get the bid, but at the last minute withdrew it. “It’s disheartening that a school like the University of Southern California chose another event instead of hosting a California high school championship,” Blake said.
Swimming & Diving — The first year of the state meet will be next year and it will be held for a three-year cycle at the Clovis West Aquatic Center in Fresno. Clovis Unified already hosts CIF state title events in cross country and track. This new event also will be held similar to track, which means no divisions with automatic qualifiers from each section plus time minimums. “This is going to be a great one,” Blake said. “It passed the Federated Council unanimously and how many times has that happened?”
Practice times — According to a rule that was just passed at the last CIF Federated Council meeting, schools and teams can only practice for 18 hours per week with a limit of four hours per day. In sports like football with double days, it also has been mandated that no double-days can be held on consecutive days. “I really believe that this is not going to impact 95 percent of our coaches who are already doing it the right way,” Blake said. He added that it doesn’t solve the problem of CIF sections having conflicting numbers of games but that it is a first step.
CIF bowl games everybody goes — This is the new proposal going through the process (from retiring CIF Sac-Joaquin Section commissioner Pete Saco) in which every CIF section football champion would be given the opportunity to play in a bowl game. Blake said the football executive committee liked the idea “conceptually” but the next step will be for the section commissioners to discuss when they meet next in June.
With badminton coming online for regional championships in the north and south next year as well, Blake said the next sport in line to perhaps get added as a CIF state event would be water polo. Like badminton, however, it also would be regional with boys in the fall north and south, girls in the fall in the south and girls in the winter in the north.