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xcbreak
11-07-2013, 12:50 PM
Forgive me if there is an easy answer to this, but I have not been coaching cross country very long. I was wonder when and why the at-large bids were tied to the last 4 weeks of the rankings. I know other sports wait till league is over and then a comittee picks the at-large teams. This not a complaint, I was just wondering.

Keith Chann
11-07-2013, 01:15 PM
Many years ago only the top 3 teams from a league (assuming a 6 team league) would advance to CIF prelims. Sometimes there would be top ranked teams that were in tough leagues that finished 4th and thus would not advance. Many would say that this is just the nature of the sport and that if those teams could not advance from league, they did not deserve to be in CIF prelims anyway. Well the issue came up that some of the deserving schools were in leagues with schools from higher divisions and thus the D1 and D2 schools could keep a D3 team from advancing. The at-large system was introduced several years ago based on specific team times but that was quickly doneaway with because it seemed to suggest that CIF was officially favoring specific meets (I think I remember this correctly but I might be wrong). They switched to a rankings based at-large so any team ranked in 2 of the final 3 polls would be granted an at-large berth. The rankings were then expanded to 13 teams and the ranking window expanded to include teams in 2 of the final 4 polls.
The committee thing was tried but the rankings system won out after a couple of years.

Rich Gonzalez
11-07-2013, 10:56 PM
Forgive me if there is an easy answer to this, but I have not been coaching cross country very long. I was wonder when and why the at-large bids were tied to the last 4 weeks of the rankings. I know other sports wait till league is over and then a comittee picks the at-large teams. This not a complaint, I was just wondering.

The "qualifying window" initially was originally three weeks long. The reason for this was because if one works backward from the traditional League Finals week, the third week in reverse leads to Mt. SAC weekend. The general feeling was that so many teams compete at Mt. SAC, that it would be an excellent weekend of data to use for at-large consideration. After a few years, some coaches who chose not to attend Mt. SAC complained because they felt penalized if they did not go to Mt. SAC and were a shortage of invitational meets in the week after Mt. SAC -- not to mention some leagues having their finals the week directly after Mt. SAC). Hence, a motion was made to move it to a week earlier (becoming that fourth week).

George Ramos
11-08-2013, 05:40 AM
One more reply to Scott's specific question: we don't want to rely on the opinions of committees to pick who will be on the starting line; we want to use actual performance.

xcbreak
11-08-2013, 10:59 AM
Well no matter if it is a committee or CIF rankings, at large bids are based on opinions of performances. If we wanted to use a performance based platform would we not say that you would have to hit a certain team time. Although that is difficult as well because courses and conditions vary so much. We could have team time qualifications for certain courses such as Woodbridge, Clovis, Mt Sac, Irvine Park ect. If you wanted to qualify as at large bid you would have run at one of the meets with a team time qualifications. If as a coach you did not want to run any of those meets you can always do it the old fashion and be top three in league. I am not saying that the way it is done is bad, just a thought of how it could be done differently.

Rex Hall
11-08-2013, 09:21 PM
Well no matter if it is a committee or CIF rankings, at large bids are based on opinions of performances. If we wanted to use a performance based platform would we not say that you would have to hit a certain team time. Although that is difficult as well because courses and conditions vary so much. We could have team time qualifications for certain courses such as Woodbridge, Clovis, Mt Sac, Irvine Park ect. If you wanted to qualify as at large bid you would have run at one of the meets with a team time qualifications. If as a coach you did not want to run any of those meets you can always do it the old fashion and be top three in league. I am not saying that the way it is done is bad, just a thought of how it could be done differently.

Scott, you make valid points, however I will use myself/team as an example. We have made it to state, "the old fashioned way", something like 12 out of 14 years. While we are admittedly off our game a bit this season, we just ran 91:08 to finish 4th in a 5 team league. I am (for the first time) using, and thankful for the rankings and at large system. Just my two cents. Rex Hall Dana Hills Girls XC

George Ramos
11-09-2013, 05:20 AM
at large bids are based on opinions of performances

If I understand Rich's methodology correctly, then there's way more math than opining going on.

Rich Gonzalez
11-09-2013, 11:06 AM
If I understand Rich's methodology correctly, then there's way more math than opining going on.

Correct.

xcbreak
11-09-2013, 11:31 AM
This was never an attack on rankings or even how they are done. In fact my boys last year qualified through the ranking system and was 9 points away from going to State. I completely see the need for at large bids with the way our leagues are set-up. I am sure there are teams and coaches every year that think that they should have been ranked in the top 13 (2 out of the last 4 weeks) and received an at large bid, but did not. Using a qualifying time coaches would know exactly what they need to do to move on and there would not be any agreement. Just my opinion for what it is worth.

Rich Gonzalez
11-09-2013, 11:37 AM
This was never an attack on rankings or even how they are done. In fact my boys last year qualified through the ranking system and was 9 points away from going to State. I completely see the need for at large bids with the way our leagues are set-up. I am sure there are teams and coaches every year that think that they should have been ranked in the top 13 (2 out of the last 4 weeks) and received an at large bid, but did not. Using a qualifying time coaches would know exactly what they need to do to move on and there would not be any agreement. Just my opinion for what it is worth.

Scott,

Trust me, it was not taken as an attack at all.

The problem with team times is that is gives an unfair advantage to a team that has a VERY FAST frontrunner over a team that would score better despite a slightly slower team time.

By the way, when you create a team-time standard (again, not a system that will identify the best team), it doesn't take into account the effect of adverse conditions (extreme heat, muddy conditions -- which creates the forced use of a rain course at certain venues -- etc.), which will blow away the 'fair' opportunity to meet that standard.

xcbreak
11-09-2013, 11:53 AM
Scott,

Trust me, it was not taken as an attack at all.

The problem with team times is that is gives an unfair advantage to a team that has a VERY FAST frontrunner over a team that would score better despite a slightly slower team time.




By the way, when you create a team-time standard (again, not a system that will identify the best team), it doesn't take into account the effect of adverse conditions (extreme heat, muddy conditions -- which creates the forced use of a rain course at certain venues -- etc.), which will blow away the 'fair' opportunity to meet that standard.

Great point

Hal Harkness
11-09-2013, 01:45 PM
The current ranking system for "At-Large" selection works well and we are not going to change it

xcbreak
11-09-2013, 02:06 PM
The current ranking system for "At-Large" selection works well and we are not going to change it

Never thought it was going to be changed just wanted to know other peoples thought about the system that is being used. It may work well, just not sure it is the best way, that is why I wanted to hear peoples views. One of the reason that I like this forum is the views of the others and that I can learn from them.