High School Sports blog: Too many one-sided results in WCSSAA football league

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October 11, 2013


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Some valid points by everyone in this discussion. I don't think it can be argued that a 7 or 8 team A league would work better in terms of competitive balance. Unfortunately, a 7 team A league (6 games plus a bye week) or an 8 team A league (7 games) can't finish in time to move a team on to CWOSSA - which is why this new system was adopted in the first place. A season cannot be longer than 9 weeks/playing dates (including playoffs) and still fit the CWOSSA timelines. Hespeler Guy, your system with a 4 team A playoff has been floated before and will not fly. How do you fairly decide between 2, or even 3 teams, who could end up tied for that final 4th spot. You can't move a team on based on point totals. It's nowhere near fair considering the stakes. Besides, the more teams with an opportunity to play for the WCSSAA championship the better. Believe me, the WCSSAA championship is the goal for even the best teams. Playing in CWOSSA is like a cherry on top. A healthy 8 team playoff is what is best for WCSSAA. Cheapening our playoff so that 4 teams can play to go to CWOSSA is not equitable. Unless CWOSSA changes their structure, I think we have to live with a few blowouts.

Even if you take the JHSS scores out of the equation, according to my math, 11 of 20 games were won by margins of 20 points or more. Also one of reasons that the JHSS numbers are so inflated is because most of their games have been against weak teams. There are simply not 12 teams in WCSSAA capable of playing at the A level.
As one of the previous posters pointed out,going back to the old tiering system would not be better. Rez, Elmira & Eastwood (3 of the stronger teams) would have been in B division. Maybe it is time to look for something different.
It is also true that the teams that do well are those with a large number of players playing OVFL (Lions) or OFC (Preds) summer ball. There are only a handful of schools that have football programs, i.e. programs designed to develop skilled & dedicated players starting in junior and staffed with capable coaches. These tend to do well year after year Other schools have football teams and might do well some years and others not. Here is one idea, each spring schools bid to play in A division based on their projected strength in the fall (returning players, juniors moving up and so forth). There would be an 8 team A division, an 8 team B division and the remainder in a C division. For the playoffs, the top 4 teams in A would play off for the A championship. The bottom 4 in A and top 4 in B would play for the B championship. The remaining teams would play for a C championship.

I have no problem with the A and B tiering (versus A/B/C) - to me the issue is the balance. There should be 8 A teams and 12 B teams.

Take St. Mary's, Grand River, WCI and Cameron out of the A group and then look at the scores.

Allow the B champ to come up but seed them as a 4 seed versus an 8 seed (which they did in the past).

Just a thought.

Good points Matt, especially about the OVFL players. I'll agree that Jacob Hespeler's wins are throwing the numbers out of whack but there are still plenty of blowouts when you consider coaches try to call off the dogs when the game is well in hand.
As for coaching, you'd have to admit that teams that only have two or three coaches are at a disadvantage to teams like SJAM, which has all the coaching bases covered.

Thanks, Matt. My comment wasn't meant to be mean (and I don't think you took it as such). I just haven't seen many young teachers coming into the system lately who have had much coaching experience- let alone football.

Mark, the 3 tier system would not have made much of a difference this year. In fact things might have actually been worse, as Elmira, Eastwood and Resurrection would have been down in Tier B (based on last year's jr./sr. combined standings). The unbelievable performance of JHSS is what is skewing all of the numbers. They alone account for more than 20% of total points in the entire Tier. Take their scores out of the totals and things start to normalize.

Goran, believe it or not, there are more coaches then ever who actually know anything about coaching football. Most programs have at least one coach with CIS playing/coaching experience and there are still a lot of veteran teacher/coaches kicking around.

If there is something tipping the competitive balance, I would argue it is the distribution of OVFL football players amongst schools.

Regardless, this is the structure that allows the most teams a shot at a WCSSAA Championship while still fitting within the time frame needed send a team on to CWOSSA.

Could it be that, despite their best intentions, there are fewer and fewer "teachers" (the coaches in public schools) who actually know anything about coaching football? Just a thought.

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About Mark

  • Mark Bryson is a sports reporter at the Waterloo Region Record. He dreamed of playing for the Liverpool Football Club while playing high school soccer at St. Jerome's and Forest Heights. And then reality set in. Use this space to catch up and comment on the high school sports scene. Follow on Twitter - @BrysonRecord

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