So, I refereed several games this past weekend (3/29-30), 2 centers and an AR on Saturday, 3 centers on Sunday.

Saturday’s games weren’t bad – first game was a U12 girls game, nothing really out of the ordinary, game ended in a 1-1 tie, with both goals being scored on penalty kicks (one was a handball, the other was tripping).

Second game (U14 girls) was a handful. Team from Santa Barbara, CA, playing extremely physical. Warned a player twice about following through with the body way after the ball had moved on. Apparently, the player’s parent took exception to the warning (which was near the parents’ sideline) and complained to the referee tent during halftime that I was telling his daughter “don’t play so hard”. Riiiiiiight.

Third game, I was the AR for a U12 girls game. The center ref was having trouble remembering to look at his sidelines for offsides, so there were a couple of times I had to hold position and wave the flag to get his attention. However, nothing really was affected. In fact, multiple parents on my sideline seemed to have fun with it and asked me technical questions during the game about offsides, throw-ins, and specific fouls.

Sunday, all three of my games ended up being U14′s, only one of which was originally scheduled. The first was a referee change – one of the teams (green) had already been reffed by the referee scheduled and objected to having him again, feeling that he let too much go on. The other team (yellow) had two players out, one due to injury (fractured wrist), the other due to red card (dissent), so they had to play a man short (10 men). That game ended up as a blowout, 4-0 for green. Two yellow cards were issued, one for a reckless forearm, the other for a very late tackle.

The second game was also a blowout, but for the wrong reasons. This was a U14 girls’ game, and the blue team was well-represented by a large Hispanic/Mexican contingent of fans, who also derided any and all calls that went against them, including throw-ins! Blue wasn’t particularly stellar, winning 4-1, but one goal was an own goal by the red team, and the other was scored on a quick counterattack after red penalty kick was blocked by the keeper. Take away the OG and score the PK, and this game is 2-2. Also, blue had a player sent off for two yellow cards, the first for a blatently late charge, the second was for a tackle from behind endangering the safety of her opponent.

The last game was actually a really good game. U14 boys, blue vs white. Blue went up quickly 2-0 after the first half, and they were on another attack starting at midfield when I blew the halftime whistle. I was told in very angry voices that “we were going to score again, why did you stop it?” and I just simply replied, “It’s halftime. There is no extra time here.” In the second half, blue and white exchanged goals to put blue up 3-1 with about 10 minutes left, and that’s when everything changed. Blue was caught in an offside trap with THREE forwards offside. Flag went up, whistle blown, ball set quickly and kick taken before blue could set up. White outraced everyone to the ball, took control just outside the box on the left side of goal and beat the keeper with a nifty outside-of-the-foot shot into the bottom right corner. On the ensuing kickoff, blue took possession and did a pass back to their midfielders like usual, but white flooded blue’s half of the field with 7 players, leaving only their back three defenders. It only took two minutes to force a corner kick, and white beat the GK with a header off the corner into top right goal. Now, it’s 3-3 with about 6 minutes left. And for 5 of those minutes, it was just back-and-forth, no one really getting an edge on the other, and finally white decides to pull the desperation play off yet another offside trap (blue was caught offsides for the game about a dozen times, no kidding) and kicks deep to the right side of the field. One white player beats three blues to the ball, but the momentum carries him to the far side of the box away from goal. So, he turns, fakes one blue out, enters the box dribbling, beats the next blue player by putting the ball between blue’s legs, then attempts to spin and get around him, but blue reaches out and grabs his arm and jersey to prevent him from getting past. Flag up on the near side for infraction, whistle blown, PK given. White scores with 20 seconds left on the clock on the PK shot and ends the game a 4-3 winner.

I wish more tournaments had games like this. :)

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So the proposed list of schools placed in their divisions was released from AIA. This list did not have any sectional alignments, just divisional placements.

The below is my projected sectional alignments. I took into account the previous bloc’s alignments and team histories to account for the movements.

