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Message from the CIF-SS Commissioner: Guidelines for governance – January, 2020

Upon return from Winter Break, we say so long to 2019 and usher in a new year. The month of January begins a new round of governance meetings where we begin to set the stage for 2020 and beyond. As we get ready for the upcoming meetings of the CIF Southern Section Executive Committee this weekend, CIF Southern Section Council on January 28, and CIF Federated Council on January 31, the agendas and back up materials for those meetings were sent out to you last week. Therefore, I would like to take this opportunity, in advance of those meetings, to offer some information on some selected items below to help our member schools prepare for what is to come.

State Action Items

The next set of potential CIF Regional Championships are on the ballot for the following sports, which allows for healthy discussion on the philosophy of expanding these opportunities or not.

1) Baseball and Softball – A proposal to add a one-week CIF Southern Regional Championship in these sports. The dates for these championships would be the week after Memorial Day Weekend.

2) Traditional Competitive Cheer Regional Championships – A proposal to add Traditional Regional Cheer Championships during the last weekend in January, 2021.

Southern Section Action Item

1) Summer Dead Period – A proposal regarding changing the Summer Dead Period was defeated last April by the Southern Section Council. Based on feedback from the previous vote, the proposal to reduce the Summer Dead Period from 21 consecutive days to 14 consecutive days has returned with some modifications: the dates for the Summer Dead Period will be chosen by member schools, the Summer Dead Period must be the same for all sports at the high school and the 14-day consecutive day dead period must not include school days in the Spring or Fall.

CIF State Non-Action Item

1) State-Wide Sportsmanship Policy – The 10 Section Commissioners are forwarding a proposal to standardize the ejection policies for every section in the state. In doing so, there are certain things that are the same. For example, students and coaches ejected from a contest are immediately removed from that contest, and the next scheduled contest, and there are no appeals of one-game ejections. However, there are some differences from what we currently have in place in our section, such as: students ejected from a contest would be allowed to attend the next contest, coaches still cannot be present in any way, the first ejection for Fighting/Assaultive Behavior mandates a 3-6 game suspension determined by the Section Office, an appeals process, which allows for appeals of those 3-6 game suspensions to the League President, for league contests, and the Section Office for non-league contests, as significant changes to our current policies. Be sure to review the specifics of this proposal thoroughly to make sure that you understand the various elements included in it.

Southern Section Non-Action Items

1) Competitive Equity Playoffs – There are two proposals related to competitive equity playoffs for our membership to consider and they address the evolution of this concept in two areas: utilizing current regular season results in formulating playoff divisions (Football) and what competitive equity playoff s would look like in terms of an individual sport (Swimming). There is plenty of data to be examined in both proposals, which provides for complete transparency in helping you make an informed decision. I do want to emphasize that regardless of the outcome of these proposals, we have delivered on what we promised, which was to provide our member schools with viable options for you to evaluate in our continuing effort to improve the competitive equity playoff s system in the time ahead. When we began this system three years ago, we clearly stated that applying current regular season results to our formulas and exploring competitive equity for individual sports would be the next logical steps in that process. We have done our part and now it is up to you.

2) Sunday Exception for Traditional Competitive Cheer – The proposal requesting Traditional Competitive Cheer teams to be allowed a one-time exception to compete on a Sunday at the National High School Cheerleading Championships was defeated last April by the Southern Section Council by a vote of 54-30. Due to the fact there were 30 leagues in support of this proposal, those in favor of this exception have submitted it again. By doing so, it will allow our membership to revisit this issue and determine if the philosophy towards competing on a Sunday has changed or remains the same.

3) CIF Southern Section Budget 2020-2021 – The proposed CIF Southern Section Budget for 2020-2021 will be distributed to the members of the Executive Committee at their meeting this weekend and to the Southern Section Council on January 28. We are working very hard to keep our organization on a sound financial footing and you will be updated on our progress so far this school year. I do want you to know that we have had an increase in attendance in all our Fall Sports Championships this year, compared to last year, which is very encouraging news and reverses the trend we have been experiencing in previous years. We certainly hope that will also be the case with our Winter and Spring sports. More details to come during our budget discussions.

If you have any questions about the items mentioned above, or anything on the agenda of our January meetings, do not hesitate to contact our office.

In closing, I hope you join me in being excited about what lies ahead in the next few weeks. I am proud of our member schools for your willingness to tackle important issues and engage in meaningful discussions on how we can continue to move our section forward in 2020.

Thank you very much for your continued help and support, it is truly appreciated.

This article was written by Rob Wigod, CIF-SS Commissioner.