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Palo Alto girls not quite rewarded by CCS volleyball seeding

Original post made on Nov 10, 2008

The Palo Alto girls' volleyball team did everything it could this season to set itself up for a successful showing in the Central Coast Section playoffs. The Vikings won a tournament, placed third three other times and won their third straight SCVAL De Anza Division championship while finishing ahead of Mountain View and Los Gatos.

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Comments (4)

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Posted by reallydisgustednow
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 10, 2008 at 5:49 pm

reallydisgustednow is a registered user.

As usual, Palo Alto bends over and grabs their ankles. It's that way with the reffing and now with the seeding. No matter how hard these girls have worked, the Division has their favorites, and Palo Alto is not one of them.

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Posted by Must agree...
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 10, 2008 at 7:54 pm

How does anyone explain Mountain View and Los Gatos getting a better seed than Palo Alto? Mindboggling.

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Posted by Looking closer
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 10, 2008 at 8:06 pm

Check the CCS website here: Web Link

Basically, although being a league champion gives a team a lot of bonus points, you can still earn points from non-league matches. In essence, both Los Gatos and Mountain View's non-league schedule were much tougher than Paly's. Although a bit odd (I would have expected that there would be a rule that league champions couldn't be seeded lower than anyone else in their league), it came about from a very objective point system.

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Posted by Theresa Carey
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 11, 2008 at 4:10 pm

This issue has come up many times at CCS seeding meetings. I attended 5 of them earlier this decade when I coached at Paly. The coaches passed a resolution stating that league champs should be seeded higher than others in their league a few years ago (I vaguely recall 2004) but it was denied by the CCS athletic director committee.

The worksheet for calculating power points is supposedly designed to keep what appears to be a political decision from happening. Each coach brings in a worksheet to the seeding meeting, which is checked over for accuracy. The teams that automatically make the playoffs are determined (top 3 finishers in the SCVAL De Anza Division, for instance), then power point rankings fill out the remaining spots.

Then the teams in each division are simply ranked by their power point calculation. No politics, no jiggling, nothing.

I know there are coaches who seek out opportunities to increase their power points, but some of them are hard to predict. When I was at Paly, we scheduled several non-league matches against teams that would give us more power points, win or lose (and we usually won :) ). Apparently both Los Gatos and Mt. View had opportunities to play teams during tournaments who turned out to be league champions at the end of the season; a team gets extra points for playing against a league champ. But you don't get to pick who you're going to play during a tournament. That's just luck of the draw.

The league in which an opponent plays is also important -- CCS leagues are ranked A, B and C, which extra points given to teams that play against A-league teams. So it helps a lot to play in the SCVAL De Anza Division, because all of those teams are A-ranked. (El Camino teams are B-ranked and a team earns fewer points for playing them.)

The big kicker, points-wise, is that non-CCS leagues are ALL counted at the B level -- even if they're nationally ranked otherwise. So the Reno tournament in which Paly played early on did not help them with their power points. Los Gatos and Mt. View played in the Milpitas Spikefest instead, and had many CCS opponents who gave them more points.

I hate that particular rule because it means that teams who want to collect power points should stay close to home all season, rather than branching out and going to more interesting tournaments such as Reno or Davis. The great thing about the far-off tournaments is that they give the teams a chance to bond in the early season, and to take a look at teams they may play if they make it to NorCals.

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