Basketball and the Night Watch.
Just over ten years ago, the Corcoran High girls basketball team was riding high having just garnered their eleventh section title since 1993. The following year we were placed at the behest of the Competitive Equity model into a higher division despite losing six seniors and four starters from the 2010 championship team.
I believed at the time and still do that a grave injustice was done to our program as we were systematically being denied an fair opportunity to compete in the natural division where our school's population placed us.
After watching the recent Valley championship games, I cannot help but think that the idea of leveling the playing field was never the true intention of Competitive Equity, but that it was used in order to move us into the system that is currently in place, a system that favors the larger urban school districts at the expense of the smaller rural communities.
I remember reading somewhere, possibly in the archives of the minutes of the CIF meetings, that at one point, the idea was being kicked around that smaller schools should/could/might be contented with winning valley championships and not state championships which would/could open up state berths for larger, more deserving schools. (italics are my own)
If this true, it makes it possible to discern where the pressure to change the system originated, not so much from the smaller schools, but from the larger schools who felt that they were being denied an opportunity to compete at state because they felt that they deserved the opportunity more than some lowly rural school district whose only valid claim for getting to state was because they didn't have enough kids in their district.
In any case, we now have the specter of Yosemite Division schools winning section championships in the lowest divisions which were once the safe harbor of the smallest and most vulnerable schools in the section.
What has been lost in translation is why these divisions were created in the first place, and that was probably to guarantee that the teams with smaller populations be given an equal and fair opportunity to compete for state championships too, not so much to see to it that larger schools who didn't fare well against their own divisional bullies, can now drop down and beat up on the smallest kids on the playground.
And if that's the case, why have any divisions at all?