Any team with a ** means that they will have to appeal their divisional placement. Currently, these are the following:

Kofa D2
Yuma D3
Mesquite D2
Salpointe Catholic D4
Notre Dame Prep D4
St. Mary’s Catholic D4
Palo Verde D4
Sabino D4
Santa Rita D4
Sedona Red Rock D4
Tanque Verde D4
Rock Point D5
North Pointe Prep D4
Shonto Prep D5

Mesquite will be appealing to D1. It’s simply a matter of convenience for them – they are a decent team in D1, and the remainder of Gilbert and Mesa schools are already D1, so this is a no-brainer.

Salpointe will again appeal up to D2 where that D2 S2 section will contain 9 Tucson-area teams and Nogales.

Notre Dame will again appeal up to D2. No brainer there.

Last bloc, St. Mary’s was the only school to appeal up to D1 from D4. While they may do so again, it actually makes sense for them to just go to D2. I am guessing here that they will go D2 and become one of the top 15-20 teams in that Division. BUT if Yuma and Kofa move down, it might make sense for St. Mary’s to move back up again.

Palo Verde and Sabino both appealed up from D4 to D3 due to travel times. Now with CDO, Catalina Foothills and Cholla being bumped down to D3 and Empire moving up from D4, having PV and Sabino again play in D3 makes perfect sense.

Santa Rita appealed up to D2 last bloc, but this year will probably only ask to move up to D3 due to travel. D3 S1 will become another Tucson-area dominated section with 10 teams, and that’s before adding Douglas into the mix.

Sedona Red Rock played D5 this past bloc, and I get the feeling that they were happy about being out of D4. This time they will be appealing down to D5 because they fit better competitively with the other D5 Rez schools like Hopi and Rough Rock and Sanders Valley.

Tanque Verde has absoltely no business in D4. They will appeal down based on travel times, where they will continue to play teams close by like Thatcher and Willcox.

Someone please clue me in how Rock Point, with 115 students, is being classified as D5, while Chandler Prep, with almost three times that number, is still D6? Yeah, I don’t see Rock Point moving up.

North Pointe Prep has not announced they are reinstating their program, and they probably will not unless they are allowed to move to D5.

Shonto Prep is a Freelance program, so they are a non-issue.

However, the Yuma schools are holding the key to massive appeals and realignment changes. Yuma will again appeal up to make travel times easiest for themselves. HOWEVER… will they go up to D1 or D2? That depends on what Gila Ridge does – they are competitive in D2, so do they stay or go up to D1? Cibola has been competitive in D1 recently, so they won’t be able to move down. San Luis has the option of claiming “competitiveness” to move down to D2, and Kofa is already aligned into D2, but do they want to stay or move up to D1? If Kofa decides to not appeal its divisional placing, then we’re looking at D2 Section 1 containing Gila Ridge, Kofa, Yuma, and San Luis (who will appeal DOWN based on competitiveness factor and travel times). If this is the case, look for Camelback to be moved to D2 S3, South Mountain to move to D2 S3, and general mayhem in D2.

Speaking of competitiveness, I went through the last three years of data to see which teams SHOULD move down – outside of the Yuma schools – based on that key idea. Here’s my list. This list is based on the proposed divisional alignment for 2013-2015:

Carl Hayden (D1 -> D2)
Dobson (D1 -> D2)
Westwood (D1 -> D2)
La Joya (D2 -> D3)
South Mountain (D2 -> D3)
McClintock (D2 -> D3)
Desert View (D2 -> D3)
Cortez (D3 -> D4)
Apache Junction (D3 -> D4)
Sedona Red Rock (D4 -> D5) (see above)
Tanque Verde (D4 -> D5) (ditto)
Rock Point (D5 -> D6) (ditto again)

