If you check out the recently posted All-CIF teams in boys water polo, you might notice some big changes. And the changes weren't just for boys water polo. They will used for all sports for the All-CIF awards, one of the highlights of each high school season.
What is new?
The section is now releasing only first-team All-CIF for each division. Second or third-team All-CIF for each division will not be recognized by the section. The number of athletes on each first team represents a doubling of the number of players needed to field a team.
For water polo, for example, it's 7 players vs. 7 players in games, so the first-team All-CIF team features 14 players.
In 2009, the first-team All-CIF boys water polo also had 14 players.
Coaches may select second and third teams, which I understand the boys water polo coaches did this year, but the CIF will not be releasing them or providing certificates for those awards, said Thom Simmons, the section's spokesman.
On OCVarsity, we have published the second and third teams for Division 1 and will track down as many of the others as we can.
What else is new?
No more co-players of the year or co-coaches of the year. Divisions will have a single player of the year and single coach of the year, which is a break from past seasons.
Last season in boys water polo, El Toro's Nick Rascon (now at Long Beach State) and Russell Renteria - "the R & R boys" as they became to be known as - were co-Division 1 players of the year. Division 3 boys water polo also had co-players of the year.
In football last year, Tustin's Anthony Wilkerson (now at Stanford) and La Habra's Josh Quezada (now at BYU) were co-offensive players of the year in the Southwest Division.
Why are the changes being made?
"Costly mainly," Simmons said in a e-mail.
The Southern Section receives funding from the LA84 foundation each year for the costs associated with providing the All-CIF certificates. Cost includes printing, award folders, mailing and labor, Simmons said.
"Over the past 10 years we have seen the costs of producing those certificates not match the amount of money the LA84 Foundation is able to provide ... (to the tune of a couple thousand dollars or more difference)," Simmons wrote. "That is compounded by misspellings and list mistakes which require replacement certificates.
"Part of those increased costs can be attributed to the increase in divisions but we have also seen an increase (across the board) in the number of players selected for the teams, including multiple players and coaches of the year."
The section also was moved to "truly recognize" the best of the best, Simmons said.