By Jimmy Durkin
Friday, May 4th, 2012 at 2:06 pm in Uncategorized.
The California Interscholastic Federation Federated Council voted Friday to add an open division to its basketball championships and approve a new relaxed transfer policy.
The open division in basketball will begin in the 2012-13 season and feature up to eight entries for boys and girls basketball in the Northern and Southern regional championships.
The winners of the regional open division championships will play each other in a state championship game, adding an additional game to the current five-division slate.
The CIF will select the teams for the open division brackets from the pool of teams who meet a specific criteria. That criteria includes teams thatt have won two consecutive section championships, have qualified for the regional championships (.ie NorCal playoffs) for three of the past four years or reached the state or regional final the previous year. They also can have been ranked in the top 10 in the state by Cal-Hi Sports, Calpreps or MaxPreps in early March for two straight years, including the current season.
Teams would have the option to opt in to the open divisions, but teams that are selected who meet the criteria cannot opt out.
The motion passed nearly unanimously, with only the North Coast Section casting 14 no votes.
The new transfer policy, approved by a 114-21 vote, will create a 30-day sit out period for athletes who transfer schools without a valid change of residence. Athletes would have to sit out until Oct. 1 for fall sports, Dec. 31 for winter sports and April 1 for spring sports.
The policy is a change from the current one year that athletes must sit out for transferring without a valid residency change. The basis of the new rule is to lessen legal fees that arise from legal challenges to CIF eligibility rulings.
The 30-day sit out period is expected to result in fewer legal challenges because athletes would not have to miss a complete season. Meanwhile, the hope is the 30-day sit out period is still enough of a deterrent to prevent a mass volume of transfers.
The NCS and Oakland Section joined the Northern Section in casting the 21 votes against the policy. All other sections voted in favor of the change.