Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Vote

To Hybridize or Not To Hybridize

Last January BCSSFA formed a competition committee to accept proposals and study alternatives to BCSSFA's current competitive structure/tiering.  The perceived problem, only 14 teams at AAA level of play.  Though balleyhooed, celebrated and propagated as the best,  the league is tiered within itself, not truley provincial in scope, inbred and quite frankly, dying on the vine.  A call for solutions was sent forth and the competition comittee composed of former and current AA and AAA coaches was struck to filter, digest, ruminate and report.

The complete report may or may not be posted on the BCSSFA site (for the sake of transparency, it should be).  All programs were e-mailed the report months ago.  A vote on the comittee reccomendation is currently taking place.  Ballots will be accepted til Dec. 7th or Dec. 8th depending on which e-mail from the executive you read.  Use the 7th to ensure your voice is heard.

Essentially the proposal eliminates Tier 2 and consolodates HS football into AA and AAA play.   There is an AA post-season tourney an an AAA post-season tourney.   The radical difference is as follows:

The current AAA conferences will blend with the historically stronger AA programs for league play. This is the Hybrid AAA-AA league. At the end of the regular season, the historically stronger AA teams still seed into the AA playoff tourney against the top seeds from the "pure" AA conferences.  At season's end and the AAA teams head on into  their tourney.

At the end of the day, what really changes is league play.  Hopefully more equitable across the board.  Playoffs, are not affected.  The best from each tier determined by numbers of boys in g. 11 or 12  (300 combined) still play one another.

I am not going to print the report verbatum as I believe BCSSFA needs to make that choice.  As the vote is taking place at present I am not going to reccomend a vote one way or another.

I do have two observations I would like to make public.

1) The report was presented to the membership prior to the season beginning. Its proposed alignments are already outdated.  In the span of the 2012 season, it is evident from the performance of some JV programs that their overall program is headed to elite status in the very near future at the varsity level.  There is also a new school coming on board in Greater Victoria that has AAA numbers and will be instantly competitive.   Some programs included at the AA level in the new proposal won't be in existence come 2013.   It is therefore incumbent upon the BCSSFA executive to accurately research who is in and viable, adjust accordingly and then have alignments and league schedules ready to go by the AGM date.  This produces stability for the rest of the year and programs can plan and organize with certitude.

2) Eliminating Tier 2 is a double edged sword.  It brings more teams back into the fold ,but it also brings the accompanying instability that is attached to struggling programs ie. unwanted byes during the regular season due to August collapse.  Some means testing mechanism must be attached by the BCSSFA executive that does not allow for a team to be scheduled if they don't have spring ball/a specific number of players registered by June 21st.  BCSSFA then has to be leaders and adjust the overall schedule to mitigate lost games/depleted conferences no matter how unpopular.

A thought, keep Tier 2 around ,but make it 9 man ball.  The main excuse for "folding" year after year has always been numbers and inability to compete.  Well hec, have tier 2 be 9 man ball.  It "keeps hope alive", it acts as a way to float programs til they can play 11 man ball, it helps schools which for a variety of reasons cannot sustain large rosters year-after-year to maintain football.  If a program wants to play 11 man ball, we have it, at AA and AAA.  The true sandbaggers would have very little to go on in terms of hiding at tier 2.
BCSSFA benefits by having more stability at the AA level as a result, a larger membership and importantly, a platform for future growth, particularly in the smaller communities and frontier areas of the province geographically.  There is no downside to this at all and we are quite frankly missing a strategic opportunity to improve our overall health as an organization not to do it!
Nuff for now.  Go vote.



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