CIF Council approves plan for new playoff divisions in football amid questions about fall season

A new soccer league playoff system received final approval from the CIF-Southern Section Council on Thursday, but an important question remained:

Will there be football in the fall?

The teleconference meeting of the Council discussed the future of football and other fall sports and the prospects were understandably uncertain due to the new coronavirus pandemic.

But CIF-SS Commissioner Rob Wigod tempered the blur with hope.

“All options are on the table for fall sports,” he said in his report to the Council. “We are continuing to explore options for returning fall sports in the way we expect to return. We’re in no rush to get things off the board or cancel things or end our season as we had to do terribly (in the spring).

“We try to keep as many options open and available as possible to bring this back. … Once (schools) are open and starting the academic year, they will also have to make decisions about when to bring back exercises for their athletic teams. … Our job, and our tremendous challenge, will be to keep up with that, to monitor that across our section so that at some point we could implement a calendar with a regular season and championship competition. ”

For the next football season, the Council overwhelmingly approved a plan to set up playoff divisions based on the current season’s results. At the end of the regular season, CalPreps.com’s power rankings will be used to place all automatic qualifiers and potential major entries in 14 divisions.

The brackets would continue to include 16 teams and would be placed according to the power rankings regardless of league affiliation or league finish.

The proposal was passed with a vote of 80-4-6 on Thursday and continued the section’s move to inject competitive equity into the playoffs.

But will soccer teams experience the new playoff formula in the fall or perhaps later in the school year?

Many Orange County school districts have set start dates for the school’s opening in August, according to the Orange County Department of Education. The decision whether or not to open with on-campus students or to continue with distance learning will be made in the districts, says Ian Hanigan, chief communications officer of the department.

“My suspicion is that we will not be playing soon,” said Cypress football coach Rick Feldman on Thursday. “The hope and the prayer is that we can play as soon as possible.”

After much debate, the Council voted 46-39-5 in support of competitive cheer teams competing in a national championship to be held on Sunday. High school athletics on Sundays are prohibited.

The proposal, to be approved by other sections across the state, raised passionate arguments.

“It puts us on a very, very slippery slope,” said James Perry, elected president-elect of the section’s executive committee. “We constantly hear how unique and very different sports are.”

Orange County League representatives voted 10-8 for the relief from cheers.

“I feel compelled to reach out with a little grace and understand the uniqueness of this situation,” said Tom Fox, assistant director of Villa Park.

The Council also agreed to classify swimming on the basis of NISCA flow points. Teams for boys and girls can be placed in different divisions.

Other Council measures approved the section’s proposed budget for the period 2020-21 by unanimity. The only vote against came from the Trinity League, which also voted not to support the proposed CIF state budget for 2020-21.

Trinity League president Michael Brennan, also the president of Trinity League, declined to comment after the vote.

Department and state budgets asked to take into account potential small wage increases from the economic climate. The southern section also slightly increases sports costs from $ 65 to $ 75.

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