Division 1teams = 43Division 2teams = 41Division 3teams = 42Division 4teams = 31Division 5teams = 40Division 6teams = 32
Section 1enrollment #Previous Division / SectionSection 1enrollment #Previous Division / SectionSection 1enrollment #Previous Division / SectionSection 1enrollment #Previous Division / SectionSection 1enrollment #Previous Division / SectionSection 1enrollment #Previous Division / Section
Alhambra2734Apollo1908Amphitheater1197Alchesay502Camp Verde444Arizona Charter Academy352
Carl Hayden2203Betty H. Fairfax1888Canyon del Oro1617D2 S2Blue Ridge799Greyhills Academy335Ash Fork74
Central2370Camelback1957Casa Grande1552Chinle1001Hopi433Fredonia70
Cesar Chavez2387D2 S1Centennial2128Catalina1180Ganado532Many Farms434Joseph City137
Cibola2585Copper Canyon1817D3 S2Catalina Foothills1657D2 S2Holbrook744Pinon427Mayer185
Kofa2128**Deer Valley1911Cholla1611D2 S2Monument Valley754Red Mesa186Mogollon143
Maryvale2733Gila Ridge1823Douglas1305Page900Rough Rock191Rock Point115**
Millennium2153D2 S1Independence1952Empire1288D4 S2Show Low823Round Valley402
North2530Ironwood1996Flowing Wells1665D2 S2Snowflake710Sanders Valley273Section 2
San Luis2708La Joya1805Higley1636Tuba City725Sedona Red Rock500**
Tolleson2223Lake Havasu1936Maricopa1575Window Rock666St. Johns295ASDB97
Trevor Browne3010Liberty1967D3 S2Palo Verde939**Winslow739Williams218Cibecue74
Valley Vista2395Raymond S. Kellis1878Sabino1098**Duncan126
Westview2624South Mountain1758Santa Rita961**Section 2Section 2Ft. Thomas120
Yuma1466**Willow Canyon2066Williams Field1518Hayden81
Combs1110Antelope292Mesa Prep173
Section 2Section 2Section 2Coolidge740Arizona Lutheran182Patagonia70
Canyon State Academy604D5 S2Bourgade Catholic387Pima197
Basha2494Campo Verde1995D3 S1Buckeye1237D4 S3Florence735Northwest Christian405Ray191
Buena2223Cienega1862Cactus1397Globe522Phoenix Christian217San Simon / Bowie56
Chandler3167Desert View2046Coconino1446Imagine Prep (Coolidge)540CAAJoy Christian183D6 S3St. David133
Corona del Sol2665Ironwood Ridge2025Cortez1189D4 S3Rio Rico1082Paradise Honors299D6 S3Superior116
Desert Ridge2612Marana2014Dysart1675Safford837San Tan Foothills446Tohono O'Odham107
Dobson2763Marana Mt. View1819Flagstaff1521Seton Catholic576Scottsdale Christian284Valley Union126
Gilbert2548Nogales1733D3 S1Glendale1673Walden Grove856Scottsdale Prep259D6 S3
Hamilton3652Poston Butte1762D3 S1Greenway1561Sahuarita1027D3 S1Sequoia Charter345Section 3
Highland2984Pueblo1694Mingus1244D4 S3Tempe Prep250
Mesquite2004**Queen Creek1712D3 S1Mohave1384Section 3Tonopah Valley384Ajo122
Perry2534D2 S3Rincon/University1998Peoria1624Valley Christian262Bagdad118
Skyline2576Sahuaro1861Shadow Ridge1279Chino Valley774Yuma Catholic270Chandler Prep332
Sunnyside2318Salpointe Catholic1094**Sunrise Mountain1580Estrella Foothills1008Gila Bend131
Tucson3162Verrado1617Fountain Hills679Section 3Gilbert Christian148
Lee Williams1010NEWPDSD86
Section 3Section 3Section 3Parker522Baboquivari229Rancho Solano Prep90
Payson750Benson425Salome137
Boulder Creek2454Arcadia1716D3 S3Agua Fria1669River Valley761Bisbee360Salt River170
Brophy2572Barry Goldwater1941Apache Junction1427Wickenburg740Miami316Valley Lutheran165
Desert Mountain2297Cactus Shadows1731Bradshaw Mountain1688D2 S3Morenci401Veritas Prep257
Desert Vista3074Chaparral2125Coronado1230D4 S2Pusch Ridge Christian307
Horizon2196D2 S3Kingman1810Desert Edge1588San Carlos321
Mesa3307Marcos de Niza1730Moon Valley1472San Manuel331No Sectional listed
Mesa Mt. View3235McClintock1873Prescott1667D2 S3Santa Cruz367
Mountain Pointe2565Notre Dame Prep866**Saguaro1346Tanque Verde452**North Pointe Prep (F)521canceled program
Mountain Ridge2256Paradise Valley1776D3 S3Shadow Mountain1571D2 S3Thatcher426Shonto Prep (F)82Freelance
North Canyon2180St. Mary's Catholic504**Sierra Linda1673Tombstone392San Pasqual152canceled program
Pinnacle2543Sunnyslope1987Tempe1405Willcox366Seligman61canceled program
Red Mountain3360Vista Grande1782D3 S1Thunderbird1503
Sandra Day O'Connor2598Washington1764D3 S3Youngker1535
Westwood3003

