California approves ‘competitive equity’ playoff overhaul

January 27, 2016 / Athletic AdministrationCoaching
High school playoffs in the California Interscholastic Federation’s Southern Section are about to take on a new look.

CIFSSThe CIF-SS today approved a new “competitive equity” format that overhauls how playoff teams in all sports are grouped into divisions. Previously, school enrollment and league placement were determining factors, but now schools in each sports will be evaluated on an annual basis, with their performance over the previous two season, strength of schedule and playoff performances determining what division they’ll fall into.

The new format takes effect with the 2016-17 school year.

From the Long Beach Press-Telegram:

The proposal was approved by a vote of 74-10-1. The voters were made up of representatives from the 88 leagues in the Southern Section, as well as a handful of at-large representatives.

Power rankings updated each year will determine playoff divisions for each sport. Six different teams in one league could all end up in different divisions if that’s where the power rankings place them.

The new proposal will affect every “bracketed” sport in the CIF-SS, including football, volleyball, soccer, basketball and baseball, among others. Not affected would be “meet” championship sports like cross country and track and field.

The wheels on this plan were set in motion last fall, an effort to bring more competitive balance to high school playoffs. The San Gabriel Valley Tribune reported that the average margin of victory in the first round of the Pac-5 football division playoffs was 37.8 points.

Click here to read more about the new format.

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