Friday, December 14, 2012

2013 Alignments

The Vote

Well, it would seem that the vote to hybridize did not pass.  The status-quo at varsity will by and large stay the same with several programs joining AA Varsity, notably Spectrum, GW Graham and SRT.  I believe that due to numbers we will likely see Belmont and Handsworth joining AAA ball.  Tier 2 will likely continue to exist as is.

JV ball however, could be in for some big changes.  It appears that there is a distinct possibility that AAA/AA conferences may blend into regional groupings, play each other during the season and then seed into their respective playoff pools.  The cost of travel for the current AAA groupings is the driving force behind this direction.  It has little or nothing to do about competition and I predict spates of forfeiture when for instance a struggling quasi-tier 2 squad is scheduled to play a Mount Douglas or Fox type program.  Dollars and convenience from the smallest grouping of programs in the association are set to alter the majority of programs who have been for the most part, thriving with league play amongst themselves.

Let's be honest gang, at the provincial level, AAA is going to whither on the vine until the one factor that cannot be couched, manipulated, massaged, contextualized, etc. is altered.  That my friends is numbers of boys in g.11/12 combined.  The number currently used to separate the herd is 300.  It has been very, very successful in terms of providing stability and withstanding the human tendency to gerimander and fiddle to gain advantage.  The only problem is that 300 is archaic.  Schools are on balance smaller than when 300 was determined to be the dividing line. 

The number to be used?  Something between 250 and 270 would be more appropriate.  Arguments against this with demographics as their starting point be damned.  Humans are humans and they all respond to proper motivation.  The right formula, well that's the nut that has to be cracked.

In closing, I would humbly suggest that sustainability and growth be the driving factor with our provincial structure as opposed to perception/aesthetics.  The latter will come along if you take care of the former.

Scenario A

The Guiding Rule: Thou shalt not move down out of your number driven tier, only up and then by choice

BCSSFA Super-League: 6-8 historically dominant AAA programs.  Great Football and can deservedly be media divas all they like

AA 250 and up numbers of boys g. 11/12 combined.  Competitive and geographically represents a true provincial league.  Monsters that emerge may want to try their hand at the super league.

A  249 boys g. 11/12 combined.  Competitive, geographically represents a true provincial league, room for movement to AA league by choice.  Can petition for 9 man league if coaching/resources/participation are historically limited. 

B-9  Nine man ball.  (Football would spread like wildfire and some of these programs would germinate into single A league programs.)  Keeps hope and the game alive!!

Net effect: There is a spot for everyone, the game will grow and do so in health. The tired arguement that there are not enough teams to justify 4 banners will lose even more validity. Lastly, A or AA teams that may fold (will actually be only a few) will by their absence, strengthen the provincial herd so to speak. 

Scenario 2

Same as above, no super league and raise cutoff from 250 to 270.

No comments: