The Southern Connecticut Conference’s Board of Governors approved a new and unique scheduling format Tuesday for seven of its sports that will begin with the 2016-17 school year.
The vote passed 20-3, according to league commissioner Al Carbone. It will be new and unique because teams will be placed in different divisions for many of the seven sports to be affected: boys and girls soccer, boys and girls basketball, baseball, softball and girls volleyball.
“Over 22 years, we’ve seen inequity between the divisions in many of the sports,” Carbone said. “This new format not only provides equity within the divisions, it also maintains every team has a full, competitive schedule.”
The league’s athletic directors voted in favor of the proposal by a 21-2 margin last month.
So what does this all mean? It means some confusion as far as trying to remember what teams will be in each division in each of those sports. But it also means an equitable schedule, according to Carbone and West Haven athletic director Jon Capone, the chairman of the scheduling committee.
“The divisions were not balanced. I don’t think anyone who knows anything about the league would argue that,” said West Haven athletic director Jon Capone, also the scheduling committee chairperson. “Having a balanced division is the most important thing for the league. When you balance the divisions, everyone has a fair schedule. It’s time for change and see where this takes us into the future.”
Records for the last five years, including what happens this upcoming season, will determine the new four-division setup, likely losing the names Hammonasset, Housatonic, Quinnipiac and Oronoque.
The teams for each sport will be ranked from 1-20 for each sport. Once those determinations are made, the divisions will remain the same from 2016-18. Then the schedules for 2018-19 will be based on the results from the previous two seasons.
The new format places teams ranked No. 1, 5, 9, 13 and 17 in one division, 2, 6, 10, 14 and 18 in the next division and so forth for the other two divisions. There will still be eight division games, six crossovers and two interdivisional games (for the sports that play 20 games). That means those teams can go get four outside games – whether non-conference or within the league if needed.
“We looked at the division record, the overall record, success in both league and state tournaments, a lot of factors,” Carbone said. “It wasn’t just based on pure record.”
Lauralton Hall’s placement in each sport will be determined on its first two years in the league and its previous success in the South-West Conference.
And even with the outside games, teams have the opportunity to play your rival if the 16 games don’t provide that. It’s the issue of playing multiple games against former division rivals in those outside games where it may no longer be the case.
“My biggest problem with this new system is loss of divisional rivals and loss of divisional identity,” Kohs said. “But we will support the league and will give it a shot because the majority of the league supports it. This is a drastic change and I’m hoping it all works out the way everyone thinks it will. I’m willing to look at it in a couple years and admit I’m wrong if it works out better than I think it will.”