Wonder how how small private school powers would fare in playoff classifications with larger schools?
Connecticut soccer fans are about to find out this fall.
The CIAC soccer committee voted to use a recently passed Board of Control format that pushes successful soccer programs that draw students from outside their district into larger school playoff classifications based on recent state tournament success. The noteworthy movers are girls soccer programs Northwest Catholic (West Hartford, Conn.) and Immaculate (Danbury, Conn.), which are both moving out of the small school brackets they have dominated. The Classes in Connecticut are labeled LL, L, M, and S [from large to small]. Immaculate, winners of nine of the last 10 Class S titles, will compete in Class L this fall, while Northwest Catholic, last year’s Class M champion, jumps to LL, with the state’s largest schools.
Paul Hoey, the associate executive director of the CIAC, said the format is being used by two sports this year (basketball and soccer) and directly affects only schools that draw students from outside a traditional draw area, such as private, charter, tech and magnet schools. He outlined the movement process as follows:
Programs that have reached the state quarterfinals two of the past three years will move up one classification relative to its enrollment, while teams that reached the quarterfinals the past three years will move up two classes.
Each year, the past three years of results will be reassessed. In the example of Northwest Catholic and Immaculate, if either or both fail to reach the quarterfinals in their new classifications this year, one or both would slide back one classification next year.
Schools cannot move below their enrollment-based classification, and can advance only two classifications above their enrollment.
Hoey said seven girls soccer teams are moving up classifications while only three boys teams are on the move. In order to maintain a 42-team balance in each of the state’s four classifications, for every team moving up in this process, the lowest enrollment based school will drop down a classification.
Hoey said he unveiled the CIAC format at a recent National Federation meeting and believed no other state was dealing with the private school-dominance of small-school classifications in such a manner.