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CIF legislation: CIF may raise ceiling

January 25, 2002

Barry Faulkner

LONG BEACH - Boys and girls tennis, as well as boys volleyball

programs at Corona del Mar and Newport Harbor high schools may be granted

their desired return to the biggest CIF Southern Section playoff stage.

A proposal introduced at the section council meeting Thursday would

make competitive equity, not enrollment, the leading factor in

determining which playoff divisions schools compete in in several sports,

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beginning next fall. Currently, boys and girls tennis, boys volleyball,

baseball, boys and girls soccer, as well as softball, compete in playoff

divisions based solely on enrollment.

That would change if the plan presented at The Grand meeting center by

San Marino High Athletic Director Mickey McNamee, on behalf of the Rio

Hondo League, is passed at the March 14 council meeting. The council

consists of representatives from each of the section's 78 leagues, as

well as five at-large members.

If passed, the plan could allow Back Bay tennis and volleyball

powerhouses to compete for Division I championships, if, as expected,

their leagues were deemed Division I in those sports by a section playoff

groupings committee.

"That's what we've wanted all along," said CdM boys tennis coach Tim

Mang, who, like Newport Harbor boys volleyball coach Dan Glenn, has been

an outspoken critic of the current playoff format. The existing system

became more restrictive before the 2000-01 school year, when the council

adopted legislation prohibiting a school from "playing up" to compete in

the playoffs against schools with larger enrollments.

The prohibition on "playing up" would still exist, but smaller schools

could be aligned with schools in the highest divisions, based on the

strength of their program.

"Last year, we had the two best teams in the section in our (Pacific

Coast League), so I hope we'd be Division I," said Mang, whose Sea Kings

rolled to the Division V crown last spring, winning 75 of 90 games

against playoff competition and finishing 23-0. It was the first time the

Sea Kings did not compete in Division I, despite having one of the

smallest enrollments in Orange County.

"If we'd have played in our enrollment division all these years, we'd

have about five or six more CIF titles," Mang said.

Coach Andy Stewart's CdM girls tennis teams have won the last two

section titles in Division IV, winning nearly 90% of their games (145-17)

in nine playoff matches over those two seasons.

Newport Harbor girls tennis has posted runner-up finishes in Division

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