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Prep Roundup

"Del Oro" Rule One Of Three New CIF Proposals

Board of Mangers Proposes Playoff Changing Rules
By: Mike Ray, Gold Country News Services
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They still have to be voted on in April, but the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section has sent three proposals to its member schools that could impact high school playoffs in one form or another starting next school year. At its Board of Mangers meeting Wednesday in Stockton, CIF officials proposed a “Three Strikes” rule, a new format for the Div. IV football playoffs and last but not least, the proposal of what could be termed the “Del Oro Rule” for football playoff seeding. Perhaps the one item that drew the most attention at the meeting was the proposal that would force a team winning three straight CIF section champions being forced to move up a division the following year. For instance, this year in boys and girls Div. IV, if the proposal passes, both Modesto Chrstian’s boys and girls programs, if they win section titles, would be forced to play Div. III in 2011-2012.Other basketball schools affected if they win section titles are Bradshaw Christian’s girls in Div. V and Sacramento High’s boys in Div. III. The Modesto Christian boys have won 10 straight section titles in different divisions but have won the past three in Div. IV, two at the expense of Colfax High in 2008 and last year. Modesto Christian seemed open to the new proposal however school officials raised concerns that if promoted to Div. III, how the section’s power ratings would affect them for seeding because they would still be playing in a small school conference. “It’s something that the section would have to look at,” said section media official Will DeBoard. “It’s something that still has to be fair for the small schools that could move up.” If the proposal is passed, a school would have to remain in that division for playoffs and could not move back down until the following year that it doesn’t qualify for the playoffs. Also in line of moving up would be Ripon Christian’s volleyball program that has won five consecutive Div. V championships. Div. IV format change In another proposal made Wednesday, the CIF would like to implement a one-bracket, 16-team Div. IV football playoff system. Currently, the Div. IV playoffs are conducted with an “A” bracket, featuring the eight largest enrollments and a “B” bracket that contains the eight smallest schools. The two bracket winners then meet for the Div. IV title. Because many of the Div. IV playoff teams in recent years come from either the small school Trans Valley, Mother Lode and Western Athletic leagues, keeping league teams from playing each other in the first round has become difficult. Interestingly, in a dry run from last year’s playoffs, had the new proposal for Div. IV been in affect, Colfax’s football team, as the No. 2 seed behind Escalon, would have met the winner of the Marysville-Bear River game in the second round instead of Argonaut. “Del Oro Rule” Make no mistake about it, when the Del Oro football team, co-champions of the rugged Sierra Foothill League, entered last season’s Div. III playoffs as the No. 11 seed, it did raise quite a few eyebrows. Also, because it was seeded 11th, the Golden Eagles, despite being the No. seed from the SFL, were forced to travel to East Union in Manteca for its first playoff game. However, under a proposal made yesterday that will also be voted on in April, if it would have been in affect last season, Del Oro, because it was the No. 1 seed from the SFL, would have hosted East Union despite finishing behind the Lancers in the section’s seeding process. If the new porposal is accepted, teams that are a league's No. 1 seed would be guaranteed a first round home playoff game.