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Look, despite what Texas A&M officials want to do (to Texas, which is stick it where the sun don’t shine), the reality is that Aggie Nation is not changing addresses to the SEC.

Why? Simple, really. 1) No financial incentive for the SEC. The SEC is getting megabucks and megapress from its current status. Adding Texas A&M, while gaining viewers from Texas, really doesn’t increase the standing of the SEC as a whole, and the SEC’s TV deal with ESPN and CBS currently in place doesn’t expire until 2024. When it comes to revenue sharing, adding A&M will end up being akin to too many hands in the cookie jar, so to speak. The increased scheduling nightmare for the members of the SEC West Division would have to be overcome as well. 2) No 14th team. The SEC is really adamant about keeping the divisions equal, and that means there would have to be a 14th team added. And it can’t just be ANY 14th team, the SEC would want a major player or a major market. Florida State? Nope – Florida won’t stand for it. Georgia Tech? Ditto. North Carolina? No way are they leaving the ACC and their Tobacco Road rivalry. No, the real answers would have to be either Virginia Tech or… Florida International (which is in Miami). And yet, neither of those schools are leaving their respective conferences anyway, so it’s a moot point.

No, Texas A&M is not jumping ship this season. But the Big 12 has reason to worry. Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State have to be seriously thinking about that Pac-12 offer they rejected now.

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From time to time I will make public statements in opposition to the use of Power Points by the AIA as a method of determining playoff teams and seeding.

I have, in years past, posted several summaries of previous seasons’ rankings, complete with analysis and suggestions for improvement. However, it occurred to me last season to take a different approach.

A very intelligent reader to the 24-7Football.com message boards (“sprinkler”) posted the following:

You must have Human intervention with brains that are capable of understanding that regardless of what powerpoints say–team a is better than team b by a longshot. I can give you example after example since the inception
of powerpoints where teams have gotten the shaft and undeserving teams have received a much higher seed and sometimes even a playoff spot when on the field or court it was completely undeserved.

Last season I did an analysis of all 50 states’ high school athletic associations to see how they determine football playoffs. Only three states were inconclusive in their stated methods (Florida, Texas, and Hawaii) for playoff determination. Of the remaining 47, only 16 use powerpoints, and of those 16, only THREE reside West of the Mississippi River (Arizona, Colorado, South Dakota). All the others rely on qualification (top 2/3/4 finishers in a division or conference) or selection (committee selection) methods, or some combination of both.

This analysis suggests that the idea of powerpoints is both A) an East Coast idea, and B) behind the times. The Deep South is known for its football, and only Louisiana uses powerpoints – Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Tennessee, Oklahoma, etc. all use qualification or selection. California, a mecca of high school football, uses a committee selection method.

It would behoove the AIA to at least consider creating a committee with the sole task to determine playoff qualifiers outside of automatic sectional winners and seeding for playoff brackets.

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I just realized I never posted the final alignment for the AIA on football.

Pretty much my previous post had most everything but a few changes:

Yuma appealed up to D1 Section 1
Sabino and Palo Verde both appealed up to D3 S1
North Pointe Prep (D4 S3) canceled their football program.
PDSD and Rancho Solano Prep were placed in D6 S3.

Pima and Veritas Prep are not listed and are possibly freelance programs this bloc.

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