Sac-Joaquin Section update at Media Day

CIF calendar to change
By: Jim Linsdau of The Placer Herald/News Messenger
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LODI – Many items concerning high school sports and life in the California Interscholastic Federation Sac-Joaquin Section were discussed last week at Media Day.


Although not an issue, the revenue generated by the section championships was presented. Over the last four years, football brought in more than half the revenue taken in.

During the 2015-2016 school year the SJS brought in $815,426 plus change. Football was responsible for nearly 58 percent; next was basketball at 33 percent. Soccer garnered $62,270, up from $27,532 four years ago.

The sports that cost more in the postseason than they made were golf, softball and badminton. SJS Director of Communications Will DeBoard said the reasons for some revenue drops were rainouts and the expense of certain sports participating in the postseason.

However, DeBoard said it is the SJS’s goal to put on the best section championships possible and the revenue losses last year only amounted to a little more than 2 percent of that taken in.

DeBoard said soccer’s rise had a lot to do when the SJS gave host schools the option to play their games in the evening instead of the afternoon.

Basketball Finals

The boys and girls basketball playoff finals this season will be played at the University of the Pacific; thus ending an era at Arco Arena that began in 1986 for boys basketball and 1999 for girls.

The Sacramento Bee’s Joe Davidson said the Sleep Train Arena (formerly Arco) is in serious disrepair and no longer a reasonable site for the basketball finals.

 DeBoard added that the new Golden 1 Center in Sacramento was contacted, but the facility had another event scheduled during the March 3-4 championships.

Open Division

A brief discussion included what has been termed the “Woodcreek Rule.” It is a ruling by the CIF that allows a section to move a high-seeded team that loses in the section quarterfinals into the Open Division of the NorCal Region Tournament.

The criteria can be found at


DeBoard said the Section reviews its league alignments every four years. The SJS is now starting year three of the review with the Pioneer Valley League, Valley Oak League, Modesto Metro Conference and the Central California Conference falling under the spotlight.

“We’re going to look at every league,” said DeBoard. “There could be something happening, literally, all over the place.”

DeBoard also said two teams in different leagues are allowed to switch places at the mid-point of realignment if the schools agree to do so and the leagues in question agree to it.

That was recently in the news when it was proposed that Placer in the PVL switch with the Capital Athletic League’s Mira Loma. However, neither school agreed to the proposal.

“I don’t know if we’ve ever had anybody actually do that,” said DeBoard, “but we do have that in the constitution.”

The section office begins the process by consulting with the schools and league commissioners before putting together recommendations for the realignment committee. The committee then draws up its recommendations and passes those on to the board of managers.

The SJS Board of Managers makes the final vote. The next alignment will be put in place from 2018-2022.

DeBoard said travel is always an issue with the schools, but that carries very little weight in the final tally.

DeBoard also said new leagues are also considered depending on the number of schools within a section. The communications director said when former SJS Commissioner Pete Saco came on board in 1993, there were 115 schools in the Section; today, there are 195.


There are 26 leagues in the SJS and seven divisions.

For golf, tennis, wrestling (individual), badminton, baseball, swimming and track the following are the divisions.

Div. I – Central California Conference (CCC), Modesto Metro Conference (MMC), San Joaquin Athletic Association (SJAA), Tri-City Athletic League (TCAL), Delta League (DL), Monticello Empire League (MEL) and Sierra Foothill League (SFL)

Div. II – Capital Valley Conference (CVC), Metropolitan Conference (MC) and Solano County Athletic Conference (SCAC).

Div. III – Capital Athletic League (CAL), Tri-County Conference (TCC) and Valley Oak League (VOL).

Div. IV – Pioneer Valley League (PVL), Sierra Valley Conference (SVC), Western Athletic Conference (WAC).

Div. V – Golden Empire League (GEL), Mother Lode League (MLL) and Trans Valley League (TVL).

Div. VI – Central Valley California League (CVCL), Sierra Delta League (SDL) and Southern Athletic League (SAL).

Div. VII – Central California Athletic Alliance (CCAA), Mountain Valley League (MVL), Northern Pacific Athletic Conference (NPAC) and Sacramento Metropolitan Athletic League (SMAL).

For football, volleyball, soccer, water polo, basketball, wrestling (team) and softball the division are as follows:

Div. I – DL, MEL, SFL and TCAL.

Div. II – CVC, CCC, MC and MMC.


Div. IV – PVL, SVC, TCC and WAC.

Div. V – GEL, MLL and TVL.

Div. VI – CVCL, SDL and SAL.


The SMAL and CCAA also have auxiliary leagues for small-school football.

Each school is also assigned a division rating depending on enrollment. However, that is subject to change depending on the circumstance.

The school that wins its league is placed into the division designated for that league.

However, if it is a team that has won section titles three years in a row that team is automatically moved up one division for that sport. If that same team wins a section championship in that new division the following year it is bumped up to the next highest division.

On the flip side, a team moved up that misses the playoffs or doesn’t make it to the semifinals two years in a row will revert back to the lower division.

Multiple Campus Agreements

High schools in the CIF can agree to include student-athletes from non-CIF schools in their sports programs.

Davis Senior High, which has no freshmen class, has an agreement with a middle school in its area that has freshmen students. Davis Senior’s enrollment for last year was 2,775, but DeBoard said without the multiple campus agreement Davis Senior’s enrollment is around 1,700.

Also, the agreement can only be made between schools in the same proximity.


Full family moves into another area and hardship-case transfers do not require a waiting period for students to participate in athletics. However, approved transfers other than family or hardship require up to a 35 day wait before becoming eligible to play a sport, unless it is a sport the student did not play at his or her previous school.

A second transfer requires a sit-out period of 12 months.

It was noted that around 2,000 transfer requests within the SJS are made each year.

CIF Calendar Shift

Beginning the school year 2018, the CIF sports calendar will begin one week earlier. That means teams will begin their seasons around mid-August and the football playoffs would be over by the end of November.

“The CIF calendar doesn’t really synch with the high school calendar anymore,” DeBoard said. “I know part of the reasons was to put it in synch with the school calendars.”

One concern would be for the spring playoffs to conflict with graduation, especially for those participating in track and field.

Pitch-Count Rule

DeBoard said the CIF has not yet made its recommendations as to limiting the number of pitches a pitcher can make in baseball. However, it is assumed the count will be kept by the coaches in cooperation with the officials.

“A vast number of our coaches take care of the kids,” DeBoard said.